Council works to fill judge opening

Posted: Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Seven attorneys have applied for a new Kenai District Court Judge position and the application period is closed, according to the Alaska Judicial Council.

Previously the district court in Kenai had been presided over by two magistrates, but the state Legislature this year approved adding a judge, and one new courtroom is being completed at the Kenai Courthouse.

No more applications are being accepted for the Kenai position, said Larry Cohn, council executive director.

The council is surveying members of the Alaska Bar Association about the applicants and will interview the candidates in October.

Among those applying for the Kenai position is David S. Landry, one of the magistrates currently serving the district court.

Landry, 52, has been an Alaska resident for 23 years and has practiced law for 12 years. He is a 1991 graduate of the Western New England College School of Law.

Another Kenai Peninsula lawyer who applied is Carol A. Brenckle, 62, who has resided in Alaska for more than 32 years and has practiced law for 20 years.

Brenckle graduated from the University of Oregon School of Law in 1983, and has her own law practice.

Former Kenai assistant district attorney John W. Wolfe, also has applied for the judgeship.

Wolfe, 46, left the peninsula in 2002 to accept an assistant district attorney position in Dillingham. He is a 1983 graduate of the University of Oklahoma Law School.

Others applying to be judge are Vince Curry, 55, a general practice lawyer for Ross and Miner, in Anchorage; Vincent Di Napoli, 45, a state magistrate in Cordova; Andy Hemenway, 56, an Alaska hearing officer in Juneau; and Margaret L. Murphy, 48, a state magistrate in Aniak and acting district court judge.

After the Alaska Judicial Council interviews candidates, a public hearing on the applicants will be conducted and at least two nominees will be sent to the governor for approval.

The governor will have 45 days to make appointments from the council's nominations.

District court judge positions also are open in Palmer and Valdez.

The application period is closed for the Palmer job, but the deadline has been extended until Aug. 12 for Valdez.

Cohn said 10 attorneys have applied for the Palmer vacancy and two for Valdez.

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