Attorneys, judges apply for seat on Alaska Supreme Court

Fourteen attorneys are in line to be the next Alaska Supreme Court justice.

Morgan Christen has already departed the state’s highest court after being appointed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The pool of applicants includes some familiar names in Alaska law and the courts. They include private attorneys Kevin Clarkson of Anchorage, Andy Harrington of Fairbanks, Daniel Westerburg of Homer, and Marc Wilhelm of Anchorage. Also applying are Anchorage attorneys William Callow, Peter Maasen, and Don McClintock.

Some of the notable judges who’ve applied include Charles Huguelet of Kenai, Michael McDonald of Fairbanks, Frank Pfiffner of Anchorage, Eric Smith of Palmer, and Joel Bolger, formerly of Valdez and Kodiak and now on the Alaska Court of Appeals. Also applying are administrative law judges Jeffery Friedman and Terry Thurbon.

Public hearing dates have not been set yet. But typically the Alaska Judicial Council will investigate the background of all the applicants, survey Bar members, and then interview each applicant.

Once at least two nominees are selected by the council, the Governor will have 45-days to make an appointment.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Walter Carpeneti announced on Wednesday that recently-retired justices Warren Matthews and Robert Eastaugh have volunteered to help hear cases as justices pro tem until an appointment is made.

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