Judges, attorney from Juneau apply for position on Alaska's high court

Two Juneau judges and an attorney have applied for a position on the Alaska Supreme Court.

Juneau Superior Court Judge Philip M. Pallenberg, Chief Administrative Law Judge Terry L. Thurbon and Chief Assistant Attorney General Susan D. Cox are among 13 Alaskans who have submitted an application to fill the post, which is now held by Chief Justice Walter L. Carpeneti. Carpeneti previously announced he will retire in January 2013.

The Alaska Judicial Council announced the names of the 13 applicants in a news release Thursday.

The release states the applicants will be evaluated by the council’s seven members (the chief justice of the Alaska Supreme Court, three non-attorneys and three attorney members). The evaluations are to include a comprehensive background investigation, a survey of Alaska Bar members and personal interviews.

The executive director of the judicial council, Larry Cohn, said in a phone interview that the council will begin the personal interviews in December. A public hearing will also be held in Anchorage.

The council will select two or more nominees to send to the governor. Gov. Sean Parnell will then have 45 days to make an appointment from the Council’s list.

Pallenberg came to Juneau in 1983 after graduating from the University of Washington Law School. He served as an assistant public defender in Juneau and Kodiak for eight years and was in private law practice in Juneau for 15. He served as a part-time U.S. Magistrate Judge from 2000 to 2007 and was appointed as a Juneau Superior Court Judge by Gov. Sarah Palin in August 2007.

Thurbon has been an Alaska resident for 21 years and has practiced law for 25 years. She graduated from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1986.

Cox has been an Alaskan resident for 30 years and has practiced law for 29 years. She graduated from the University of California at Davis, King Hall School of Law in 1982 and is currently the chief assistant attorney general in Juneau.

Other applicants are: Joel H. Bolger, a judge on the Alaska Court of Appeals; Jeffrey Friedman, an administrative law judge in Anchorage; Andrew Guidi, a superior court judge in Anchorage; Andy Harrington, an assistant attorney general in Fairbanks; Peter J. Maassen, in private practice in Anchorage; Michael A. MacDonald, a superior court judge in Fairbanks; Eric Smith, a superior court judge in Palmer; Trevor N. Stevens, a superior court judge in Ketchikan; Daniel Westerburg, in private practice in Homer and Russ Winner, in private practice in Anchorage.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.


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