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Alaska chief justice warns of challenges courts face

Posted: Thursday, February 12, 2009

JUNEAU - Alaska Supreme Court Chief Justice Dana Fabe warned lawmakers that troubled financial times can lead to greater demands on the state's judicial system.

In a State of the Judiciary speech to the joint House and Senate on Wednesday, Fabe said to expect foreclosures, domestic violence filings and criminal caseloads to rise with the economic downturn.

Fabe said the court system is already tightening its belt and asked for the Legislature's support in surviving the challenges ahead.

Fabe also noted the state's golden anniversary this year and detailed changes in the judicial system in the past 50 years.

She honored Justice Warren Matthews, who is retiring this spring after 32 years on the state's highest court. Fabe called him a thoughtful, meticulous jurist who will leave a legacy of excellence.



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