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News & Press: State Bar News

Judge applicants sought for 1st Judicial District, 8th Judicial District openings

Tuesday, July 28, 2020  
Posted by: Joe Menden
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The Judicial Nomination Commission is seeking applicants for two Montana District Court judge positions that are opening in October.

The positions are in the First Judicial District, which covers Broadwater and Lewis & Clark Counties; and the Eighth Judicial District, which covers Cascade County.

The Honorable James P. Reynolds of the First Judicial District and the Honorable Gregory G. Pinski of the Eighth Judicial District both recently notified the Montana Supreme Court that they will be retiring effective Oct. 2.

The commission is now accepting applications for both positions from any lawyer in good standing who has the qualifications set forth by law for holding the position of district court judge. The application forms for the positions are available electronically at the commission’s website. Applications must be submitted electronically as well as in hard copy.

The deadline for submitting applications for the Eighth Judicial District opening is 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 21. The deadline for submitting applications for the First Judicial District opening is 5 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 28.

There will be a 30-day public comment period on the applicants for each of the positions after the application deadlines.

After reviewing the applications, receiving public comment, and interviewing the applicants if necessary The commission will forward the names of three to five nominees for each position to Gov. Steve Bullock for appointment.

The judges appointed by the governor will both be subject to Senate confirmation during the 2021 legislative session.

If confirmed, the new First Judicial District judge will serve the remainder of Judge Reynolds’ term, which expires in January 2023.

The Eighth Judicial District position is subject to election in 2022, and the successful candidate will serve for the remainder of Judge Pinski’s term, which expires in January 2025.

The annual salary for each position is $136,896.

Judicial Nomination Commission members are District Judge John Brown of Bozeman; Janice Bishop of Missoula; Karl Englund of Missoula; Elizabeth Halverson of Billings; Hal Harper of Helena; Lane Larson of Billings; and Nancy Zadick of Great Falls.