January 17, 2013
Fairbanks Superior Court
Nome Superior Court
The Alaska Judicial Council met on January 14-16, 2013, to interview applicants for positions on the Fairbanks and Nome Superior Courts.
Andy Harrington, Jane F. Kauvar, and Nelson Traverso were nominated as the most qualified applicants to fill the Fairbanks Superior Court judicial vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Robert B. Downes. Tim Dooley and John A. Earthman were nominated as the most qualified applicants to fill the Nome Superior Court judicial vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Ben J. Esch. The Governor now has 45 days in which to make the appointments from among these nominees.
The Judicial Council is required to nominate the most qualified applicants applying for a judicial vacancy. (The framers of our Constitution referred to this standard as the “best available timber.”) Failure of the Council to nominate an applicant does not mean the applicant is unqualified. The Council is a citizens’ commission created by the Alaska Constitution composed of three attorneys, three non-attorneys and the Chief Justice of the Alaska Supreme Court. The Council completes an extensive investigation and evaluation of judicial applicants. The Council reviews eachPress Release applicant’s education, experience, bar discipline and credit records, participation in community activities, and other records. It asks every member of the Alaska Bar to evaluate the applicant, encourages the public to submit comments, and interviews the applicant.
Nominees for the Fairbanks Superior Court are: Andy Harrington: Mr. Harrington has been an Alaska resident for 32½ years, and has practiced law for 31½ years. He graduated from Harvard University Law School in 1980, and is currently an assistant attorney general in Fairbanks.
Jane F. Kauvar: Judge Kauvar has been an Alaska resident for 39½ years, and has practiced law for 39 years. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law in 1973, and is currently a district court judge in Fairbanks.
Nelson Traverso: Mr. Traverso has been an Alaska resident for 30 years, and has practiced law for 29 years. He graduated from Northeastern University School of Law in 1981, and is currently in private practice in Fairbanks.
Nominees for the Nome Superior Court are: Tim Dooley: Mr. Dooley has been an Alaska resident for 31½ years, and has practiced law for 22½ years. He graduated from St. Mary’s Law School in 1981, and is currently in private practice in Anchorage.
John A. Earthman: Mr. Earthman has been an Alaska resident for 13½ years, and has practiced law for 13½ years. He graduated from Fordham University School of Law in 1999, and is currently the district attorney in Nome.
Alaska Judicial Council press release