ANCHORAGE – Governor Bill Walker announced the appointment of new judges to the Juneau District and Palmer Superior Courts Tuesday. Kirsten Swanson of Juneau will be the newest judge on the Juneau District Court, while Jonathan Woodman of Eagle River will serve on the Palmer Superior Court.
A resident of Juneau for over 17 years, Kirsten Swanson has practiced law for over two decades. She received her JD from Gonzaga School of Law in 1995, and has spent the majority of her career in the courtroom. Ms. Swanson previously served in the U.S. Army as a JAG officer, and worked in the Alaska Public Defender’s Office in Juneau from 1999-2001. She is currently a self-employed attorney in Juneau, representing court appointed and private clients in both state and federal courtrooms. Ms. Swanson will replace retired Juneau District Court Judge Keith Levy.“I am pleased to appoint Kirsten Swanson to the Juneau District Court,” Governor Walker said. “Serving in Alaska’s judicial branch requires deep knowledge of the law and respect for the many different cultures and backgrounds in our state. Kirsten’s vast experience as both a public and private attorney gives her a perspective that will serve Southeast Alaska well, and make her an excellent addition to our court system.”
Jonathan Woodman has practiced law for 23 years, and currently serves as a Senior Assistant Attorney General and State Ethics Attorney for Alaska. Mr. Woodman received his Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from MIT in 1990, and his JD from Ohio State University College of Law in 1993. He previously worked in the Office of the Ohio Public Defender from 1997-1999, and for the Alaska law firm Guess & Rudd P.C. from 1999 to 2008. In addition to his work with the State of Alaska, Mr. Woodman provides pro bono legal advice at the Alaska Federation of Natives convention and on Martin Luther King Jr. Day each year. He is a three-time Jeopardy! champion. Mr. Woodman will replace retired Palmer Superior Court Judge Eric Smith.
“Jon Woodman is greatly admired by his colleagues at the Department of Law, and was described by one fellow attorney as an intellectual powerhouse,” said Governor Walker. “Jon has provided sage counsel as the state’s ethics attorney over the years. While his departure leaves big shoes to fill in the Department of Law, I know Alaskans will be equally well served in his new capacity as superior court judge.”
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