Alaska Superior Court Judges Retain Positions

Associated Press

Alaska’s four presiding Superior Court judges will retain their positions for 2011.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Walter L. Carpeneti announced Thursday that Judge Patricia A. Collins will preside over the First Judicial District, which covers Southeast Alaska.

Judge Ben Esch will oversee the Second Judicial District, which covers Alaska’s most northern areas and includes Superior Courts in Barrow, Nome and Kotzebue.

Judge Sharon Gleason will remain presiding judge for the Third Judicial District, covering Anchorage and Southcentral Alaska.

Judge Douglas Blankenship of Fairbanks will preside over the Fourth Judicial District, which covers the Interior and parts of southwest Alaska.

Chief justice Carpeneti also today reappointed Judge Robert G. Coats as chief justice of the Alaska Court of Appeals.

Coats has served on the Appeals Court since it was created in 1980.

Before his appointment, Coats was an assistant attorney general and an assistant public defender in Fairbanks and Kenai.

Coats is a graduate of Harvard Law School. He has lived in Alaska for more than four decades.   The three-judge court hears appeals from judgments in criminal cases. The court also hears cases of juvenile delinquency, prisoners challenging the legality of their confinement, and probation and parole decisions.

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