Kitsap Crime and Justice

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Kitsap Bar hears from Superior Court applicants

February 7th, 2014 by andybinion

Judge-and-Jury

The 11 Kitsap lawyers applying to fill the open Superior Court seat gave their pitches to their colleagues Friday at the county bar association’s monthly luncheon.

The next to step is for bar members to rank and rate the applicants. The local association plans to forward the poll results to Gov. Jay Inslee’s office next week. Check back here for poll results Wednesday.

Inlsee will decide who will replace Steven Dixon, who left his seat here to take the single Superior Court seat in Adams County, Eastern Washington.

What good is a bar poll? It’s one of the things that Inslee will look at when making his decision, but their value has been questioned. Critics have called them popularity contests, those who think them useful tools consider them “barometers.”

The association has about 210 members, and 75 of them were present at Friday’s luncheon.

The applicants are, in order that they spoke:

-Kati Lappi
-Greg Wall
-Jeff Bassett
-Tracy Flood
-Melissa Hemstreet
-Karen Klein (did not appear)
-Bill Houser
-Diane Russell
-Tom Weaver
-Chad Enright
-Stephen Greer

Poulsbo attorney Matt Clucas headed up the process for the association and said 11 applicants is an expected turnout.

Nick Brown, Inslee’s attorney leading the process from Olympia, said candidate interviews will begin next week. One of two finalists will be asked back for additional interviews, and Inslee will make a decision by the end of the month or the beginning of March.

He said 11 candidates isn’t a lot, and the number is usually a reflection of the size of the county. He said empty court seats in King County have drawn 30-plus applicants, and smaller counties have drawn as many as three or four.

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