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Judge search begins

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Alexis Barker, NLJ News Editor

Legislature funds fourth judge for Sixth Judicial District

The ink from the governor’s signature on a bill that authorized a new judge for northeast Wyoming was barely dry when the newly created vacancy was announced.

Wyoming’s Judicial Nominating Commission announced a vacancy in the District Court for the Sixth Judicial District, covering Campbell, Crook and Weston counties via press release on March 18.

According to the release, Wyoming Supreme Court Justice Kate M. Fox, chair of the Judicial Nominating Commission, announced the vacancy after a fourth judge had been authorized and funded by the 2024 Wyoming Legislature. The bill was signed into law by Gov. Mark Gordon on March 15, and potential applicants will have one month to throw their hats in the ring.

The Judicial Nominating Commission will accept “expressions of interest” from qualified persons through Monday, April 15. These forms can be obtained from the Wyoming Supreme Court’s website, The completed form must be received by the office of Chief Justice Fox no later than 5 p.m. on April 15.

The commission asks that interested parties do not submit letters of recommendation as they will not be considered. The release notes that the commission will only review documents specifically required in the expression of interest.

“To serve as a district court judge, one must be a qualified elector of the state and authorized to practice law in Wyoming,” the release says.

The commission will be responsible for submitting three names from the field of applicants to Gov. Gordon, who will appoint the new judge from those recommendations. Serving on the commission are Fox, three lawyers elected by the Wyoming State Bar — Devon O’Connell of Laramie, Mandy Good of Cheyenne and Clint Langer of Sheridan — and three non-lawyers appointed by the governor — Dan Kirkbride of Chugwater, Lisa Anderson of Shell and Rick Fagnant of Lander.

The salary for the judge will be $171,200 with Wyoming state insurance benefits, a Wyoming Retirement 457 plan and a generous judicial pension, the release says.

The position will be filled on or before July 18.

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