Sarah Palin's Judicial Appointments
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has appointed one justice to the Alaska Supreme Court: Daniel Winfree. Here's part of her statement on his appointment.(US States News November 16, 2007.)
Winfree, 54, was born in Fairbanks. He received a bachelor's degree from the University of Oregon in 1977 and both a law degree and a master's degree in business administration from the University of California in 1981.
He worked for Perkins, Coie law office in Anchorage 1982-85, then opened his own law office in Valdez, practicing there from 1985-90. Winfree returned to Fairbanks to open a legal partnership, Winfree and Hompesch, which he closed in 1996 in favor of the Winfree Law office, which he has operated in Fairbanks since 1996 as a six-attorney private law office.
In 2006, Winfree was hired as general counsel and executive director for the Greater Fairbanks Community Hospital Foundation. He has worked tirelessly to provide free legal services to Alaskans in need, and was a driving force in a four-year, 200-case effort to recover federal funds lost to physically and mentally disabled Alaskans in the bankruptcy of a Fairbanks service organization.
Winfree has been actively involved in the state's legal community, serving as a member, secretary, treasurer, president-elect and president of the Alaska Bar Association Board of Governors from 1990-96. He was also a member and president of the Western States Bar Conference; and member of the American Bar Association, the Alaska Academy of Trial Lawyers, and the Association of Trial Lawyers of America. Winfree has served on the University of Alaska, Fairbanks' College of Fellows from 1992-96 and on the university's Museum of the North advisory council since 2006. He has been a Rotary Club member and officer since 1992, and a member of the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce from 1987-2006. Winfree has also served as an adjunct faculty member at the Prince William Sound Community College, and at the University of Alaska's Tanana Valley Campus.
Winfree, age 54, was sworn in on February 13, 2008 (AP, 2/13/08.) I'll try to update with any notable decisions and Winfree authored opinions later tonight. If you find any, feel free to put them in comments.
Gov. Palin may be appointing another Alaskan Supreme Court Justice. Due to a justice's mandatory retirement effective in February, 2009, applications are being accepted for the position until Sept. 26. (Anchorage Daily News, 8/27/08.)
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