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5 people set for possible appointment as new Missoula District Court Judge

Posted at 11:34 AM, Jan 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-09 18:22:42-05
The Missoula County Courthouse in downtown Missoula. (MTN News file photo)

MISSOULA – Five names are being submitted to Governor Steve Bullock for possible appointment as Missoula County’s next district court judge.

And the nominees include a mixture of experience, from prosecutorial to the Montana Department of Justice and private practice.

The names were finalized from a list of applicants for the new judicial seat, which was approved by the Legislature two years ago. The goal is to ease the workload for the Fourth District Court, which has been swamped with a growing list of both criminal and civil proceedings in the past few years.

The nominees were pared down from a list of several people who went through final interviews.

The finalists are:

  • Karen Paula Kane, an Assistant Attorney General supervising the Department of Justice’s Child Protection Unit.
  • Jason Marks and James McCubbin Jr. from the Missoula County Attorney’s Office. Marks is the chief deputy County Attorney and McCubbin is a senior deputy.
  • Tracy Labin Rhodes, who is an owner and attorney of her own law firm.
  • Shane Vannatta, who is a shareholder-attorney at Wordan Thane here in Missoula.

Governor Bullock’s appointee will have to be confirmed by the State Senate, and would serve through the 2020 elections. Whoever wins that race will serve a six-year term, beginning in 2021.

Reporting by Dennis Bragg for MTN News