Presiding Judges Appointed for 2021

by Alaska Court System Staff

Chief Justice Joel H. Bolger of the Alaska Supreme Court announces the appointment of four presiding judges: Superior Court Judge Amy G. Mead for the First Judicial District; Superior Court Judge Paul A. Roetman for the Second Judicial District; Superior Court Judge William F. Morse for the Third Judicial District; and Superior Court Judge Terrence P. Haas for the Fourth Judicial District.

The chief justice of the Alaska Supreme Court appoints a presiding judge for each of the four judicial districts. The appointments are for a one year term and cover a calendar year period, and incumbents are eligible for reappointment.

In addition to regular judicial duties, the presiding judge of each judicial district has the administrative responsibility to review the operation of the trial courts in the district to assure adherence to statewide court objectives and policies. In addition the presiding judge works with the district administrator to ensure efficient administration of the courts in the district, including hearing and trial schedules and staffing needs.

Judge Mead was appointed to the superior court in Juneau in 2018. She earned her undergraduate degree from Boston University and law degree from Tulane Law School. Originally from the East Coast, she moved to Alaska in 1996 to serve as a superior court law clerk in Ketchikan. She went on to practice law as an assistant district attorney, an assistant attorney general and in private practice, working in all areas of law. In 2010, Judge Mead joined the City and Borough of Juneau’s Law Department and was appointed a few years later to serve as the CBJ’s Municipal Attorney, continuing in that position until her appointment. Judge Mead was appointed to the Alaska Commission on Judicial Conduct in 2012 and served as its chair from 2016 to 2018.

Judge Paul A. Roetman moved to Alaska in 1972 and has lived in Kotzebue 14 years. He was appointed to the superior court in 2010. He earned a B.A. in Economics from the University of Alaska, Anchorage and received his law degree from Regent University School of Law in Virginia. Prior to law school he worked out of Valdez as a commercial fisherman and as Executive Director of the Prince William Sound Economic Development Council. After law school, he worked for a civil law firm, the Alaska Legislature, and as a prosecutor for the State of Alaska. Judge Roetman currently serves on the Alaska Fairness and Access Commission, the Civil Rules Committee, the Statewide Security and Emergency Preparedness Committee, and the Alaska Commission on Judicial Conduct.

Judge Morse was appointed to the superior court in Anchorage in 2002. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and his law degree from Lewis and Clark. He worked as an assistant public defender, assistant attorney general, and associate general counsel for the IBEW Local 1547. He has recently rejoined the therapeutic court. He also presides over the Probationer Accountability with Certain Enforcement (PACE) court, a multi-agency program designed to provide a rapid response to probationers with alcohol or other substance abuse problems. Judge Morse is a member of the Appellate Rules Committee and the chair of the Governance Committee for the court system’s electronic filing project.

Judge Haas was appointed to the Superior Court in Bethel in 2018. He earned his B.A. in philosophy from Purdue University and his law degree from Roger Williams University. After law school, he clerked for the Rhode Island Supreme Court. He practiced law as a public defender in Bethel for 10 years and as supervisor of a region including the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta and Bristol Bay. Judge Haas currently serves as a member of the Child-in-Need of Aid/Delinquency Rules Committee, ICWA Court Improvement Project Subcommittee, and Alaska’s Children’s Justice Act Task Force. The Fourth Judicial District, spans from the Canadian border on the east to the Bering Sea on the west, and includes Fairbanks, Tok, Delta Junction, Galena, Healy, Nenana and Fort Yukon in the east and Bethel, Chevak, Hooper Bay, Aniak, St. Mary’s and Emmonak in the west.