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Governor Parnell Elevates Joel Bolger to Supreme Court


January 25, 2013, Anchorage, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell today appointed Alaska Court of Appeals Judge Joel Bolger as the 23rd justice of the Alaska Supreme Court. His appointment follows the retirement of Justice Walter “Bud” Carpeneti.

“Judge Bolger’s vast experience will be a tremendous asset for Alaska’s highest court,” said Governor Parnell. “His service at each level of the Alaska Court System has prepared him to serve Alaskans with humility, thoughtfulness, legal expertise, and discernment.”

Judge Bolger first moved to Alaska in 1978. He graduated from the University of Iowa with a bachelor’s degree in economics and a juris doctorate. He began his Alaskan legal career in Dillingham as a VISTA volunteer attorney, and then supervised the Alaska Legal Services Corporation in Kodiak. Then, after serving as an assistant public defender in Barrow, he joined the private practice firm of Jamin Ebell Bolger & Gentry in Kodiak, where he litigated civil and criminal cases, advised the borough assembly, mediated disputes, and negotiated business transactions.

In 1997, Bolger was appointed as a district court judge in Valdez, followed by an appointment to the Kodiak Superior Court. Since 2008, he has served as a Court of Appeals judge in Anchorage. Bolger has been active in the formal education of judges, magistrates, and lawyers. His interests include biking, skiing, golf, and music.

The Alaska Supreme Court serves as the appeals court for the state’s District and Superior Courts, as well as the Alaska Court of Appeals. The chief justice and four associate justices hear cases in Anchorage on a monthly basis and in Fairbanks and Juneau on a quarterly basis. The court also administers the state’s judicial system.

A photo of Judge Bolger is available at:


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