JEROME — Two attorneys with law firms in Jerome will soon be magistrate judges in Jerome County.
Stacey DePew and John Lothspeich were selected by a commission Thursday to fill two open judge seats in the county. They were chosen from a pool of five finalists, which included Twin Falls County deputy prosecutor Trevor Misseldine, Bannock County deputy public defender Tawyna Haines, and Cheri Hicks, a private practice attorney and contract public defender in Blaine County.
DePew, a partner with Calbo & DePew law firm in Jerome and a contract public defender with the county, will replace Honorable Thomas H. Borrensen after his upcoming retirement. Lothspeich, a partner with Williams, Meservy & Lothspeich law firm in Jerome, will fill a newly created magistrate judge position.
The five finalists interviewed Thursday with the Fifth Judicial District Magistrates Commission, a panel composed of county commissioners, mayors, judges, and other community leaders from around the district.
Commission members asked each candidate a series of questions about their careers, opinions on various aspects of the judicial system, and visions for the magistrate judgeship.
Both DePew and Lothspeich referenced their experiences working with Borrensen in their interviews.
“For my whole career this position exemplified the finest qualities of the judiciary,” Lothspeich said. “I think the reason I want to do it is I feel duty-bound to do it. Jerome’s my home.”
DePew emphasized the importance of treating defendants in the courtroom with “dignity and respect,” both as an attorney and as a judge.
“I hear often that our system is a joke. My initial reaction is, how can I help change that perception?” DePew said. “Making sure that people who come before a judge know that they’ve been heard and treated in a respectful manner can change someone’s perception not just of the legal system but of themselves.”
DePew will replace Borrensen after his retirement, effective Oct. 31. Lothspeich will fill the newly created seat on Oct. 1.