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William Jansen arraignment

Judge Richard Bevan speaks to William Jansen (not shown) during Jansen's arraignment hearing Monday in Twin Falls County Court.

BOISE — Local Judge Richard Bevan is one of four finalists for a seat on the Idaho Supreme Court.

Bevan, who is the Fifth Judicial District’s administrative judge, was one of 13 candidates to interview for the spot with the Idaho Judicial Council earlier this week. Thursday, the Council released the names of the four finalists being submitted to Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter — Bevan, southeastern Idaho judge Gregory Moeller, Boise lawyer Rebecca Rainey and Moscow judge John Stegner.

Bevan has been a Fifth District Judge for more than 13 years and before that was a lawyer in private practice in Twin Falls and a Twin Falls County prosecutor, a position to which he was elected as a Republican. A year-and-a-half ago, Bevan was also vetted for the U.S. District Judge position that recently went to David Nye. Whomever is appointed will take the spot of Daniel Eismann, who is retiring at the end of August.

Otter recently got out of the hospital after two weeks for back surgery and is recovering at home. Otter’s spokesman Jon Hanian said he “doesn’t want to create an artificial timeline” but is aware of Eismann’s impending retirement. The timeline for filling the vacancy depends on when Otter returns to the office.

“He’s obviously cognizant of the vacancy,” Hanian said. “He knows when the term will expire and we’ll need a new person on there, but his approach on these things has been we’re not going to be driven by a timeline, we’re going to ... find the (right) candidate.”

Bevan’s interview with the Judicial Council in Boise Tuesday seems to have gone well, according to the Spokane Spokesman Review’s Eye on Boise blog. Council member Phil Reberger said Bevan’s application was “the best I’ve read in a long time,” and Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Burdick said that when the Council asks judgeship applicants about their role models, “your name comes up 100 percent of the time.”

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Burdick asked Bevan what he thinks the secret is to being a good trial judge. Bevan replied he tries to keep in mind what it’s like to be on the other side of the bench and show respect to those appearing in his court, the Eye on Boise blog reported.

“I take the time to lay out the rationale, the reasoning for why I’m ruling the way that I am,” he said, saying this helps to instill confidence in the courts and their decisions.

The appointee will, should they wish to stay on the court, be up for election in May 2018 and possibly a runoff in November 2018.


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