7 Finalists for Chief of District Court

The Providence Journal is reporting that the Judicial Nominating Commission has picked seven candidates out of twelve total applicants to be interviewed for the position of chief judge of the District Court: a vacancy that was created upon the tragic death of Chief Albert E. DeRobbio Sr. Here are the seven contenders:

  • Acting District Court Chief Judge Michael A. Higgins

  • District Court Judge Stephen E. Erickson

  • District Court Judge Elaine T. Bucci

  • District Court Judge Jeanne E. LaFazia

  • Robert Kando, executive director of the state Board of Elections

  • John E. DeCubellis, general counsel for NEA of  Rhode Island

  • Brian P. Stern, Governor Carcieri’s chief of staff

The candidate nominated by Gov. Carcieri and approved by the State Senate will earn a base salary of $150,934 and oversee District Court operations throughout the state.


3 responses to “7 Finalists for Chief of District Court

  1. The Governor’s press release when he appointed Counselor Stern as his Chief of Staff noted his 4 years of legal experience here in RI (3 as Deputy Chief of Legal services at DBR and 1 as Executive Counsel.) Were the other 6 applicants not chosen so lacking in judicial and legal experience? How can such short staff attorney service qualify him to head the busiest trial court in the state, where the most junior judge was appointed just last year with 20 years of RI criminal trial experience? He does have a little administrative experience from when he was Executive Director of DOA for 10 months in ’04, but a trial court chief judge spends most of the time on the bench and has to have the respect of the other independently appointed judges in order to effectively lead the court. Just his consideration as a finalist is an insult to all the hard working, very experienced judges of the court, and to the memory of Chief Judge DeRobbio.

  2. As I think I’ve observed before, “finalist” is not really an appropriate description of the seven names on this list.

    The “finalists” are the three-to-five names whom the Commission will submit to the Gov. for eventual selection.

    These seven names are, at most, “semi-finalists.”

  3. Brass, you’re missing an “s”

    The Chief should have already been a D. Court judge for a few years for experience sake. That being said, DeCubellis is a fine jurist and exceptional human being. If the Chief winds up being a freshman D. Court judge, I’d prefer it be him.

    Interesting variety of temperments/styles though, no?

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