JUNEAU – Governor Bill Walker announced the appointment of four new Superior Court judges today to serve the communities of Bethel, Dillingham, Kenai, and Nome. The Governor also announced his selection to fill a vacancy on the Court of Appeals. Per the Alaska Constitution, the Alaska Judicial Council nominates qualified applicants to the Governor to fill vacancies in the state’s court system.
“Alaska’s judicial system plays an important role in our state government,” said Governor Walker. “Serving as a judge requires a deep understanding of the law and respect for the diverse cultures and backgrounds throughout our state. Each of these individuals has given selflessly to their communities in a variety of ways. These unique experiences will be of great benefit to the people they serve.”
The following individuals were appointed to serve on Alaska’s Superior Court and Court of Appeals:
Bethel Superior Court – Nathaniel Peters has been appointed to the Bethel Superior Court. Mr. Peters graduated with honors from Ohio Northern University, and has been practicing law in Alaska for almost eight years. He served as a public defender in Palmer and Bethel for six years, and has served as the Bethel District Court Judge since 2014. He and his wife, Addy, have three children.
Dillingham Superior Court – Christina “Tina” Reigh has been appointed to the Dillingham Superior Court. Ms. Reigh graduated magna cum laude from Seattle University Law School in 2003. She moved to Dillingham to work for Alaska Legal Services Corporation in 2004, visiting nearly every village in Bristol Bay as a part of her work. She has served as Dillingham’s Magistrate since 2014, and lives there with her husband and three children.
Kenai Superior Court – Jennifer Wells has been appointed to the Kenai Superior Court. Ms. Wells graduated cum laude from Suffolk University School of Law in 1990. She clerked for Anchorage Superior Court Judge Dana Fabe, and worked as a public defender in Kenai for three years. Since 1994, she has served as a magistrate judge, master, acting district court judge or training judge in communities throughout Alaska, including Unalaska, Naknek, Dillingham, Kodiak, Glennallen, Palmer, and Anchorage. She and her husband live in Nikiski.
Nome Superior Court – Romano D. DiBenedetto has been appointed to the Nome Superior Court. Mr. DiBenedetto has served as a magistrate judge in Fairbanks since 2012, where he presides over family law and probate matters, criminal arraignments and applications for post-conviction relief. He previously served in the Fairbanks District Attorney’s Office and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office in Chicago, IL. Mr. DiBenedetto graduated from Northwestern School of Law in 1993.
Court of Appeals – Tracey Wollenberg has been appointed to the Court of Appeals. Ms. Wollenberg is the Deputy Public Defender for the Alaska Public Defender Agency’s Appellate Division, where she oversees statewide appellate litigation for the agency’s criminal and civil cases. Prior to law school, she worked as a financial analyst for Morgan Stanley. Ms. Wollenberg graduated from Columbia University Law School in 2005, and clerked for Alaska Court of Appeals Chief Judge David Mannheimer.