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Friday — April 23, 2004


Elgee appointed to Fifth District judgeship

Express staff

Blaine County Magistrate Judge Robert Elgee was appointed Wednesday by Gov. Dirk Kempthorne as Hailey’s new 5th District Court judge.

Elgee, who has been a magistrate judge in the Wood River Valley for 14 years, will replace Judge James May, who retires May 1.

Robert Elgee, 5th District Court judge

"Robert Elgee’s reputation and performance as a magistrate in Blaine County are exceptional," Kempthorne said. "I received very positive comments about Judge Elgee from those who have appeared in his courtroom, where he demonstrated that he is fair and pragmatic."

Elgee was one of three applicants for the position. During interviews at the Old Blaine County Courthouse in Hailey on March 31, the candidates received forthright but cordial treatment by the Idaho Judicial Council, the body charged with screening the applicants.

Competing against Elgee for the position were two Twin Falls attorneys, Thomas Kershaw Jr., and Richard Greenwood. Neither have served as judges, but Idaho law does not require applicants for district judge to have first served as magistrates. Magistrates hear misdemeanor criminal cases and relatively minor civil cases while district judges hear felony criminal cases and major lawsuits.

In response to questions, Elgee told the council that he considers his greatest virtue as a judge to be his patience.

"You can’t be short with people," he said. "They want to know that you’ve listened to their case…I try to see the good in people while at the same time harboring no illusions."

Elgee began his legal career as a deputy prosecuting attorney in Canyon County, before entering private practice in the Boise law firm of Wishney and Elgee. He was appointed Blaine County Magistrate in June 1992.


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