Elgee appointed to Fifth
By GREG STAHL
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
"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
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
In response to questions, Elgee
told the council that he considers his greatest virtue as a judge to be
"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.