Judicial retention will also be on ballot - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Judicial retention will also be on ballot

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by Mindy Aguon

Guam - Although not as publicized as the senatorial and gubernatorial races, the Judicial Retention Vote is just as significant as deciding who will lead the island for the next few years.  The decision on whether a judge or justice should remain on the bar lies solely with the people of Guam.

Every seven years Superior Court judges and every ten years Supreme Court justices are left at the mercy of the voting public. A retention election means voters have the opportunity to decide whether a particular judge should remain on the bench or be removed.

Guam Bar Association president Cynthia Ecube says despite what most residents may think, judicial retention is very important, saying, "Judicial retention is critical not just to this community, but our legal community. It's a function of the Guam Bar Association, one of our roles to effect the administration of justice and the judicial retention gives people the opportunity to evaluate the performance of our justices and judges. And their role in ensuring that the laws are followed."

The Guam Bar Association recently conducted a survey and among the 77 attorneys who responded, 90% said they supported the retention of Supreme Court Associate Justice F. Philip Carbullido, while 87% said they supported the retention of Superior Court Judge Anita Sukola.

Judge Sukola graduated from John F. Kennedy High School, obtained a bachelors of arts degree in history and secondary education from Washington State University, a master's degree in school administration and supervision and a law degree from the People's College of Law in California. She began her legal career as a staff attorney for former senator Don Parkinson and went on to clerk for several judges, work at the Public Defender's Office, and serve as the director of the Department of Education. While juggling her legal career, Sukola also found time to continue her love of teaching accepting a professor position at the University of Guam.

Associate Supreme Court Justice Carbullido is a son of Guam, a graduate of Father Duenas Memorial School and a University of Oregon graduate with a bachelors of science degree in political science. He obtained his juris doctorate from the University of California at Davis.

While he may have started his legal career as an intern at the Attorney General's Office, Carbullido eventually went into private practice gaining extensive experience in civil, commercial, and administrative law.

He was appointed to the bench in 2000 and served as chief justice and also served as the president of the Pacific Judicial Council and on the board of the Conference of Chief Justices.

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