Probate Judge candidate Christine Chandler. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com
Local Attorney Christine Chandler has submitted her Letter of Interest to the County Administrator’s Office to fill the Probate Court Judge vacancy created with the resignation of Ellen Hong in June.
In her letter addressed to County Council Chair Geoff Rodgers, Chandler explained that the Probate Court has jurisdiction over informal probates and appointments.
“One of the court’s primary responsibilities is to ensure that pleadings filed with the court are complete and in conformance with state law,” she said. “The judge should be familiar with relevant legal topics such as jurisdiction, venue, pleadings and filing protocols. Although a probate judge is not required to be an attorney, as an attorney, I have the advantage of being able to interpret statutory and case law, without assistance.”
Chandler added that although she has not practiced in the probate subject area, she understand the underlying legal principles.
“I am very familiar with the formalities required for court pleadings and filings,” she said. “Most important, I understand the need for the competent and fair administration of the law.”
She told the Los Alamos Daily Post today that the Probate Court typically hears about 20 cases per year.
“One of the things I’m interested in doing is an education outreach program to help make people aware of what the court does and the services it provides,” Chandler said.
Chandler is a long time Los Alamos resident with a track record of serving the community. She said that she would like to use her skills to ensure that Los Alamos citizens have a well-run probate court. Her community activities include serving as a member of the Los Alamos Charter Review Committee, 2009 -2011; Board Member, Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation, 2005 – 2009; President, Los Alamos League of Voters, 2007; Co-Chair, Los Alamos County 60 Anniversary Committee, 2009; County Councilor, Los Alamos County, 1997-2000; Chair, Los Alamos County Council, 1999; and is a founding Board Member of Leadership Los Alamos and graduate of its first class.
Chandler graduated from a Boston College Law School in 1984 and from Smith College in 1980 where she majored in economics. She most recently served as a senior attorney in the Litigation Management & Benefits Group at Los Alamos National Security, LLC/Los Alamos National Laboratory. She retired in March and opened Chandler Law of Los Alamos.
The County Administrator’s Office confirmed this afternoon that no one else has submitted a letter of interest to fill the Probate Court Judge vacancy. The opportunity to do so ends at 5 p.m. Monday, July 29. The County Council is scheduled to hear the issue at its Aug. 13 meeting.