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HELENA — Four attorneys have applied for the vacant post as the state’s workers’ compensation judge.

The judgeship is vacant because Gov. Steve Bullock appointed former Workers’ Compensation Judge Jim Shea to fill a vacancy as justice of the Montana Supreme Court.

The applicants to replace Shea are:

Dean Blackaby of Helena. He has been workers’ compensation claims attorney for the Montana State Fund since 2006 and previously had his own law firm in Helena for a decade specializing in workers’ compensation law. He received a juris doctorate from the University of Missouri.

Bill Bronson of Great Falls. He has been in private law practice for 30 years, including at his own solo firm since 2008. Bronson has a juris doctor from the University of Montana, where he also obtained a master’s degree in public administration.

Kay Lynn Lee of Kalispell. She is a partner in the firm of Henning, Keedy and Lee and has practiced law in Montana since 2005 after practicing law in California since 1987. She received a juris doctor from the University of San Diego.

David Sandler of Kalispell. He has been a partner in the law firm of Eddy Sander Trial Attorneys since 2013 and previously was a partner and associate in other law firms since 1999. He has a juris doctor from UM.

The work-comp judgeship pays $117,582 a year.

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The state Judicial Nomination Commission is seeking public comment on the applicants. The applications may be viewed through a link available at http://www.courts.mt.gov. Comments will be accepted until 5 p.m. on July 23.

The commission will forward the names of at least three nominees to Bullock by Aug. 17. Bullock must make appoint the new judge by Sept. 16.

The governor’s appointee is subject to confirmation by the Montana Senate. If confirmed, the person appointed will serve for the remainder of the term, which expires in September 2017, and is eligible for reappointment for a six-year term.

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