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Newest Judges to be Sworn In on Monday

July 14, 2007 — A few months after being confirmed by the full Senate body, attorneys James S. Carroll and Michael C. Dunston will be officially sworn in on Monday as the newest judges of the V.I. Superior Court.
Carroll and Dunston will be replacing former Superior Court judges Rhys S. Hodge and Ive Arlington Swan who were sworn in last year as justices for the newly created V.I. Supreme Court. Their nominations came down in April, with strong support from Gov. John deJongh Jr.
"These are key selections to help guide and lead an important body such as the V.I. Superior Court, considering the varied and complex issues confronting the court," deJongh Jr. said when announcing the appointments. "The Superior Court maintains broad jurisdiction in addressing the legal needs of the Virgin Islands community, and as such, it is imperative that we have strong capable judges with a balanced and fair perspective on issues."
Carroll, a native of New York, has served on staff at the local U.S. Attorney's Office for the past 28 years.
"I've always had a kind of scholarly interest in the law, and understanding of law," he said during a Senate hearing held in May. "The idea of being able to shape the law and to be involved in the community in that way has always been something that's driven me."
At the May hearing, Carroll added that he, like his idols Thurgood Marshall and former St. Thomas District Court Judge Almeric Christian, hopes to "fight in the area" of community justice, advancing the rights of local citizens to make sure that "anyone, regardless of their position, gets a fair trial."
Dunston, an assistant attorney general at the local Department of Justice since 1981, grew up on a farm in West Frankfort, Illinois. In his home state, Dunston worked extensively in the criminal and civil law arenas, both as a prosecutor and public defender.
Some of his goals for the Superior Court bench include reducing the system's backlog of civil cases, helping stem the tide of violent crime in the community and using the court's available resources to steer younger, first-time offenders toward academic, vocational and community-oriented activities.

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