In a recent story I read, two of our sitting Jackson County Circuit Court judges were stepping down and their seats would be filled by the governor. But you neglected to say how long these appointments would last. Since these are elected positions, aren't the appointees going to have to run for election? And, if so, when will they have to make their case to the public?

In a recent story I read, two of our sitting Jackson County Circuit Court judges were stepping down and their seats would be filled by the governor. But you neglected to say how long these appointments would last. Since these are elected positions, aren't the appointees going to have to run for election? And, if so, when will they have to make their case to the public?

— Randy B., Talent

Rest assured the two new judges tapped by the governor to fill the seats of Judge Ray White and Judge Mark Schiveley will have to run for their seats, Randy. But not until the next general election in November 2012, according to officials at the Oregon State Elections Division.

Both White and Schiveley have announced they are leaving by Jan. 1, 2011, well before the end of their six-year elected terms. White's term for Position 5 would have expired in 2013. Schiveley's term for Position 7 was his until 2015.

White has spent 30 years as a Jackson County Circuit Court judge, plus eight years in the district attorney's office before that. Schiveley, the former presiding judge, first donned his robes on Jan. 7, 1985.

There is no news yet on who the two new appointees in Jackson County might be. But you can be sure they will be members in good standing with the Oregon State Bar, as well as either reside in Jackson County or have their primary place of business within the county limits.

But it's no longer known if the governor's choice will be the same one local lawyers would have made. In 2003, the board of governors of the State Bar decided to eliminate the preference poll for appointments unless a request is made by the governor or by a decision of the board of governors. No such request or decision has been made in this case, so there will be no poll of the Jackson County members of the bar.

Preference polls will still be conducted when judicial positions are up for election.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to youasked@mailtribune.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.