PLAYED ROLE IN POINT THOMSON AGREEMENT
President Donald Trump today nominated Alaskan attorney Jonathan Katchen for judge in the U.S. District Court for Alaska.
“I am so happy for him,” said former Gov. Sean Parnell, who got to know him when Katchen was working for Attorney General Dan Sullivan (now U.S. Senator Sullivan) in the Department of Law.
“He is an extremely competent attorney that I have been honored to work with on behalf of the State. He will make a great jurist,” Parnell said, recalling how Katchen worked with Sullivan closely to resolve the long-standing Point Thomson dispute with Exxon. That dispute had continued through the governorships of Frank Murkowski, Sarah Palin and into Parnell’s term, when finally the two parties came to an agreement.
The agreement led to the development of a rich area of hydrocarbons adjacent to Prudhoe Bay, and is now contributing 10,000 barrels of product to the Trans Alaska Pipeline every day.
Sullivan and Katchen were the lead negotiators on that settlement, a major victory for the Alaska economy. The final agreement was signed when Sullivan became the commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources and Michael Geraghty became Attorney General.
“I congratulate Jon Katchen on being nominated to serve on the federal bench for the District of Alaska. Jon and I worked closely together for more than three years at both the Alaska Department of Law and the Alaska Department of Natural Resources. I witnessed firsthand his commitment and ability to resolve complex legal matters with profound legal implications for our state. Jon will make an exceptional jurist who will faithfully apply the law and uphold the Constitution.” – Sen. Dan Sullivan
SIDEBAR: GOV. WALKER FILED SUED OVER POINT THOMSON AGREEMENT
Gov. Bill Walker was a leading opponent of the agreement and sued the State over it several years ago.
His suit was still pending when he became governor, and he didn’t drop the lawsuit until pressured by the then-Republican led House majority, which sent him a letter asking that he either drop or resolve the matter in some way, since as the new governor he was suing himself. He finally asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit.
KATCHEN CLERKED FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP’S SISTER
Katchen’s legal history includes working for Parnell, Sullivan, and clerking for President Donald Trump’s sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, who is retired now from the Third Circuit.
He is in private practice in Anchorage at the office of Holland & Hart, where he focuses on oil and gas law after working for five years at Crowell & Moring LLP, another large law firm.
Katchen has represented clients before the U.S. Supreme Court, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, federal District Court of Alaska, the Alaska Supreme Court, the Alaska Superior Court, the Office of Administrative Hearings, and the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. He has also testified before the Alaska Legislature.
For the State of Alaska, he served as senior counsel to Alaska Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan; and special assistant to then-Attorney General Sullivan.
He earned his J.D. at the prestigious University of California Hastings College of Law, and has both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Boston College.
Katchen was among Trump’s twelfth wave of judicial nominees, twelfth wave of United States Attorneys, and sixth wave of United States Marshal appointments.