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Lewis County assistant attorney to be new judge’s court attorney

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LOWVILLE — The assistant Lewis County attorney is slated to serve as court attorney for the new county judge.

Keith A. Lyndaker, who has served in his position for the past three years, will take a post with Judge-elect Daniel R. King, who earned a 10-year term on the county bench in the general election.

“It will be great to work with Dan,” Mr. Lyndaker said. “I’ve known him for years, since high school all the way up through. I think we’ll work well in conjunction with each other.”

The Lewis County judgeship, which has been vacant for the past year since Charles C. Merrell moved to state Supreme Court judge, also handles Family and Surrogate courts.

The court attorney essentially does legal research on the judge’s behalf.

“I enjoy the research,” Mr. Lyndaker said. “I enjoy the law.”

He added that he served as a confidential law clerk for a state Supreme Court judge in Madison County early in his career and is excited about returning to that type of work.

While very experienced with working in the criminal and family courts here, Mr. Lyndaker said dealing with Surrogate Court will be a learning experience. However, he expects those in the court system, particularly Kevin M. McArdle, will be helpful during the transition.

Mr. McArdle, principal law clerk for Judge Merrell, unsuccessfully ran against Mr. King for the judgeship.

Mr. Lyndaker was hired as assistant county attorney in December 2009, shortly after legislators created the position to replace the Department of Social Services attorney post. He has spent much of his time dealing with Family Court matters.

The Lowville resident was a part-time assistant district attorney under Michael F. Young from October 2004 through 2007, when Mr. Young lost the election to Leanne K. Moser.

He also had a private practice here for many years and, in February 2009, joined Mr. Young and four other area attorneys to form Public Defenders LLC, which handles public defender duties for the county on a contractual basis.

Mr. Lyndaker also has been an attorney in the Rochester area, associate program director at the Northern Regional Center for Independent Living in Watertown, an assistant public defender in St. Lawrence County and assistant director of the Jefferson County Youth Advocate Program in Watertown.

A Lowville Academy and Central School alumnus, he graduated from the University of Connecticut in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in geography and earned a degree from the Syracuse University College of Law in 1984.

Mr. Lyndaker has been a member of the Lewis County Bar Association since 1992 and currently serves as its president.

Legislators on Tuesday authorized County Attorney Richard J. Graham to seek applicants and refill the assistant position. While Mr. Lyndaker was to earn $60,000 in 2013, Mr. Graham said the new person’s salary would be based on his or her experience.

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