2-15-1707. Office of workers' compensation judge -- allocation -- appointment -- salary. (1) There is the office of workers' compensation judge. The office is allocated to the department of labor and industry for administrative purposes only as prescribed in 2-15-121.
(2) The governor shall appoint the workers' compensation judge for a term of 6 years in the same manner provided by Title 3, chapter 1, part 10, for the appointment of supreme or district court judges. A vacancy must be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.
(3) To be eligible for workers' compensation judge, a person must:
(a) have the qualifications necessary for district court judges found in Article VII, section 9, of the Montana constitution;
(b) devote full time to the duties of workers' compensation judge and not engage in the private practice of law.
(4) The workers' compensation judge is entitled to the same salary and other emoluments as that of a district judge but must be accorded retirement benefits under the public employees' retirement system.