Openings for Appointment or Election

The following are all current openings known to KCBA for judicial positions subject to election by King County voters or appointment in our region. Most will be subject first to appointment by the Governor, County Council, or local city council. The bar recommends that attorneys interested in a judicial career obtain evaluation ratings from KCBA well in advance of the appearance of a vacancy on this page. Generally speaking, appointing authorities publish notice of a vacancy to solicit interest from attorneys with existing ratings. The bar's process, which relies on the availability of volunteer attorneys to conduct evaluations, can take up to 3 months from the date an applicant submits an application for rating. It is very unlikely that a rating can be issued on short notice.

To learn more about our process, select the "Judicial Candidate Evaluation Rating Process" link from the menu bar on the right side of this page.

Current & Upcoming Openings as of 5/11/18:

  • U.S. District Court for Western District of Washington
    Press reports say that U.S. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell are re-establishing their bipartisan federal judicial appointment committee as of May 10 and accepting additional applicants for consideration to fill the three vacancies at the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.

    Magistrate Judge James P. Donohue has announced his retirement; the Court is accepting applications for a new magistrate through June 30. Details at

  • King County Superior Court
    Judge Helen Halpert announced February 21 that she is retiring on June 30; Governor Inslee is expected to appoint a replacmement judge.

  • Washington Court of Appeals Division I
    Judge Ron Cox is retiring effective May 31, 2018; Governor Inslee has appointed King County Superior Court Judge Beth Andrus to the position effective June 1.  Court of Appeals Judge Michael Spearman is retiring effective July 31, 2018, and Judge Michael Trickey is retiring effective August 31, 2018; Governor Inslee will appoint replacement judges. Note: KCBA does not issue ratings for appointment to appellate level courts, but does issue ratings for election to those courts.

  • Kent Municipal Court
    Judge Karli Jorgensen announced January 29 that she will retire from her position later this year. Kent Mayor Dana Ralph will appoint a replacement.

  • Seattle Municipal Court
    Faye Chess was confirmed by the Seattle City Council on April 30 to complete the term of Judge Karen Donohue, who had been appointed to King County Superior Court.   

  • King County District Court
    Judges Charles J. Delaurenti, David Meyer, and Janet Garrow have announced they will complete their current terms but not seek reelection this year. These will be open races for election without appointment of an interim judge.

The Rumor Mill as of 5/11/18
Possible retirement is rumored in 2018 by Seattle Municipal Court Judge Kimi Kondo and King County Superior Court Judge Jean Rietschel; not yet confirmed.

Working to improve the administration of justice is an important part of the King County Bar Association’s mission.

KCBA has evaluated and rated judicial performance since 1948 through surveys of current judicial officers, ratings for those seeking appointment or election to the bench, and monitoring of fair campaign practices and hosting of candidate forums.

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