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 9/12/18:

  • U.S. District Court for Western District of Washington
    President Trump nominated on July 13 attorney Eric D. Miller to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and attorneys Kathleen O'Sullivan and Tessa Gorman to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington; all three await U.S. Senate confirmation.

    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 appointed attorney Marshall Ferguson to the position on 7/3/18.  Governor Inslee on July 20 appointed attorney Maureen McKee to the Smith vacancy.  The Chun vacancy is awaiting appointment by Governor Inslee.  Judge Monica Benton has announced her retirement effective January 31, 2019; the governor will appoint to fill the vacancy.

  • Washington Court of Appeals Division I
    Judge Michael Trickey is retiring effective August 31, 2018; Governor Inslee appointed King County Superior Court Judge John Chun to the position on 6/29/18. 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
    No openings.   

  • 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 8/1/18
Possible retirements are rumored in 2018 by King County Superior Court Judges Jean Rietschel and Barbara Linde.  Additional Superior Court judges are also expected to retire by the end of 2018; no further details.

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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