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 05/10/21:
Before requesting an evaluation from KCBA, please read the information regarding evaluations on our Judicial Candidate Evaluation Page, including the information under the Judicial Candidate Evaluation Process link.
- The Metropolitan King County Council hereby gives notice of judicial vacancy in the West Electoral District of the King County District Court. The Council currently intends to fill this vacancy pursuant to state law and county code. To be eligible to serve as a district court judge in this position, an individual must be a registered voter and legal resident of the West Division’s electoral district and a lawyer admitted to practice law in Washington State. RCW 3.34.060; K.C.C. 2.68.075. The election precincts that make up the West Division’s electoral district are set forth in Section 1.B. of King County Ordinance 19095. Pursuant to K.C.C 2.70.020, to be considered for appointment, a candidate must have a current rating of, at a minimum, “qualified” for a district court judicial position from the King County Bar Association and at least one other bar association operating in King County with an eligible judicial candidate evaluation process, as defined in K.C.C 2.70.020.F.2. Under the County Code, ratings are “current” until the expiration date stated in the rating communication or until three years after the date the rating communication was issued if no expiration date is stated. Any individual wishing to be considered for appointment must deliver to the clerk of the council, in electronic form, the following application materials:
- A letter of interest, which must specify the division of the district court to which the applicant is requesting appointment and should explain why the individual wishes to serve as a district court judge, how the applicant is qualified to do so and specify the division of the district court to which the applicant is requesting appointment;
- The individual’s resume;
- A copy of the completed responses to questionnaires submitted to the King County Bar Association to obtain its rating;
- A copy of the communication from the King County Bar Association and from at least one bar association defined in K.C.C 2.70.020.F.2 informing the individual of the individual's rating for appointment to the district court; and
- Any supporting information the individual would like the council to consider.
These application materials must be received by the clerk of the council, in electronic form, not later than 4:30 p.m., June 24, 2021. The clerk's email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
For questions, regarding the KCBA evaluation process, contact Anne Daly at AnneD@kcba.org or (206)267-7018.
Metropolitan King County Council
King County, Washington
Clerk of the Council
- King County District Court, Southwest Electoral District, Position 4
King County District Court Judge D. Mark Eide has retired from King County District Court. His last date of service was June 30, 2020. Judge Eide was first elected to the District Court in 2002 and he served the court with distinction for over 18 years. His departure creates a vacancy in the Southwest Electoral District, Position 4. Metropolitan King County Council will begin the process of appointing a new judge to this position to fill the remainder of Judge Eide's term which will end in early January of 2023.
U.S. District Court for Western District of Washington
- Two nominations were reportedly being made in the summer of 2018 by President Trump to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington for attorneys Kathleen O'Sullivan and Tessa Gorman, but neither was officially submitted by the White House for Senate consideration. The White House is reportedly vetting candidates for a third U.S. District Court opening but has not yet announced a nomination.
- Washington Supreme Court
Justice Charles Wiggins has announced his retirement effective March 31, 2020. Governor Inslee will appoint a successor who will run for election in November 2020 to complete the remaining two years of Justice Wiggins' current term.
- Washington Court of Appeals Division I
Judge Ann Schindler retired effective December 31, 2019. Governor Inslee appointed King County Superior Court Judge Bill Bowman to replace her; he is subject to election in 2020.
Division I is seeking a Court Commissioner; applications due December 20, 2019. Details at www.courts.wa.gov/employ/docs/21995/Announcement.pdf.
- King County Superior Court
Attorney Nelson Lee was appointed February 18 by Governor Inslee to the vacant position on King County Superior Court that occurred when Judge Bill Bowman moved to the Court of Appeals.
Judge John Erlick has announced his upcoming retirement effective April 30, 2020; Governor Inslee is likely to appoint a replacement who will need to file a petition in May for election to a full term starting in 2021.
- Seattle Municipal Court
No current openings.
- King County District Court
Kevin Peck was appointed by the King County Council December 4 to fill the vacancy due to the recent death of Judge Peter Nault (Northeast Electoral District.
The Rumor Mill
KCBA expects a position to open on Seattle Municipal Court during the month of March; Mayor Durkan will then nominate a replacement judge. Stay tuned for details.