Unprecedented is not a word to be used lightly, but it does describe the class of freshman judges in King County Superior Court. Presiding Judge Richard McDermott confirms that this is the largest group of judges in the court's history.
Six new judges either have already been seated or soon will be in the wake of the 2012 election cycle. Two drew no challengers by the May filing deadline, three won seats in the August primary, and a sixth went to the wire in November. The number of new judges would have been seven but for the unfortunate and sudden passing of Scott Johnson on October 20, whose seat will be filled by gubernatorial appointment, according to Judge McDermott, hopefully before the end of the year.
To help you get to know at least a little bit about the newest members of the bench, we have summarized their lives and careers below.
Judge Bill Bowman was the first of the Class of 2012 to be seated, assuming the bench after no candidate filed against him by the May 18 deadline. On October 1, he took over the Department 19 seat vacated when Judge Harry McCarthy retired and assumed his predecessor's caseload. However, he will transition to the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent after the end of the year, Judge McDermott indicated.
Most recently, Judge Bowman was of counsel with Schroeter Goldmark & Bender in Seattle, where he maintained a longtime DUI defense practice. He joined Schroeter in January 2011 when the partners at Fox Bowman Duarte went their separate ways.
Over almost two decades of practice, Judge Bowman has served as a public defender, deputy King County prosecutor (in 1995), as a pro tem judge in District Court and most recently as the presiding judge in Black Diamond Municipal Court. He served as president of the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in 2008, and was listed in Best Lawyers in America the past three years and as a "Super Lawyer" in Washington Law & Politics from 2000–2011.
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