The King County Bar Association has rated nine candidates for judicial election as “exceptionally well qualified” for contested positions on the King County Superior and Washington State Supreme courts. An additional 12 judicial candidates appearing on the Aug. 19 primary ballot also received ratings from the organization.
The highest rating was given to candidates Timothy Bradshaw, Regina Cahan, Nic Corning, Ann Danieli, Mary Fairhurst, Charles Johnson, Les Ponomarchuk, Jean Rietschel, and Mariane Spearman.
“The bar takes seriously its obligation to help the public understand the legal qualifications of judicial candidates,” said Daniel Gandara, president of the King County Bar Association. “Since KCBA members appear regularly in the courts representing clients, our neighbors, families, and friends often look to us to help them understand the backgrounds of judicial candidates.”
Founded in 1886, the King County Bar Association is the largest voluntary bar association in the state of Washington, with over 5,000 members.
All candidates who are in contested elections receive a rating from the bar. A committee of more than 70 individuals, including non-lawyers, reviews detailed questionnaires and scores of references for each candidate. Discussions focus on the potential judge’s intellectual honesty, fairness, good judgment, legal ability, capacity for hard work, ongoing professional development, and demonstrated commitment to equal justice.
Four ratings can result: exceptionally well qualified, well qualified, qualified, and not qualified.
The candidates and their ratings are:
Washington State Supreme Court – Position 3
Michael Bond: Qualified
Mary Fairhurst: Exceptionally Well Qualified
Washington State Supreme Court – Position 4
James Beecher: Qualified
Charles Johnson: Exceptionally Well Qualified
C. Frank Vulliet: Not Qualified
King County Superior Court – Position 1
Susan Amini: Well Qualified
Timothy Bradshaw: Exceptionally Well Qualified
Suzanne Parisien: Qualified
King County Superior Court – Position 10
Jean Bouffard: Qualified
Regina Cahan: Exceptionally Well Qualified
Les Ponomarchuk: Exceptionally Well Qualified
King County Superior Court – Position 22
Julia Garratt: Well Qualified
Rebeccah Graham: Well Qualified
Holly Hill: Well Qualified
King County Superior Court – Position 26
Matthew R. Hale: Not Qualified
Laura Middaugh: Qualified
King County Superior Court – Position 37
Nic Corning: Exceptionally Well Qualified
Barbara Mack: Well Qualified
Jean Rietschel: Exceptionally Well Qualified
King County Superior Court – Position 53
Ann Danieli: Exceptionally Well Qualified
Mariane Spearman: Exceptionally Well Qualified