Summary of Qualifications
- 10 years as Pierce County Superior Court Commissioner
- Two decades of private practice focusing on high conflict Family Law, Domestic Violence litigation, and Elder Law. Extensive experience protecting the rights of children, victims of domestic violence, Veterans, and vulnerable adults, including those suffering from mental illness or addictions.
During her private practice years she served as a part time –
- Pro Tem Superior Court Commissioner for approximately 20 years.
- Guardian ad litem (court investigator) in Family Law and Probate/Guardianship litigation for over ten years.
- Arbitrator beginning 1990.
- Mediator beginning 1991.
- Special Master appointments regarding complex litigation by Pierce County Superior Court for approximately 15 years.
- Adjunct Disciplinary Counsel for Washington State Bar Association. 1997-2002 and 2002-2007
- 1984, University of Puget Sound School of Law, Tacoma, Washington;
- 1981, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, Washington;
- Pacific Family Mediation Institute, Inc., mediation training, February 1991 Seattle, Washington;
- Pierce College, paralegal training and Associate Degree, 1976-1979, Fort Steilacoom, Washington;
- ITT School of Business, legal secretary training, 1971, Seattle, Washington.
Courts Admitted to Practice
- Supreme Court of the United States of America, August 6, 1990;
- United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit May 22, 1990;
- United States of America, Western District of Washington, May 22, 1985;
- Supreme Court of the State of Washington, November 6, 1984.
Professional Awards since appointment to the Superior Court Bench as a Commissioner
- 2017 Service to the Legal Profession Community Service Award;
- 2016 Jurist of the Year Award, Washington State Bar Association, Family Law Section;
- 2015 Jurist of the Year Award, Tacoma Pierce County Bar Association;
- 2015 Recognition from the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate (I CORPS) for improving the collaboration between JBLM and the Pierce County Superior Courts.
- 2013 Marilyn Holzman Award, Tacoma Pierce County Bar Association.
For devotion to the welfare of human beings
striving to alleviate pain and suffering
and for other philanthropic endeavors
Professional Activities since appointment to the Superior Court Bench as a Commissioner
- Pierce County Superior Court Presiding Commissioner 2013 and 2019;
- Presenter at Spring Superior Court Judges Conference and at the Fall conference on the subjects of American Disability Act, and Guardianship issues;
- Presenter at the Pierce County Judicial Retreat on behalf of the Commissioners;
- Presenter at Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Convention and at Family Law seminar “Love Stinks” for the last twelve years regarding Ethics and Social Media;
- Faculty member, Judicial College, 2017 to 2019;
- Certified Professional Guardianship Board Member, appointed by the State Supreme Court October 1, 2014 to present. Chairing Regulations Committee 2019 to present;
- Tacoma-Pierce County Law Library Board 2018 to present;
- Pierce County Superior Court Cultural Competency/Education Committee;
- Superior Court Judges’ Association Family and Juvenile Committee (SCJAFJC) 2010 to present;
- Superior Court Judges’ Association Family and Juvenile Committee, Legislative Subcommittee 2011 to present;
- Superior Court Judges’ Association Guardianship and Probate Committee 2012 to present;
- Liaison to JBLM Legal Assistant attorneys 2014 to present;
- Established Mentor program for young lawyers;
- Pro Tem Commissioner training program under the supervision of Judge Hickman 2015to 2019,
- Pierce County Superior Court Executive Committee 2013 and 2019 (nonvoting member);
- Pierce County Superior Court Strategic Planning Committee 2013 and 2019;
- Pierce County Superior Court Family Court Committee 2010 to present;
- Pierce County Superior Court Guardianship Committee 2010 to present;
- Pierce County Superior Court Rules Committee 2010-2011;
- Pierce County Superior Court Case Management/LINX Committee 2010-2011;
- Pierce County Superior Court Commissioners’ Liaison Committee to the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association 2013 to present
- Pierce County Superior Court Commissioner Selection Committee 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013;
- Pierce County Superior Court Commissioner Pro Tem Committee 2010 to 2019;
- Pierce County Superior Court Guardian ad litem/Parenting Investigator Committee 2010;
- Pierce County Superior Court Workload Committee – ad hoc committee 2010.
Professional Activities prior to appointment to Superior Court in 2009
- Continuing Legal Education Committee, Chairperson, Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association, February 2009 through February 2010, and February 2007-January 2009;
- American Inn of Court, Hon. Robert J. Bryan Chapter Emeritus status;
- Settlement Conference Mediator at Pierce County Center for Dispute Resolution December 18, 2000 to September 2009;
- Presenter for Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association on Family Law, Animal Law, Technology and Guardianship issues over ten years as a practicing attorney and for an additional ten years since appointed as Superior Court Commissioner;
- Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association Trustee February 2005 to February 2007;
- Two terms as Adjunct Disciplinary Counsel of the Washington State Bar Association 1997-2002 and 2002-2007;
- Taught Family Law course at Tacoma Community College, Spring Quarter 2001
- Tacoma-Pierce County Family Law President 1999 and 2000;
- Editorial Board Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association 2000;
- Public Relations Committee Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association 2000;
- Advisory Board Member, Bates Technical College 1998;
- Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association, Guardianship Committee Chairperson, 1998;
- Fee Arbitration Panel, Washington State Bar Association 1997 to Spring 2009;
- Legislative Committee, Washington State Bar Association 1997;
- Lawyer Assistance program Committee 1997;
- Chairperson, Guardianship Committee, Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association 1993-1994;
- Chairperson, Mediation Committee, Family Law Section, Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association 1994;
- Mandatory Settlement Conference Committee, Family Law Section, Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association, 1992;
- Chairperson, Expert Committee, Family Law Section, Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association, 1992;
- Vice-President, Family Law Section, Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association, 1992;
- Family Law Guardian ad Litem Committee, Chair: Bruce Cohoe, Judge Retired, 1990;
- Probate/Guardianship guardian ad litem training committee, 1991 and 1994.
- Board of Director member, Comprehensive Mental Health, 1989;
- Board of Director member, Children’s Home Society, 1996 to 1997.