- Candidate Name: Douglass North
- Position Sought: King County Superior Court, position 30 (Incumbent)
- Home Legislative District: 36th LD
- Democrat: this is a non-partisan position
- Manager or Point of Contact: Mariane Spearman
- Phone: +1-206-714-1094
- Address: PO Box 27113, Seattle, WA 98165
- Website: reelectjudgedougnorth.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: facebook.com/reelectjudgedougnorth.com
Part I – Candidate Background
1. Please briefly describe your qualifications, education, employment, community and civic activity, union affiliation, prior political activity, and other relevant experience.
Ingraham High 1970; Stanford Univ. 1974; U of W Law School 1977. Clerk for Judge Callow on Court of Appeals 1978. Assoc. then partner at law firm which is today Reed, Longyear 1978-2000
For over 35 years I have worked to preserve our natural environment, founding the Northwest Rivers Council in 1985 and serving on the Boards of Washington Wild (’85-93; ’08-15) and River Network (’87-’94)
2. What law firms or public law offices (i.e. King County Prosecutor’s Office) have you worked for? Have you served as a prosecutor or a public defender? Please include dates, and title for each position that you have held, as well as areas of law practiced.
1978-1991 Associate at what was then Hennings, Maltman Weber and Reed. I developed a practice doing appeals. 1992-2000 Partner at what was then Reed, North Ahrens and Malnati, firm is now Reed, Longyear.
In my civil litigation practice, I made a practice of always having a pro bono case on my caseload.
3. Have you ever served as a mediator or arbitrator? (If so, please describe your experiences.) If you are an incumbent, do you perform settlement conferences?
%3. Have you ever served as a mediator or arbitrator? (If so, please describe your experiences.) If you are an incumbent, do you perform settlement conferences?%
4. Have you been a judge pro-tem? If so, what was that experience like? What did you learn from it?
I have not served as a pro tem judge.
5. What do you believe are the most important qualifications for a judge or justice?
I am passionate in my belief that the parties before me receive a fair hearing, receive any assistance they may need (such as an interpreter), have a chance to present their case and a well-reasoned decision. I work hard to treat all parties with dignity and respect, be aware of factors that may prevent them from presenting their case and strive to reach the ideal set forth on the US Supreme Court Building: Equal Justice Under Law.
6. What prompted you to run for this office? What priorities are you seeking to address with your campaign?
I running to retain my seat on the King County Superior Court. I have held this position since 2000.
7. What steps are you taking to run a successful campaign?
I am seeking endorsements from all the Democratic legislative districts, Seattle newspapers, ML King County Labor Council, and community leaders. I already have the endorsement of over 70 appellate and trial court judges.
Part II – Position-specific
1. Do you support making it easier for Washingtonians who are not members of the bar to access public records, particularly at the Superior/District court levels, where per-page fees are charged?
Court records should be accessible to the public. I support allowing citizens access to court records on line at no cost from their home computers or terminals in the clerk’s office. However, it is reasonable to impose fees for making copies.
2. Do you have any thoughts on how our courts should address the growing use of smartphones during court proceedings, particularly by jurors?
Jurors in my courtroom are instructed that they must turn off all smartphones while court is in session. They may use their cellphones to make and receive calls and texts during breaks so long as they do not discuss any aspect of the case. Jurors must evaluate the case based solely on evidence that they have heard in the courtroom and are prohibited from discussing the case with anyone else.
3. Is Washington relying too much on court fees to cover the cost of operating our judicial system? How do you believe our courts should be funded?
The legislature should fully fund our court system so that the clerks offices are not so dependent upon fees charged for services to fund the operations of the office. Courts cannot be funded solely by the imposition of court fees. Fees can be a barrier for low income litigants. At a minimum, court fees that are imposed should be based on a sliding scale based on ability to pay.
Part III – Access to Justice
1. If elected, how will you work to improve access to justice, particularly for communities and constituencies that do not understand the American legal system?
It is important to continuously work on removing barriers to the full participation of all citizens in court proceedings. This includes providing interpreters to those whose first language is not English, accommodations for those with disabilities, and court appointed lawyers for those with a liberty interest at stake.
2. What does the phrase Black Lives Matter mean to you as a judicial candidate?
Black Lives Matter to me is a recognition of the harmful effect that racial discrimination has had on African Americans in this country. These harmful effects continue to this day. Courts must be diligent in their efforts to overcome racial bias especially in the criminal justice system. There are court rules that address bias in jury selection and that instruct juries on implicit bias.
3. What ideas can you offer to make our judicial system more open, transparent, and responsive?
The legislature should fully fund our court system so that the clerks offices are not so dependent upon fees charged for services to fund the operations of the office.
The legislature should provide funding to pay jurors the minimum wage for their service as jurors so that jury service is not such a hardship for those of limited means, which particularly affects jurors of color.
By typing my name below, I declare under penalty of perjury the foregoing is true and correct.
Printed Name: Douglass North