Deborra Garrett Running for Superior Court Judge

June 29th, 2012 - Carmichael Clark

Deborra Garrett, one of Carmichael Clark’s long time partners, is running for Superior Court Judge. Deborra has been a partner at Carmichael Clark since 1993 and has practiced law in this community for over 30 years. If she is elected she will be the first woman to serve as a Superior Court Judge in Whatcom County.

Deborra is clearly well qualified to be a Superior Court judge, and the firm is proud of her and her candidacy. Hal Thurston and Mary Swenson, who have known Deborra much longer than I have known her, recently submitted this letter to the Bellingham Herald about Deborra:

Dear Editor—

We enthusiastically look forward to voting for Deborra Garrett for Superior Court Judge on our mail-in ballot due August 7.

We have known Deborra since we were sworn in with her to practice law in Whatcom County more than 30 years ago. From the beginning, Deborra demonstrated an ethic of service that has been an enormous asset to the local bar and to the entire county community. She has served us all in so many capacities where hard work and good judgment were critical assets. Her community service ranges from being a Commissioner on the Bellingham Planning Commission to pro bono counsel to the YWCA and Womencare Shelter. She has coached the Meridian H. S. Mock Trial team for more than a decade. The list of her volunteer contributions is too long for this letter.

On the professional side, Deborra is a lawyers’ lawyer, meaning that she has the respect of her fellow bar members for her ethical standards, the intelligence she brings to her work, and her thoughtful judgment. She has the highest possible grade of “AV” from the most respected and oldest organization that independently rates lawyers. She has long and significant experience in Superior Court, representing both plaintiffs and defendants, a background which will serve her well as a Judge in that court. She has represented all kinds of people and knows what it is like for a citizen to have to come to court. We know that she will give everyone a chance to be heard, and then apply the law carefully and correctly in her decisions.

In sum, Deborra has both heart and head, and we need both in our judges. Join us in voting for Deborra Garrett.

-Mary Swenson and Hal Thurston

What resonates with me about Deborra is her compassionate and caring presence. She has a special ability to listen, really listen. Despite the busyness around her, she takes time in her day to be present and to support those whose lives she touches. I am proud to know her, and am proud of her association with Carmichael Clark.

On August 7, 2012, the mail-in primary election ballot is due.

The importance of the primary election ballot:

In the upcoming election, Deborra is one of three candidates seeking an open Superior Court Judge position in Whatcom County. If a candidate receives more than 50% of the votes cast in the primary election, the candidate is entitled to appear on the general ballot without opposition, and in certain situations the judicial position will not appear on the general election ballot at all, and the candidate will be automatically elected. Wash. Const. Art. IV, Section 29 (2012). If no candidate receives more than 50% in the primary election, the top two candidates appear on the general election ballot on November 6, 2012. (A candidate who runs unopposed for a Superior Court position is automatically elected, and this position does not appear on the primary or general ballots. This is the case with incumbent Whatcom County Superior Court Judges Snyder and Uhrig.)

In addition to the Superior Court judicial race, Whatcom County voters will also help to elect three Washington Supreme Court justices. The primary election procedure is similar: a candidate who receives more than 50% of the votes cast in the primary is entitled to appear on the general election ballot without opposition. If no candidate receives more than 50% in the primary election, the top two candidates appear on the general election ballot. Two incumbent Supreme Court justices are running for re-election, Justices Owens and Gonzalez. Both incumbent justices are being challenged. There is also an open seat in the Supreme Court due to retirement, with four candidates seeking that position. Supreme Court justices are elected to six year terms.

Contested judicial races are often decided at the primary ballot stage of the election. I encourage you to become informed regarding the judicial candidates, and to vote via mail-in ballot on August 7, 2012.

-Jolyn Hunt, Attorney

Disclaimer: This article and blog are intended to inform the reader of general legal principles applicable to the subject area. They are not intended to provide legal advice regarding specific problems or circumstances. Readers should consult with competent counsel with regard to specific situations.

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