Pierce County Superior Court Judge Linda Lee has been appointed to the state Court of Appeals for Division II, Gov. Jay Inslee has announced.
Lee moves into her new job Jan. 6. She replaces Justice Christine Quinn-Brintnall, who is retiring after nearly 14 years at the Court of Appeals.
“Judge Lee has a tremendous record of service to her community, both on and off the bench,” Inslee said in a news release.
Lisa Worswick, who serves as chief judge for Division II, said Lee would be a good addition to the appellate panel.
“Judge Linda Lee is an experienced, hard-working jurist whose abilities are well-suited to a high-volume appellate court such as ours,” said Worswick, another former Pierce County Superior Court judge. “Her reputation for incisive legal analysis is well-deserved.”
Then-Gov. Gary Locke appointed Lee to the bench in 2004 to serve out the remaining term of Marywave Van Deren, and she won re-election three times. She presided over a number of high-profile trials, including that of Tacoma Mall shooter Dominick Maldonado and most recently the aggravated murder trial of Tyler Savage.
Lee worked as a private attorney at Gordon, Thomas, Honeywell, Malance, Peterson and Daheim for 13 years before ascending to the bench.
As an appellate judge, Lee will hear appeals and write opinions about legal matters pertaining to lower court decisions. Division II serves 13 Western Washington counties, including Pierce and Thurston.
The search for Lee’s replacement on the 22-judge Superior Court bench will begin immediately.
Inslee will entertain nominations and recommendations from the local legal community before interviewing candidates and announcing a pick.
Ronald Culpepper, presiding judge for Pierce County Superior Court, said that process might take until March.
“We’re hoping for soon rather than later,” Culpepper said.adam.lynn@ thenewstribune.com @TNTadam