Defense attorney Michael Schwartz will replace Judge Thomas Larkin on the Pierce County Superior Court bench starting in July, Gov. Jay Inslee said Monday.
Schwartz has run a private law firm since 1999, and has handled felony and civil cases in state and federal courts, Inslee’s office said in a release about the governor’s appointment.
He served in the 25th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army from 1981 to 1984, stationed in Hawaii. Then he was an officer with the Honolulu Police Department until 1989. He graduated from Seattle University with a law degree in 1992.
“Michael has an unwavering dedication to public service, as proven by his distinguished career in our nation’s military and police forces,” Inslee said in a statement.
“He exemplifies the kind of professionalism and determination that is so highly valued by the public and needed in our justice system, and I have no doubts as to the high quality of service he will bring to the bench.”
Schwartz was president of the Robert J. Bryan Inns of Court from 2012-13, has lectured on forensic evidence, trial tactics and police procedures, and is the head of the Greater Puget Sound Youth Football League.
Among his cases, Schwartz represented Clabon Berniard, one of four people convicted in the 2010 Edgewood “Craigslist Killing,” in which Jim Sanders was fatally shot in his home in front of his family, after the family posted an ad online to sell a diamond ring.
Larkin announced at the beginning of June that he will retire July 31. He served 20 years in Superior Court and 10 years in District Court.