Because I was a superior court judge, retiring in 2009, people ask me which one of the candidates for judge is most qualified.
Nick Wallace has been practicing as a trial lawyer for 20 years. I know him well. During the 16 years I was on the bench, he appeared regularly in my court and before the other judges as well. He is a skilled trial attorney and is well qualified to be a judge.
I have never met his opponent. He did not appear in my court before I retired. Nor did he appear before the other judges in Grant County. It is not clear why he was appointed by Governor Inslee; certainly not because of his experience.
A judge needs extensive courtroom experience, preferably more experience than the trial attorneys who appear before him. In England and Australia only experienced trial lawyers, called barristers, appear in court. An inexperienced attorney would never be considered for a judge.
Nick Wallace has 20 years of courtroom experience, his opponent has virtually none. It is not a difficult choice. Nick Wallace has stellar character and, with his experience, he is the obvious choice.
A politically correct appointment will be of little consolation to Grant County people with cases in Superior Court before a judge who is inexperienced and overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the pleadings, briefs and decisions which have to be made on the spot during trial battles.