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County Council fills vacancies in District Court

Summary

Gibson appointed to Southwest Court, Paglisotti and Hirakawa selected for West District Court

Story

The Metropolitan King County Council today filled three judicial vacancies in the King County District Court, appointing Laurel Gibson to fill the vacancy in the Southwest Division (Burien) and Lisa Paglisotti and Gregg Hirakawa to fill the two vacancies in the West Division (Seattle).

“We take our responsibility to appoint well-qualified judges very seriously; that’s why we went through a fair and rigorous process to ensure that we chose the best candidates,” said Councilmember Kathy Lambert, chair of the Council’s Committee of the Whole. “I’m confident that our choices will serve the people of King County well and that we have chosen those most qualified for these important positions.”

“I congratulate all three of the new appointees to our district court benches,” said Council Chair Joe McDermott. “I am confident they will endeavor to make our court system fair and equitable.”

Laurel Gibson, a graduate of the University of Washington and the Seattle University School of Law, will be replacing retiring Judge Victoria Seitz. She has been acting as an Administrative Law Judge as well as a Judge Pro Tem.

Gibson was one of two Southwest Division finalists interviewed by the Council’s Committee of the Whole on May 4th.

Lisa Paglisotti is a graduate of the University of Washington and Seattle University Law School who has worked as criminal attorney and served as a Judge Pro Tem. Gregg Hirakawa, who has worked as a criminal and civil attorney, is a graduate of the Seattle University Law School who has served as a Judge Pro Tem.

Paglisotti and Hirakawa will fill the two vacancies created in the District Court’s West Division with the retirement of Judge Eileen Kato and the appointment of Judge Johanna Bender to the King County Superior Court.

Paglisotti and Hirakawa were selected from five West Division finalists interviewed by the Council’s Committee of the Whole on May 4th.

All of the candidates were rated and referred to the Council by the King County Bar Association (KCBA) and were also rated by one or more of the other bar associations that perform judicial evaluations consistent with Chapter 2.70 of the King County Code. Each of the final candidates received a rating of “Exceptionally Well Qualified” from at least one of the bar associations.

After their appointments, if they want to continue on the bench, Gibson, Paglisotti and Hirakawa will have to stand for election this fall.
Contact the Council
Main phone:
206-477-1000
TTY/TDD:
206-296-1024
Fax:
206-296-0198