Judge Ketu Shah
Judge Ketu Shah joined the King County District Court in 2013 to complete the term of Judge Frank LaSalata. Judge Shah intends to respect Judge LaSalata’s memory by serving his position with integrity and fairness. Judge Shah is a graduate of Whitman College and the University of Minnesota Law School where he was a Managing Editor for the Journal of Law and Inequality. Judge Shah has practiced both criminal and civil law for close to twenty years. During law school, he interned as a public defender and after law school, clerked for Judge Carol Schapira of King County Superior Court. Judge Shah then went on to prosecute Domestic Violence Crimes for over 10 years mostly in Bellevue and Seattle. In 2000, Judge Shah opened his own law firm practicing immigration and civil law, and since 2007, acted as a pro tempore judge for King County District Court. As a prosecutor, Judge Shah tried many cases to jury and became an expert in the dynamics of domestic violence in court. He helped implement a domestic violence court in the City of Vancouver and helped form a domestic violence unit at the City of Bellevue where Lifewire (formerly EDVP), detectives, prosecutors and probation worked collaboratively.
In private practice, Judge Shah helped many clients access a court system that was unfamiliar to them. As part of his work, Judge Shah volunteered extensively within the community by representing pro bono clients through API Chaya, ReWA, and the Immigrant Family Advocacy Project. He also volunteered at Eastside Legal Assistance Program (ELAP), providing free legal services to the greater Eastside community. Judge Shah took on Chaya’s first pro bono case in 2001 and then later served as Board Chair for over 6 years. Judge Shah was also on the board for several years with the South Asian Bar Association of Washington, served on the Judicial Evaluation Committee for the Asian Bar Association, and sat on the Rules Subcommittee. He has tutored math at his daughter’s schools, coached at the Boys and Girls Club in Rainier Valley, and currently coaches select soccer for his youth soccer club. Judge Shah is also on the Board of his youth soccer club as the Vice President of Select Soccer.
Judge Shah was awarded the 2008 Community Service Award by the South Asian Bar Association and 1998 Community Award by the City of Vancouver. Judge Shah has spoken at the Harvard School of Education, regional and statewide conferences for law enforcement, prosecutors, and advocates.
The King County Council unanimously appointed Judge Shah and they cited his well-rounded experience, demeanor, and perspective as attributes that made him an excellent addition to the King County District Court.