Archived Version: August 17, 2010

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Michael Finkle


King County District Court

Northeast Division, Position Six

This race will appear on the November ballot.

Michael Finkle

Legal/Judicial Experience: King County District Court Judge (incumbent); 12 years experience as judge pro tem in District and Municipal Courts; 24 years experience prosecuting misdemeanors.

Other Professional Experience: Adjunct Professor, Seattle University School of Law; Past president, Washington State Association of Municipal Attorneys; Member, Committee on Diversity, Washington State Bar Association; Coach, law students in national mock trial competition.

Education: BBA, Loyola Marymount University; MBA, Seattle University Albers School of Business; JD, UCLA School of Law.

Community Service: Participant, "Beat the Bridge to Beat Juvenile Diabetes"; Member, citizens’ group that spearheaded efforts to create City of Sammamish; Speaker at public hearings as representative of neighborhood homeowners; PTA Treasurer.

Statement: Judge Michael Finkle was appointed District Court Judge by unanimous vote of the King County Council. He has received the highest rating, "Exceptionally Well Qualified," from all six bar associations that evaluate judges and judicial candidates. His endorsers include: the Martin Luther King County Labor Council, the King County Police Officers Guild, and dozens of judges and other public officials.

During the 20 years preceding his appointment, Judge Finkle served as a supervising attorney in the Criminal Division of the Seattle City Attorney’s Office. From 1998 until his appointment, he also served as a Judge Pro Tem (substitute judge) in King County District Court and numerous Municipal Courts.

Judge Finkle has a proven record of helping to improve the criminal justice system. He helped form Seattle Municipal Mental Health Court, the fourth such court in the country. He also helped create the Domestic Violence Unit within the Seattle City Attorney’s Office.

Judge Finkle is highly respected for his legal expertise. The National Judicial College has asked him to work with other experts around the country to develop a national model for handling mental health matters in criminal courts. Judge Finkle has published numerous scholarly legal articles, and he has given over 80 solo and panel presentations in the United States and Canada.

Judge Finkle has served as an Adjunct Professor at Seattle University School of Law since 1998, teaching courses in Trial Techniques and in Law, Policy & Mental Health. He was one of the initial faculty members for the State Bar’s Trial Advocacy Program, and developed the original curriculum for the program’s first 10 years. The State Bar presented him with a special recognition award for his work.

A past president of the Washington State Association of Municipal Attorneys, Judge Finkle recently received that organization’s lifetime achievement award.

Official web site:  
Opponent: John O'Brien
Questionnaire responses: For King County Bar Association
For Municipal League of King County
For King County Democrats

Candidate ratings:

King County Bar Association Exceptionally
Well Qualified
[Rating Pending]
Municipal League of King County Good Very Good
Joint Asian Judicial
Evaluations Committee
Well Qualified
Latina/o Bar Association
of Washington
Well Qualified
Loren Miller Bar Association Exceptionally
Well Qualified
QLaw: The GLBT Bar
Association of Washington
Well Qualified
Washington Women Lawyers Exceptionally
Well Qualified

Important note! Each of these organizations uses its own standards and rating terms when evaluating candidates; please check their pages for further information. We do not have ratings for candidates with an asterisk (*), and the reasons vary. Some evaluations may still be in process, or we might not have received them yet; some candidates may not have been offered an opportunity to participate, or they may have declined to participate.


Finance report:

(Click a dollar figure for detailed information.)

Michael Finkle 7/07/2010 $17,305.22
Personal Funds $3,150.00
Loans $7,900.00
John O'Brien 7/07/2010 $0.00 $0.00

Media stories:
    July 6, 2010
Issaquah Press   Issaquah attorney enters race for judge, P.O. Box 1460, Silverdale, WA  98383
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