Opinion

New judge lauds FW court for hard work

By Dave Larson, guest columnist

I have now been on the bench for six weeks and I can say without reservation that this job will be one of the most rewarding experiences of my lifetime.

I wish I could have stayed on the Federal Way School Board too, but the Code of Judicial Conduct prohibits it. However, I plan to maintain close ties with our schools in a variety of ways.

The Federal Way Municipal Court has had media attention recently. It would be irresponsible for me to comment on what took place before my arrival and on the legal issues that remain.

However, I can say without reservation that I have encountered nothing but pleasant hard-working professionals during my tenure here.

The clerks are a joy to work with. They are some of the hardest working people I know. Their knowledge of the job is also exceptional. I rely on them and appreciate each and every one of them. They have demonstrated dedicated teamwork on a daily basis. The citizens of Federal Way have much to be proud of.

Judge Michael Morgan also met me with open arms and has repeatedly shared his knowledge with me as I transition from a lawyer who handled civil matters to a judge who handles criminal matters.

My learning curve has been relatively short in large part due to Judge Morgan taking the time to care about my success.

The city has also been good to work with. City Manager Neal Beets is a consummate professional. City staff has been exemplar too.

The city attorneys and public defenders are young, but have the professionalism and ethics of seasoned professionals. I have seen over and over again where they have exemplified what it means to be an officer of the court. The private bar has also been professional and competent. The people of this city should feel confident with, and proud of, the core of fine lawyers appearing in their court.

The media is interested in telling stories that will draw your attention. People doing their jobs day in and day out does not make the news. Transgressions do make the news. While we have the right to know when government appears to fail us, we should also have a right to know when government serves us well.

We must always keep in perspective that there is not enough air time and column space available in any given day to tell us about the good that goes on all over our community, including in our court.

We still have work and healing ahead of us, but the Federal Way Municipal Court is full of people serving you well, day in and day out. You need to know that.

Dave Larson, a Federal Way Municipal Court judge, can be reached at David.Larson@

cityoffederalway.com.

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