1 Candidate Name Bill A. Bowman Position sought King County Superior Court Judge Pos. # 19 or appointment Residence LD 5 Are you the Open Seat incumbent? Campaign Information Campaign Name Committee to Elect Bill Bowman Superior Court Judge Web page (Not yet online) Campaign address Manager Mary Ann Ottinger Campaign mailing address P.O. Box Seattle, WA Campaign phone 720-JUDGE12 number Campaign FAX Candidate Background: Community service, education, employment and other relevant experience. Which undergraduate and law schools have you attended? Include Graduation date, degrees. California Western School of Law Juris Doctor (JD) 1993 University of Washington Bachelor of Arts (BA) 1989 Seattle Central Community College Associate of Arts (AA) 1987 Edmonds Community College transferred to Seattle Central Hours and types of pro bono work performed. As a public defender, I worked full-time providing free legal services to indigent defendants of all ethnic, racial and sexual orientation backgrounds. As I transitioned into private practice, I made a commitment to continue to volunteer my legal services when appropriate, and I have frequently done so. Some pro bono clients I have recently represented are: A grass roots community leader charged with Felony DUI. He is a leader in the effort to promote employment in low income communities and is relied upon by many. He is facing significant time in prison and is in need of help with his substance abuse issues but does not have the income to afford a private attorney. Page 1 of 8 Rev New
2 A young woman who just returned from 3 years volunteering her time to rebuild communities that have been devastated by natural disasters. She was arrested for DUI and has no assets because of her volunteer efforts. A young hockey player who had a roster position on a team that would help him earn a college scholarship. He came from a financially challenged family and would not otherwise be able to afford college. He was arrested for criminal trespass and malicious mischief as a result of a high school prank and could not afford a lawyer. If convicted, he would have lost his roster spot and his opportunity for a scholarship. An African American man who is charged with Driving While License Suspended in the First Degree. His charge was the result of a Department of Licensing mistake but will take significant work to correct. He is a construction worker who will lose his job if he cannot drive. He is also a single dad and is responsible for driving his son to school, basketball practice, etc. He could not afford an attorney, and the public defender would not have the time or resources to successfully resolve the case. Have you ever been a prosecutor for any government entity? If yes, where and how long? Yes. King County Prosecuting Attorney s Office Jan. Dec Have you ever defended a person accused of a crime? If yes, where and how many cases? Yes. During the 17 years I have been a private attorney and public defender, I have been defense counsel for thousands of individuals. I have tried in excess of 300 criminal cases. Have you ever served as an arbitrator or Mediator? If yes, where and how many times? No Page 2 of 8 Rev New
3 How many times have you participated as a judge or attorney in: Municipal Court I am currently the Presiding Judge in Black Diamond Municipal Court. I have handled hundreds of cases as an attorney in municipal courts since District Court I have served as a Pro Tem Judge in the King County District Courts since As an attorney, I have represented hundreds of individuals in District Court since Superior Court jury trials I have represented individuals in approximately 10 Superior Court jury trials. Arguments in Court of Appeals 12 times as an attorney Arguments in State Supreme Once as an attorney Court Federal District Court trials -0- What ratings and endorsements have you received? Municipal League Will not rate until Spring, 2012 King County Bar Association Well Qualified Washington Women Lawyers Loren Miller Bar Association QLAW: the GLBT Bar Association Latina/Latino Bar Association Joint Asian Judicial Evaluation Committee Cardozo Society Qualified I interviewed in early December but have not yet received my rating. Qualified Exceptionally Well Qualified Exceptionally Well Qualified Exceptionally Well Qualified Which organizations and individuals have endorsed you in this race? See attached endorsement list Page 3 of 8 Rev New
4 Which judicial candidates have you endorsed in the past five years? Judges Jean Reitschel, Susan Mahoney, Ed McKenna, Matt Williams, Steve Rosen and Willie Gregory. Have there ever been any successful claims made against you or your malpractice carrier? If yes please attach explanation. No List any complaints you have received through any Bar Association, Judicial Conduct Committee or Board, or private insurance carrier. (Attach on a separate sheet of paper.) In 2011, my former law partners and I were informed by the Washington State Bar Assn. that a complaint had been received from an individual from whom our firm had rented office space in Bellingham. The Bar Assn. dismissed the complaint without investigation. I represented a client accused of DUI in Seattle Municipal Court. Her charge was reduced to Negligent Driving, and she was ordered to complete an Alcohol Information School and a DUI Victim s Impact Panel. She timely completed the requirements, and I provided proof of completion to the probation department. Unfortunately, the probation department did not forward the proof to the court prior to my client s review hearing. The court found that she was not in compliance and issued a warrant for her arrest. She was subsequently arrested and jailed for 24 hours. My client filed suit against me, the court, and the probation department. When it was determined that I had provided proof of completion to the probation department, I was dismissed from the lawsuit. What is your strongest area of legal expertise? I am a trial attorney defending individuals accused of crimes. I handle misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor and felony cases. I appear in court daily for arraignments, pretrial hearings, evidentiary hearings, jury and bench trials, sentencing and review hearings in the Municipal, District and Superior Courts. I also oversee and handle appeals to the Superior Court, the Courts of Appeals and the Washington State Supreme Court. Additionally, I Page 4 of 8 Rev New
5 assist clients in obtaining necessary and appropriate services for substance abuse and mental health issues. I am also the Presiding Judge of the Black Diamond Municipal Court. I preside over bail hearings, arraignments, pretrial hearings, evidentiary hearings, jury and bench trials, sentencing and review hearings for misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor criminal cases committed in the City of Black Diamond. I also hear civil traffic cases and civil forfeiture matters. I am responsible for court policy, case management and all court related administrative duties. I supervise a full time Court Administrator and a part time Court Clerk. What recommendations do you have for improving court system funding and administration? Primarily, I believe the State needs to be responsible for a larger share of the Superior Court s funding. Currently, the County pays for 70-80% of the Court s budget. This money comes from property taxes, and in this age of declining home values (and, ironically, increasing foreclosure cases) the ability of the County to continue to fund the lion s share of the Court s budget is significantly more difficult. It s also fundamentally unfair, as the State uses significantly more than 20-30% of the Superior Court s resources. Additionally, the Court needs to focus on implementing up-to-date case management technology so it can function as efficiently as possible administratively. The District Courts have gone paperless, and the Superior Court could benefit significantly from a similar system. What actions have you taken in the last five years on issues regarding access to the judicial system? As a public defender, I represented indigent defendants from all ethnic and racial backgrounds and from different sexual orientations. It was my responsibility to ensure that every defendant had equal access to justice and that they received the best representation I could provide. After I left the public defender s office, I volunteered for Eastside Domestic Violence representing women charged with assault for fighting back against abusive spouses. Additionally, I have assisted many victims of domestic violence in obtaining antiharassment, no contact, and protection orders. Page 5 of 8 Rev New
6 Equal access to justice is one of the cornerstones of our criminal justice system. Judges have an obligation to ensure that all people have access to the court system regardless of race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation or financial ability. As Presiding Judge at Black Diamond Municipal Court, I take practical measures to promote equal access such as ensuring court procedures, forms and rules are easily accessible and understandable to litigants of all cultural backgrounds, treating all litigants fairly, with dignity and respect and voicing concerns about inequality when perceived. Also, as noted above on pages 1 and 2, I continually provide my legal services on a pro bono basis to individuals who would not otherwise have equal access to the justice system based upon their financial circumstances. What recommendations do you have for increasing access to the judicial system (Civil and Criminal)? The primary barrier to access to the judicial system is the financial crisis the courts currently face. The lack of adequate funding limits the personnel and resources necessary to hear cases in a timely manner and limits and/or eliminates necessary services. In an attempt to deal with the crisis, many courts, unfortunately, resort to user fees. In addition to the recommendations discussed above, I think it s imperative that attorneys and service providers volunteer their services in those areas that are most affected by the financial pinch. I am currently working with judges in the King County Unified Family Court system and members of the Cardozo Society to implement a pro bono program to provide services for unrepresented family law litigants. These cases take a significant amount of the Superior Court s time and resources. This program can help to lessen that burden and increase access for others. More of these programs in different areas could have a significant impact on the system. If a sitting Judge, what committees have you been appointed to and what are the significant accomplishments of those committees or yourself? If not, which committee assignments would you seek? I am currently a member of the Technology Committee of the District and Municipal Court Judges Association. This committee has been instrumental in streamlining the District Court s case management system and in working toward universal systems state wide. Page 6 of 8 Rev New
7 Have you reviewed the General Rule Definition of the Practice of Law, and the Practice of Law Board s Work? Do you have comments or ideas? Would you be in favor of the proposed Legal Technician Rule? This rule allows trained, tested and licensed nonlawyers to provide specifically defined legal services without supervision by a lawyer. Please explain. I would support the General Rule so long as certification of competency in the field was required. There are certain areas of the law where trained and supervised practitioners could be an asset to those who cannot afford to hire an attorney but who do not qualify for Legal Services (or where such services are not available). Active supervision of Legal Technicians would be key to my support for such a rule. I have worked to create a plan for Pro Bono services to the Family Court and could see a way that Legal Technicians could work closely with Pro Bono attorneys in certain areas. Have you been appointed as a guardian or Guardian Ad Litem? If yes, please give the details? No How have you promoted diversity within your staff? As a managing partner at Fox Bowman Duarte, I hired a diverse and highly talented group of attorneys and support staff. One of my partners was Latino, we had African American associates, and several women attorneys. My current law firm, Schroeter Goldmark & Bender is a very racially, and ethnically diverse business. As the Presiding Judge in Black Diamond, whenever I have a need for a pro tem (substitute) judge, I have called upon members of the Bar who are from minority communities to ensure that the face of justice in this small city is as diverse as possible. My campaign committee has well-respected representatives of the Latina, African American, GLBT, and Asian communities. Page 7 of 8 Rev New
8 What are the main messages of your campaign? What is your campaign plan? How many doors have you knocked on to date, pieces of mail planned, budgeting, staffing? What is the fundraising goal for your campaign? How much have you raised to date? Why will you win? I declared my candidacy for King County Superior Court Judge in July, 2011 and immediately began gathering endorsements. I have, to date, visited nearly all of the 17 Democratic LD s in King County, made many campaign appearances at other diverse groups since that time. I have been making 6-10 campaign appearances each week since July, I have hired Christian Sinderman of Northwest Passage Consulting and have a campaign manager on board. I have an excellent Campaign Steering Committee and Finance Committee. Our fundraising goal is approximately $160,000, and a wellconceived plan gives me confidence we will reach that goal. Judicial candidates are prohibited from fundraising prior to February, My message to the voter is Just as I was the type of lawyer sought after by people from all backgrounds and economic circumstances when they found themselves accused of a crime, I expect to be the type of judge most people would want when they enter a courtroom knowledgeable, experienced, fair, empathetic and reasonable. Justice for All is the cornerstone of my campaign. I will win because I started early, am the most organized, can raise the most money to get my message out, have worked the hardest to gain the support of key groups and individuals, and my message and personal background will resonate with the voters. I have read this questionnaire and understand and approve the content and all provided information. Printed Name Bill A. Bowman Date Signature Page 8 of 8 Rev New
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