A View From the Bench by Judge Carol Murphy

Change is hard.  For many of us, the prospect of a different way of doing things, a break from that with which we are comfortable, is difficult.  Thurston County Superior and District Courts are undergoing change.  Some changes are being thrust upon us because of required changing technology, and some changes are the result of attempts to improve the effectiveness of our courts.  To me, these changes seem to be occurring at a very fast pace.

Superior Court recently sent notification of criminal calendar procedures and posted those procedures on the Court’s website.  With improved clarity of those procedures, we are hoping to decrease the time our limited staff spends assisting those who have been justifiably confused.  Adjustments are being made as stakeholders provide input, so I encourage you to continue to check the Superior Court website for updated information.  We hope to continue to get input from the legal community as we move forward with multiple changes necessitated by the Clerk’s Office continuing its conversion to electronic files, and the opening of the Accountability and Restitution Center, which will soon replace the current county jail.  The court welcomes input from all perspectives, and will incorporate it to the extent that we are able.

Change is stressful for all of us, myself included.  I know and have been reminded that, in my eagerness to move forward, I have unfortunately allowed that stress to show.  I am firmly committed to improvement, not just in the way that the court implements the decisions made by other county officials, but also in the manner that I personally conduct myself.

One of my favorite aspects of the job as a judge is the learning that I am engaged in.  Seeing things from the perspective of another person is very valuable, and I highly recommend it.  Some of my favorite days on the bench are when I must resolve a difficult dispute between two professional and prepared lawyers.  There are opportunities for me to learn every day, even days I am off the bench, and I plan to continue to take advantage of those opportunities.  I encourage each of you as practitioners to continue to strive for improvement in our court system and to voice your suggestions so that we all can benefit from your great ideas.

Jill CarterA View From the Bench by Judge Carol Murphy