Judges Corner by Sam Meyer

Judges Corner

Written by Sam Meyer

I have been asked to submit a column for the Judge’s corner on the subject of my choice. I am choosing to use this opportunity to express a note of thanks and appreciation to our soon to be retiring District Court Judge Sue Dubuisson.

Judge Dubuisson came to Thurston County by way of Clarke College in Dubuque, Iowa (where she also was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree in 2007) and the University of Washington School of Law. She began her legal career in the Grays Harbor County Prosecuting Attorney’s office.

From there, she went into private practice in Thurston County. In 1984, Judge Dubuisson was appointed to succeed Dan Berschauer in District Court following his election to Thurston County Superior Court.  She has been re-elected six times and after 26 years on the bench she has decided to ride her bicycle into the sunset and retire.

We are all aware that Thurston County District Court is a busy court and Judge Dubuisson (like most District Court Judges) is on the bench morning and afternoon five days a week. Less well known, however, is that she has been a tireless advocate for courts of limited jurisdiction and the judiciary in general.

In addition to having served on the board of directors of the District and Municipal Court Judges Association, she has at various times served as chair of that organization’s education, by-laws and nominating committees. She is currently the District and Municipal Court Judges Association elected representative on the Board for Judicial Administration. She has also served on the Commission on Judicial Conduct.

Judge Dubuisson has also maintained a strong interest in education at all levels. She has served as dean of the state Judicial College for three years and she remains a frequent instructor at the Judicial College’s annual program for new judges. She has also taught numerous seminars for judicial education.  She is currently teaching a Street Law class at Tumwater High School.

Judge Dubuisson has worked to promote cooperation and collegiality between Superior, District and local Municipal Court Judges by organizing dinners where judges from all levels meet and discuss issues affecting our courts in Thurston County.

Thurston County District Court is the highest volume court in Thurston County and deals with thousands of people, many of them unrepresented, per year. Throughout her 26 years Judge Dubuisson has treated everyone who has come before her with respect and dignity.

On behalf of everyone at district court, thank you Judge Dubuisson for your many years of public service.  Enjoy your retirement and ride your bicycle safely.

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