A RICH LIFE

 The latest test results are not good.  The cancer has spread.  We are out of bullets.  There are no more curative treatments available to me.  I am on chemotherapy until I am transferred to hospice care.  I have been told I have three to six months left. For my part, I feel some sense of relief as the last couple of years have been very difficult …

JURIES AND DEMOCRACY

(Tom speaks only for himself in this blog and not for the Court.) Not long after the American Revolution, America had an observer from France.  You see, the French were also interested in having a revolution.  Alexis de Tocqueville was that observer and based upon what he observed he wrote “Democracy in America,” a classic. The book discusses American’s passion for trials …

RETIREMENT

January 13, 2013, will be my last day as an elected member of the court. I will continue in a pro-tem capacity until cases I have heard as a sitting judge are completed. It has been such an honor to have served on this State’s highest court. I am likely to have several blog posts about my reflections on retirement. …

DARN CANCER

On February 13, 2012, I had my fourth cancer related surgery in five years. Mary is from Venus and Tom is from Mars. Justice Fairhurst and I deal with adversity differently. She likes to go to the mountain and gather all of her many friends and family for support. I prefer to deal with adversity in private. I slip into …

JUDGING BY SKYPE

I’ll bet you didn’t know your Washington Supreme Court was the first high court in the world to allow gavel-to-gavel TV coverage of all oral arguments and other hearings in its courtroom.  That happened about 18 years ago when we started televising our proceeding live on TV.   There may be others now although I don’t know of any.  The U.S. …

COURTHOUSE USER FEES

“What I observed is something I might expect from some former Soviet country.” In my December Blog, I described how a Somali woman and her advocate were forced to stand in six lines in order to start a dissolution (divorce action) because she was poor. I described a series of user fees imposed on those who want access to family …

WHO IS IN CHARGE AT THE KING COUNTY COURTHOUSE?

On November 16, I shadowed two Somali women as they waited in six lines at the King County Courthouse.  Only the poor must endure these lines.  Muma is a Domestic Violence Advocate with the Refugee Women’s Alliance.  Muma is not a lawyer but she was at the King County Courthouse to help Tende, another Somali woman, file a dissolution (divorce) …

READING LEGAL OPINIONS CAN BE FUN

Unlike other authors, some people (like lawyers and judges) must read what I write no matter how badly I do it. But I strive to make my opinions both interesting and readable. My experience is that everyone likes a good story. So instead of reciting the bare bones facts relevant to the legal issue, I try to draw my reader …