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Judge John McHale - Superior Court

How to contact a King County Superior Court judge and get ready for your trial or motion.

Photo of Judge John McHale

Courtroom Number: E-912
Bailiff: Lisa Zimnisky

Department: 43

Assignment: Seattle and Kent Drug Court


Judge McHale joined the King County Superior Court bench on January 9, 2017, having been elected to serve. Judge McHale assumed the position previously occupied by Judge William Downing, who retired from the bench.

Judge McHale originally hales from Louisiana. He began his legal career in King County in 1990 as a law clerk/bailiff for retired Superior Court Judge Terrence Carroll. After clerking for Judge Carroll, he served as a Public Defender, as a Deputy Prosecutor in the Criminal and Civil Divisions of the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, and as a private practice civil litigator. Judge McHale serves as the Court’s Sponsor of the YMCA Law and Government High School Mock Trial Program and enjoys working with students interested in our justice system.

Having worked on both sides of the courtroom in criminal and civil litigation over more than 26 years, Judge McHale understands the hard work that trial lawyers and their staff members put in to get cases into the courtroom. He also understands the fear and uncertainty that litigants feel as they go through the litigation process. Judge McHale expects opposing counsel to treat one another with courtesy and respect during the discovery process and in the courtroom, and he strongly believes that civility in approach serves everyone well in reaching just resolutions.