Updated: Sep 11
Comments from the bench.
The VLP recently had the pleasure of working in Judge Rachelle Anderson’s courtroom assisting with the Unlawful Detainer docket. For this docket, volunteer attorneys help the unrepresented people negotiate terms. The Unlawful Detainer docket was Judge Anderson’s first rotation as a Superior Court Judge, but she has been on the bench for the last eight years as a Superior Court Commissioner.
Before becoming a judicial officer, Judge Anderson was a private attorney practicing with Craig Smith in Family Law. Then her office did contract work with the Office of Public Defense to represent parents who were involved in CPS cases while their children were dependents of the State. Judge Anderson states,
“I found a lot of purpose and fulfillment in helping [families] through these tough legal battles, and took pride in my ability to connect with them.”
She soon took this compassion and empathy to the bench where she ensures everyone in her courtroom feels they have been heard and treated fairly.
Judge Anderson now moves on to the Juvenile rotation. She is very excited to be starting this docket since she will be working in the same systems she did as a Court Commissioner but will now be able to work with youth who are facing criminal charges. She says “accountability and encouragement are needed in large doses in this rotation,” and that she is looking forward to all that she will learn in the Juvenile system.
Before she moves to her new rotation, Judge Anderson has some words of advice if you find yourself on the Unlawful Detainer docket:
You need to show up! Things still happen if you don’t come to court. Talking to the judge is much better than being defaulted.
Put things in writing. Keep track of the conversations you have and write down the names of the people you talk to so you know who to ask for in the future.
Try to stay calm and be courteous in court – even when you're nervous. The Court knows you are nervous and will make sure you are heard.
Fun Facts about the Judge:
Originally she went to Eastern Washington University to be a teacher.
She loves to travel (Greece anyone?).
Her grandfather was State Legislator Walt Knowles.
She loves spending time with her family (her daughters are just as busy as she is!).