Two new King County Superior Court judges began work on Monday at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent.
Judge David A. Steiner works in criminal court and Judge Josephine Wiggs-Martin works in dependency court, which is when the state steps in to help protect a child from harm.
Gov. Jay Inslee appointed Steiner and Wiggs-Martin in March. Steiner replaced Judge Cheryl Carey, who retired April 1. Wiggs-Martin replaced Judge Wesley Saint Clair, who retired in February.
For the past 23 years, Steiner has served as a judge on the King County District Court, and for three of those years, he served as presiding judge, according to a Governor’s Office news release. During his time on the District Court bench, Steiner served as president of the Washington State District and Municipal Court Judges Association.
“For years now, David has immersed himself in judicial committee work, analyzing and seeking to address the challenging issues that face the justice system,” Inslee said. “On a court with so many new judges, his vast judicial experience will be welcomed.”
Steiner received his law degree from Seattle University and bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington.
For the past 13 years, Wiggs-Martin has served as an attorney for the King County Department of Public Defense in the Northwest Defenders Division, where she has conducted more than 100 criminal trials, ranging from misdemeanors to serious felonies.
For nearly 20 years, Wiggs-Martin has been an active member of the King County community, volunteering with the Immigrant Families Advocacy Project, the King County Bar Association’s Neighborhood Legal Clinic and Seattle’s Youth Court. She also served on the King County Bar Association Race Class Disparity Task Force.
“Josie has a deep understanding of the legal needs of underserved communities and the inequities in the legal system,” Inslee said. “Her breadth of experience, including substantial trial experience, and her passion to pursue justice will make her a great addition to the bench.”
Wiggs-Martin received her law degree and bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington.