United States District Court for the Western District of Washington

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United States District Court for the Western District of Washington
(W.D. Wash.)
LocationUnited States Courthouse
More locations
Appeals toNinth Circuit
EstablishedMarch 2, 1905
Chief JudgeDavid Estudillo
Officers of the court
U.S. AttorneyNicholas W. Brown

The United States District Court for the Western District of Washington (in case citations, W.D. Wash.) is the federal district court whose jurisdiction comprises the following counties of the state of Washington: Clallam, Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Island, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Pierce, San Juan, Skagit, Skamania, Snohomish, Thurston, Wahkiakum, and Whatcom. Its courthouse, built in 2004, is located at 7th and Stewart in Seattle.

As of the 2000 census, 4.6 million people resided in the Western District, representing 78% of the state's population. The district includes the cities of Bellingham, Bremerton, Seattle, Bellevue, Olympia, Vancouver, Everett, and Tacoma, amongst others.

Cases from the Western District of Washington are appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit).

The United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Washington represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. As of October 8, 2021, the United States Attorney is Nicholas W. Brown.[1] The position of United States Marshal for the district is currently vacant.[2]

Current judges[edit]

As of March 14, 2023:

# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by
Active Chief Senior
31 Chief Judge David Estudillo Tacoma 1973 2021–present 2022–present Biden
32 District Judge Tana Lin Seattle 1966 2021–present Biden
33 District Judge Lauren J. King Seattle 1982 2021–present Biden
34 District Judge John H. Chun Seattle 1970 2022–present Biden
35 District Judge Jamal Whitehead Seattle 1979 2023–present Biden
36 District Judge vacant
37 District Judge vacant
17 Senior Judge Barbara Jacobs Rothstein Washington, D.C.[Note 1] 1939 1980–2011 1987–1994 2011–present Carter
18 Senior Judge John C. Coughenour Seattle 1941 1981–2006 1997–2004 2006–present Reagan
19 Senior Judge Carolyn R. Dimmick Seattle 1929 1985–1997 1994–1997 1997–present Reagan
20 Senior Judge Robert Jensen Bryan Tacoma 1934 1986–2000 2000–present Reagan
22 Senior Judge Thomas Samuel Zilly Seattle 1935 1988–2004 2004–present Reagan
24 Senior Judge Robert S. Lasnik Seattle 1951 1998–2016 2004–2011 2016–present Clinton
25 Senior Judge Marsha J. Pechman Seattle 1951 1999–2016 2011–2016 2016–present Clinton
27 Senior Judge Ricardo S. Martinez Seattle 1951 2004–2022 2016–2022 2022–present G.W. Bush
28 Senior Judge James Robart Seattle 1947 2004–2016 2016–present G.W. Bush
29 Senior Judge Benjamin Hale Settle Tacoma 1947 2007–2020 2020–present G.W. Bush
30 Senior Judge Richard A. Jones Seattle 1950 2007–2022 2022–present G.W. Bush
  1. ^ Since taking senior status, Judge Rothstein has sat with the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

Vacancies and pending nominations[edit]

Seat Prior judge's duty station Seat last held by Vacancy reason Date of vacancy Nominee Date of nomination
4 Tacoma Benjamin Hale Settle Senior status January 1, 2020 Tiffany M. Cartwright January 19, 2022
8 Seattle Ricardo S. Martinez September 5, 2022 Kymberly Evanson July 13, 2022

Former judges[edit]

# Judge State Born–died Active service Chief Judge Senior status Appointed by Reason for
1 Cornelius H. Hanford WA 1849–1926 1905–1912[Note 1] B. Harrison/Operation of law resignation
2 George Donworth WA 1861–1947 1909–1912 Taft resignation
3 Edward E. Cushman WA 1865–1944 1912–1939 1939–1944 Taft death
4 Clinton Woodbury Howard WA 1864–1937 1912–1913 Taft not confirmed
5 Jeremiah Neterer WA 1862–1943 1913–1933 1933–1943 Wilson death
6 John Clyde Bowen WA 1888–1978 1934–1961 1948–1959 1961–1978 F. Roosevelt death
7 Lloyd Llewellyn Black WA 1889–1950 1939–1950[Note 2] F. Roosevelt death
8 Charles H. Leavy WA 1884–1952 1942–1952 1952–1952 F. Roosevelt death
9 William James Lindberg WA 1904–1981 1951–1971[Note 3] 1959–1971 1971–1981 Truman death
10 George Hugo Boldt WA 1903–1984 1953–1971 1971 1971–1984 Eisenhower death
11 William Trulock Beeks WA 1906–1988 1961–1973 1971–1973 1973–1988 Kennedy death
12 William Nelson Goodwin WA 1909–1975 1966–1975[Note 2] 1973–1975 L. Johnson death
13 Walter Thomas McGovern WA 1922–2021 1971–1987 1975–1987 1987–2021 Nixon death
14 Morell Edward Sharp WA 1920–1980 1971–1980 Nixon death
15 Donald S. Voorhees WA 1916–1989 1974–1986 1986–1989 Nixon death
16 Jack Edward Tanner WA 1919–2006 1978–1991[Note 4] 1991–2006 Carter death
21 William Lee Dwyer WA 1929–2002 1987–1998 1998–2002 Reagan death
23 Frank Burgess WA 1935–2010 1994–2005 2005–2010 Clinton death
26 Ronald B. Leighton WA 1951–present 2002–2019 2019–2020 G.W. Bush retirement
  1. ^ Reassigned from the District of Washington.
  2. ^ a b Jointly appointed to the Eastern and Western Districts of Washington.
  3. ^ From 1951 to 1961, Judge Lindberg was jointly appointed to the Eastern and Western Districts of Washington.
  4. ^ In 1978, Judge Tanner was jointly appointed to the Eastern and Western Districts of Washington.

Chief judges[edit]

Chief judges have administrative responsibilities with respect to their district court. Unlike the Supreme Court, where one justice is specifically nominated to be chief, the office of chief judge rotates among the district court judges. To be chief, a judge must have been in active service on the court for at least one year, be under the age of 65, and have not previously served as chief judge. A vacancy is filled by the judge highest in seniority among the group of qualified judges. The chief judge serves for a term of seven years or until age 70, whichever occurs first. The age restrictions are waived if no members of the court would otherwise be qualified for the position.

When the office was created in 1948, the chief judge was the longest-serving judge who had not elected to retire on what has since 1958 been known as senior status or declined to serve as chief judge. After August 6, 1959, judges could not become or remain chief after turning 70 years old. The current rules have been in operation since October 1, 1982.

Succession of seats[edit]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "Nicholas W. Brown sworn in as U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington". www.justice.gov. 2021-10-08. Retrieved 2021-10-09.
  2. ^ "Presidential Nominations – THOMAS (Library of Congress)". Thomas.loc.gov. Retrieved 2012-05-19.[permanent dead link]

External links[edit]