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William Houser, lawyer and former part-time judge, running for Superior Court
POULSBO — Lawyer William C. Houser of Poulsbo announced his candidacy Wednesday for Kitsap County Superior Court. Houser is running for the position being vacated by Judge M. Karlynn Haberly, who is retiring.
"We can all thank Judge Haberly for her years of service to Kitsap County. She is a fair-minded, thoughtful judge and she will be missed by those who practice and appear in court," Houser said in a press release.
Houser has 28 years of experience as a trial lawyer, part-time judge and community leader. Locally, he worked as a trial attorney for The Law Office of Wecker Hunko and the law firm of Crawford, McGilliard, Peterson and Yelish. Houser has been an attorney with the Kitsap County Public Defender Division since the office opened in January 2010. His background includes work as a part-time judge, deputy district attorney, small general practice law firm owner and project manager for an Internet business. He practiced law in Oregon before coming to Kitsap County.
In making his announcement, Houser said, "Over the last 20 years we have seen the development of therapeutic courts which have proven to change the lives of the participants. I hope I can be part of the continued movement to alternative dispute resolution models to reduce the stress on the parties and the costs to the public."
Houser was appointed by the Oregon Supreme Court as a part-time judge and served in that capacity in both adult and juvenile courts. He was involved in establishing innovative programs to manage caseloads, court costs, and treatment for juveniles.
"In the next few years, we will be implementing new technologies to make the court's work more efficient and cost effective,” Houser said. “My experience with complex litigation and caseload management, in business and project management provide me a unique combination of experience to help with the change in the way our courts process cases.
"My experience implementing a juvenile violations court not only gives me insight into the success of therapeutic courts, but I have the experience of court administration of caseloads and dockets. This experience will be allow me to fit into the needs of the Superior Court team quickly."
Kitsap County Public Defender Division Supervisor Clarke Tibbits said, "Bill's ability to relate to people from all walks of life; his experience in dealing with litigants during the intensity of court and his professionalism and demeanor will serve him well on the Kitsap County Superior Court bench.”
Houser served a term on the Uniform Criminal Jury Instructions Committee, the Washington State Bar Civil Rights Committee, and the legislative committee of two legal associations. He was a member of the board of directors of a youth camp, hospital and community foundations, service club, and on his church leadership board. He volunteered as a mentor, coach and judge for high school mock trial teams, youth baseball and as an assistant college track coach.
A campaign kickoff event will be held on April 28, 4-7 p.m., at the Wing Point Country Club on Bainbridge Island, with subsequent events scheduled for Port Orchard, Poulsbo, Silverdale and Bremerton.
Houser lives in Poulsbo with his wife, Brenda, and two children, Sarah and Curtis. His children are in the third grade and attend Poulsbo and Suquamish elementary schools. He enjoys helping with his children's sports activities and Cub Scout den.