Jennifer Forbes and Karen Klein, candidates for Kitsap County Superior Court judge, have fine qualifications and good ideas for improving the efficiency of the court.
But of the two, Forbes stands out for her more relevant legal experience, her current and consistent experience as a judge pro tem, and her ability to more clearly articulate the court’s upcoming challenges and how she would address them.
The Herald endorses Forbes for Kitsap County Superior Court, Department 7.
Klein has experience as a pro tem judge, but much of it was in King County from 1994-2006. She started her career as a defense lawyer, but much of her career has been as a business lawyer, of late for an Internet company in which she is an owner.
Forbes served as a deputy prosecuting attorney in Kitsap County for 10 years, then joined McGavick Graves, specializing in criminal litigation, general civil litigation, land-use litigation, municipal and government litigation, personal injury and real estate litigation. She has served as lead counsel in approximately 100 trials in superior, district and municipal courts. She is Bremerton Municipal Court commissioner, and has served as judge pro tem in Kitsap County District Court, Bainbridge Municipal Court, and Gig Harbor Municipal Court. She is also president of the Kitsap County Bar Association.
Forbes will focus her attention on improving the efficiency of the Superior Court system.
During an interview with members of the Herald editorial board, Forbes spoke about the growing number of civil litigants who are representing themselves, called “pro se,” because they can’t afford an attorney. The right to an attorney does not apply to civil litigants, and in civil cases court rules apply equally to attorneys and pro se litigants.
To avoid hearings from being bogged down, she wants to make sure the process and procedures are understandable, and have a separate calendar for cases in which both sides are represented pro se.
Forbes would establish a system by which Superior Court cases would be filed electronically, as in District Court. “E-filing saves people money and it’s more efficient,” Forbes said. “Every time I file a case in Pierce County [Superior Court], I do a cartwheel because it’s so easy.”
Forbes also supports establishing a Veterans Court and a Mental Health Court — alternative courts based on the successful Drug Court established by Judge Jay Roof.
Forbes will be a fine Superior Court judge for Kitsap County. We encourage her election Nov. 6.
— Oct. 19: Endorsements for 6th District Congress, 23rd District state representative positions 1 and 2.