Michael Mitchell

Michael Mitchell

What are your biggest concerns for the Walla Walla County Superior Court?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a significant backlog of trials, both criminal and civil, that will require processing. Due to current space limitations and distancing requirements, these will likely require trying in locations other than the courthouse with increased staffing. Due to my significant prior trial experience, I will be able to hit the ground running, if elected, and will not require any training.

What injustices do you see in or outside the courtroom?

Our courtrooms are designed for the administration of justice. I have not seen injustices in the courtroom, nor would I allow any if elected. Each litigant/participant is entitled to their day in court and to be treated with respect and allowed to be heard. Injustices that I may personally observe outside the courtroom are peripheral to this election as my job if elected is to apply the current law to the facts of each case.

What are your goals for the Walla Walla County Superior Court?

My goals would be to carry on the fine tradition of the Walla Walla County Superior Court and the judges that have served on behalf of the citizens of the county of Walla Walla over the course of my 42-plus years of practice in Walla Walla County and prior to that time. I will work hard to reduce the ever-increasing backlog of cases. I would like to improve the access to translation capabilities in the courtroom. The possibilities of a mental health court should be explored.

What is your judicial philosophy?

A Superior Court Judge’s philosophy is irrelevant to their service as a judge. Each judge in Washington state must apply the current law to the facts without regard to their personal feelings or specific philosophy. To the extent my philosophy applies at all, it is simply that I strongly believe in equal justice to those appearing in front of me along with their right to be heard.

Does the court system need any changes?

With modernization, there are always things the court system should be considering. Currently, there is a need to continue to discuss security in the courthouse. Another critical need is to ensure there are a sufficient number of well-trained interpreters to allow for the administration of justice for all.