OLYMPIA – Thurston County is proud to announce that District Court Judge Brett Buckley is the recipient of the 2019 Washington State Bar Association's (WSBA) Outstanding Judge Award! The award is part of the WSBA 'Acknowledging Professional Excellence' (APEX) awards. The APEX awards honor legal luminaries across the state who champion justice, act with integrity and professionalism, and serve the public and their communities through the rule of law.
"I am proud to contribute to and be a member of an organization that has a laser focus on its mission of 'Serving Justice through Serving People.' That mission statement served as an impetus for our procedural justice initiative in which we invited out of state evaluators to observe how judges and staff relate to all community members, with the aim of uncovering any problematic, overt or implicit bias issues," said Buckley. "Willingness to be open to such scrutiny can only serve to increase the trust our community has in their justice system."
Although the award is titled 'Outstanding Judge,' Buckley sees the honor as a reflection of the entire court and the work they do every day to improve the lives of the citizens of Thurston County. "We recently created a program we call our Court in Schools initiative where we schedule actual Small Claims calendars in Thurston County high schools. The aim is to expose students to real time learning in how the judicial branch of our government operates," said Buckley. "On a related front, the court is also working to create the ability to live stream all its proceedings. The public is better served when the people doing the public's work do so in the most transparent manner possible."
Judge Buckley noted this is only the second time this award has gone to a Thurston County judge. "This reflects well on our community that lawyers throughout the state value the creativity and forward thinking of the courts of Thurston County."
About the WSBA
The WSBA operates under the delegated authority of the Washington Supreme Court to license the state's nearly 40,000 lawyers and other legal professionals. As a regulatory agency, the WSBA administers the bar admission process, including the bar exam, provides record-keeping and licensing functions, and administers the professional discipline system. You can learn more about the WSBA at https://www.wsba.org/about-wsba/who-we-are.