Letters to the Editor

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JUDGES: Undeserved criticism of Nelson

Letter by James A. Lopez, Lakewood on July 2, 2012 at 1:54 pm with 3 Comments »
July 2, 2012 2:12 pm

I read the extensive report (TNT, 7-1) regarding our Superior Court judges and court commissioners. Thank you for the comprehensive effort. However, concerning Judge Kathryn J. Nelson, another view is crucial.

I have practiced law in Tacoma for almost 35 years, and I knew Nelson when she was a practicing attorney and have appeared before her in cases since she has been a Superior Court judge. At no time have I found her to be limited, confusing, unprepared, equivocal in rulings or the like. She expects attorneys, and our clients, to be prepared at all times.

Nonetheless, as human beings we have days when we may not be at the top of our game. Nelson is no different.

Parenthetically, the voters of Pierce County should be proud of the Superior Court judge we elected who is no longer with us and who, I believe is the best judge before whom I have ever appeared in any court system – Donald H. Thompson. He was stellar and a jurist to emulate by any attorney aspiring to become a judge.

Our voters can elect excellent judges, and this can be accomplished by coming to court and observing, talking to attorneys, serving on juries, and taking information from a survey such as the present one and following-up by doing more investigation.

(Lopez is a Lakewood attorney.)

Leave a comment Comments → 3
  1. olympicmtn says:

    Lopez you need to clean up your local bar association. These good o’l boys who hang out at the local YMCA try and circumvent the voters by publishing their picks they made while in the sauna. This is the type of political garbage that needs to stop. The last people we trust are bar association attorneys who can not clean up their own fraternity.

  2. Unfortunately, Lopez seems to be a part of the “system” of Pierce County legal circle. Judge Nelson is one of the worst judges I’ve experienced since going through the unfortunate process of divorce at the hands of the Pierce County family court circus. Judge Nelson not only bases decisions on what makes her job easier (meaning she doesn’t want to put in the effort needed by family court cases), but she knows little about family law. Not only did I personally go through her courtroom, but as Lopez mentioned, I actually came back AFTER my case was complete just to investigate this Judge’s total disregard for families going through the divorce process. The feeling that I got from people going through her courtroom was that she was unfair, did not listen to the entire big picture, lazy, disrespectful, and lacked knowledge in the area in which she was presiding over.

    If I could direct someone’s attentions to a good family court Judge in Pierce County I would let them sit in on Judge Arend. She is a great example of a good family court Judge.

    In my opinion and others I’ve contacted regarding her, criticism of Judge Nelson is deserved. I and others like me are hoping that the criticism is enough to make sure she’s looking for another job by the end of the year!

  3. Going before this Judge myself I can honestly say the court-room if free for all. Specific attorneys, are allowed to enter motions without proper entry. She does not consistantly follow recommendations of professionals in fact she allows attorneys to claim they are the professionals in her courtroom. Judge Nelson does not make her rulings on facts she often allows statements to be given as some sort of sentence to you. For example my ex-husband Mother testified in my case and blately lied about me saying I had drinking problem. They were no facts to indicate this. In the final order there was a order for me to take an alchol evaluation without any evidence she does not base her desicion on facts it always on what someone says. When I did the evaluation I was found not have a issue with alchol. Yet, my ex-husband was actually the one that abused the alchol. A month after my divorse was final my ex-husband got a DWI. When this was brought to her attention she looked the other way. Instead of stepping up and addressing the facts that she made a bad ruling she ignored the matter. Do her errors I get less time with my boys my husband is the primary parent even though I was the one that stood by my children as he was out having fun. She never made an attemp to remedy the parenting plan even when I did motion to change. Now I live my life without my boys because of her careless rulings.

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