Edmonds Mayor Mike Nelson said Monday he is appointing long-time trial attorney and Edmonds resident Whitney Rivera to be the next Edmonds Municipal Court Judge.
The appointment is subject to Edmonds City Council confirmation.
Rivera, currently an attorney with the Snohomish County Public Defender Association, “brings forth vast trial court experience and has received multiple awards for taking innovative approaches in complicated cases,” Nelson said. “She has considerable experience working with underserved populations, working on issues of poverty, mental illness, and substance abuse that underlie so many misdemeanor cases.”
Rivera earned her bachelor’s degree in political science and literature from the University of Washington, and a Juris Doctor from Boston College Law School. After law school, she worked as a law clerk to Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Anita L. Farris and then began working as a trial attorney at the Snohomish County Public Defender Association. She later transitioned to working as an appellate public defender at the Washington Appellate Project. She has argued cases before the Court of Appeals and the Washington Supreme Court.
Later, Rivera returned to the Snohomish County Public Defender Association and trial work. She served as the supervisor of the misdemeanor unit of 20 employees, where she trained and supervised trial attorneys practicing in courts of limited jurisdiction. She has presented at statewide training programs on social media evidence and objections at trial and has received the President’s Award and two Certificates of Recognition from the Washington Defender Association. She has tried cases in the courts of Snohomish County for 13 years.
“Ms. Rivera’s skills and experience make her the ideal candidate to lead our court during this critical time,” Nelson said. “I would like to thank the many highly qualified candidates, and our judicial panel, for participating in the selection process.”
Current Edmonds Municipal Court Judge Linda Coburn said that Edmonds “is so fortunate to not only have a judge who is passionate about fairness and justice, but who is homegrown. Whitney Rivera lives in Edmonds and graduated from Edmonds-Woodway High School. What an inspiration she will be to our next generation of leaders.”
Following council confirmation, Rivera will serve as a pro tem judge to provide overlap through the end of the year with Coburn’s departure. Coburn was recently elected to the Washington State Court of Appeals, creating the Edmonds Court vacancy.