New Supreme Court Justice to be sworn into office January 7
January 04, 2008
Newly-appointed Justice Debra L. Stephens will be sworn into office by Chief Justice Gerry Alexander on Monday, January 7, 2008.The inaugural ceremony will begin at in the Temple of Justice in Olympia.TVW, Washington’s public affairs network will air the event live.
Justice Stephens will take an oath of office for one year, to serve out the remainder of a term vacated by JusticeBobbeJ.Bridge.Stephens will face election for a full six-year term in 2008. She is the first woman to have practiced law in Eastern Washington to be appointed to the Supreme Court. A lifelong Spokane native, Stephens served as a school board member for over a decade, as a deacon in her church, as a director in her Rotary club, and as an active member of numerous community volunteer organizations.
Stephens comes to the Court from the Division III Court of Appeals bench. Prior to taking the bench, she was an attorney in Spokane, focusing since 1995 on appellate practice. She has appeared before the Washington State Supreme Court over 100 times, the Washington Court of Appeals, the Idaho Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and as the counsel of record in the U.S. Supreme Court.
Stephens has taught at Gonzaga School of Law since 1995, where she helped to develop a course on state constitutional law. She is a founding member of the Washington Appellate Lawyers Association and a contributing author to the Washington Appellate Practice Deskbook. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree, Magna Cum Laude with honors, and her Juris Doctorate, Summa Cum Laude, from GonzagaUniversity.
She is married to Craig Stephens and has two children, Lindsey and Bob who will assist with the ceremonial ‘robing’ during the inaugural ceremony.
Further biography information on Justice Stephens and members of the Washington Supreme Court can be obtained on the Washington Court Homepage.