Judge Laura Riquelme:
Experience You Can Trust…on the Bench & in the Community

Judge Laura Riquelme has a history of listening to all voices in Skagit County. She has spent her entire legal career here in Skagit County as a Prosecuting Attorney, then a Public Defender, as a Judge Pro Tem, and now as one of your Skagit County Superior Court Judges.  She has presided over hundreds of judicial motions in addition to over 50 criminal and civil jury trials just in the last two years.

Through her roles as judge, community volunteer, wife and mother, Judge Laura Riquelme is connected with Skagit County’s legal and community needs.  She is the President of a Parent Teacher Organization for a Mount Vernon elementary school, a board member for Community Action of Skagit County, and scholarship committee chair for Skagit Women in Business.

Judge Laura Riquelme has been a dedicated listener to the needs of Skagit Valley families who live and work here. She has been on the bench hearing civil, criminal and the growing caseload of Family Court cases.

“It takes more than a law degree to be fair in working with our children, parents, immigrants, disabled populations as well as the troubled individuals and families who come before our courts. I also come from a family of small business owners and farmers and understand the challenges they face in the changing economy and legal landscape,”she said.

“Judge Laura Riquelme is the only one running this year that has such broad experience with the law, this community, the diverse populations who live here and families who come from all income levels,” said ______________________, who is ____________________________.

Legal Work Experience

Skagit County Superior Court Judge
Mount Vernon, WA

Presided over regular criminal and civil dockets as well as jury and non-jury trials.  Researched and ruled on motions brought in civil cases related to wills and trusts, contractual and property disputes, personal injury complaints, parenting plans, marital dissolutions, third-party custody actions, guardianships, unlawful detainers, and dependencies.  Issued temporary and permanent no-contact orders.  Granted adoption petitions.  Completed week-long intensive training for judges.  Also served as a Judge Pro Tem.

 

Skagit County Public Defender’s Office
Mount Vernon, WA Senior Deputy Attorney      

Represented indigent clients charged with all levels of felonies throughout the trial court process. Tried cases to juries in Skagit County Superior Court. Worked with expert witnesses.  Represented Spanish-speaking clients without the use of interpreters.  Advised and mentored junior attorneys. Worked with management on improved advocacy and fairness in the courts.

Skagit County Prosecutor’s Office
Mount Vernon, WA Deputy Prosecuting Attorney    

Tried 33 jury trials and two bench trials in District Court and four jury trials in Superior Court.  Worked in felony unit where prepared cases for trial, charged and researched cases, handled regular court calendars, and prepared extradition request for a murder investigation.  Served as lead attorney in District Court.

Current Community Service

Parent Teacher Organization for Elementary School in the Mount Vernon School District
Currently President for second year; Secretary for two school years; Run general and board meetings.  Plan and participate in spirit events, fundraisers, and meetings.  Recruit and organize volunteers.  Communicate with Spanish-speaking parents.

Community Action of Skagit County
Executive Committee Member; Review budget, discuss the health and direction of the agency, and evaluated the director’s performance.  Meet to discuss purchasing new property and launching a capital campaign.  Participate in meetings of the Latino Advisory Committee and assist with strategic meetings to facilitate dialogue between the Latino community and public officials.

Skagit Women in Business
Serve as Scholarship Chairperson for organization of professional women that raises money to provide scholarships to local women who are returning to school after breaks in their education.

Past Community Service

Mount Vernon City Library Board of Trustees
Trustee: Reviewed materials regarding library budget, expenditures, and policies.  Participated in activities with consultants and stakeholders for a needs and feasibility assessment.  Engaged in other aspects related to planning a new city library.  Promoted the library at community events.  Served as chair in 2015.

Skagit Immigrant Rights Council
Consultant/Participant: Participated in planning meetings when issues involved the intersection of immigration and criminal law.  Met with Sheriff and jail officials to address concerns and find solutions to ICE contact with inmates.

Mount Vernon Youth Soccer Association
Coached children and coordinated parents in under-seven soccer league.  Officiated and coached games.

AFSCME Local 176-PD
Served as union president.  Engaged in negotiations and impact bargaining with county negotiator.  Member of committee to review and make recommendations for county’s health plans.

Citizens for Mount Vernon Schools
Phone banked and hung fliers on doors in support of replacement levies for local schools.

Community Action of Skagit County
Taught weekly two-hour English as a Second Language class.  Prepared lessons and activities.

NY-HELP
Spent one week in remote Honduran village as part of church group’s service program.

Other Legal Experience

Superior Court Judges Association
Current member Trial Court Sentencing and Supervision Committee; 2016 Member of the Criminal Law and Rules Committee and the Equality and Fairness Committee.

Skagit County Bar Association
Served as chairperson of the newly-established membership and website committee for three months before becoming a judge.  Updated membership records as  members submitted dues.  Worked with other members in establishing a new website for the association.

Washington Defender Association
Contributing member of WDA team in 2015 in drafting a response to proposed Evidence Rules.  Provided data for amicus brief about standards of practice to advise clients of immigration consequences.

 

Skagit County Volunteer Lawyer Program

Worked with the Skagit County Bar Association’s Volunteer Lawyer Program at multiple clinics for Law Day, Project Homeless Connect, Latina/o Bar Association, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Workshop, and specialized clinics to assist in sealing juvenile records.

Education

Syracuse University College of Law

Syracuse, NY  Juris Doctor, cum laude with a certificate in Global Law and Practice

Activities: completed 25-hour mediation program; Environmental Law Society; legal externships.

Awards:  Global Law and Practice Award; Justinian Honor Society; Chancellor’s Scholarship

Internships: drafted memoranda for motions and appeals with Syracuse Federal Public Defender’s Office; law clerk for Supreme Court Judge Edward Carni (equivalent of a Washington State Superior Court judge); researched federal disability law for a professor’s law review article; investigated and prepared complaint for federal class action lawsuit.

University of Massachusetts

Amherst, MA Bachelor of Arts

Double major in Social Thought & Political Economy and French

Activities:  Phi Beta Kappa; PESH (Peer Educators on Sexual Harassment); study abroad; taught English as a Second Language; organized forum on legislative changes with the welfare system; French Club fundraising chairperson.

I met an engaged group of young citizens tonight when I presented to Cub Scouts Pack 4001. They had excellent questions and insights about the legal system and the rules that govern our society. Thanks for the invitation, Scouts! ...

I met an engaged group of young citizens tonight when I presented to Cub Scouts Pack 4001. They had excellent questions and insights about the legal system and the rules that govern our society. Thanks for the invitation, Scouts!

 

Comment on Facebook

When are you coming to talk to our Girl Scout troop?!?

+ View previous comments

5 days ago

Keep Judge Laura Riquelme

The official portrait from Judicial College just arrived. I attended an intensive week-long training two weeks ago to educate newer judicial officers on many aspects of the law, ethics, best practices as judges, and everything in between.

I'm grateful for the time so many excellent judges volunteered to hone our skills and for the opportunity to meet so many judicial officers who care deeply about the integrity of our court system and access to justice. It was quite a thought-provoking learning experience!
...

The official portrait from Judicial College just arrived.  I attended an intensive week-long training two weeks ago to educate newer judicial officers on many aspects of the law, ethics, best practices as judges, and everything in between.  

Im grateful for the time so many excellent judges volunteered to hone our skills and for the opportunity to meet so many judicial officers who care deeply about the integrity of our court system and access to justice.  It was quite a thought-provoking learning experience!Image attachment

3 weeks ago

Keep Judge Laura Riquelme

Had a wonderful time at the SWIB auction to raise money toward scholarships to benefit local women who are returning to school following breaks in their education. These events are always such an inspiration! ...

Had a wonderful time at the SWIB auction to raise money toward scholarships to benefit local women who are returning to school following breaks in their education. These events are always such an inspiration!

3 weeks ago

Keep Judge Laura Riquelme

It was an honor to swear in Sedro-Woolley's recently elected city councilmembers in December. Thank you for extending the invitation!Welcome newly elected and re-elected councilmembers! And thanks Judge Requelme for administering the paths of office. ...

It was an honor to swear in Sedro-Woolleys recently elected city councilmembers in December.  Thank you for extending the invitation!

1 month ago

Keep Judge Laura Riquelme

This is from my swearing-in ceremony to Position Three on March 25, 2016 with my family (from left to right: brother, mother, me, son, father, and husband). ...

This is from my swearing-in ceremony to Position Three on March 25, 2016 with my family (from left to right: brother, mother, me, son, father, and husband).
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