You decide: 2 well qualified candidates for Judge

By Pat Ratliff | Jul 03, 2012

The election for Judge, Snohomish County Superior Court, Position II, features two candidates.

Both Millie Judge and Jack Follis have a large number of endorsements and backers, and voters would do well to study the candidates carefully before making their decision. Candidate websites are listed in the article.

The Beacon asked each candidate two questions; the questions and answers are listed below.

Please describe your life experiences that led you to run for judge, why you are running, and what kind of judge you want to be.


Millie Judge – I’m running for Superior Court so that I can continue to make a difference in the lives of our citizens.  I am an experienced Administrative Law Judge, serving as the Snohomish County Hearing Examiner.  I decide disputes involving citizens every day and issue complex land use permits.

I’ve earned a reputation as a hardworking, fair and impartial judge who is dedicated to the law and public service.  Every person appearing before me will be heard, respected and valued.

I have 22 years of broad legal experience, handling hundreds of trials.  I served for many years in the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office as the Assistant Chief Civil Deputy.

I also served as a Law Clerk to Chief Justice Fred Dore on the Washington State Supreme Court.

I received “Well Qualified” ratings from the Washington Women Lawyers, Snohomish County Labor Council, Latina/o Bar Association of Washington, and Joint Asian Judicial Evaluations Committee of Washington.  I am the Chair of the Washington State Bar Association’s Land Use and Environmental Law Section.

As a volunteer, I am an elected Fire Commissioner for Snohomish County Fire District No. 1, and serve on the boards of SNOCOM 911, the Starlight Children’s Foundation and coach girls’ basketball.

Jack Follis – I want to spend the rest of my career making a positive difference in Snohomish County as a Superior Court Judge.  I feel I have the compassion and professional experience to help people in court during a time that is often traumatic.

What I’ve enjoyed most in my 26 years of practice is helping individuals through the litigation process. I have done this as an advocate for the hundreds of clients I have tried, settled or arbitrated cases for as a trial attorney at Anderson Hunter, the largest law firm in the county.

I have also done this as an arbitrator.  For 15 years, the court has appointed me an arbitrator to decide cases pending in Superior Court.  An arbitrator, like a judge, holds hearings, hears motions, and issues decisions.

The Superior Court has appointed me approximately 160 times – a testament to my reputation for fairness and ability to conduct cordial hearings.

I have an understanding of the challenges financially disadvantaged people face because of the work I donate to Housing Justice and Snohomish County Legal Services.

I have learned how frustrating the legal system can be from a victim’s point of view in my experience representing crime victims including the family of the hiker killed on Sauk Mountain and a disabled woman sexually assaulted while under state care.

Which case or cases stand out to you most in your career and why?

Follis – A case I successfully argued in Appellate Court has been instrumental in protecting Snohomish County home buyers for the past 20 years.

Olmstead v. Mulder resulted in a major change to real estate contracts by requiring sellers to disclose all known hidden defects in their property.  The Appellate Court decided that an "as is" clause in a Real Estate Purchase and Sale Agreement does not negate a seller's specific warranties.

I have tried many cases in the area of employment law including sexual harassment, discrimination, and wage and hour violations.  I have represented individuals taking action against employers as well as businesses defending against claims.

Of these cases, Allen v. HCI Steel stands out.

I defended Arlington-based HCI Steel from an unmeritorious sexual harassment claim. The jury found for my client and the company (along with 50 employees) was spared the prospect of going out of business.

An employer defending against a discrimination claim faces enormous exposure because if they lose they must pay the other side's attorney fees in addition to damages awarded.

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Judge – Many of my most memorable cases involved involuntary civil commitments for the mentally ill.

Those cases were always tough, but as the prosecutor, I knew I was making a positive difference in that person’s life by requiring them to stay in the hospital for treatment.

It was always rewarding to work with their families, who were grateful for the help.

More recently, I was the County’s lead attorney in the Brightwater sewage treatment plant litigation, fighting King County to ensure we could properly regulate their huge plant to protect our community.

I led the settlement negotiations, which resulted in payment of $70 million to our community for mitigation, plus a $2 million fund to guarantee money would be available if their odor removal system failed. These cases stand out because I was able to use my legal skills to improve people’s lives.

It’s work like this that has led many leaders to endorse my candidacy for Superior Court.  They include:  Supreme Court Justice Mary Fairhurst, Superior Court Judges Wilson, Fair, Ellis, Kurtz, Dingledy, and Murphy; Prosecutor Mark Roe, Sheriff John Lovick, Senator Maralyn Chase and numerous State Representatives, Mayors, City and County Councilmembers, Firefighters, State Troopers, attorneys and many citizens.

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