Skip to main content
Download VCard
Judge Judith H. Ramseyer

Judge Judith H. Ramseyer (Ret.)

Latest Insights
Upcoming Events
General Biography
Practice Areas
Business Commercial
Civil Rights
Family Law
Personal Injury
Product Liability
Professional Liability
Real Property
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
Background and Education

Judge Judith H. Ramseyer (Ret.) joins JAMS after having acquired a broad range of experience over her 50-year professional career. Known for her thorough preparation, attention to detail and independent thought, Judge Ramseyer wants all participants to feel respected, heard, and to understand how decisions that affect them are made. Having trained as a mental health counselor, she has a strong commitment to problem-solving. Her extensive legal experience helps her quickly identify issues that are key components of complex problems. She also is task-oriented and effective, and her practical insight and creativity help parties reach an equitable resolution. With a relaxed demeanor, Judge Ramseyer brings a confident tenacity to her work.

While she was a practicing lawyer and a superior court judge, Judge Ramseyer gained extensive experience in diverse practice areas and from a variety of perspectives. As an impartial jurist and as an advocate on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants, she has litigated matters including personal injury, business and commercial disputes, class and shareholder derivative actions, professional negligence, consumer protection, product liability, employment, insurance coverage, real estate and domestic relations. She understands how a case may be viewed by a judge and jury, which can help parties assess the strengths and weaknesses of their own cases.

Experience and Qualifications

  • Elected to the King County Superior Court, 2012, while maintaining a solo practice specializing in business/commercial litigation and family law. Served seven years as a career law clerk for Hon. William L. Dwyer, U.S. District Court, W.D. of Washington. Represented both plaintiffs and defendants in a small civil rights law firm and two large, national law firms. As a judge, presided over the entire range of matters brought to the superior court, conducted settlement conferences and held leadership roles locally and statewide.
  • President of the Superior Court Judges’ Association, 2020–2021, as the COVID crisis paralyzed the country, which required extensive collaboration and innovation within the courts and across system partners.
  • Chief of “The Fire Brigade,” Bench-Bar-Press Liaison Committee, 2018–2023, mediating, advising and training judicial officers and media representatives across Washington to resolve disputes related to open courts and public access to court proceedings.

Representative Matters

  • Business Commercial
      • Conducted and presided over class action litigation, including hospital billing, consumer protection, and enrolled students at a prominent University
      • Represented an international fast food chain in litigation with a franchisee
      • Represented international timeshare company board of directors in shareholder derivative litigation
      • Represented capital venture investors seeking recovery under the Securities Act of Washington (SAW); presided over investor litigation under SAW
      • Bench trial alleging breach of contract and negligence claims relating to surveying and guidance of an underwater tunnel boring machine for a large municipal construction project
      • Presided over several breach of contract cases between national business chain lessees and lessors of shopping mall and high-value property locations
      • Presided over many cases involving breach of contract, contract interpretation and promissory estoppel claims
      • Presided over many Consumer Protection Act claims involving professional service providers, building contractors and insurers
      • Presided over litigation involving the Washington Public Records Act, RCW ch. 42.56
      • As a judge, often made business valuation and distribution determinations including valuation and distribution of cannabis license and grow operation
      • Presided over large estate disputes between beneficiaries and/or trustees involving distribution, management, and breach of fiduciary duty
      • Dismissal of a case involving contract, estoppel, consumer protection, and conversion claims due to improper venue on interpretation of contractual forum selection clause in contract between global technology company and Israeli developer upheld on appeal (Culinary Ventures, Ltd. v. Microsoft Corp., 527 P.3d 122 (Div. 1 2023))
  • Civil Rights
      • Appointed guardian ad litem to assist in habeas corpus petition of prisoner sentenced to death; death sentence and conviction overturned (Harris v. Blodgett, 64 F.3d 1432 (9th Cir. 1995))
      • As a judge, overturned school district expulsion of a sixth-grade student for violation of the student’s First Amendment right to free speech
      • Conducted civil rights and police misconduct litigation; capital habeas corpus proceedings, and parole and clemency petitions in the 1990s
  • Family Law
      • Two-year judicial rotation handling only family law cases, including dissolution, parenting plans, child support, spousal maintenance and equitable distribution of property, assets and debts
      • Family law cases and trials throughout entire tenure as a judge involving asset characterization, valuation of real property, stock options, public and private retirement accounts, and valuation and distribution of business and professional practices
      • Presided over many cases involving nonparental custody, relocation, the Uniform Child Custody and Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA) and contempt proceedings
      • Presided over dissolution bench trial involving characterization and distribution of property acquired before and during marriage with assets earned in a foreign country, complicated by allegations of hidden assets
      • Retained jurisdiction for 10 years in parenting plan modification case involving accusations of child sexual abuse, abusive use of conflict, child abduction, contempt and the UCCJA
      • Represented clients and as a judge presided over many family law cases involving domestic violence, substance abuse, and allegations of mistreatment
  • Insurance
      • Presided over multi-vehicle auto accident trial involving assignment of the insured’s first-party coverage claim, a consent judgment and claims of bad faith, Insurance Fair Conduct Act and Consumer Protection Act violations, negligence, breach of contract and attorneys’ fees (Hamblin v. Garcia, 23 Wn. App. 2d 814 (Div. 1 2022))
      • Made pretrial motion determinations to resolve litigation brought by homeowner alleging insurer’s breach of contract and unfair business practices for construing contract to cover the cost of bringing electrical wiring into code compliance after fire damage on an “as incurred” basis rather than as standard property loss
      • As a lawyer represented an aluminum smelter in bad faith and lost business valuation litigation
  • Personal Injury
      • Presided over mass tort litigation involving more than 50 individual plaintiffs alleging claims against law enforcement and other governmental entities deriving from Black Lives Matter protests
      • Presided over premises liability trial involving compensation for catastrophic injuries sustained by a worker and allocation of the nondelegable duty to provide a safe workplace shared by public and private parties responsible for the property (Afoa v. Port of Seattle, 191 Wn.2d 110 (2018))
      • Presided over litigation alleging sexual abuse claims brought against girls’ sports coach and league officials
      • Presided over many personal injury cases alleging premises liability, negligence and contributory negligence claims against commercial proprietors, property owners, and third parties
      • Presided over numerous collision cases involving multiple vehicles, personal and commercial; driver, passenger and pedestrian injury; causation; and apportionment of fault issues
  • Product Liability
      • Presided over litigation brought against a large auto manufacturer by family of a decedent crushed in a rollover accident; approval of minor settlements
      • Presided over complex two month trial brought against large manufacturer of toxic building materials
      • Presided over trial brought by public employee alleging harm caused by polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) exposure during cleanup of homeless encampment
      • Presided over multiple complex trials brought against manufacturers, sellers, and employers alleging injury caused by both primary and secondary exposure to asbestos
      • Member of national litigation team representing a manufacturer of tobacco products
  • Professional Liability
      • Presided over medical negligence trial brought by 90-year-old who lost sight after cataract surgery
      • Dismissal on summary judgment of legal malpractice claim due to lack of factual support for violation of attorney judgment rule upheld on appeal (Dang v. Floyd, Pflueger, & Ringer, PS, 24 Wn. App. 2d 145 (Div. 1 2022))
      • Presided over medical negligence trial brought by individual who suffered permanent damage due to alleged failure to diagnose compartment syndrome
      • Presided over medical negligence trial alleging a dermatologist’s failure to comply with the standard of care and lack of informed consent
      • Presided over multi-party litigation involving real estate purchase and alleged professional negligence by several law firms for failing to identify property title irregularity and represent purchaser’s interests in subsequent litigation
      • Presided over multi-party trial alleging medical negligence for failure to diagnose a pituitary gland tumor resulting in severe brain damage
      • Represented several large accounting firms against claims of professional negligence
      • Presided over contentious litigation between lawyers engaged in both a client and representative capacity alleging claims and counterclaims of professional negligence
  • Real Property
      • Bench trial involving landlord-tenant dispute that established a tenant’s right to raise defenses of uninhabitability and set-off under the Seattle Municipal Code in an unlawful detainer cause of action (Pham v Corbett, 187 Wn. App. 816 (Div. 1 2015))
      • Presided over numerous matters involving boundary disputes, easements, adverse possession, and quiet title
      • Presided over complex pretrial motion practice in multi-party litigation involving a municipal corporation and public and private utility providers regarding tax assessments, rights of way, easements, and condemnation rights
      • Presided over multi-year njunction action by homeowners’ association to prevent resident’s personal alteration of electrical system and common building structures, resident’s retaliation and restrictions imposed by court’s finding of vexatious litigation, and contempt proceedings and monitoring
      • Presided over litigation asserting breach of contract, misrepresentation under the Washington Condominium Act, Consumer Protection Act violation, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of implied duty of habitability with purchase of high-value property
      • Represented client who adversely possessed recreational waterfront property
      • Determined pretrial motions to resolve property foreclosure action involving appointment of a receiver and a claimed homestead exemption
      • Determined pretrial motions to resolve distribution of personal property, fees, and costs in dissolution of a tenants-in-common agreement involving a high-value property
      • Presided over property rights determinations to property sold by predecessors-in-interest in foreclosure proceeding involving application of the merger doctrine, turn-of-century railway grant and extent of continuing municipal right of way

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Trial Judge of the Year, Washington Chapter, American Board of Trial Advocates, 2023
  • Outstanding Judge of the Year Award, King County Bar Association, 2023
  • Key Award, Washington Coalition for Open Government, 2023
  • Representative to Interbranch Advisory Task Force, Superior Court Judges’ Association, 2022–2023
  • Legislative Star Award, Washington Association of County Clerks, 2021–2022
  • Innovating Justice Award, Washington Courts, 2021
  • Superior Court Judges’ Association: President-Judge, 2020–2021; Executive Committee, 2019–2022; Trustee, 2016–2019
  • Co-Chair, Court Recovery Task Force, Board for Judicial Administration, 2020–2022
  • President, William L. Dwyer Inn of Court, 2018-2019; Member, 2010–present
  • Chief Judge, Clark Children and Family Justice Center, 2019–2020
  • Chief, Bench-Bar-Press Liaison Committee (“The Fire Brigade”), 2019–2023
  • Member, Executive Committee, King County Superior Court, 2018–2022
  • Chair, Budget Committee, King County Superior Court, 2016–2018
  • Volunteer Judge, YMCA Mock Trial Competitions, 2014–2019
  • Member, Alumni Board, Seattle University School of Law, 2013–2015
  • W.D. WA Lawyer Representative to the 9th Circuit, 2006–2008; Co-Chair, 2007–2008
  • Lawyer Representative to 9th Circuit Conference Executive Committee, 2008–2011
  • Chair, Pro Bono Committee, Federal Bar Association of the W.D. WA, 2004–2012
  • Passing the Torch Award, Washington Women Lawyers, 2005
  • Excellence in Diversity Award, Washington State Bar Association, 2003
  • Member, Initiative for Diversity Governing Council, 2003–2009
  • President’s Award, King County Washington Women Lawyers, 2002
  • Chair, Washington State Glass Ceiling Task Force, 1999–2002
  • Secretary, King County Bar Association, 1997–1998
  • Leadership Tomorrow, 1997

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Convener and Panelist, “Why Can’t We Be Friends? How to Improve Communication and Cooperation Between the Courts and the Media,” 2023
  • Panelist, “Access to Justice & Path to Your Passion,” Seattle University School of Law, 2020
  • Speaker, Women’s History Month, U.S. Attorney’s Office, 2019
  • Presenter, Civil Procedure, King County Bar Association, 2019
  • Presenter, Juvenile Court Programs, Regional Law, Safety & Justice Commission, 2019
  • Panelist, Juvenile Justice Reform, League of Women Voters, 2019
  • Lecturer, University of Washington Civil Procedure Class, 2013–2015, 2017–2018
  • Panelist, “Lessons from the Bench,” Seminar Group, 2017
  • Presenter, "Re-Entry and Restoration of Rights,” Mission Creek Corrections Center, 2017 and 2018
  • Litigators’ Roundtable, KCBA Bench Bar Conference, 2017
  • Presenter, “A Judge’s Guide to Expert Witnesses,” National Bar Institute (NBI), 2017
  • Panelist, Judicial Institute, 2015
  • Presenter, “What Civil Judges Want You to Know,” NBI, 2015
  • Commencement Speaker, Seattle University School of Law, December 2015
  • Panelist, The Goldmark Trial, Office of the Attorney General, 2014
  • Presenter, “Key Family Law Issues,” NBI, 2014

Background and Education

  • Judge, King County Superior Court, 2012–2023
  • Law Offices of Judith H. Ramseyer, PLLC, 2008–2012
  • Of Counsel, K&L Gates, LLP, 2006–2008
  • Member, Phillips Law Group, 2005–2006
  • Special Counsel, Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe LLP, 1998–2005
  • Judicial Law Clerk, Honorable William L. Dwyer, U.S. District Court, W.D. WA, 1987–1989, 1994–1998
  • Associate, McDonald, Hoague & Bayless, 1989–1993
  • Counselor and Administrator, Division of Juvenile Rehabilitation, Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, 1977–1986
  • Adolescent and Family Counselor, 1971–1977
  • J.D., summa cum laude, Seattle University School of Law, 1987
  • M.A., Mental Health Counseling, Seattle University, 1981
  • B.A. Psychology, Eckerd College, 1971


This page is for general information purposes.  JAMS makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness.  Interested persons should conduct their own research regarding information on this website before deciding to use JAMS, including investigation and research of JAMS neutrals. See More

Search our global directory of mediators, arbitrators and ADR professionals.

Scroll to top