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Activity - Public Actions 2021

Public actions are cases that have reached a conclusion. The Commisson posts the most pertinent documents for each case on this website, but other public document may exist and are available upon request.

To view public cases that are currently open, see the Open Cases section of this website.

You may also search for cases against an individual judge.

Cases closed in the year

In re the Honorable Debra Burchett

CJC No. 9848-F-191

April 23, 2021

From an agreed statement of facts, Cowlitz County District Court Judge Debra Burchett stipulated that she violated Canon 1, Rules 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3, and Canon 2, Rules 2.2, 2.5(A), 2.6(A) and 2.9(C), of the Code of Judicial Conduct. Judge Burchett violated the Code by failing to properly advise criminal defendants of their constitutional rights at probation review hearings; by engaging in an ex parte investigation of a probation matter; by eliciting statements against interest from criminal defendants; by recommending defendants use specific businesses; by presiding over cases in which a disqualification had previously been filed; and by failing to determine who was attempting to appear in court via Zoom, thereby not ensuring their right to be heard. The Commission reprimanded Judge Burchett and ordered her to complete four hours of ethics training, continue to work with a mentor judge and promptly read the Code.

In re the Honorable David Keenan

CJC No. 9608-F-189

February 5, 2021

The Commission conducted a public hearing on allegations that Judge David Keenan of the King County Superior Court violated Canon 1, Rules 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3 by appearing in a bus advertisement for North Seattle College which used his judicial title. The Commission found that he created the appearance of impropriety by approving language in the ad which could lead a reasonable person to conclude he lacked impartiality. The Commission also found that by allowing the ad to use his title and photograph, he abused the prestige of judicial office to promote the college and advance its economic interests. The Commission admonished Judge Keenan.