Hancock will serve on interim basis as San Juan County Superior Court judge

From left, Island County Superior Court Judge Alan Hancock congratulates his friend, John Linde, at Linde
From left, Island County Superior Court Judge Alan Hancock congratulates his friend, John Linde, at Linde's swearing-in as San Juan County Superior Court judge, Feb. 8, 2008. Hancock was appointed Dec. 7 to succeed Linde on an interim basis; Linde died of an apparent cardiac arrest Dec. 3 while vactioning in Hawaii.
— image credit: Richard Walker / February 2008

The state Supreme Court has appointed Island County Superior Court Judge Alan Hancock to perform judicial duties in San Juan Superior Court, succeeding John Linde, who died Dec. 3.

Linde, 62, died of apparent cardiac arrest while vacationing in Hawaii. Memorial service is Dec. 12, 11:30 a.m., at Friday Harbor Presbyterian Church.

Hancock will serve until Gov. Christine Gregoire appoints a successor. The position will be on the November 2010 general election ballot.

In a press release, the court said it was making the interim appointment "pursuant to Article IV Section 2(a) of the Constitution of the State of Washington ... to assure the prompt and orderly administration of justice" in San Juan County.

“Judge John Linde was an extraordinary judge who will be missed,” Chief Justice Gerry Alexander said in the press release. “I have fond recollections of swearing Judge Linde into office in February of last year, a historic day which saw him become the first Superior Court judge solely dedicated to San Juan County.”

He added, “During this time of loss, we are very thankful to Judge Hancock for agreeing to serve the citizens of San Juan County.”

As the official Superior Court judge during this time, Hancock will have the authority to appoint pro-tem judges, as needed.

Hancock served as a Superior Court judge for Island/San Juan County Superior Court from January 1989 to 2008. In 2007, the state Legislature separated the judicial districts of Island/San Juan County, creating the San Juan County judicial district, effective in 2008.

Hancock presides over Island County's Juvenile Drug Court. He currently chairs the state Supreme Court's Ethics Advisory Committee, and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Superior Court Judges' Association. He recently served as co-chairman of the Supreme Court Code of Judicial Conduct Task Force.

Hancock is a recipient of the Washington State Bar Association's Outstanding Judge Award "in recognition of the commitment to the principles of fairness and excellence," and co-founded the Island County/Stanwood Community Public Health and Safety Network.

Hancock was born and lives in Coupeville. He graduated from Western Washington University in 1973 and obtained his juris doctor degree from the University of Washington School of Law in 1976.

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