After seven years of service as San Juan County Superior Court judge, Donald Eaton stepped down and Katie Loring was sworn in on Dec. 29 in the San Juan County Superior Courtroom.
“This is probably one of the only times there is a joyous occasion in this room,” Eaton said, before introducing Washington State Supreme Court Judge Mary Fairhurst to swear in Judge Loring. Loring was appointed by Washington Governor Jay Inslee last November to fill out Eaton’s remaining three-year term, as he reached the mandatory age of retirement in 2017.
Also present at the event were Island County Superior Court Judge Alan Hancock and San Juan District Judge Stewart Andrew. Loring had worked for Fairhurst as a clerk, so the two had known each other for many years.
“She is smart and humble,” Fairhurst said, going through Loring’s resume, and describing Loring’s personal attributes as focused and fair with a high regard for the law.
“She is also compassionate,” she said, noting all the activities outside the legal realm Loring has been involved in like serving as president of Soroptimist International of Friday Harbor, a local service club benefiting women and girls. Fairhurst also discussed Loring’s many hours of pro-bono, or low- to no-pay legal work.
After being sworn in, Loring’s parents helped put on her robe, and her husband Kyle Loring zipped it up, while the over 100 people in attendance cheered.
“I want to thank Judge Eaton,” Loring said, “he is clearly and rightfully so respected. He was a compassionate and fair judge.”
Loring noted how honored she was to be appointed to the position.
“I love this community, and that is not just a cliche,” she said. “I am excited to be able to serve it.”
This position’s remaining two years will be on the November 2018 ballots.