Skip to main content

Judge Kristin Ballinger - Superior Court

How to contact a King County Superior Court judge and get ready for your trial or motion.

Photo of Judge Kristin Ballinger

Courtroom Number: 3G

Bailiff: Cassie Fontenot

Department: 2

Assignment: General Trials

For the fastest response, please contact the bailiff through email. Please comply with the court's email policy when contacting the court. Among other provisions, it states that the only address to be used by attorneys, pro se litigants, or others who need to communicate with court staff about a case is the courtroom e-mail address. The judge’s individual email address is not to be used absent express invitation by the judge.


Judge Kristin Ballinger

Judge Ballinger joined the King County Superior Court bench on January 10, 2022. She assumed the position previously occupied by Judge David Steiner, who died in late 2021.  

Judge Ballinger is a graduate of Whitman College and the Columbia University School of Law. Prior to her appointment to the superior court, Judge Ballinger served as a law clerk to federal judge William L. Dwyer, a deputy prosecuting attorney handling criminal matters in King County and Clallam County, and, occasionally, as a pro tem judge. Most recently, she was a partner at Harrigan Leyh Farmer & Thomsen LLP handling complex civil disputes at trial and on appeal; her representation of a federally recognized Indian tribe included the successful defense of its sovereignty at the U.S. Supreme Court (138 S. Ct. 1649) and of its treaty-reserved fishing rights in United States v. Washington. Early in her career she was an associate at Perkins Coie.

Judge Ballinger serves on the Court’s Rules Committee, chairs the dependency rules workgroup, and serves on the civil rules committee of the Superior Court Judges’ Association.

Bailiff Cassie Fontenot

Ms. Fontenot joined the clerk’s office in 2021, soon after she graduated magna cum laude from the University of Washington with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. She began college at Highline College, earning an associate of arts in criminal justice and the Kurt Thomas Investwrite scholarship


Prior to appearing in Judge Ballinger's Court for hearings or trial

Please review the Rules for Conduct (63KB) prior to appearing in Judge Ballinger’s courtroom.

Court involvement in discovery

Early judicial involvement in discovery can often avoid disputes and expedite resolution of disputes when they arise. Judge Ballinger encourages the parties to request a pretrial conference under CR 16 or CR 26(f) to consider matters such as

  1. The scope and timing of discovery.
  2. Limitations of discovery requests and depositions.
  3. Procedures and protocols for electronic discovery.
  4. Expert witness disclosures and discovery.
  5. Anything else that would promote the efficient resolution of the case.

In complex cases or when it appears the parties are not working well in discovery on their own, the Court may order the parties to participate in a pretrial conference.

In all discovery matters lawyers should abide by their obligations to reasonably cooperate with one another, as expressed in the Rules of Professional Conduct. They should follow a Golden Rule of discovery: Seek discovery only of what you would consider reasonable if you were on the other side, and answer discovery as reasonably as you would expect it to be answered if you had promulgated it. Discovery should be reasonable, cooperative, and reciprocal; it should not resemble battle in any respect. Zealous advocacy should make use of the fruits of discovery; it should not be employed to seek unreasonable discovery or to avoid reasonable discovery.

If a discovery dispute arises, Judge Ballinger encourages the parties to seek her assistance in resolving it efficiently. Many disputes can be resolved promptly in a telephone conference without the necessity of a formal motion. Please email to arrange a telephonic conference. The email should—as succinctly and non-argumentatively as possible—describe the nature of the dispute. (You must copy all parties on any email to the court.) If multiple or complex discovery disputes arise, Judge Ballinger may ask the parties to appear for a discovery conference in court. Telephonic and in-person conferences promote thoughtful, timely, and inexpensive resolution of disputes, and help the parties get back on track working well together in discovery.

Court transcripts

Cases with an assigned court reporter

If prior to the hearing or trial you know that you will want a copy of the transcript, please contact the court reporter.

Digitally recorded courtrooms

If prior to the hearing or trial you know that you will want a copy of the CD, notify the courtroom clerk, who will be able to provide the information needed at the end of the hearing. After the hearing or trial, if you determine you need a copy of the CD, it may be obtained directly from the Clerk's Office copy center. You will need to submit a completed CD Request Form (40KB).

The court proceedings in Department 2 are recorded by FTR Gold equipment, which digitally records all proceedings. To request a copy of a recording, submit a completed CD Request Form to the Clerk’s Office. If a party has need for a court reporter for a hearing or trial, please notify the bailiff as soon as possible.

Deposition designations

Please follow these guidelines when designating deposition testimony for use at trial. The parties must cooperate to provide one set of deposition designations. It is generally easiest to make the designations and objections electronically on a PDF. Moving Party marks their designations with brackets / highlights in a particular color (e.g., yellow). Opposing Party notes their objections in text of a particular color (e.g., blue) on the page next to the highlighted portion to which they are objecting, referencing a rule or using a code for which a coding convention is provided. Opposing Party marks their counter-designations with brackets / highlights in a different color from that used by the moving party (e.g., green). Moving Party notes their objections in text of a different color (e.g., black) on the page next to the highlighted portion of the counter-designation to which they are objecting, referencing a rule or using a code for which a coding convention is provided. Provide the marked depositions via email as PDFs to the bailiff as early as possible (preferably at least three days before trial begins), and well in advance of intended use.


Congratulations! Judge Ballinger is available to perform weddings at the Children and Family Justice Center in Seattle Mon-Fri at 4:30 pm, weekends, and outside of court by appointment. Please email her bailiff at to schedule an appointment.