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Judge Brian McDonald - Superior Court

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

  • Courtroom Number: 3G
  • Bailiff: Greg Howard
  • Department: 48
  • Assignment: Civil and Criminal


Judge Brian McDonald was appointed to the King County Superior Court by Governor Jay Inslee in August of 2019. Judge McDonald assumed the position in Department 48 previously occupied by Judge Laura Inveen.

Prior to his appointment, Judge McDonald worked for more than 25 years in the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, where he served as a senior deputy prosecuting attorney on both criminal trials and appellate matters. He handled many significant criminal cases, including the prosecution of serial killer Gary Ridgway.

During his last 7 years in the prosecutor’s office, he was the Chair of the Homicide and Violent Crime Unit and supervised 15 experienced trial attorneys.

During his career, Judge McDonald frequently lectured on prosecutorial ethics, and was invited to speak on the topic by the Superior Court Judges’ Association, the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys and the Washington Defender Association. Judge McDonald devoted a good portion of his career to appellate work, and he frequently appeared before the Washington Court of Appeals and the Washington Supreme Court. From 2008 to 2009, he left the prosecutor’s office and served as a Commissioner for the Court of Appeals, Division One.

Early in his legal career, Judge McDonald was a civil litigator with Cairncross and Hempelmann in Seattle and Thelen, Marrin, Johnson and Bridges in San Francisco.

Judge McDonald has been active in numerous legal groups and committees, including the Washington Association of Appellate Lawyers, the WSBA Rules Committee, the WSBA Amicus Brief Committee, and the WSBA Judicial Recommendation Committee.

Judge McDonald served as a board member for Bellevue Youth Link and worked as an attorney adviser for Bellevue Youth Court. He acted as a mentor for the Future of the Law Institute, a program designed to introduce youth from disadvantaged backgrounds to the legal profession. He has also served as a board member and volunteer for the Chinese Information and Service Center.

Judge McDonald was a recipient of the King County Bar Association’s 2004 Outstanding Lawyer.


Rules to review

Non-Dispositive Motions (Local Rule 7(b))

Parties must comply with LR 7 when setting motions without argument. Working papers should be addressed to Judge McDonald and delivered to the King County Courthouse, RJC-SC-0203. The Court will not accept working papers delivered directly to the courtroom unless previously approved by the bailiff. Please provide a copy of all proposed orders in Word format to the Court by emailing them to the bailiff.

Motions for Order Compelling Discovery (Civil Rule 37)

Please pay careful attention to the “meet and confer” requirements of LCR 37(e) and CR26(i). The conference of counsel must be in person or by telephone. Email is not a substitute for a dialogue on these issues. A certification by counsel that the conference requirements of these rules have been met is required, and should set out with particularity the nature, extent, and time of the conference.

Dispositive Motions (Motions for Summary Judgment) (Local Rule 56, Civil Rule 56)

Parties must contact the court to schedule a motion with oral argument. Dispositive motions are scheduled on Friday mornings and are limited in duration. Judge McDonald requires that you check with opposing counsel before scheduling any hearing in order to make sure that the date works for all counsel. Doing so reduces the need to reschedule hearings due to conflicts. To request a hearing date, please call or email the bailiff and include the case name, cause number, and type of hearing requested. The bailiff will check the judge's calendar and respond with the court's availability. Parties are encouraged to contact the court far in advance of trial to schedule a dispositive motion, as these time slots are limited. Please confirm your hearing date with the bailiff.

Shortened Time (KCLR7(b)(10))

Motions for Orders shortening time are strongly disfavored and should only be used in extraordinary circumstances. If you determine that there is no alternative to filing a motion for an order to shorten time, please contact the bailiff to alert the court to expect the motion, and to inquire of the court’s schedule and availability to consider it. Do not incorporate the motion to shorten time with the underlying motion you wish addressed. KCLR 7(b)(10)(B). It must be a separate motion. If you wish the substantive motion to be considered even if the motion for shortened time is denied, you should provide an alternative note for motion for a date that is not on shortened time. Otherwise, if the shortened time is denied, the motion will not be considered noted.

Motions to seal

Motions to seal must comply with GR 15, LGR 15 and controlling caselaw. The agreement of the parties alone is not a sufficient basis for the sealing or redaction of court records. The moving party should provide a proposed order that includes the required findings. Trial Preparation In preparation for trial, be sure to submit a joint confirmation of trial readiness form (287KB) and comply with your case schedule provided by the Clerk's Office. Please notify the court immediately if your case settles or you need to strike a motion.


Available by appointment. Please contact Judge McDonald's bailiff, Greg Howard, at or call at 206-477-1617 for additional details.