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Judge Michael Scott - Superior Court

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

Photo of Judge Michael Scott

  • Courtroom Number: W-905
  • Bailiff: Chad Berlin
  • Department: 9
  • Assignment: Chief Civil


I was appointed to the King County Superior Court in 2018 by Governor Jay Inslee after practicing with a Seattle law firm for over 35 years. In private practice I represented clients in cases involving a wide range of civil disputes. I also devoted substantial time to pro bono public interest matters, including significant civil rights cases.

I believe the role of a judge is one of the highest callings in the legal profession. Judges play a critically important role in our government and society, and their decisions have profound effects on the lives of those who appear before them. Community and public service have long been important values and commitments in my life. That’s why I am deeply grateful to serve as a judge, where I can pursue my commitment to equal justice under law for everyone in our diverse society.

I strive to be a judge who is patient, respectful, studious, thoughtful, thorough, careful, empathetic, and fair in my decisions. I try to balance a firm control of the courtroom with a demeanor that encourages appropriate, meaningful participation in the judicial process. I endeavor to carefully explain my decisions. I do my best to promote access to justice for all.


Stanford University, A.B. with Distinction, Political Science; B.S., Biological Sciences

Stanford Law School, J.D.

Honors and awards

  • King County Bar Association President's Award (2015)
  • Seattle Business Magazine Community Impact Award (2015)
  • Leadership Tomorrow, Class of 1991


Court involvement in discovery

Early judicial involvement in discovery can often avoid disputes and expedite resolution of disputes when they arise. Judge Scott 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 Scott encourages the parties to seek his assistance in resolving it efficiently. Many disputes can be resolved promptly in a Zoom conference without the necessity of a formal motion. If the parties agree to informal guidance or resolution, please email to arrange a conference. The email should – as succinctly and non-argumentatively as possible – describe the nature of the dispute and set forth each parties’ position. (As always, you must copy all parties on any email to the court.) If multiple or complex discovery disputes arise, Judge Scott may ask the parties to appear for a discovery conference in court. Telephonic, Zoom, 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.

Civil Trial continuances

Requests to change the trial date should be by motion, filed and noted on a nine-day calendar. See CR 7(b)(1) (“An application to the court for an order shall be by motion . . .”); LCR 40(e)(1) (“In cases that are governed by a Case Schedule, the trial date may be adjusted, prior to the Final Date to Change Trial, by motion . . .”); 40(e)(2) (“A motion to strike a trial date, or change a trial date more than 28 days before or after the original date, shall be made in writing to the assigned judge . . .”). Follow the requirements of LCR 7. Do not send a stipulation and order to Judge Scott’s bailiff. If the parties agree on the request for a continuance, the moving party or parties should describe the motion as an “agreed motion” or a “stipulated motion” in the caption and set forth that agreement in the body. The motion should be served and filed and noted for consideration before the hearing judge two judicial days after filing in accordance with LCR 7(b)(4)(H).

The Court grants motions to continue a trial, other than the 28-day adjustment authorized by LCR 40(e)(1), only based on good cause. The motion should come with a declaration describing the nature of the case, the discovery and other trial preparation completed, what remains to be accomplished, and an explanation of why the case could not be completed within the original case schedule. The assertion that more time is needed for discovery or negotiation, without more, will not usually constitute good cause.

LCR 40(e)(2) applies to motions filed after the final date to change the trial date in the Case Schedule. That rule provides that “the motion will not be granted except under extraordinary circumstances where there is no alternative means of preventing a substantial injustice.” Given that stringent standard, parties should be mindful of the deadline to change the trial date and should make sure a motion filed after that date sets forth extraordinary circumstances that require a continuance to prevent a substantial injustice. Failing to address that standard and set forth such circumstances will likely lead to the denial of the motion.

Pretrial requirements

Pursuant to KCLR 40(d)(2), all trial memoranda and other trial submissions are due not later than five court days prior to trial. Please contact the clerk by email to obtain information on pre-numbering exhibits. All submissions should be made to Judge Scott, in care of the judges' mailroom. (See mailing address above.) In addition, Judge Scott requires all parties and counsel to work together to complete the Witness Examination Time Form (188KB), and that form must be submitted together with other pretrial memoranda five court days prior to trial. If the parties intend to use depositions in trial, designations and objections shall be marked according to the guidelines provided here. Deposition designations and objections shall be provided to the Court at least 5 days prior to trial, along with all other pretrial materials.

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

Please review the Rules for Conduct (188KB) in his courtroom.


Available at the King County Courthouse after 4:30 pm Monday to Friday by appointment. Please email the bailiff with inquiries at

The Bailiff speaks conversational Mandarin Chinese. Please note, he cannot respond to emails written in any form of Chinese.