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GONZAGA UNIVERSITY NEWS RELEASE
Dale Goodwin, Director
Peter Tormey, Associate Director
|Madsen sworn in as state's Chief Justice|
On Monday, January, 19, Barbara A. Madsen, a 1977 graduate of the Gonzaga University School of Law, was sworn in as the Chief Justice of the Washington Supreme Court.
Gov. Chris Gregoire, a fellow GU Class of '77 alumn, offered the opening remarks at the Olympia, Wash., event. Acting Dean George Critchlow, also Class of '77, attended the event.
Madsen will serve a three-year term as the Court’s 55th chief justice. She succeeded Gerry Alexander, the state’s longest serving chief justice.
Madsen is a native of Renton, Wash., and graduated from the University of Washington before attending Gonzaga. While here, she served in the Law Clinic and volunteered with Spokane Legal Services.
As Chief Justice, Madsen is the court’s chief spokesperson. She presides over the court’s public hearings and is administrative head of the state’s trial and appellate court system. She also co-chairs the state’s Board for Judicial Administration, the policy-setting group of the state judiciary.
Madsen is the third woman to be elected to a seat on the bench of the Washington State Supreme Court since its formation in 1889. She was first elected in 1992, re-elected in 1998, and re-elected for a third term in 2004.
Prior to her election to the Supreme Court, Justice Madsen served as presiding judge for the Seattle Municipal Court.
Justice Madsen chairs the Washington State Gender and Justice Commission and the Supreme Court Personnel Committee. She co-chairs the court’s Internal Rules Committee and serves on the Budget Committee, Administrative Committee, and the Washington Court Reports Commission, as well as on the Board for Judicial Administration. Justice Madsen is a member of the American Judges Association, the National Association of Women Judges, and the Judicature Society.
In 1993, Justice Madsen became the inaugural recipient of the Myra Bradwell Award, which annually honors an alumna of Gonzaga University School of Law who has made great strides on behalf of women.
She currently serves on the school's Board of Advisors and regularly participates as a judge in Gonzaga's annual Moot Court Competiton.