New Clark County Superior Court judge to be sworn in May 31

Suzan Clark has already filed to run for job in November

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

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Clark County's newest Superior Court judge will be sworn into office on May 31.

Private attorney Suzan L. Clark's swearing-in ceremony will be held at 4 p.m. on the sixth floor of the county's Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin St.

Gov. Jay Inslee appointed Clark on May 6 to succeed retired Judge Diane Woolard. Woolard left the bench in March due to some chronic health problems.

Clark's first day in office was delayed to give her time to wrap upher pending cases.

She already has started the process of seeking election to keep her new job. She filed on Monday to be listed on the November ballot.

The state's Superior Court judges serve four-year terms. However, when a judge is appointed in mid-term, he or she must vie to retain the position in the following election.

Clark, 50, of Vancouver will be the court's third female judge. There are 10 judges on the Clark County Superior Court bench.

The University of Oregon law graduate is the president of the Clark County Bar Association. Once she takes the bench, the bar association's bylaws call for vice president Jane Clark to fill in as acting president until the annual meeting in September, when officers are elected, said Lisa Darco, office manager of the bar association.

Superior Court judges earn $148,832 per year, plus benefits. They'll receive a pay bump to $151,809 per year effective Sept. 1. In Washington, superior courts are the highest trial court.

Paris Achen: 360-735-4551; http://twitter.com/Col_Courts;http://facebook.com/ColTrends;paris.achen@columbian.com.