Clark County Superior Court Judge Bernard Veljacic has been appointed to the Washington State Court of Appeals, Division 2, the governor’s office announced Tuesday.
Gov. Jay Inslee selected Veljacic to replace Judge Rich Melnick, who is retiring in January and is also a former Clark County judge.
Veljacic has served as a local Superior Court judge since May 2014 when Inslee appointed him to the position. Prior to his appointment, Veljacic served about six years each as a deputy civil and deputy criminal prosecutor in the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
From 1999 through 2001, Veljacic was the co-founder and director of a legal aid clinic through Union Gospel Mission Services in Seattle, providing legal aid services to low-income clients in civil matters — to include family law, landlord-tenant and debtor-creditor disputes, and immigration matters.
“Bernard has an impressive breadth of experience, having been a judge for several years after working as both a civil and criminal law practitioner,” Inslee said in a news release. “Moreover, with his legal aid background, he understands the challenges facing so many of Washington’s most vulnerable communities.”
Veljacic earned his law degree from Seattle University School of Law and bachelor’s degree from Whittier College in California.