The 6th Annual DIVERSITY BAR LUNCHEON
Washington Supreme Court Justice Steven González Honor Speaker
Justice Steven C. González
Steven González was appointed to the Washington State Supreme Court effective January 1, 2012.
Prior to his election to the King County Superior Court, Justice González practiced both criminal and civil law. He was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Western District of Washington, a Domestic Violence Prosecutor for the City of Seattle and an Associate in the Business Law Department at the Seattle law firm Hillis Clark Martin & Peterson.
As an Assistant United States Attorney, Justice González was part of the team that successfully prosecuted the international terrorism case U.S. v. Ressam, for which he received two Department of Justice awards: the U.S. Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service and the Director’s Award for Superior Performance. He also prosecuted organized crime cases and served as the Hate Crimes Prosecution Coordinator. After September 11, he lectured on international terrorism prosecution to U.S. Attorneys in Washington D.C.
While working in private practice, Justice González gained significant civil and business law experience, including acquisitions, mergers, land use, intellectual property, commercial litigation, and contract negotiation.
Justice González has received numerous awards throughout his career, including “Judge of the Year” awards from the Washington State Bar Association, the Washington Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates, and the Asian Bar Association of Washington in 2011.
Justice González earned his B.A. with Honors in East Asian Studies from Pitzer College and his J.D. from U.C. Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) where he was the Technical Editor of the La Raza Law Journal. As a part of his undergraduate degree, Justice González studied at Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan and at Nanjing University in China.
Justice González is passionate about providing open access to the justice system for all. He was appointed by the Supreme Court to the Washington State Access to Justice Board and served on the Board for seven years, including the last two years as its Chair. He is a mentor to students through the Future of the Law Institute and many other organizations.
Justice González speaks Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, and Spanish. He lives in Seattle with his wife, Michelle, an Assistant Dean at the University of Washington School of Law, and their two sons.