Marcus Naylor and Joshua Schaer are running against each other in the only contested Northeast Electoral District race, for Judge Position 1. The division includes Issaquah, Sammamish, Bellevue, Redmond, Woodinville and parts of unincorporated King County. Retiring Judge Janet Garrow currently holds the seat.
Please provide a brief biography.
Marcus Naylor: Marcus and his wife Simona reside in Sammamish with their two children, Bianca and Lucas; they have lived on the Eastside for over 30 years. Marcus was born in South Korea, lived in an orphanage until age nine, then was adopted by loving American parents who were educators. With their support and commitment to public service, Marcus became an attorney and has faithfully served the public by ensuring equality and access to justice for everyone. He is currently a supervising attorney to 10 lawyers for the King County Department of Public Defense.
Joshua Schaer: A 30-year Eastside resident, and the parent of two children in the Issaquah School District. Graduated from the University of Washington with B.A. and J.D. degrees; first to achieve concentration tracks of study in both Intellectual Property and Health Care Law; founded Technology Law Society student organization. Attorney for 17 years, representing clients in criminal and civil actions. Pro tem judge for 11 years in District Court. Prevailed on cases in the State Supreme Court, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, each division of the State Court of Appeals, and numerous trial courts. Twice elected to the Issaquah City Council; chair of King County Eastside Transportation Partnership in 2015, chair of Council Infrastructure Committee. Served on Bellevue College Foundation Board, taught Sunday school for 10 years, volunteered for Skyline H.S. Mock Trial Team, University of Washington Law School Moot Court, and with my children’s sports. Decided to run for an open seat on the District Court to continue helping others on the Eastside; endorsed by many local leaders and judges.
What do you believe qualifies you to be a judge?
Naylor: Marcus brings 26 years of unmatched criminal and civil experience to the bench. He has appeared in courts all around King County, including municipal courts, district courts, superior courts as well as Court of Appeals. Additionally, Marcus has been a part-time judge for over 10 years, presiding over every type of case, both criminal and civil for the district courts of King County. Having appeared both as a practitioner and judge in district court, he has the unique experience and knowledge necessary in efficient administration of justice. Marcus has treated everyone appearing before him with dignity, patience and respect.
Schaer: In addition to broad legal experience, I have a passion for correcting injustice and a track record of dedicated public service. I am the only candidate who worked as a public defender in the Eastside courtrooms where I would serve as a judge. Attorneys know that I am thorough yet efficient, adhering to the law yet always respectful, and I have adjudicated all types of cases in the District Court.
Can you explain your judicial philosophy in plain English?
Naylor: Marcus’ judicial philosophy is to carefully apply the law to the set of facts that each case brings. The law may be the same, but each case brings its own unique set of facts, therefore, the interpretation and application of the law, unfettered by the judge’s own beliefs and values, will result in more just results for the parties. The courts must do its best to interpret the law, not legislate new policies.
Schaer: The majority of interactions between the public and legal system occur in the District Court. Although court calendars are often overloaded with complex matters, I believe that every individual must be treated with respect, given an opportunity to present his or her case, and provided with an explanation of my ruling. I will take work home or conduct research during a break in order to obtain the right outcome. Whether someone is facing a criminal charge, litigating a small claim, or challenging a traffic ticket, that person should rest assured I am listening, applying the law to the facts, and reaching a just result.
How do you define injustice, and how do you deal with it if you confront it in your courtroom?
Naylor: Marcus defines injustice in its simplest term — an act of wrong or unfairness that creates absence of justice in the court. Injustice, in whatever form, must not be endorsed by a judge or allow it to exist in the courtroom. Injustice permeates our courtrooms through racial, sexual, gender and economic biases. Therefore, judges must actively work to remove those biases in the courtroom and improve the quality and fairness of their courts. The judges, through education and training, must hold all accountable in removing biases in the courtroom.
Schaer: Injustice occurs when the court process is unfair, biased or not based on the law. We need more judges who will take the time to better understand the circumstances that brought someone into court. After joining the District Court, I will fight against injustice by striving to protect civil rights, making reasoned decisions based on precedent, and facilitating greater access to equal justice for all. Additionally, bringing the Community Court into other Eastside cities beyond Redmond would help remedy injustice; this innovative approach to restorative justice puts participants on a path to success through human services and treatment agencies. In turn, we can reduce the possibility of repeat offenses and improve community safety.