Gov. Jay Inslee announced the appointment of Rebecca Pennell to the Division III Court of Appeals, District 3. Pennell is a trial attorney with the Federal Defenders of Eastern Washington and Idaho, and has been with the organization since 2000. She replaces retiring Judge Stephen Brown, who served on the bench for nearly 20 years.
“Pennell displays a deep commitment to public service in her role as an attorney and as an active member of her community,” said Gov. Inslee. “I am proud to appoint such a bright mind to this position, where I am sure she will excel.”
Pennell is chair of the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, an annual conference to conduct court business and improve judicial administration. From 2012-2015 Pennell was the chair of the Ninth Circuit Lawyer Representatives Coordinating Committee. Pennell has been a board member of the YWCA of Yakima and of the Yakima Area Arboretum in the past. She is fluent in Spanish.
Prior to 2000 Pennell was a law clerk to Judge Robert H. Whaley of the Eastern District of the U.S. District Court. Pennell received her J.D. from Stanford, where she graduated with distinction and was a member of the Order of the Coif, an honorary scholastic society. She graduated with her B.A. from the University of Washington and attended high school in Richland, Washington.
Pennell’s appointment is effective beginning in January 2016.