Gov. Jay Inslee today announced the appointment of Michelle "Shelley" Szambelan to the Spokane County Superior Court. She is replacing retiring Judge Linda Tompkins, who has served on the bench for 20 years.
Szambelan has served as a judge in Spokane Municipal Court for nine years. She has also served as assistant city attorney and acting city prosecutor for the city of Spokane.
Szambelan worked as an associate attorney for Phillabaum, Ledlin, Matthews & Gaffney-Brown in Spokane, where she gained civil trial experience. She also served as judge pro tempore with the Spokane County District Court and Spokane County Superior Court.
She has more than 25 years of legal experience and has argued cases at all levels of state and federal court, including the U.S. Supreme Court.
"Shelley is smart, compassionate, and committed to justice. She has earned the respect of the community through her work and her long history of legal and community service in the Spokane area,” Inslee said.
Szambelan served as dean of Washington State Judicial College, is a member of the Washington State Ethics Advisory Committee and volunteers for the Washington State Minority and Justice Commission’s Youth & Justice Forum.
Her community involvement also includes service on the board of directors for Gonzaga Preparatory School and work with Habitat for Humanity-Spokane.
Szambelan received her law degree from Gonzaga University, where she was an editor of the Gonzaga Law Review. She received her Bachelor of Science from Gonzaga University.
Her appointment is effective March 2018.