Gov. Jay Inslee appointed Elisabeth Tutsch today to the Yakima County Superior Court. She replaces Judge Michael McCarthy, who resigned in February 2020, due to serious health issues.
Tutsch has served as a Yakima County Superior Court commissioner since 2017. In that role, she presides over family law matters, unlawful detainer and probate cases, and determines probable cause and authority to issue search warrants, among other things. Before becoming a court commissioner, Tutsch spent her career in legal aid. From 1997 to 2004, she worked as a staff attorney for Columbia Legal Services in Yakima on matters of family law, housing, and consumer and protection order cases. Then from 2004 to 2017, she worked for Northwest Justice Project, her final ten years as a senior attorney, providing counsel in housing, public benefits and family law cases.
Since 2007, Tutsch has been a board member with Yakima Volunteer Attorney Services. And from 2010-2011, she served as president of the Yakima County Bar Association. She is a founding board member of Rod's House youth shelter.
“In her tenure as commissioner, Elisabeth has earned a strong reputation for fairness and intellect," Inslee said. "I expect she will smoothly transition to her new role on the bench. And during the trying times that we are currently experiencing, I am confident that her career in legal aid has prepared her to understand the many legal issues that some of our most vulnerable Washingtonians are facing.”
Tutsch earned her law degree at the University of Washington School of Law and her bachelor’s from Andrews University.