Gov. Jay Inslee has appointed Kathryn (Katie) C. Loring to the San Juan County Superior Court and Ray W. Kahler to the Grays Harbor County Superior Court effective January 2018.
Loring replaces Judge Donald Eaton, who is retiring. She is currently a partner at Goddu Langlie Sandstrom in Friday Harbor and has served as an associate attorney in the Law Offices of Christon Skinner in Friday Harbor and Oak Harbor. Loring previously worked as an associate at Perkins Coie in Seattle and served as judicial clerk to Washington State Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst.
“Katie has broad legal experience and is deeply involved in the San Juan Islands community,” Inslee said. “She has an in-depth understanding of the issues that impact that region of our state, and she is widely respected for her skills as an advocate as well as her commitment to community service. I know that she will make a great addition to the bench.”
Loring serves on the San Juan Island County Library District Board of Trustees. She is a member of the San Juan County Bar Association and was its president in 2011 and 2012. Loring has held a variety of leadership roles with Soroptimist International of Friday Harbor and served as a board member of the San Juan Island Agricultural Guild. She is currently a mentor to elementary school students through the San Juan Island Family Resource Center.
Loring received her law degree from Boston College Law School and her bachelor’s degree in environmental science from the University of Rochester in New York.
Ray Kahler's appointment to Grays Harbor County Superior Court is to replace Judge F. Mark McCauley, who is retiring.
Kahler has been an attorney with Stritmatter Kessler Whelan Koehler Moore Kahler since 1996. The firm has offices in Hoquiam and Seattle. His focuses include personal injury practice, workplace injuries, medical negligence and insurance issues.
He is a graduate of Harvard Law School, where he was the articles editor for the Harvard Law Review and served as editor of the Harvard Law Record. He received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Puget Sound.
“Ray’s legal experience has focused on protections for individuals and making communities safer for everyone," Inslee said. “He is highly regarded in the legal community, not just for his keen intellect but also for his professionalism and compassion.”
Kahler is a member of the Grays Harbor Bar Association, serving as its president and vice president. He is also a member of the Washington State Association for Justice and was named a Rising Star by the Washington Law & Politics magazine for five consecutive years.
Kahler’s service to the Grays Harbor County communities includes serving on the Evergreen Counseling Center Board of Directors as well as the 7th Street Theatre Association Board of Directors.
Both appointments are effective January 2018.