Pierce County Superior Court announces the retirement of Judge Susan K. Serko from the bench after more than 13 years. Judge Serko’s last day will be Aug.31.
Judge Susan K. Serko grew up living in Brooklyn, New York, Spokane, Washington, and Kodiak, Alaska. After resettling in upstate New York, she earned her bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York, College at Cortland in 1976. Judge Serko’s exposure to the Pacific Northwest as a child prompted the move to Tacoma, where she attended the University of Puget Sound School of Law, graduating in 1982.
Judge Serko began her legal career with the local firm of Rush, Hannula & Harkins, where she practiced in the areas of insurance defense, plaintiff’s personal injury, family law and discrimination. In 2001, she accepted a position with the Office of Administrative Hearings in Seattle as an administrative law judge, working primarily with social services, conducting hearings on child support and public assistance. In January 2006, then-Governor Christine Gregoire appointed Judge Susan K. Serko as Pierce County Superior Court Judge for Department 14, following the retirement of Judge Bruce Cohoe.
As a judge, Judge Serko spent time in the court’s various rotations, including criminal, civil, family and juvenile courts. Because of her past civil advocacy experience, Judge Serko assisted in the development of the five-judge panel coined the “civil rotation” in 2012. While this began as an experiment, the rotation proved wildly successful and has resulted in lawyers’ reliance on trial date certainty and reduction of the civil backlog.
Judge Serko received many awards and held several leadership positions during her tenure on the bench, to include criminal presiding judge, Juvenile Court presiding judge, chair of numerous committees for Superior Court, president of the Robert Bryan Inn of Court, trustee of the Superior Court Judges Association, Liberty Bell award recipient, and the 2018 Girl Scouts of Western Washington Woman of Distinction.
Judge Serko remarked that this job has been the highlight of her legal career, and it is an honor and a privilege to serve the citizens of Pierce County, particularly when she has the advice and support of a capable group of judicial officers and administrators with whom she works.
Judge Susan K. Serko’s intellect, compassion, integrity and commitment to the rule of law have made her a highly-valued member of Pierce County Superior Court. Please join us in congratulating Judge Serko on her retirement.
Pierce County Superior Court is the second largest Superior Court in the State of Washington and is proud to serve the citizens and visitors of Pierce County. The court is staffed with 22 judges and nine commissioners. There are three sites where court is held; the County-City Building at 930 Tacoma Ave. S., Tacoma, Remann Hall Juvenile Court at 5501 6th Ave., Tacoma, and Western State Hospital at 9601 Steilacoom Blvd. SW, Lakewood. For more information, please visit our website at www.piercecountywa.gov/superiorcourt.
Chris Gaddis, Superior Court administrator