Hon. Donald J Horowitz


Donald J Horowitz

Hon. Donald J Horowitz, King County Superior Court Judge (Retired)

Donald J Horowitz has been active in the justice system since the late 1950’s and continues to be fully involved in efforts to improve the quality and delivery of justice to all persons.

Mr. Horowitz received his B.A. from Columbia University and L.L.B. degree from Yale Law School. He began his career as a law clerk for a Justice of the Washington State Supreme Court, and was in private practice for many years. He is a former King County, Washington Superior Court Judge, and has served as a mediator and arbitrator. He has also been a Senior Assistant Attorney General for the State of Washington,and Chief Counsel for the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services.

He has been an Adjunct Professor of Law at Seattle University Law School, and an instructor for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy.

He has authored legislation in a variety of areas, including Mandatory Child Abuse Reporting Act; Crime Victim Compensation Act; Adoption Subsidy Act; the law allowing necessary emergency medical care for children when a parent or guardian is not readily available; the law providing for interpreters for persons with hearing disabilities in courts and other legal proceedings. He was a founder and later President of the Central Area Mental Health Center.  In the late 1960’s he initiated the idea for and served on the Washington State Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Civil Disorder, and authored a portion of this major report and constructive proposals on race relations in Washington State.

Beginning in 2001, Mr. Horowitz chaired a State Access to Justice Board Committee which resulted in the Washington State Supreme Court becoming the first court to adopt Access to Justice Technology Principles to guide the use of technology in the justice system to assure that use of  technology doesn’t perpetuate or add  barriers to access to and use of the justice system, but instead eliminates existing barriers and creates opportunities for better access to and delivery of quality justice for all. He has since been a leader in the effort to transform those Principles into concrete reality in the lives of all people.

He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Seattle University. He served on the Board of Directors of the Washington Endowment for Equal Justice, is on the Board of Directors of the Korematsu Center for Law and Equality, and the University of Washington Information School’s Senior Advisory Board.

In 1997 he was a designated International Monitor for Hearings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of the Republic of South Africa, and served onsite for five weeks at the hearings and follow up.  In 2008 he led a legal team to develop the information legacy of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda so that future international  justice efforts can be improved, persons and institutions throughout the world can access, learn about and hopefully avoid future genocides, and victims will receive proper reparation.

In 2002, he founded Seattle SCORES, an after-school program for children in high need elementary schools that combines soccer, creative writing for literacy, and community service.

In 2010 Donald Horowitz was awarded the highest honor of the Washington State Bar Association, its Award of Merit. He has recently been awarded the 2016 Charles A. Goldmark Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor in Washington State for public service to enhance the quality and equality of justice for all.