About Judge Larson

Judge Larson is our best choice for Justice

Uphold the law and constitution as written.   Judge Larson knows we have the best state constitution in the country, offering better protections to rights than any other in the country, even better than our U.S. Constitution.  We can trust Judge Larson, as our state Supreme Court Justice, to protect our rights and uphold our Constitution.

Better State Courts.  Judge Larson has become a statewide leader as a trial judge, and will work even harder as a Justice, to provide common sense and coordinated solutions to the unprecedented crisis we face in our communities.  He will fight to make our communities safer and the lives of people better by using the lessons learned through Drug Courts, Mental Health Courts, Veteran’s Courts, and Community Courts.  There are pockets of brilliance in our local courts that need to be duplicated statewide and Judge Larson will provide the leadership we need in our highest court to make that a reality.  

Fair, Impartial, Non-Partisan.  During these divisive times, we need one branch of government we can trust – Judge Larson and will leave the politics to the two other branches of government and will bring balance and reason to our highest court.  

Extended Biography

Judge Larson was born and raised in Washington State.  He’s lived in Federal Way for 53 years, and has been married for 33 years.  He and his wife Debby have two sons, a daughter in law, a granddaughter, and a grandson due in September.

Dave’s dad was a union airline mechanic for Northwest Airlines and his mom was a homemaker as he grew up.  The family worked hard to make ends meet. Dave worked full-time through college and law school and became a successful attorney and judge.

Dave has had a long record of accomplishment as a trial lawyer, mediator, arbitrator, and now as a judge.  He was a veteran civil trial lawyer trying cases in state and federal courts for twenty-three years before becoming a judge twelve years ago.  His peers gave him the highest possible rating for legal knowledge and ethics when he was a lawyer, and he was rated as exceptionally well qualified as a trial judge.  His 35 years of diverse experience in the law give him the experience we need on our state Supreme Court.

Dave has stepped up repeatedly during the past three decades to show his commitment in the following areas of importance:

Better use courts in our communities

Preventing domestic violence

Preventing youth crime

Protecting court services for people statewide
Improving public trust and confidence in courts




Empowering people to solve their own legal issues

Judicial education

Public education

Service and community


Commitment to better use courts in our communities – He helped form a community court through collaborative arrangements for staffing with community resources at no taxpayer expense.   He was featured at a national convention in Orlando Florida about how to use restorative justice and collaboration to address the impacts from the opioid crisis and untreated mental illness on individuals and communities.  He has written a white paper entitled Justice Involved Therapeutic Intervention that can serve as a road map for how courts can be better used to help solve the crisis our communities face.


Commitment to preventing domestic violence – He has devoted his entire career as a judge to brining the community together to discuss how to better prevent and respond to domestic violence, teen dating violence, and youth violence.  He was recognized by the Washington State Supreme Court Gender and Justice Commission for leadership in getting the faith community to better understand how they can help prevent and address domestic violence in the community.


Commitment to preventing youth crime -He serves as a member of the Federal Way Youth Action team to help prevent youth violence and involvement in the juvenile justice system.  His court hosts a juvenile diversion program to help first time youth offenders avoid future criminal conduct.


Commitment to protecting court services for people statewide – He has travelled the state protecting court services, mostly for people in underserved communities.  In 2018, he was given the District and Municipal Court Judge’s Association President’s award for his work protecting judicial independence and court services statewide.


Commitment to improving public trust and confidence in courts – He volunteered to take an appointment at Federal Way’s court during a time of great controversy and turmoil.  He saved the court from termination in 2009 and turned it into one of the better courts in the State of Washington.  He has continually improved the delivery of court services and accountability tools to assure proper fiscal management for taxpayers and accountability for offenders.   Throughout his tenure as a judge, he has successfully worked with the legislature in ways that have improved the administration of justice and the law.   He is a member of the Public Trust and Confidence Committee of the Board of Judicial Administration.


Commitment to equality – He has a reputation for fairness to all, especially with people of color and the underserved.  He also collaborated with the City of Federal Way Diversity Commission to form a Jury Diversity Committee to develop strategies to increase participation in jury service by people of color.


Commitment to inclusiveness – He founded the Aktion Club of Federal Way in partnership with KIwanis and the City of Federal Way Inclusion Program.  Aktion Club is a service club for adults with developmental disabilities.  He also hosts students from the “Credible Messenger” program and exchange students from Japan and South Korea every year in court.


Commitment to fairness – In 1996, he helped keep the Seahawks in Seattle by bringing suit on behalf of the 12s before they were called the 12s.  In 1997, he prevented the unconstitutional selling of city police services.  In 1998, he saved the voting rights of 30,000 people.  In 1999, he helped prevent discriminatory zoning practices aimed at churches and private schools.


Commitment to empowering people to solve their own legal issues – He brought the Dispute Resolution Center of King County to Federal Way at no taxpayer expense to provide low cost dispute resolution services in South King County.


Commitment to judicial education – He has taught new judges on a variety of topics at the State’s Judicial College for the past 10 years


Commitment to public education – The list is long, but the highlights are as follows:

Washington Judge’s Foundation Judge William Nevins Award for his “long-term commitment to youth education and public understanding of the law and the role of the judiciary in American society”.

“Hero” of Federal Way Schools award in 2018 for his decades of commitment as a parent, school board president, and volunteer.  Highlights include:

Helped teach high school civics for ten years with no compensation.

Helped create, coach, and then partially fund a high school robotics team that made it to the world championships in St. Louis in their first year of competition.

He was the architect of this century’s first challenge to the constitutionality of state funding for education while a member of the Federal Way School Board.


Commitment to service and community – The following is a list of Dave’s community involvement that is evidence of an unmatched commitment to others

  • Advancing Leadership (Adult and Youth Leadership Education)
    • Board member (2013-2019)
    • Instructor (2016-2019)
  • Puget Sound Honor Flight (2016-present)
    • Guardian for veterans on trips to Washington, DC
  • Kiwanis Club of Federal Way (1998-present)
    • Awards by the Pacific Northwest District of Kiwanis International
      • Distinguished Past President Award (2003)
      • Everyday Hero Award (1998)
    • Club Awards
      • Zeller Award (2016)
      • Doug Benton President’s Award (2014)
      • Distinguished Service (2012)
      • Hixson Fellow (2000)
      • Kiwanian of the Year (1998-99)
    • Founded/Sponsored
      • Founder/Adviser–Aktion Club of Federal Way (2011-present)
      • Service club for people with developmental disabilities
      • Founding Member – Kiwanis Foundation of Federal Way – (2003-present)
      • Founder/Advisor – Panther Lake K-Kids (grade school service club) (1999-03)
      • Service club for elementary school students
      • Sponsor – Gordon and Madonna Larson Vocational School Scholarship
      • Sponsor – Elwood & Gladys Berntson Vocational School Scholarship
    • Offices Held
      • Board member (2017-present)
      • Immediate Past President (2015-2016)
      • President (2014-2015)
      • President-Elect (2013-2014)
      • Vice-President (2012-2013)
      • Board Member (2009-2012)
      • Veterans Support Committee (2009-2015)
      • Board Member – Kiwanis Foundation of Federal Way (2003-2015)
      • Immediate Past President (2002-2003)
      • President (2001-2002)
      • Young Children Priority 1 Chair (2000-2002)
      • President-Elect (2000-2001)
      • Community Service Chair (1999-2000)
      • Vice-President (1999-2000)
      • Program Chair (1998-1999)
      • Board Member (1998-1999)
  • City of Federal Way
    • Homelessness Task Force (2018)
    • Human Services Commission (1999-2004)
    • Federal Way C.E.R.T. (2003)
    • Board of Ethics – Chair (1991-1994)
  • Federal Way Public Schools
    • Career and Technical Education Business Advisory Board (2018-present)
    • Recognized as a “Hero” of Federal Way Schools (2018)
    • District-Wide Strategic Planning Group (2015-2016)
    • Coach – Federal Way High School RoboEagles robotics team (2012-2013)
    • Street Law Instructor (2009-present)
    • Liberty & Justice for All Art Contest with City Arts Commission (2010-present)
    • “Notable Graduate” of Federal Way Public Schools (2009)
    • Board Recognition for volunteer activities (2013)
    • School Board President (2007-2008)
    • School Board Director (2006-2008)
    • School Board Vice-President (2006-2007)
    • Washington State School Directors Association (2006-2008)
    • School Board Legislative Delegate – WSSDA (2006-2008)
    • Diversity Award – WSSDA (2006)
    • Todd Beamer High School Booster Club (2005-2012)
    • Todd Beamer High School – Titan Advisory Committee (2005-2006)
    • Illahee Middle School PTA (2003-2008)
    • School Construction Oversight Committee (2001-2004)
    • Panther Lake Elementary PTA (1996-2004)
    • Panther Lake Elementary PTA – Co-Chair – Community Services (2000-2004)
    • Panther Lake Elementary – Site Leadership Team (2000-2001)
    • Board Recognition for volunteer activities (1999)
    • Community of Character (1999)
  • St. Vincent de Paul Parish (1967-present)
    • Chair – Pastoral Council (2013-2016)
    • Member – Pastoral Council (2012-present)
    • Eucharistic Minister – (2007-present)
    • Knights of Columbus (2010-present)
  • Pacific Ballroom Dance (2008-2010)
    • Chair (2009-2010)
    • Board of Trustees (2008-2010)
  • Washington State Department of Transportation • Aviation Division – Air Search & Rescue Management Team (2004-2012)
  • U.S. Air Force Auxiliary (Civil Air Patrol)(2002-2008)
    • Rank – Major (2004-2008)
    • Rank – Captain (2002-2004)
    • McChord Composite Squadron (2002-2008)
    • Commander (2005-2008)
    • National Commander’s Commendation for Emergency Services (2007)
    • Instructor – National Legal Officer’s College (2005)
    • Air Force Rescue Coordination Center – Search Management Graduate (2004)
    • Washington Wing
      • Assistant Wing Legal Officer (2002-2008)
      • Wing Emergency Services Officer (2005-2006)
      • Deputy Wing Homeland Security Officer (2003-2006)
      • Liaison/Project Officer – Combined Exercise Seahawk (2004) (U.S. Navy and Canadian Military training exercise)
      • Liaison-Region V Homeland Security – Exercise Committee (2004-2006)
      • Liaison-Region V Homeland Security – Training Committee (2004-2006)
      • Liaison-Asymmetric Warfare Exercise Committee (2004-2006)
      • Liaison -Washington State Department of Transportation-Aviation
      • Division – Air Search & Rescue Coordination Committee (2005-2006)
  • Miscellaneous
    • Finalist for Best Community Leader – Federal Way Mirror (2020)
    • Runner-up for Best Community Leader – Federal Way Mirror (2019)
    • Finalist for Best Community Leader – Federal Way Mirror (2017)
    • Finalist for Best Community Leader – Federal Way Mirror (2015)
    • Finalist for Best Community Volunteer – Federal Way Mirror (2015)
    • Nominated for Citizen of the Year- Federal Way Mirror (2015)
    • Citizen of the Month – Federal Way Mirror (December 2015)
    • Federal Way Helmet Coalition – Founding Board Member (2002-2004)
      • “Outstanding Community Partner” Award (2004)
    • Federal Way National Little League – Manager/Coach (1996-2005)
    • Cub Scouts Pack 366 – Den Leader (2001-2005)
    • Federal Way Hawks Junior Football – Coach (1999)
    • Columnist – Federal Way Mirror “On Community” (1999-2001)

Legal Career

  • Washington Judge’s Foundation
    • Recipient – Judge William Nevins Award (2014)
    • Lifetime Member
  • District and Municipal Court Judges Association (2008-present)
    • Legislative Committee (2019-present)
    • Therapeutic Courts Committee (2019-present)
    • Public Trust & Confidence, Board of Judicial Administration, (2018-present)
      • Chair –  Internal Education Subcommittee
      • Southwest Washington Coordinator – Judges in the Classroom
    • Council on Independent Courts (2018-present)
      • Co-Chair (2019-present)
    • Judicial Independence Task Force (2017-2018)
      • Chair – Fire Brigade Subcommittee
    • Liaison – ELIAS Electronic Search Warrant Work Group (2014-2015)
    • Long Range Planning Committee (2009-2015)
    • Technology Committee (2009-2015)
    • Legislative Committee (2009-2015)
    • Liaison – House of Representatives – Impaired Driver Workgroup (2011-2015)
    • Court Improvement Committee (2013-2014)
    • Liaison – Data Management Steering Committee (2012-2013)
    • Education Committee (2008-2011)
    • Rules Committee (2008-2011)
  • Washington State Judicial College
    • Instructor – DUI/Impaired Driving (2018-2020)
    • Instructor – Court Budgeting (2013-2018)
    • Instructor – Judicial Independence (2011-2013)
  • YMCA High School Mock Trial Competition (2010-2018)
    • Convener/Founder – South King County District Competition
  • Council for Civic Learning (formerly Council on Public Legal Education) (2009-present)
    • Executive Committee (2011-2019)
  • Washington State Bar Association (1985-present)
    • Court Rules and Procedures Committee (1996-2003)
    • Professionalism Committee (2001-2002)
    • Litigation Section (1985-2008)
  • Federal District Court – Western District of Washington (1985-present)
  • Washington Council of School Law Attorneys (2007-2008)
  • King County Bar Association (1985-present)
    • Finalist – Mentor of the Year (Young Lawyers Div. 2007)
    • Professionalism Committee – Co-Chair (2005-2007)
    • Councils of Law – Co-Chair (2005-2007)
    • Youth and the Law Committee (1986-1987)
  • Tacoma/Pierce County Bar Association (1985-2001)
    • Continuing Legal Education Committee (2001)
    • Judicial Liaison Committee (1998)
    • Mandatory Arbitration Committee (1990-1992)
    • Doctor-Lawyer Liaison Committee (1989-1991)
    • Continuing Legal Education Committee (1991)
    • Professional Improvement Committee (1990)
  • U.S. Air Force Auxiliary (Civil Air Patrol)
    • Instructor – National Legal Officer’s College (2005)
    • Assistant Washington Wing Legal Officer (2002-2008)
  • Litigation Alternatives, Inc. – Owner and Mediator (1999-2001)
  • Washington Defense Trial Lawyers (1985-98)
  • Defense Research Institute (1985-98)
  • Municipal Court Task Force – House of Representatives (1999-00)
  • Settlement Now (Mediator)(1990-98)
  • National Institute for Trial Advocacy (Graduate)(1988)
  • Instructor at Numerous Litigation Seminars (1990-2008)


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