Judge Jeanette Dalton

Department No. 1


Judge Jeanette Dalton graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor's in Business Administration Degree.  She later earned her J.D. from the Seattle University School of Law.  She was admitted to the Washington State Bar in 1984, and the Federal District Court, Western District of Washington in 1986.
Judge Dalton practiced law for 24 years prior to election to the Superior Court bench in 2008.  The Superior Court is a court of general jurisdiction and the highest level of trial court in the State of Washington.  Judge Dalton is back on the general rotation having been the Adult Drug Court and Veteran’s Treatment Court Judge from 2016 to Jan 2019.
During her legal career, Judge Dalton was a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Seattle, WA, at the King County prosecutor's office until her move to Kitsap County in 1991.  She then worked in private practice, opening her own successful law office in 1995, focusing in criminal defense since 2000.  Judge Dalton was well known and well respected as a litigator, having tried over 100 Superior Court cases to jurors.
During her career, Judge Dalton was passionate about educating learners in her community.  She taught Employment Law for Masters degree students at Chapman University, continuing legal education courses for practicing lawyers and in-house continuing education courses to colleagues.  She has been an educator to lawyers and other professionals on a variety of subjects and is most fervent when helping practitioners improve their skills as trial lawyers.
Giving back to colleagues through service has always been important to Judge Dalton.  While a lawyer, Judge Dalton was always offering her time to work with her colleagues supporting them as they developed and enhanced their professional skills.  She was selected by the Board of Governors to receive an appointment to the WSBA Court Rules and Procedures Committee that provided her a unique opportunity to have input on Court Rules that play an important role in the administration of justice and in the lives of lawyers, judges and the public.  She was also elected to the Executive Board of the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys joining their mission to foster integrity, independence and expertise of criminal defense lawyers; promoting the fair and just administration of criminal justice and ensuring due process by defending the rights secured by law for all persons accused of crime.  She received an award as recognition for her service to that organization.
Judge Dalton continues to tirelessly devote extracurricular time to the ideals of service through committee work with Washington State Superior Court Judges Association.  She is on the Criminal Law and Rules Committee, the therapeutic courts committee and the Technology committee.  She works with fellow judges around the state to improve access to justice, judicial integrity and independence, the fair and just administration of the law, and assuring our constitutional guarantee of due process for all citizens appearing in court. 
Judge Dalton understands that as a judicial officer she serves the community and should ensure that all citizens have equal access to, and the devotion to service from the Courts.  The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court appointed Judge Dalton to the Judicial Information Services Committee shortly after she took the bench.  She instantly became devoted to the mission of that committee and has remained a member since her first appointment.  Of the many accomplishments shared throughout her career, she is extremely proud that the JISC retired the antiquated computerized court operating system (built in 1976), with a statewide system, modern and customizable, that provides users in Washington State (including the public) remote access to court files and clerks offices and vastly improves not only the administration of the Court process but also Access to Justice.  The Committee was beginning its third attempt to implement a statewide solution to the decrepit legacy operating system.  Because the first two efforts failed after years of development, the committee’s third effort had to overcome pessimism and continual obstacles which threatened the project repeatedly.  This time, however, the members of the committee, led by the uniquely qualified Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst, persisted tirelessly to honor each elected office, and governmental branch, incorporating agencies’ business needs and functionality requirements inherent to the operating system’s integrity and reliability for the statewide solution.  This third attempt was successful with the statewide rollout of Odyssey, the state superior courts’ operating system completed in 2019.
 Judge Dalton’s profound dedication to improving access to justice also involves innovating:  including court improvements such as the use of facility dogs, courthouse facilitators and using technology to improve the court users experience.  She brought her enthusiasm for quality innovating to Juvenile court as the Court improved its response to truancy that Kitsap County became a leader in the state for its unique and effective truancy response.  When Judge Dalton started to preside over the Adult Drug Court and Veteran’s Treatment Court, she lead the teams to deploy Best Practices which resulted in vastly improved outcomes becoming fully transparent and accountable such that successful participants graduated as fully integrated as working valued members of our community. 
Judge Dalton was born in Oxford, England and raised in a Military family.  She is an avid scuba diver, loves exploring with friends and family, remaining innately optimistic, curious and adventurous. 
She and her husband live in Kingston, Washington.


Judge Dalton's Law Clerk:

Marcus Hauer 360-337-4465