Seattle Municipal Court (SMC) judges have selected Judge Willie Gregory to serve as Presiding Judge and Judge Adam Eisenberg to serve as Assistant Presiding Judge, effective immediately. Gregory replaces Judge Ed McKenna, who has announced his retirement. Judge Eisenberg replaces Judge Gregory who was serving his second term as Assistant Presiding Judge.
“I thank Judge McKenna for his work as Presiding Judge and for all his service at SMC and to the City of Seattle. I have worked with Judge McKenna for a long time, and I have always respected him for being a very fair, intelligent, and wise person,” stated Presiding Judge Gregory. “I am very honored that my peers have selected me to lead the court, especially during these unprecedented times. I am fortunate to be supported by a great team that includes judges, magistrates and our dedicated staff who work tirelessly in service to the citizens of Seattle.”
The Presiding Judge leads the management and administration of the judicial branch of Seattle City government, makes judicial assignments, sets policies and procedures to improve the court’s effectiveness, and allocates resources to maximize the court’s ability to resolve disputes fairly and expeditiously. The Presiding Judge supervises the court’s five non-elected Magistrates and the Court Administrator. When the Presiding Judge is unavailable, the Assistant Presiding Judge fulfills the duties of Presiding Judge. Both positions are elected by their colleagues on the bench to a two-year term.
Judge Willie Gregory was elected to the Seattle Municipal Court in 2011 and is currently serving his third, four-year term. Judge Gregory served in the U.S. Air Force before earning his bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona and his Juris Doctor (JD) from the Seattle University School of Law in 1989. He started his legal career as a public defender with Associated Counsel for the Accused, where he worked for 14 years. Judge Gregory left ACA to start his own firm, where he worked until becoming a Seattle Municipal Court Judge. He currently presides over Veterans Treatment Court and a domestic violence and general trial court; previously he presided over Community and Mental Health Courts.
Judge Adam Eisenberg was appointed to the Seattle Municipal Court bench in January 2017 after serving as a Magistrate from 2011 to 2016 and Court Commissioner from 2004 to 2011. A graduate of the University of Washington School of Law, Judge Eisenberg has enjoyed a varied career that includes work as a criminal prosecutor, civil trial attorney, and Los Angeles-based freelance journalist. He is an alumnus of Leadership Tomorrow and has served on the boards of the Q-Law Bar Association and the District and Municipal Court Judges’ Association.