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Office of Governor Gary Locke
Contact:  Governor's Communications Office, 360-902-4136

Locke names Schwab, Lara to Yakima County Superior Court bench

YAKIMA - Gov. Gary Locke announced today that he has appointed Michael Schwab and Victor Lara to fill two new judgeships in Yakima County Superior Court.

Schwab, 52, has been a commissioner for Yakima County Superior Court since 1990, while Lara, 43, has been a partner in the law firm of Hurley, Lara & Adams since 1984.

Locke, who interviewed five finalists for the positions, said the appointees will bring experience, integrity and wisdom to the bench. "I'm confident that Michael Schwab and Victor Lara will prove to be tremendous additions to a hard-working superior court bench that clearly needs help in coping with a rising caseload," he said.

A Yakima resident, Schwab first arrived in Yakima from New York in 1969 when he went to work as an attorney for the Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) program in Yakima. He became executive director of the Yakima County Action Program in 1972, then entered private practice in 1974. He earned his law degree from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

Lara, who also lives in Yakima, began his legal career in San Francisco in 1980 as a law clerk for La Raza Centro Legal, Inc. In 1982, he became a staff attorney in the Farmworker Division of Evergreen Legal Services, working from its Sunnyside and Granger offices. Lara entered private practice in 1984 and has handled a combination of civil litigation and criminal defense. Lara earned his law degree from the University of San Francisco in 1982.

The two judges will assume office on July 1 at annual salaries of $100,995.

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