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The original item was published from 9/15/2021 2:30:43 PM to 9/16/2022 12:00:01 AM.

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Superior Court

Posted on: September 15, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Retirement of Judge Stephanie Arend



September 15, 2021


Pierce County Superior Court is announcing the retirement of Judge Stephanie A. Arend from the bench after 22 years. Judge Arend served as a Pierce County Superior Court Judge, Department 12, from September 16, 1999 to September 16, 2021.

Judge Stephanie A. Arend was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1958 to Clem and Evelyn Arend. She was one of six children. In 1971, her father’s job brought the family from Wisconsin to the Pacific Northwest. She served as a Pierce County Superior Court Judge, Department 12, from 1999 to 2021. 

Judge Arend’s journey was guided by the good counsel of family, dear friends, and trusted advisors. While attending Alverno College in Milwaukee, a philosophy professor encouraged her to pursue a legal career. After graduating from Alverno College with honors in 1985, she enrolled at the University of Puget Sound School of Law where she served on law review and worked as an extern for U.S. District Court Judge Carolyn Dimmick. 

After law school, Judge Arend joined Gordon, Thomas, Honeywell, Malanca, Peterson and Daheim, in Tacoma. Her practice focused on real estate and land use law and within four years she was made a partner. She credits the excellent legal training received at Gordon Thomas with her qualifications for her 1999 appointment by Governor Gary Locke to the Pierce County Superior Court. She considers herself fortunate to have known and worked with all six female judges who preceded her on the bench. The same year she became a judge, Judge Arend also adopted two boys. 

In 22 years on the bench, Judge Arend filled many leadership roles, including that of Presiding Judge. A firm believer in the adage “justice delayed is justice denied,” she is most proud of her work developing civil and criminal case management best practices, and family court. 

Judge Arend’s passion for education led her to serve as the District Convener of the YMCA High School Mock Trial competition, on the faculty of the Washington State Judicial College, and to help develop and implement an orientation program for new judges on her bench. Nominated by colleague Judge Frank Cuthbertson, she was presented with the 2018 Judge William Nevins Award and the Young Lawyers presented her with the 2010 Liberty Bell Award for her work in legal education. 

Her interest in education and history intertwined and resulted in the creation of the Court History Project. Through this project, the Court created museum quality displays and murals documenting the rich and significant achievements of the people who have served Pierce County on the Superior Court, the buildings in which they worked, and the challenges they confronted in upholding the rule of law. 

Judge Arend was an active participant and leader in many professional and community organizations. Serving as President of The Honorable Robert J. Bryan American Inns of Court was a special honor as its namesake, Judge Robert J. Bryan was a mentor and friend. Throughout her career she motivated and organized others to participate in community projects, including Paint Tacoma Pierce County Beautiful and Habitat for Humanity. In recognition of this work, the Tacoma Pierce County Bar Association presented her with its 2014 Outstanding Jurist Award. Two other cherished awards are the 2003 Sister Joel Read Outstanding Alumna Award from Alverno College and the 2016 Judge of the Year Award from the American Board of Trial Advocates. 

In retirement Judge Arend will continue to volunteer, make charity quilts, research family history, contribute to the Court History Project and visit family and friends around the globe.

Pierce County Superior Court is the second largest Superior Court in the State of Washington and is proud to serve the citizens and visitors of Pierce County.  The Court is staffed with 23 Judges and 9 Commissioners.  There are three sites where court is held; the County-City Building at 930 Tacoma Ave S., Tacoma, Remann Hall Juvenile Court at 5501 6th Ave., Tacoma, and Western State Hospital at 9601 Steilacoom Blvd. SW, Lakewood.  For more information, please visit our website at   

Media Contact:

Chris Gaddis, Superior Court Administrator



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