VANCOUVER -Gov. Christine Gregoire recently appointed Judge Joel Penoyar to the District II Court of Appeals, which ranks just below the State Supreme Court.
"Joel's range and depth of experience is unparalleled," Gregoire said. "His experience spanning 25 years both in private practice and on the bench will serve him well in this position." This was Gregoire's first judicial appointment.
Penoyar has served as the Superior Court Judge for Pacific and Wahkiakum counties since 1988. The governor also will appoint someone to replace Penoyer as Superior Court judge until the 2006 general election.
He was an attorney in private practice handling general practice cases from 1979 to 1988. He served as city attorney for South Bend during that time. As a lawyer, Judge Penoyar served on the Board of Bar Examiners. He is a member of the Superior Court Judges Association where he served on the Rural Courts Committee, Courts and Community Committee, and the Ethics Committee. "I am honored and proud to be appointed by Governor Gregoire to the Court of Appeals," said Penoyar. "Rural judges have an excellent chance to see the results of their decisions in their communities. I look forward to working hard and earning the respect of the bench."
Joel and his wife, Betsy, have five children and are active in youth soccer, scouting, the Historical Society and numerous civic organizations. He is also a volunteer firefighter and a first responder.
Penoyar received his bachelor's degree from Michigan State University and his law degree from the University of Oregon. He was admitted to the Washington State Bar in September 1975.