05/21/2018: "San Juan Islander Rita Latsinova to Run for Court of Appeals"
Rita Latsinova of Friday Harbor is running for the open seat on the Washington State Court of Appeals, Division 1, District 3 (Whatcom, Skagit, Island and San Juan counties). The vacancy was created when Judge Mary Kay Becker of Bellingham - one of two women judges out of 10 in Division 1 - announced her retirement after 24 years of distinguished service.
Rita has over twenty years of continuous experience before all levels of Washington appellate courts, with particular emphasis on Division I for which she is running. She has briefed and/or argued dozens of civil cases involving commercial and insurance disputes, consumer protection, environmental and administrative law, land use, real estate and water issues, among others.
She has also served as a Special Assistant Attorney General to assist the State of Washington in several complex civil matters, both in the lower courts and on appeal.
She has appeared before the federal district court for the Western District of Washington, the federal district court for the Eastern District of Washington, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, and has handled cases before superior courts in Oregon, Iowa and New Hampshire.
Rita's pro bono work includes cases she handled as a cooperating attorney for Northwest Women's Law Center (now Legal Voice), Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Neighbors for Notice, in the federal district courts and on appeal.
She has served as a hearing officer for attorney discipline for the Washington State Bar Association.
Rita was born and raised in Moscow in what was then the Soviet Union. She married her American husband, Tom Crane, in 1985. They lived in Moscow for the next five years, during which time Rita worked as an interpreter for The New York Times, CBS News and NPR, and as a translator for various local publishers. Rita and Tom moved to Washington State in 1990, settling in Seattle.
Rita attended Seattle University School of Law, where she was editor of the law review. She graduated cum laude in 1994 and became a US citizen. She worked as an associate attorney at Bogle and Gates (1994-1999), as an associate and partner at Dorsey and Whitney (1999-2003) and has been a partner at Stoel Rives since 2003.
Rita and Tom fell in love with San Juan Island the first time they visited and decided to make it their home some day. They purchased land there in 2000, and the following year they built a house and started spending as much time there as Rita’s work and their daughter’s school schedule allowed.
They have lived permanently on San Juan since the summer of 2017, where their daughter attends Spring Street International School in Friday Harbor.
Being an immigrant and having grown up in a totalitarian society gives Rita a deep appreciation for democratic values, inclusion, the rule of law, and an independent judiciary. She has demonstrated her commitment to these values in over two decades of practice as a litigator and appellate lawyer, and through her volunteer commitments to the Bar and pro bono service. She has the ability to understand, analyze, and clearly present complex legal issues on the wide range of subjects appellate cases entail. She looks forward to running for the Court of Appeals serving San Juan, Whatcom, Skagit and Island counties, and will be honored to serve if elected.
For more information and to follow her campaign please visit www.ritaforcourtofappeals.com