SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash., February 28, 2022 – During its Administrative Session today, the Snohomish County Council unanimously passed Resolution 22-010 honoring the life and legacy of Judge Cassandra Lopez-Shaw.
The resolution, introduced by Council Vice Chair Jared Mead (District 4) and seconded by Councilwoman Stephanie Wright (District 3) reads:
WHEREAS, the Snohomish County Council joins the family, friends, and colleagues of the Honorable Cassandra Lopez-Shaw to honor her life, legacy, and commitment to public service; and
WHEREAS, at the age of eight, she and her family came to the United States, and she grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles. She then attended the University of Washington where she graduated with honors before earning her Juris Doctor from Loyola Law School; and
WHEREAS, Judge Lopez-Shaw’s commitment to vulnerable populations was unwavering. She provided extensive volunteer time in educational settings for young people, especially children from disadvantaged communities. She routinely volunteered with the YMCA Mock Trial Program, Bothell Youth Court, and in classrooms in public schools across Snohomish County; and
WHEREAS, her commitment to public service led to over 200 hours per year of pro bono work within the community, and recognitions and awards including the Domestic Violence Advocacy Award for her work with domestic violence victims; and
WHEREAS, Judge Lopez-Shaw’s 17-year legal career spanned across public defense, private practice, and most recently she was elected as Snohomish County’s first Latinx Superior Court Judge; and
WHEREAS, she will forever be remembered by her commitment to fair representation for disadvantaged populations. A fluent Spanish speaker, she would conduct court in Spanish for people who primarily spoke Spanish as their first language. She also was a constant and compassionate advocate for people without financial means to access fair representation; and
WHEREAS, she will be missed by many colleagues in Snohomish County who appreciated her thoughtfulness, kindness, generosity, and human lovingness – both in and out of the courtroom;
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT, RESOLVED, we encourage the people of Snohomish County to honor Judge Lopez-Shaw’s memory and commitment to public service by volunteering or donating to their favorite organization, such as her favorites the Snohomish County Legal Services and the YMCA;
BE IT FURTHER, RESOLVED, since Judge Lopez-Shaw was the first Latina judge in Snohomish County and “you can’t be what you can’t see,” we encourage all young women, especially young women of color, to never give up on their dreams and know you can be whatever you want to be.
Click here to view the resolution honoring Judge Lopez-Shaw in its entirety.
Comments from Councilmembers and the Public
Judge Anna Alexander and Judge Lopez-Shaw were friends outside of the courtroom.
“On behalf of all the judges on the Superior Court Bench, all our court staff, I would like to thank the County Council for such a thoughtful gesture,” judge Alexander said during today’s meeting. “We hope that, although she is no longer with us, her passion for a more just and inclusive and humane community continues through all of our collective work in her honor.”
Judge Alexander read a statement from the Chief Justice of the Washington State Supreme Court, Steve Gonzales. Chief Justice Gonzales performed the swearing in of Judge Lopez-Shaw.
“Judge Lopez-Shaw served our community with her natural kindness, empathy, bravery and strength,” wrote Chief Justice Gonzales. “She reminded each and every judge on the bench that every decision we make, even seemingly the smallest ones, can have lifetime effects on countless people and that each decision must be made with humanity as the guiding principle.”
Prior to approving the resolution, Council Chair Megan Dunn shared her sympathy to the family on the passing of judge Lopez-Shaw. “I wish we can offer more than words at this point. I am hopeful that our resolution does bring some hope to the family and her peers.”
Councilman Sam Low added, “Judge Lopez-Shaw was such a great leader in our community. I remember during her campaign meeting with her, and having pizza together at Brooklyn Brothers Pizza, and just what an engaging person she is and how much she cares for her family and for her community. As council Chair Dunn said, these are just words and I wish we can do more.
He ended saying, “We are thankful for the time that we had her, and how much we learned from her.”