Honorable Ed McKenna

Judge Ed McKenna

Elected Term of Office: Jan. 2019 - Jan. 2023

Judge Ed McKenna retired effective April 3, 2020, after serving as Presiding Judge. His first judicial term began in 2011 and he has held several calendar assignments including Mental Health Court, Domestic Violence Court and general trial courts. Considered "therapeutic" in nature, Seattle's Domestic Violence Court and Mental Health Court employs interventions to reduce recidivism and increase public safety.     

A graduate of the University of Washington and Seattle University School of Law, Judge McKenna's legal background includes more than 20 years as a Senior Prosecutor with the Seattle City Attorney's Office. Judge McKenna has also volunteered his time to further the interests of the legal community as well as those less fortunate by assisting low-income homeowners improve the health and safety of their homes and revitalizing the community. 

  • University of Washington, B.A. Psychology
  • University of Notre Dame Law School (London Program), Certificate of Completion
  • Seattle University (formerly University of Puget Sound), Juris Doctor

Past and Present

  • Judge, Seattle Municipal Court, 2011 - 2020
  • Senior Assistant Seattle City Attorney, 1990-2011
  • Hearing Examiner, Washington State Board of Tax Appeals, 1995-2001
  • Associate Attorney, Holland & Scales, P.S., Inc. 1989-1990
  • Law Clerk, Washington State Board of Tax Appeals, 1987-1989


  • American Judges' Association
  • District and Municipal Court Judges' Association
  • Instructor, WSBA Trial Advocacy Program
  • WSBA Judicial Selection Committee
  • Washington Lawyer Practice Manual Committee
  • Vice President, Northwest Indian Bar Association
  • Washington Association of Municipal Attorneys
  • Student Mentor, Seattle University
  • Mock Trial Judge, Seattle University School of Law
  • Mock Trial Judge, University of Washington School of Law
  • Volunteer Attorney, Lake City Legal Clinic
  • Volunteer for "Rebuilding Together"

Visiting My Courtroom

Visitors and persons scheduled to appear in court should review the following "Do's and Don'ts".

  • Do be on time and sign the "Sign-in sheet".
  • Don't wear a hat (subject to exceptions).
  • Do converse with others outside the courtroom.
  • Don't chew gum.
  • Do be patient.  Attorneys are busy and court calendars can often take several hours so please plan accordingly.
  • Don't eat in the courtroom. Coffee with lids and water bottles are OK.
  • Don't use your cell phone in the courtroom. Your phone must be turned off. Only attorneys may use cell phones in court for work-related reasons.
  • Do ask the Bailiff if you have any questions.
  • Follow any instructions given by court staff. 

Information for Attorneys

  • If you have any procedural questions, please ask court staff.  
  • If attorneys will be late, keeping the court staff informed is appreciated.
  • Notice of Appearance should be filed before the case is called.
  • All parties signing pleadings have the responsibility to ensure the paperwork is accurate and complete. 
  • Please submit petitions for deferred prosecutions and materials in advance of the hearing.
  • The court will give priority to interpreter cases and in-custody defendants.
  • Please let court staff know at the earliest opportunity if a matter will result in a plea or disposition. The bailiff can then research and calculate jail credit.
  • Please use the buttons on the microphones if you don't want the judge (or the record) to hear your private conversation.
  • Please keep your courtroom conversations to a minimum.
  • When continuing a case, please use the hearing date as the commencement date, as opposed to using the next hearing date.  
  • Off-record continuances are no longer authorized.
  • 3.6 motions are generally not reserved to the trial court. If setting a matter for a separate 3.6 motion date, please inquire with the clerk for available dates and times before the case is called.
  • Audio and video recordings should be submitted with motion briefing so the court can review the items in advance of the hearing.
  • Local rule SMCLR 8.2.1 regarding motions must be strictly adhered to.
  • If entering a plea that recommends "Credit for time served", the plea form should either reflect the actual time served or the parties must be able to articulate how many days the defendant has actually served. If unsure, please ask the bailiff to calculate the exact number of days before the case is called.
  • Interpreters should be provided with a separate copy of the plea form or other documents prior to calling the case.
  • Pleas and dispositions should be completed before 11:40 a.m. and 4:10 p.m. Please plan accordingly or the case may be held over to another calendar.
  • Stipulations that save time or improve efficiency are always appreciated by the court.