Craddock Davis Verser donned the black robe of Jefferson County Superior Court judge and addressed the courtroom for the first time Friday.
The veteran lawyer and public defender was sworn in to the bench by state Supreme Court Justice Susan Owens, formerly a Clallam County District Court judge in Forks.
“When I became a judge, I always thought this would be easy because the lawyers did all the work,” she told Verser.
“The difficulty of this job will confront you as soon as you put the robe on, and I wish you the best of luck.”
Verser, 54, vowed to handle the pressure well.
“I have a rare privilege of applying what I’ve learned for the citizens of Jefferson County,” he told a standing-room-only courtroom.
Verser was appointed last month by Gov. Gary Locke to the bench after Thomas J. Majhan, 67, died of cancer in January.
Four other candidates, Michael Edward Haas, William Charles “Chuck” Henry, Karen Gates Hildt and Rebekah Ruth Ross, also sought the position.
Verser’s relevant experience made him the most qualified candidate, Locke said when making the appointment.
Verser will serve until the fall election, when Majhan’s four-year term was set to expire.The appointed jurist hasn’t said if he will seek election to the $121,972 a year position.