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Judges and Commissioner's Information

Elected Judges Pro Tempore AR 6

Brian L. Stiles, Judge
Department 1

Brian L. Stiles was appointed judge on July 1, 2015. He was previously in the private practice of law from 1981 and served as Sedro-Woolley’s municipal court judge from 1996. Brian graduated from Sedro-Woolley High School in 1974, Pacific Lutheran University in 1978, and the University of Puget Sound School of Law in 1981.

Laura M. Riquelme, Judge
Department 2

Judge Riquelme was appointed to the Skagit County Superior Court in March, 2016 and in July, 2017 and elected November 2018.  Prior to her judicial service, she was a senior deputy public defender with the Skagit County Public Defender.  She began her legal career as a deputy prosecuting attorney for the Skagit County Prosecuting Attorney.  Judge Riquelme is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Syracuse University’s College of Law.

Elizabeth Y. Neidzwski, Judge
Department 3

Elizabeth Yost Neidzwski was elected to serve as a Skagit County Superior Court Judge in November, 2020. She was previously a senior deputy public defender with the Skagit County Public Defender’s Office and a public defender with both the King County Department of Public Defense and the Orange County Public Defender’s Office. She also previously worked in private practice at a civil litigation law firm. Elizabeth is a graduate of Anacortes High School, Western Washington University, and Washington and Lee University School of Law.
Thomas L. Verge, Judge
Department 4

Judge Thomas L. Verge was elected to Skagit County Superior Court in January 2021. Previously he served 5 years as a Skagit County District Court Judge, beginning in January 2016.

During his 30-plus year legal career, Judge Verge also served as a full-time Superior Court Commissioner in Whatcom County for 11 years and served 4 years as the Elected Prosecutor in Skagit County.  In addition, for the first 10 years of his career, he was a partner in a private law firm in Skagit County that focused on criminal defense, civil law and family law.

Judge Verge earned his Bachelor of Arts from Western Washington University and his Juris Doctorate from University of Puget Sound School of Law. He was admitted to the bar in 1988.

James. B. Dolan
Commissioner

Commissioner James B. Dolan was appointed as Skagit County Superior Court Commissioner in 2018.  He presides at hearings for individuals who have been detained pursuant to the Involuntary Treatment Act.  Prior to his appointment, he worked as a Skagit County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for five years before entering private practice as an elder law attorney in 2004.

Jim received his BA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1981 and his JD from Northwestern School of Law at Lewis & Clark College in 1998.

Heather Shand
Commissioner

Commissioner Heather Shand was appointed as Court Commissioner for Skagit County in 2019. She previously served as Pro-Tem Judge for District Court and Pro-Tem Commissioner for Superior Court. She also has experience in family law, including adoptions, guardianships, probates, business, taxation and estate planning.