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Bruce Heller

Judge Heller was appointed to the King County Superior Court by Governor Chris Gregoire in 2007 and served until December 2016.  He was known for his expertise in handling complex civil matters, including class action, medical and legal malpractice, employment, personal injury, insurance and commercial cases.  Prior to taking the bench, Judge Heller practiced labor and employment law for 25 years, representing all sides – employees, employers, labor and management. He had a reputation for being highly prepared, establishing effective working relationships with adverse parties, and seeking solutions acceptable to all sides.

Experience & Specialties

Judge Heller has extensive experience with ADR. He is a panelist on the American Arbitration Association national roster of arbitrators.  As a settlement conference judge, he has facilitated resolutions in a wide range of civil cases.  While in private practice, he served as a mediator and arbitrator.


  • King County Superior Court, 2007-2016
  • Member, Court’s Executive Committee
  • Chair, Court’s Personnel Committee


  • Private practice, labor and employment law, 1982-2007
  • Trial and appellate attorney, Alaska Public Defender Agency, 1979-1982
  • Law clerk, Hon. James Fitzgerald, U.S. District Court, Anchorage, 1977-1978

Other Experience

  • Washington Supreme Court WPI Committee, chair of sub-committee on employment law jury instructions, 2014-2016
  • Faculty, Washington Judicial College – taught a course to new judges on discovery issues, 2015-2017
  • Chair, Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission, 2005-2007


  • J.D., UC Berkeley Law School, associate editor Industrial Relations Law Journal
  • B.A. with distinction, Stanford University