Retired King County Superior Court Judge
Judge Heller was appointed to the King County Superior Court by Governor Christine Gregoire in 2007 and served for almost a decade. While on the bench, 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 was a litigator for 25 years in Seattle with an emphasis on labor and employment law. He represented individuals, labor organizations, public and private sector entities, and educational institutions. After graduating from law school, Judge Heller clerked for the Hon. James Fitzgerald, U.S. District Court for Alaska. For three years thereafter, he worked for the Alaska Public Defender Association as a trial and appellate lawyer.
Experience and Specialties
Since leaving the bench at the end of 2016, Judge Heller has served as an arbitrator, hearing officer, mediator and special master in a wide variety of cases. He is a panelist on the American Arbitration Association national rosters of commercial arbitrators and employment arbitrators. He has ADR experience in the following types of cases, including: breach of contract, covenant of good faith and fair dealing, insurance bad faith, insurance coverage, real estate, boundary encroachment, timber trespass, adverse possession, eminent domain, condominium disputes, construction defects, commercial disputes, business dissolutions, partnership disputes, family dissolutions, franchise disputes, employment, non-competes, Taft Hartley trusts, excessive force claims against law enforcement, intentional torts, sexual abuse, negligence, personal injury, Jones Act, asbestos, wrongful death, medical malpractice, legal malpractice, catastrophic wildfires, defamation, trusts and estates, environmental, public school discipline of students and staff.
Special Honors and Memberships
Member, National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals
Hearing Officer, Office of Disciplinary Counsel, Washington Bar Association, 2020-current
Member, Washington Supreme Court Pattern Jury Instruction (WPI) Committee
2014 – 2017
Faculty, Washington Judicial College, 2015-2017, taught courses on discovery
issues to new judges
Chair, Seattle Ethics and Election Commission, 2005-2007
University of California, Berkeley Law School, J.D.
Stanford University, B.A. with distinction in history