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Vanderwood Sworn in as Superior Court Judge

Vanderwood Speaks

VANCOUVER — Camas resident Derek Vanderwood was sworn in as Clark County’s newest Superior Court judge Friday at an investiture ceremony that was attended by approximately 130 people.

Vanderwood, who has practiced law in Vancouver since 1996, was sworn in by Judge Barbara D. Johnson, as family, friends and peers looked on during the sunny afternoon on the sixth floor of the Clark County Public Service Center.

Derek Vanderwood is sworn in as Superior Court judge by
Judge Barbara D. Johnson

The simple, yet elegant ceremony included remarks by Johnson, Casey Marshall (Vanderwood’s former law practice partner), and Judge Daniel L. Stahnke, who all spoke highly of Clark County’s newest judge.

Marshall introduced Vanderwood and spoke highly of their professional relationship while sharing some lighthearted moments. He said he at first doubted that Vanderwood would be appointed to the bench, but never doubted he’d make a good judge.

“And here we are now, ” Marshall said. “Derek will do an excellent job. He’s very meticulous and has a great love of community.”

Vanderwood was appointed to the bench by Governor Jay Inslee after a vacancy become available through the retirement of Judge Nichols. Vanderwood will have to run for election in November to complete the remaining two years of this judicial term.

“We welcome Derek into his new role,” said Judge Stahnke. “He’s been doing orientation for the past week … and know this can be overwhelming.”

After taking the oath of office from Judge Johnson, Vanderwood received his robe, which was placed by his wife, Allison, a longtime Clark County resident.

“It’s been a great opportunity to serve so many clients over these many years,” said Vanderwood. “And my partners have been a great help. I’m looking to create new relationships and this is an opportunity to help others … and I want you to know that I’m committed to respecting all those who enter the courtroom.

“This has given me a chance to reflect on accomplishments, and it’s a wonderful chance to serve,” he added. “And I ask you all to look how you can serve our community.”

In her closing remarks, Judge Johnson said: “Judge Vanderwood fits in and truly seems to have a calling to be a judge. It’s very meaningful to have him here.”

In attendance was Vanderwood’s immediate family, including his wife, Allison, and three of his four children: Alina, Andrew and Tyler. His oldest two sons, Devin and Grant, are currently serving missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Peru and Dallas, Texas, respectively. The new judge also serves as a local LDS Bishop in Camas.

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Derek Vanderwood, his wife Allison, and three of their five children.

Much of his extended family, including his mother, Joan, and siblings, were in attendance, as well.

Following the investiture ceremony, the guests attended an elegant reception at Vancouver Hilton.

“It’s a great experience for our family,” said Andrew. “It’s a good change. I thought he would get it. He’s a great public speaker and it was just right.”

His mother, Joan Vanderwood, referred to the ceremony as a parent pay day.

“Of course, I’m impressed with Derek and his abilities,” said Joan. “He’s very fair and has many good qualities. I’ve always felt he had the potential to be amazing and live up to his potential.”

Judge Vanderwood has served actively in the community for years in his ecclesiastical capacity, as well as serving Little League and the Boy Scouts of America, among other organizations.

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Judge Vanderwood takes his seat among other judges.

“It’s been a fantastic day,” said Allison. “It’s really an honor to be part of this event, and I’m just so  proud of him. This entire experience teaches our kids the importance of community. When he was appointed by Governor Inslee, were were shocked, but very happy with the announcement. It was a surprise and surely a great honor. Derek will serve people well.”

Judge Vanderwood will continue his orientation these coming weeks, and will then be given a load of cases to oversee.

 

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