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Seattle Arbitration, George Finkle

Judge Finkle was appointed to the King County Superior Court in December 1989 and served until October 1999, when he joined JdR. Before taking the bench, Judge Finkle was a partner in Burns Schneiderman Finkle, Deputy Director of the Seattle-King County Public Defender, an associate at Preston Thorgrimson, and law clerk to the Hon. Jerome Farris.

Experience & Specialties

Since joining JdR in 1999, Judge Finkle has successfully arbitrated and mediated hundreds of state and federal civil cases. His ADR experience includes modest-sized and large complex cases involving contracts, employment, International, insurance, maritime, healthcare, agriculture, high technology, patent/licensing/trademark, real estate, securities, shareholders, construction, family law, partnership, consumer, and class actions. Judge Finkle has served as Special Master in dozens of state and federal cases, has consulted in litigation, and has supervised elections.

While a member of the Superior Court bench, Judge Finkle’s diverse trial docket included State v. American Tobacco (the multi-billion dollar lead case in the national tobacco litigation), as well as hundreds of other complex and straightforward civil cases.

Judge Finkle has been a frequent speaker at Continuing Legal Education seminars covering topics including effective arbitration, mediation, and trial practice.

In October of 2010, Judge Finkle was a visiting Professor of Law at the Masaryk University Law Faculty in the Czech Republic.

Special Honors & Memberships


  • Fellow, College of Commercial Arbitrators
  • Chief Civil Judge, King County Superior Court
  • Volunteer Mediator, Seattle Police / Citizen disputes and King County Superior Court
  • Member, Washington State Board of Bar Examiners
  • Commissioner, Washington State Sentencing Guidelines Commission


  • Associated Grocers Board of Directors / Chair, Executive Committee
  • Volunteer Home Builder and Family Advocate, Habitat for Humanity
  • Volunteer phone worker, Seattle-King County Crisis Clinic
  • Volunteer English teacher for refugees, International Rescue Committee


Harvard Law School, J.D. 1973
National Judicial College, Graduate 1990