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Justice Tom Chambers, 1929-2013

Justice Chambers

Biographical Information

Born Oct. 11, 1943; died Dec. 11, 2013.

J.D., 1969, University of Washington
B.A., 1966, Washington State University

Admitted to the Washington State Bar in 1969

Justice, Supreme Court of Washington, 2001-2012


  • King County Mandatory Arbitration Council, 1981-86
  • Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, president 1985-86, president-elect 1984-85, board of governors 1987-90
  • Damages Attorney Roundtable, president 1993
  • American Board of Trial Advocates, president 1993
  • Washington State Bar Association, president 1996-97


  • Washington State Trial Lawyers Association Outstanding Trial Lawyer of the Year, 1989
  • American Board of Trial Advocates Outstanding Trial Lawyer of the Year, 1996
  • Yakima Valley Community College Distinguished Alumni Award, 1998
  • Seattle Housing Authoring Good Neighbor of the Year, 1999
  • King County Women Lawyers Outstanding Judge of the Year, 2006
  • University of Washington Distinguished Alumni Award, 2009
  • Washington State Bar Association Lifetime Achievement Award, 2012
  • National Association of Trial Advocates Lifetime Achievement Award, 2012
  • Washington State Association of Justice Outstanding Judge of the Year, 2012
  • University of Washington School of Law Henry M. Jackson Distinguished Alumni Public Service Award, 2013

In 2013, the Washington State Association for Justice changed the name of its Trial Lawyer of the Year Award to the Tom Chambers Trial Lawyer of the Year Award.

Obituaries & Tributes


Notable Opinions

Links go to Washington State Supreme Court Opinions on Municipal Research and Services Center of Washington (MRSC).

State v. Monday, 171 Wash.2d 667, 257 P.3d 551 (2011)

  • “If justice is not equal for all, it is not justice” – 171 Wash.2d 667, 680.
  • Justice Chambers writes about State v. Monday on his blog.

State v. A.N.J., 168 Wash.2d 91, 225 P.3d 956 (2010)

Concurrence and dissent in Kittitas County v. E. Wash. Growth Mgmt Board, 172 Wash.2d 144, 256 P.3d 1193 (2010)

State v. Christensen, 153 Wash.2d 186, 102 P.3d 789 (2004)

  • Justice Chambers writes about State v. Christensen on his blog.


Book & Website

Thomas J. Chambers, Tom Chambers’ Trial Notebook, (Washington State Trial Lawyers Association 1992).

Justice Chambers’ website and blog