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Wednesday, October 21, 1998 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Lasnik Confirmed As Federal Judge

Seattle Times Olympia Bureau

King County Superior Court Judge Robert Lasnik was confirmed today as a judge on the U.S. District Court for Western Washington.

Lasnik, confirmed by the U.S. Senate this morning in a unanimous voice vote, will fill a vacancy left by Judge Carolyn Dimmick, who earlier this year was moved to senior status on the federal bench.

Lasnik has been a Superior Court judge for eight years. He has made key rulings involving the Mariner stadium, and ruled in 1995 that the University of Washington regents violated the Open Meetings Act in their search for a new president.

Before becoming a judge, Lasnik worked for 11 years in the King County Prosecutor's Office where, with William Downing, he prosecuted the three Wa Mee Massacre cases after the 1983 slayings of 13 people in the International District.

He and Downing also prosecuted David Lewis Rice for killing four members of the Goldmark family on Christmas Eve in 1986.

Lasnik was not the first choice of Washington's senators. A bipartisan panel of lawyers, lay people and a retired judge organized by Washington Sens. Slade Gorton and Patty Murray made a list of three potential candidates.

Initially, attorney Marvin "Monty" Gray was the top choice. But he withdrew his nomination after a controversy over statements he made in support of segregation while a student at Princeton University.

The third candidate on the list was King County Superior Court Judge George Finkle.

Lasnik was seen as the moderate choice among the three. President Clinton nominated him in May.

Lasnik earned degrees in psychology and sociology from Brandeis University, and master's degrees in journalism and counseling from Northwestern University.

He earned his law degree at the University of Washington and taught there before continuing his legal and judicial career. He is married and the father of three children.

David Postman's phone message number is 360-943-9882. His e-mail address is: dpostman@seattletimes.com

Copyright (c) 1998 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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