Meet Judge Eisenberg
Judge Eisenberg grew up near Boulder, Colorado. He was raised in a Jewish household and experienced at an early age how minorities often face marginalization and prejudice in America. He received a journalism degree in 1982 from the University of Colorado, and spent the next seven years as a Los Angeles-based entertainment reporter.
In 1989, Judge Eisenberg moved to Seattle to attend the University of Washington School of Law. Since graduating with honors in 1992, he has enjoyed a varied legal career that includes work as a criminal prosecutor and as a civil trial attorney.
In January of 2017, Judge Eisenberg was appointed to the Seattle Municipal Court bench after serving as a Magistrate (2011-2016) and Court Commissioner (2004-2011).
On the bench, Judge Eisenberg is an experienced jurist. He serves on the steering committee of the Domestic Violence Intervention Project (DVIP), a revolutionary new approach to treatment that provides individualized intervention for offenders who commit intimate partner violence. He has also participated in two state-wide domestic violence-focused work groups convened by the Legislature and the state Supreme Court’s Gender & Justice Commission.
Judge Eisenberg also serves as co-director of the Seattle Youth Traffic Court – a creative alternative to the traditional punitive justice system that involves a collaboration between Garfield High School, Seattle University Law School, Seattle Police Department and Seattle Municipal Court. In Youth Traffic Court, Garfield High School Students serve as the judges, defense attorneys and prosecutors for teens who have received traffic tickets in the city of Seattle. Seattle Law School students mentor the Garfield volunteers, and off-duty Seattle Police officers volunteer their time to educate the students on how to be safer drivers.
Both DVIP and Seattle Youth Traffic Court are examples of Restorative Justice – they hold individuals accountable while offering alternatives to traditional court responses. DVIP offers an alternative to jail, while participants in Youth Traffic Court have their traffic tickets dismissed so they don’t have to pay expensive fines or have their insurance rates increase.
Judge Eisenberg has written numerous articles about the judicial system for The Seattle Times, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and Seattle Weekly. In addition, he is the author of A Different Shade of Blue: How Women Changed the Face of Police Work, a nonfiction book that celebrates Seattle’s unique role as one of first cities in 1912 to hire women for police duties. Three generations of women – Black, White, Asian, Latina, Gay, Straight – share stories of great heroism, from battling an armed assailant inside a patrol car to going undercover to catch an illegal abortionist before Roe v. Wade. They also offer surprising views on affirmative action, and tell tales of discrimination and sexual harassment.
Judge Eisenberg is an alumnus of Leadership Tomorrow, and he has advocated on behalf of the LGBTQ+ legal community while serving on the board of QLaw Bar Association (2013-17). He is also an active member of the District and Municipal Court Judges Association, having held both board and committee assignments.
Off the bench, he teaches art & cultural property law for the University of Washington Museum Studies Graduate Program, and he practices the martial art of aikido.
Prior to joining the bench, he volunteered for Pride Foundation, Chicken Soup Brigade and Fare Start.