NWLawyer: As a starting point for
this conversation, can you tell us a
little bit about the Eastern District of
McAvoy: The Eastern District of Wash-
ington covers the 20 counties east of
the summit of the Cascade Mountains.
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of Washington comprises 10
Article III (district) judges and two
full-time magistrate judges. Additionally, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the
Eastern District of Washington is comprised of three bankruptcy judges. The
Eastern District has staffed courthouses
in three locations: Spokane, Yakima,
and Richland, and its district judges
travel among and preside over cases in
each of the three locations.
NWLawyer: What was the impetus for
the historical display exhibits? When
did this project begin?
McAvoy: The judges and court unit
executives for the Eastern District of
Washington maintain a continuing dedication to civics education and public
awareness of the judicial history of the
district. The court conducts ongoing
Q&A with Sean McAvoy
District Court Executive/Clerk of Court
public outreach through scheduled pre-
sentations, classroom visits, mock trials,
and multiday institutes. These outreach
events target students in middle school
and high school, as well as high school
government/civics teachers. In an
effort to supplement its already strong
public outreach, the court approved the
concept of a historical exhibit installa-
tion in each of its court locations in late
July 2014. The intent of these displays
was to strengthen the understanding
of the history of the federal courts in
the Eastern District of Washington for
all who visit its federal courthouses.
A committee formed in August 2014,
consisting of district and bankruptcy
judges, court unit executives, the Ninth
Circuit Librarian, facilities managers
from the General Services Administration (GSA), and the GSA historian. In
September 2014, the court released to
the public its Request for Qualifications,
a solicitation that invited design firms
from across the country with experience
and expertise in designing, building, and
facilitating creative and interactive exhibits to respond. The Historical Exhibit
Committee selected the exhibit design
firm, approved the design and content,
and verified accuracy of written text.
Left: Educational panel depicting “Key Components of the Federal Judiciary,” Richland U.S. Courthouse & Federal Building; Right: Educational panel with Judge
Edward F. Shea quote, Thomas S. Foley United States Courthouse, Spokane; courtesy United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington ( WAED).
Below: Educational panel describing a civil case from multiple perspectives, William O. Douglas United States Courthouse, Yakima; courtesy WAED.
IN THE NEAR FUTURE,
WE PLAN TO ADD
TO THE DISPLAYS.