Thomas Lyden has been appointed Blaine Municipal Court judge.
Blaine City Council confirmed city manager Mike Harmon’s appointment of Lyden on November 27 to fill the position left vacant after judge Michael Bobbink died in September. Lyden will take over the remaining term ending in December, and then start a four-year term in January that expires at the end of 2027.
“I am truly honored to serve,” Lyden said. “It’s a really nice community. I take service to heart and I’m looking forward to integrating further. I know there are challenges, but I also believe there are a lot of opportunities for things to change for the better.”
Lyden earned his law degree from the University of Idaho and was admitted to the Washington State Bar in 2007. He later was admitted to the Federal Bar Association of the Western District of Washington.
Starting his career in the public sector, in 2009 Lyden became supervising attorney for misdemeanor defense attorneys in Whatcom County. Lyden founded a private practice focused on DUI defense in 2011, which later became Keating & Lyden LLC. Lyden expanded his practice to include appeals, debtor/creditor rights, landlord/tenant litigation and business law.
Lyden already has some familiarity with the Blaine community, having worked since 2018 as judge pro tempore at Blaine Municipal Court. Bobbink appointed Lyden as presiding judge pro tem last December.
Lyden has presided over the Everson-Nooksack Municipal Court since January and could become judge of Sumas Municipal Court, where Lyden also served as pro tem for Bobbink.
Lynden said he will remain founding partner at his firm but has significantly reduced his caseload.
Blaine Municipal Court handles gross misdemeanors, misdemeanors and infractions as well as issues protection orders.
As judge, Lyden will ensure the court follows ethical standards. He will approve search warrant applications, quickly process arrested individuals and conduct trials, among other duties.
Lyden described his judicial philosophy as geared toward rehabilitation and reintegration.
“This is a well-used saying, but I try to remember that everyone who comes before me is fighting a battle that I know nothing about,” he said.
“Often, I know very little that’s going on in an individual’s life and I have such a short amount of time to get familiar with them. The real hope is that we can figure out a solution and move someone out of being a defendant in the court system for good.”
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