Governor Gary Locke appointed Judge Frank E. Cuthbertson to the Superior Court in February of 2001. Judge Cuthbertson was the first African-American to serve as a Pierce County Superior Court judge. Judge Cuthbertson also won election retaining the seat in November 2001 thereby becoming the first African-American to win a countywide election in Pierce County, WA.
Judge Cuthbertson was born in New York City in the Borough of Queens in 1953. He attended public schools in New York City. Judge Cuthbertson attended Duke University in Durham, North Carolina and graduated in 1975. Judge Cuthbertson received his Juris Doctorate degree from the Seattle University (formerly University of Puget Sound) School of Law.
Prior to becoming a Superior Court judge, Frank practiced law with the firm Gordon Thomas Honeywell Malanca Peterson and Daheim. Frank also served as in-house legal counsel for Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound. Prior to employment with Group Health Frank worked as an attorney with the Seattle firm Davis Wright Tremaine. Judge Cuthbertson was an adjunct professor of law at Seattle University from 1997-1999 where he taught courses in health law and law and medicine (bioethics).
Judge Cuthbertson is particularly proud of helping establish Pre-Trial Services, working with Judge Murphy, Council member Ladenburg and others to create Felony Mental Health Court, helping to reduce the incarceration of juveniles in Pierce County and helping lead the court through a major reorganization. He retired from the bench in March of 2020.