Prior to his appointment as a Federal Way Municipal Court Judge, Judge Bales worked as a Senior Deputy Prosecutor for King County. For over two decades, he litigated complex felony cases in the Special Assault Unit, Domestic Violence Unit, Homicide and Violent Crime Unit, and Appellate Unit. As an appellate attorney, he successfully argued cases before the Washington State Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals (Division I). Judge Bales was also a soldier in the United States Army for over thirty years and he achieved the rank of colonel. He served two three-year terms as a military judge presiding over active duty felony criminal trials, as a prosecutor litigating felony criminal trials, as a defense counsel and a Regional Defense Counsel representing soldiers in criminal trials and administrative hearings, and as an International and Operational Law Officer. He served at various locations around the United States, as well as in Germany, Korea, Guatemala, Hungary, Croatia and Egypt. During his legal career, he was appointed as a Special Assistant United State Attorney on three separate occasion, where he tried cases on behalf of the United States in Washington State and New Jersey.
Judge Bales earned a Master’s in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College, a Juris Doctorate from Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College, and a BS in Business from Portland State University. Judge Bales’ recognitions and awards include: Distinguished Military Graduate (DMG) from Oregon State University; ROTC Scholarship Recipient from Oregon State University; Collegiate All-American: Track and Field; Meritorious Service Medal; Army Commendation Medal; NATO Medal; Multi-National Force and Observers Medal; and parachutist badge.