Compiled by Nathaniel Barr / The Pacific Northwest's Best Lawyers 2017


Buchanan Angeli Altschul & Sullivan: Andrew Altschul (employment law – individuals; litigation – ERISA, 2012) helped win more than $400,000 for former Clatsop County clerk Maeve Kennedy Grimes, who, the jury agreed, was wrongfully fired by the former county manager after she directly notified the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office about errors on the 2014 County General Election ballot—including a missing zero on the ballots’ display of the cost of an $8.2 million bond measure.

Chernoff Vilhauer: Susan D. Pitchford (copyright law; litigation – patent; patent law; trademark law, 2015) is representing the Stash Tea Company in its suit against a small Beaverton, Oregon, pot dispensary, the Stash Cannabis Co., alleging that the dispensary stole the tea company’s name and passed off its own products as those of Stash Tea. 

Earthjustice: Todd True (environmental law, 2012) was part of a team that helped win a court reappraisal of the U.S. government’s attempts to restore fish wildlife habitats along the Lower Snake River, which were disrupted by the construction of hydroelectric dams. True helped represent a group of plaintiffs—including conservation and sport fishing organizations, the Nez Perce tribe, and the State of Oregon—in the suit, arguing that the government’s 2014 plan to restore salmon and steelhead habitats along the Snake does not comply with applicable federal laws governing the protection of threatened and endangered species and that attempts over the past 20 years to repair the damage have also been insufficient. The judge ordered that the government present a revised plan by 2018, without ruling out the possibility of breaching or removing one or more of the four Lower Snake dams.

► Hillis Clark Martin & Peterson: Seattle-based attorney T. Ryan Durkan (land use and zoning law; real estate law, 1995) completed her term as chair of the board of regents for Washington State University and continues as a board member. Durkan has served on WSU’s board of regents since December 2011.

► Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys: John M. Coletti (admiralty and maritime law; personal injury litigation – plaintiffs; product liability litigation – plaintiffs, 2006) won a jury award of $13.5 million from a waste management corporation for his client, a 57-year-old Portland man whose leg was severed above the knee by a garbage truck that made an illegal turn into the crosswalk as he was crossing. The verdict covers the man’s medical expenses, his pain and suffering, and will allow him to buy a prosthetic leg that bends at the knee, which he was unable to afford after the incident.

► Perkins Coie: Kathleen M. O’Sullivan (appellate practice; commercial litigation, 2009) was nominated by President Obama to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.


In-House and Government:

Ater Wynne: Bill Campbell (corporate law; mergers and acquisitions law; technology law; venture capital law, 2006) left the firm to join sustainability-focused investment firm Equilibrium as its head of sustainability and structuring and as general counsel.Doug MacCourt (Native American law; natural resources law, 2009) became senior policy advisor for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Indian Energy.

Davis Wright Tremaine: Lisa Rediger Hayward (health care law, 2014) became senior vice president and general counsel at Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Van Ness Feldman: Seth P. Gustafson (real estate law, 2013) joined Microsoft as a senior attorney.

Williams Kastner: Debora G. Juarez (Native American law, 2012) left the firm to serve as the representative for North Seattle (District 5) on the Seattle City Council.

Private Practice:

Apex Law Group: Judith L. Andrews (non-profit/charities law; public finance law, 2008) joined, leaving her solo practice.

Betts, Patterson & Mines: Leta E. Gorman (product liability litigation – defendants, 2011) joined the Portland office as a director from Jordan Ramis.

Brooks Quinn: Hillary A. Brooks (trademark law, 2015) co-founded the firm after leaving Marger Johnson & McCollom.

Hardwick & Pendergast: Douglas T. Weinmaster (personal injury litigation – plaintiffs, 2012) joined the firm from Perey Law Group.

Lane Powell: Katherine C. Spelman (information technology law; copyright law; trademark law, 2001) joined the Seattle office as a shareholder in the intellectual property and technology group. She was previously with K&L Gates. Bruce C. Hamlin (product liability litigation – defendants, 2010) rejoined the Portland office from Martin, Bischoff, Templeton, Langslet & Hoffman as a member of the litigation practice group.

McKinley Irvin: Elizabeth A. Michelson (family law, 1999) joined the firm, leaving her solo practice.

Merrill O’Sullivan: Richard W. Funk (collaborative law: family law; family law, 2014) joined the firm from Duerst & Funk.

Miller Nash Graham & Dunn: Douglas D. Morris (corporate law, 2013) joined the Portland office as partner on the firm’s business practice team. He was previously with Ater Wynne.

Nossaman: Svend A. Brandt-Erichsen (energy law; environmental law; litigation – environmental; natural resources law, 2013) joined the firm’s Seattle office as partner. He was previously with Marten Law.

Perkins Coie: Serena S. Carlsen (real estate law, 2013) joined the firm’s Seattle office from Stoel Rives as partner in the real estate and land use practice.

Rafel Law Group: Paul Raskin (legal malpractice law – defendants, 2013) joined the firm from Corr Cronin Michelson Baumgardner Fogg & Moore.

Seed Intellectual Property Law Group: Marc C. Levy (litigation – intellectual property) joined the Seattle firm from Faegre Baker Daniels in Denver, Colorado.

Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth: David O. Thompson (public finance law, 2010) joined the firm’s Seattle office as shareholder in the public finance practice. He was previously with K&L Gates.


NOTE Lawyers listed in Best Lawyers are indicated by their selected practice area(s) in parentheses along with the first year they were included in the Best Lawyers list. To be included in next year’s In the News feature, please email us your news at: