For the last 27 years, I have been a trial attorney fighting for the rights of ordinary people. I believe whether you are victim of crime or a victim of negligence, you deserve to have an experienced trial attorney by your side.
A little history of how I have gotten to where I am today. I graduated from Gonzaga Law School in 1984 and immediately entered the Spokane Prosecutors Office. I began trying jury trials of all types: driving under the influence, petty theft, possession of narcotics, domestic violence, etc. I progressed through the ranks, eventually being promoted to a major crimes prosecutor, then supervisor. I handled murder cases, robbery, serious assaults, kidnappings. At a young age, I had the opportunity to practice hundreds of trials, working on the fundamentals of what it takes to be a good trial attorney.
One step led to another and at age 36, I was elected Spokane Prosecuting Attorney. It was an honor. I had the opportunity to speak on behalf of the community, protect the most vulnerable, and to uphold justice. The Spokane Prosecutors Office took more cases to trial than ever before, and had the highest success rate on record during my time as elected Prosecutor. I established the gang crimes team to better protect citizens from violent and drug related crimes. I established new and innovative ways to prosecute domestic violence, so that the cycle of violence could be broken. These systems to protect the community are still in place today.
I didn’t stop practicing trials as elected Prosecutor. I wasn’t afraid to enter the ring. I wanted to be an example to the other deputy prosecutors who were also working hard to protect the public from crime. I prosecuted the most high profile cases in Spokane County history, including death penalty cases and won convictions on them all.
Now, helping victims of negligence rather than victims of crime, I use much of my previous experience in preparing and trying cases. Every case begins and ends with hard work and preparation: there is no substitute. It is my job to make sure the jury has everything they need to evaluate the credibility of witnesses and to determine who most likely is telling the truth. It is my job to make sure the jury knows what counts and what does not count when determining damages. It is my job to present all the evidence the jury needs to reach a fair and proper verdict. The jury must feel competent and safe in reaching their decision; a decision that will likely affect both parties for the rest of their lives.
From all my years of practicing trials, I can tell you that the best attorney is an honest attorney. Television shows, or even young attorneys out of law school, might portray the courtroom as an arena for spinning testimonies or fancy rhetoric. Presentation can improve a case, but it cannot win one. I respect the jury’s ability to separate the truth from a lie. By being honest and forthright about the weaknesses in any case, it allows the jury to take into account the full story – and for me to be a trustworthy guide, assisting the jury in determining the truth, applying the law, and evaluating the credibility of witnesses.
The reason I became a trial lawyer is because people who are harmed due to the actions of others deserve justice. I continue to practice law because I still have that passion. I enjoy working with clients to build strong cases - and will use my law firm’s resources to take on major corporations, insurance companies, or the government when they are responsible for harming ordinary people. Most rewarding, certainly, is when my clients receive the compensation they deserve, that without my dedication and experience would have never been realized. By helping enforce the rules designed to protect the community and my clients, I take great joy in knowing I am making the community a better and safer place and this keeps me excited to meet new challenges ahead.