I am a Seattle native and currently live in Seward Park in south Seattle with my wife, Jeannie O’Brien. After graduating from Highline High School in Burien, I attended Stanford University (’76 B.A. in Political Science with stops at Berkeley and George Washington University along the way). After college, I traveled through Europe and Central America, worked in a cannery in Naknek, Alaska, explored teaching with the Seattle Public Schools, lived in a tent in the San Juan Islands while salmon fishing, and played the drums around Seattle. Five years after college, I decided to practice law and attended the University of Washington School of Law.
I have now been practicing law for over 35 years and focus exclusively on personal injury claims with an emphasis on children’s issues and cases. Personal injury cases attracted me early in my career because they afford the opportunity to meet people and to learn about their unique lives. Once you understand someone’s life, you can articulate the disruption and impact of their injuries and better represent them.
As for my life, I enjoy the Northwest and the fabulous opportunities it affords to be active outdoors. In the summer, I enjoy wake-surfing and swimming in Lake Washington or doing just about anything on our many waterways. In the winter, I love snow-boarding and being outdoors in the mountains. Bicycling and hiking are other pursuits I try to pursue regularly, and I have recently been dabbling in yoga classes.
My true passion in life is music. My mother raised a musical family, and I started playing the drums at an early age. I recently played with an excellent blues band out of Tacoma called Zero Down, with regular gigs at the Rock the Dock club on Tacoma’s waterfront. I relish the creativity, communication and comradery only music affords. Rock, blues, r & b and popular music are among my favorites, and I’m starting to be drawn to country music thanks to my daughter Cleo. (Pictured with one of my drum heroes, Dave Weckl, at Jazz Alley in 2016.)
My greatest joy and thrill the past 24 years has been watching my one and only child Cleo grow and evolve as a young woman and person. In high school in college, she worked occasionally in our office but has sensibly moved on to brighter lights. Our pet dog Bubbles is a suitable but highly inadequate replacement and fixture at our office.
I played basketball for Highline High School and it remains my favorite sport. I have also learned that sports and law share much in common. Both reward a strong work ethic, determination, integrity, and preparation. In law, these positive attributes are critical not only for the success of the attorney, but for the people represented as well. Those possessing respected values succeed because the law, at its core, is nothing more than a system of human beings making decisions and judgments about others.
Memberships and Associations
- Washington State Bar Association, 1985 – present
- United States District Court, Western District of Washington, 1986 – present
- Washington State Association for Justice
- Highline High School Alumni Association
- Stanford University Alumni Association
- University of Washington Alumni Association
- Trial Lawyers College graduate