Joe Gordon, Jr. joined GTH in 1968 and has been a pillar of the firm and of the legal community in the Pacific Northwest for many years. He has tried superior court cases involving a wide range of civil litigation matters in 26 of Washington’s 39 counties. As a Washington State Assistant Attorney General, he served as a trial attorney for the Department of Labor & Industries in both the Olympia and Seattle offices.
In private practice Joe has regularly represented rental property owners and management companies on landlord-tenant matters. He has also represented both employers and injured workers on industrial insurance claims. In recent years he has frequently served as either an arbitrator or superior court judge pro-tem to adjudicate disputes. He has been appointed as the arbitrator in dozens of superior court cases subject to mandatory arbitration.
When he’s not working, Joe and his wife Sandy stay busy with a seemingly endless array of maintenance tasks on their 1908 craftsman home. He is an avid follower of Stanford Cardinal athletic teams and a proud member of Nerd Nation. If you don’t know what that is, just ask a Stanford alum.
Joe obtained a judgment on behalf of an employer against both a former employee and his subsequent employer for misappropriation of trade secrets, even though the employee had never signed a noncompetition or confidentiality agreement. Pallet Services, Inc. v. Dowty and Yancey Pallet, Inc., Pierce County No. 09-2-08108-1.
As the sole arbitrator, Joe resolved a contract dispute between franchisees and a national franchisor. His award, issued after six days of testimony, was confirmed by the Superior Court (Pierce County No. 08-2-11956-0), and the confirmation was affirmed by the Court of Appeals. Saleemi v. Doctor’s Associates, Inc., 166 Wn. App. 81.
Joe presided over the ten-day jury trial of a medical malpractice action as a Superior Court Judge Pro-Tem. The judgment was affirmed by the Court of Appeals in an unpublished opinion. Vestal v. Franciscan Health System-West d/b/a St. Clare Hospital and Lee, 61. Wn. App.1004.
Representing a landlord, Joe successfully appealed a trial court decision that denied his client reasonable attorney fees and double damages in a commercial eviction action in which he had prevailed. Fife Properties v. Occupational Medical Clinic of Fife, 93 Wn. App. 1032.
Joe’s client, a corporate officer, was held to be entitled to industrial insurance coverage despite his failure to notify the Department prior to the accident that he had elected to be covered. Jepson v. Department of Labor & Industries, 89 Wn.2d 394.
J.D., Stanford University School of Law, 1964
B.A., History, Stanford University, 1961
JURISDICTIONS ADMITTED TO PRACTICE
Washington State Courts
U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington
PROFESSIONAL & BAR ASSOCIATION MEMBERSHIPS
Tacoma Pierce County Bar Association
Board of Trustees, 1988-1990
Lawyer Referral Committee Chair, 1972-1980
Washington State Bar Association
Adjunct Investigative Counsel, 2004-2009
Special District Counsel, 1986-2004
Group and Prepaid Legal Services Committee Chair, 1981-1982
Washington State Court Historical Society Board
Member, 1999 – Present
Joined Firm, 1968 and became Of Counsel, 2007
Pierce County Superior Court Judge Pro Tem , 2000-2010
American Arbitration Association, Panelist, 1992-2014
Washington State Assistant Attorney General, Department of Labor & Industries, 1965-1968
Washington State Supreme Court, Law Clerk for Justice Matthew W. Hill, 1964-1965
HONORS & AWARDS
AV Preeminent Rated by Martindale Hubbell
2007 Civility Award, Honorable Robert J. Bryan Chapter of the American Inns of Court
2015 Lincoln Award, Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association
2018 Outstanding Pro Bono Service by an Individual Attorney Award, Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association
Past Inclusion in Washington Super-Lawyers, General Litigation
Greater Tacoma Community Foundation
Board of Directors, 1985-1991
Stanford University Law School
Board of Visitors, 1987-1990
Rotary Club of Tacoma
Board of Directors, 1985-1988
Downtown Tacoma Boys Club
Board of Directors, 1981-1983
Mary Bridge Hospital and Health Center
Board of Directors and Executive Committee, 1973-1976
ARTICLES & PRESENTATIONS
CLE Presentations: Evictions from the Landlord’s Perspective; Ethical Dilemmas for the Practicing Lawyer; and Courtroom Opening Statements.