GTH Welcomes Two New Associates

The firm is pleased to welcome our newest Associates, Jeffrey Nielsen and Richard Lumley. 

Jeff joins the Trusts and Estates group with nine years of experience and he will continue advising clients in estate planning, trust preparation and administration, guardianship, and probate. He counsels clients on contract issues and structuring family businesses and corporations. Jeff has also served as guardian ad litem/court visitor in multiple counties. Richard brings a wealth of experience in representing corporations and individuals in complex commercial, trust and estate, real estate, and marine-related disputes in state and federal court for one of New England’s largest and most respected firms

We are excited to have these experienced, talented lawyers join the GTH team.

GTH Welcomes Owen Taylor & Mitch Wright

GTH is delighted to welcome our newest Associates Owen Taylor and Mitch Wright.  Owen received his law degree at the University of Washington Law School and is already a contributing member of our business group.  Mitch is a top graduate from the University of Wisconsin Law School, and is focusing his practice on litigation.  Both passed the Washington State Bar with flying colors.  Our team at GTH is event better with the addition of these talented lawyers.

GTH is proud to announce our long list of 2019 Washington Super Lawyers and Rising Stars!

Congratulations to Washington Super Lawyers:

Margaret Y. Archer (Real Estate/Land Use)

Stephanie L. Bloomfield (Employment & PI Litigation)

Donald S. Cohen (Utilities, Regulatory & Administrative Law)

Mark G. Honeywell (Mediation & Arbitration)

Bradley B. Jones (Business & Environmental Litigation)

Diane J. Kero (Defense Litigation)

William T. Lynn (Land Use/Zoning/Permitting)

Alan D. Macpherson (Estate Planning)

Warren E. Martin (Labor & Employment)

Andrea H. McNeely (Business Litigation)

Salvador A. Mungia (PI; Med Mal – Plaintiff)

Eileen S. Peterson (Estate Planning/Elder Law)

Michael E. Ricketts (Insurance Coverage)

Congratulations to Washington Rising Stars:

Shelly M. Andrew (Business & Employment Litigation)

Reuben Schutz (Real Estate/Land Use; Gen. Litigation)

Jemima McCullum elected to WSBA’s Real Property, Probate, and Trust Section

Congratulations to GTH Partner Jemima McCullum, who was recently elected as Council Member to the Real Property, Probate, and Trust Section of the Washington State Bar Association!

“The mission of the Real Property, Probate & Trust Section of the Washington State Bar Association is to assist members in achieving the highest standards of competence, professionalism, and ethics in their practices; to assist the Legislature in the enactment and improvement of the laws affecting real property, probate, trusts and estates; to assist the judiciary in the just administration of those laws; to support the WSBA with regard to those matters which concern the practice of law in the areas of real property, probate, trusts and estates and to otherwise serve our members by helping them realize their professional goals.”

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Stephanie Bloomfield wins employment discrimination case against Walmart

After a six-day trial in the United States District Court, the jury reached a unanimous verdict on March 6, 2019, finding in favor of Plaintiff Lori Jacobs on her federal Americans with Disabilities Act claims against Walmart. The jury awarded Ms. Jacobs $1,094,620 in damages. Ms. Jacobs has longstanding disabilities due to cerebral palsy, and multiple sclerosis. In 2017, Walmart changed its policy to require pharmacists to provide immunization injections. Plaintiff asked for accommodations due to complications related to her medical disabilities. Walmart moved forward placing Ms. Jacobs on indefinite unpaid leave in April of 2017. During closing arguments, it was  said, “The only reason Ms. Jacobs is not employed today is because of her disability, and if you take that away she would still be employed.”

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Salvador Mungia Wins 2019 Goldmark Award

Every year, the Legal Foundation of Washington awards the Charles A. Goldmark Distinguished Service Award to an exceptional individual or organization for their extraordinary contributions to the justice system. GTH is proud to announce that Salvador Mungia is this year’s recipient of the Goldmark Award! For over 30 years Sal has been a pillar of the legal community in the Puget Sound area by contributing his time and energy to those in need of legal assistance. As we celebrate our 125th Anniversary, we are reminded of the untiring devotion GTH lawyers have committed to the legal industry and our communities over the years. We are especially proud of Salvador A Mungia, and his drive to help the underserved members of our community. GTH Partner, Eric Gilman states, “He’s an inspiring person to be around. It’s hard not to be around Sal and feel a little bit of infectious optimism.” Congratulations Sal!

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Jones and Conway successfully defend alleged permit violations

GTH partners Brad B. Jones and Dianne K. Conway recently won a dismissal of a Clean Water Act (CWA) citizen suit filed by Puget Soundkeeper Alliance (PSA) against SSA Marine, Inc. and SSA Terminals, LLC for alleged permit violations at the West Sitcum Terminal in the Port of Tacoma. The federal court found that the notice provided by PSA alleging future hypothetical claims if SSA Marine, Inc. and SSA Terminals, LLC were to later start operations at the Terminal was premature and failed to meet the basic requirements of CWA’s notice provision.

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Archer wins appeal against Puyallup

Partners Bill Lynn and Margaret Archer recently obtained a favorable decision from the Pierce County Hearing Examiner following a highly contested two-week public hearing. The Examiner denied two separate appeals filed by the City of Puyallup challenging our client’s planned development known as the Knutson Farms Industrial Park. The Examiner also approved a shoreline permit for the project over Puyallup’s objection. The development, which has been approved by Pierce County, has been designed to minimize environmental impacts, will bring substantial employment opportunities and advance regional economic development. For the complete story please visit: https://www.thenewstribune.com/news/local/article222314455.html

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Salvador Mungia becomes Chair of the Access to Justice Board

On October 1, 2018 Salvador A. Mungia became Chair of the Access to Justice Board. Sal was appointed to the ATJ Board by the Washington State Supreme Court in 2016. He devotes a large portion of his time to promote access to the civil justice system for those who cannot afford to hire an attorney by representing individuals and groups in state and federal courts without charging them a fee. The Washington State Supreme Court created the Access to Justice Board in 1994 and charged the Board with the responsibility to achieve equal access to the civil justice system for those facing economic and other significant barriers.

To learn more about Access to Justice visit https://www.justice.gov/atj

 

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Washington Supreme Court Says Underpaid Workers are Entitled to Double Their Withheld Wages, Plus Interest

Employees in Washington enjoy some of the strongest wage and hour protections in the country. An employer that willfully fails to pay agreed or required (e.g., minimum wage) compensation is liable to its employee for double the unpaid amount. The same rule applies to improper payroll deductions.

In Hill v. Garda CL Northwest, Inc., the Washington Supreme Court held that employees who establish a wage violation are also entitled to interest on the unpaid wages. In its August 23, 2018 opinion, the Court rejected the employer’s argument that an award of both double damages and prejudgment interest is an impermissible double recovery. The Court explained that the statute allowing for two times the wages withheld, and the statute allowing interest, serve different purposes. The former is meant to “punish and deter” employers who underpay their workers. The latter is designed to repay the employee for the “use value” of the money he or she did not receive. Thus, both forms of relief are recoverable.