GTH is proud to support Tacoma Habitat for Humanity

GTH is proud to support @TacomaHabitat and its mission to provide affordable homeownership to modest income residents in our community. Most recently, GTH attorneys gathered at the Framing the Future Luncheon in support of this important work alongside GTH partner and Habitat Emeritus Board Member Bill Lynn.

International Women’s Day

March 8 marks #InternationalWomensDay2023. This year’s theme is #EmbraceEquity which serves as an important reminder that focusing on gender equity in law and beyond fosters diversity and inclusion in ways that benefit everyone. Today and every day, GTH celebrates the vast achievements and contributions made by women in law, both within our own firm and in the broader legal community. Every person has an obligation to play a part in embracing equity and forging positive change. #WomeninLaw #IWD2023

GTH is Co-counseling with ACLU of Washington.

GTH is co-counseling with ACLU of Washington attorneys filing suit against King County on behalf of people incarcerated in King County Jail.  The ACLU of Washington, a party to a previous settlement agreement with King County, asserts the County has breached the terms of that agreement.  The lawsuit alleges that King County does not have the staffing levels it promised it would have at the jail, resulting in incarcerated people not receiving necessary medical care.  In addition, the lawsuit alleges that insufficient staffing poses a safety risk both to the people incarcerated and to the correctional officers working in the jail.  GTH is proud of its commitment to providing pro bono representation to those who otherwise would not have the means to obtain justice.

New Managing Partner at GTH – Salvador Mungia

Salvador Mungia

Gordon Thomas Honeywell is pleased to announce the appointment of Salvador Mungia as the firm’s new Managing Partner.  Sal has been a valued member of our team since 1986.  Sal has consistently demonstrated a commitment, dedication, and exceptional legal representation to our clients, the legal profession, and advancing the justice system. We are excited to see the firm continue to thrive under his leadership. Congratulations Sal.

GTH Welcomes New Partner Amanda M. Nathan

We are pleased to announce that Amanda M. Nathan is the newest Partner at GTH. Amanda brings a wealth of experience and expertise to this role, focusing her practice on estate planning, trust administration, and probate with an emphasis on real estate. Amanda joined the firm as an associate in 2013 and practiced for several years with the Real Estate and Land Use group before finding her niche in estate planning. She helps clients design and implement customized plans that meet their unique needs while minimizing estate tax liability. Amanda’s real estate background is invaluable, for example, in assisting clients with managing rental properties and resolving title issues.

Amanda was born in Tacoma and remains deeply committed to the Pacific Northwest. She is an active member of the community, having served on the boards of Tacoma Arts Live and the Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County, as well as co-chaired Forterra’s South Sound Regional Leadership Council. We are grateful to have her leadership and dedication at GTH.

Please join us in welcoming Amanda to her new role as partner at GTH. We are confident that she will excel in this position and help our firm continue to thrive and serve our clients with distinction.

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.

Federal and Washington State Updates to Employer-Employee Arbitration, Confidentiality, Non-Disclosure, and Non-Disparagement Agreements

Spring of 2022 has seen notable changes to both federal and Washington state laws regarding arbitration, confidentiality, non-disclosure, and non-disparagement agreements between employers and their employees.  These changes were enacted to promote public policy that gives employees more freedom to either resolve or disclose claims of illegal activities that occur (or, in some cases, are reasonably believed to have occurred) in the workplace, which may have broad implications for employers in Washington State.

Amendments to the Federal Arbitration Act

On March 3, 2022, President Biden signed into law the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021, which amends the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) to invalidate arbitration agreements that require arbitration of sexual assault or harassment claims. The alleging party may, however, choose to arbitrate after his or her claim arises.

As a result, preexisting arbitration agreements and joint/class-action waivers are invalid and unenforceable when dealing with claims of sexual assault or harassment under federal, tribal, and state law. This rule applies to any dispute or claim arising on or after March 3, 2022.

Changes to Washington State Non-Disclosure and Non-Disparagement Agreements

In Washington, state legislators passed the Silenced No More Act, which will have a significant effect on Washington employers’ current and future confidentiality, non-disclosure, and non-disparagement agreements.

The new law states that beginning on June 9, 2022, employers may not bar any current, former, or prospective employee or independent contractor from disclosing or discussing conduct (or the existence of a settlement related to conduct) that he or she reasonably believes to involve:

  • Illegal discrimination, harassment, or retaliation;
  • Wage and hour violations;
  • Sexual assault; or
  • Any other matter “recognized as against a clear mandate of public policy.”

The law applies to conduct in the workplace, at work-related events (coordinated by or through the employer), between employees, and between an employer and employees on and off work premises, and retroactively applies to pre-existing agreements should an employer attempt to enforce such provisions.

In practical terms, this new law broadly prohibits Washington employers from requesting or requiring employees to sign confidentiality agreements concerning any conduct that the employee reasonably believes to be illegal, even as part of a settlement or severance agreement.

There are three narrow carve-outs to the Silenced No More Act:

  • The law does not apply retroactively to settlement and/or severance agreements entered into before June 9, 2022;
  • Employers may still require confidentiality as to the severance or settlement amount; and
  • Employers may still require and enforce confidentiality or non-disclosure agreements related to trade secrets, proprietary information, and confidential business information.

Employers who violate this law on and after June 9, 2022 could be liable for actual or statutory damages of $10,000, plus reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs.

Gordon Thomas Honeywell’s Labor and Employment attorneys can help you navigate these new changes in the law and ensure that any arbitration, confidentiality, non-disclosure, and non-disparagement policies in use at your business comply with these new federal and state regulations. Please do not hesitate to call our office for more information.

Stephanie Bloomfield achieves Trial Lawyer of the Year honor

Stephanie Bloomfield is being honored by the American Board of Trial Advocates Washington Chapter as its 2021 Trial Lawyer of the Year

ABOTA is an invitation-only national association of experienced trial lawyers and judges with 7,600 members nationwide. Membership is spread among 96 chapters throughout the entire United States—equally balanced between plaintiff and defense lawyers—and judges.  ABOTA and its members are dedicated to preserving and promoting the right to a jury trial in civil cases. Its mission is to foster improvement in the ethical and technical standards of practice in trial advocacy.

Trial Lawyer of the Year from ABOTA is a very prestigious and well-deserved award. We are thrilled that this and other organizations also recognize Stephanie as a gifted and amazing trial lawyer. Congratulations!