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Jun 22, 2017

“How Seattle attorneys gave us even more to love about the city’s favorite shopping destination”

Published in 2017 Washington Super Lawyers – July 2017

This summer, the Pike Place Market debuts a grand expansion, dubbed MarketFront, on the site of a former parking lot west of the main market, on the tumbledown slope above the Alaskan Way Viaduct. The $74 million project creates more space for farmers, crafters, artists and artisan producers; new low-income senior housing; extra parking; and a stunning view of Seattle’s waterfront and the Olympics beyond.

Attorney Gerry Johnson was instrumental in organizing the 2008 levy proposal that laid the groundwork for MarketFront. He has been general counsel to the Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority (PDA) for 30 years. Twenty-five years ago, he helped form the Market Foundation, which funds services and housing for its low-income neighbors.

When the Manhattan backers of loans for the restoration decided in the ’80s to redevelop the market area, appellate attorney Paul J. Lawrence was lead litigator, along with lawyer Fred Tausend, in a successful case that cemented the local ownership.

To read the full article, click here>

(Note: In the originally published version of this article, Super Lawyer Magazine incorrectly referred to “the late Fred Tausend.” We are happy to report that Fred is alive and well, and enjoying retirement.)

Jun 9, 2017

Pacifica Attorneys Named as Washington Super Lawyers and Washington Rising Stars – 2017

Pacifica Law Group is pleased to announce that the following attorneys from our firm have been selected for inclusion in the 2017 Washington Super Lawyers and 2017 Washington Rising Stars lists. These lists include outstanding lawyers who have attained a high-decree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations, and peer evaluations. The Super Lawyers list recognizes no more than five percent of attorneys in each state. The Rising Stars list recognizes no more than 2.5 percent of attorneys in each state. Congratulations to all!

2017 Washington Super Lawyers
 – Stacey Crawshaw-Lewis
 – Kymberly Evanson
 – Deanna Gregory
 – Chris Hirst
 – Gerry Johnson
 – Sarah Johnson
 – Paul Lawrence
 – Rich Moore
 – John Parnass
 – Faith Pettis
 – Jay Reich
 – Matt Segal
 – Denise Stiffarm
 – Marni Wright

2017 Washington Rising Stars
 – Josephine Ennis
 – Taki Flevaris
 – Jon Jurich
 – Jamie Lisagor
 – Sarah Washburn
 – Greg Wong

May 25, 2017

Lynn Allen Award honoree Paul Lawrence: “We need a resurgence of progressive activism”

Three weeks ago, NPI presented Pacifica Law Group senior litigation partner Paul Lawrence with one of the first Lynn Allen Awards at its 2017 Spring Fundraising Event. NPI has posted the full text of Paul Lawrence’s acceptance speech on its website>

“I would observe that now more than ever is a time to lead a resurgence of civic life by all of us serving as part-time activists.”

May 1, 2017

Paul Lawrence and Joni Earl Honored by NPI with Lynn Allen Awards

The Northwest Progressive Institute (NPI) presented Pacifica lawyer Paul Lawrence and Sound Transit CEO Joni Earl with its very first Lynn Allen Awards on Saturday, April 29. The Award was created in honor of the late Lynn Allen, a founding board member of NPI, who was deeply committed to inclusive and effective activism. The Award recognizes people who have made indispensable contributions to progressive causes for a decade or more.

Paul’s award commendation is as follows:

“A formidable attorney specializing in complex appellate and civil litigation, Paul Lawrence has ably represented public servants and working families in our courts for more than thirty years. During a five year stretch ranging from 2011 to 2016, Paul skillfully secured a series of landmark verdicts against a crop of right wing initiatives that gravely threatened Washington’s future. Prior to those cases, Paul defended Sound Transit against multiple lawsuits intended to weaken or destroy it. His mastery of constitutional law and sound trial strategy have repeatedly led to crucial victories for progressive causes.”

Read the NPI’s full announcement>

Read Paul’s full acceptance speech: “Lynn Allen Award honoree Paul Lawrence: We need a resurgence of progressive activism”>

Feb 23, 2017

Bringing the Sonics Back to Seattle: Lessons Learned from the Team’s Departure

Pacifica lawyer Paul Lawrence was interviewed in the Seattle Growth Podcast ( regarding lessons learned from the 2008 departure of the Seattle Sonics basketball team that can be applied to the current efforts to bring the team back to Seattle. Paul served as lead attorney for the City of Seattle’s trial attempting to force owner Clay Bennett to fulfill the obligations of the Sonics’ lease in Key Arena, and has deep insights into the complex causes of the Sonics’ departure as well as approaches that could support the team’s return. Paul’s interview can be heard in the podcast from minutes 16 to 35.

The Seattle Growth Podcast is a 13 episode journey led by University of Washington professor, Jeff Shulman, into the minds of residents, businesses, and city leaders about what Seattle’s economic and population growth means to them.

Feb 21, 2017

Federal Lawsuit to Protect 1st Amendment Rights of Award-Winning Student Artist

Congressman Wm. Lacy Clay, (D) Missouri, filed a lawsuit in Federal Court in Washington DC challenging the removal of a painting by a young constituent that was inspired by the events in Ferguson, MO. The painting had been peacefully displayed at the U.S. Capitol for nearly seven months as a winner of the Congressional Art Competition until Congressional Republicans and right-wing media pressured the Architect of the Capitol to remove it. Congressman Clay asserts that the removal violates both the rights of the young artist and his own First Amendment rights. Pacifica lawyers Kymberly Evanson and Athan Papailiou, along with lawyers from Jenner & Block and Chehardy, Sherman, Williams, are serving as the Congressman’s pro bono legal team. 

To read the full press release, with background information, click here>

To read the court filing, click here>

To see a video of Congressman Clay’s 2/21/17 press briefing, shown on Congressman Clay’s Facebook page, click here>

Feb 4, 2017

Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) Blocks Travel Ban

On Friday, February 3, U.S. District Judge James L. Robart issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) in the case of State of Washington, et al. v. Donald Trump, et al., temporarily blocking enforcement of President Trump’s ban on entry to the U.S. by travelers from seven nations. Pacifica Law Group attorneys filed a brief in support of the issuance for the TRO on behalf of the ACLU of Washington.

To read the full seven-page TRO, click here >
Other Media Links: 


Jan 31, 2017

Pacifica Attorneys Work With NWIRP and ACLU of Washington to Block Immigrant Deportation

Last Saturday, the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) and the ACLU of Washington were able to obtain a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) to prevent two immigrants who had arrived at Sea-Tac Airport with valid tourist visas from being deported. Pacifica Law Group was part of the attorney team that worked to file a habeas petition and obtain an emergency stay of removal from the U.S. federal court along with attorneys for NWIRP, the ACLU, and MacDonald Hoague & Bayless.

To read more detail, click here.

Related Media Articles 

“Frantic effort at Sea-Tac to stop flight, allow 2 men to enter U.S.” Seattle Times, 1/31/17:

“Stop that plane: The frantic race to halt a deportation”, 1/30/17:

“Travelers detained at Seattle airport released from custody” KIRO 7 News, 1/29/17:

“Judge suspends Trump order; bars deportation of refugees” Seattle Times, 1/28/17:

“Judge blocks part of Trump’s immigration order” Seattle Times, 1/28/17:


Jan 13, 2017

Washington Supreme Court Unanimously Rules in Favor of Pacifica Client Woodland Park Zoo

Significant Public Records Act opinion provides guidance for nonprofits and other entities that partner with government.

In a case of first impression, the Washington Supreme Court issued a unanimous, 9-0 opinion yesterday holding that the Woodland Park Zoological Society, a private nonprofit organization that operates the Woodland Park Zoo (“Zoo”), is not subject to Washington’s Public Records Act (“PRA”). See Fortgang v. Woodland Park Zoo, ___ Wn.2d____, No. 92846-1 (Jan. 12, 2017).  

The Supreme Court also adopted a test for determining when the PRA applies to nonprofits and other private entities that provide public benefits with at least partial government support. The test appropriately limits the PRA’s application only to those situations where an entity has “effectively assumed the role of government.”

Pacifica attorneys Paul Lawrence, Greg Wong, and Alanna Peterson represented the Zoo in the litigation and appeals.

Read more and link to the Washington Supreme Court Opinion >

Jan 11, 2017

Pacifica Law Group Listed by the Legal Foundation of Washington as a “Champion of Justice”

The Legal Foundation of Washington has listed Pacifica Law Group as a “Champion of Justice,” among 40 law firms in Washington State who demonstrate ongoing commitment to equal justice, regardless of income, for all people.

The Legal Foundation of Washington is a non-profit created by the Washington Supreme Court in 1984 to ensure access to civil legal aid for all people in Washington and to improve the civil justice system to be more equitable and just. It serves thousands of low-income people each year by investing in civil legal aid organizations across Washington, through support from public and private partners who are committed to equal justice and system reform.