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Dec 14, 2017

Partner Matt Segal Profiled by Pacific ADR

Pacifica partner Matt Segal was interviewed by Pacific ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) for its Profile of the Month, for his work in litigation, counseling, and dispute resolution.

To read Matt’s interview, with insights about effective ADR mediators and approaches, and more about his experience, click here>


Nov 18, 2017

“In a Warm-up for the Real Fight, Lawyers Argue about City Income Tax”

From Crosscut, 11/17/17

“Seattle’s new income tax has always been headed toward the Washington Supreme Court. But to get there, it had to start somewhere. That somewhere was King County Superior Court, where lawyers squared off Friday in a hearing on the city ordinance.

In order to defend the lawsuit, Seattle and the EOI must successfully argue why the 1930s Supreme Court decision should not apply as well as explain away a 1984 state law forbidding taxes on “net income.”

To do so, [Pacifica partner Paul] Lawrence, an outside attorney hired by the City Attorney’s Office, and attorney Knoll Lowney, representing the EOI, leaned on what, to the outsider, could be seen as semantics: the definition of “net” income, whether the new ordinance was in fact an “income tax,” whether the 1984 ordinance was constitutional in the first place and the basis on which the Supreme Court’s 1930s decision stood.”

Read the full Crosscut article>


Nov 16, 2017

“Battle Lines Are Drawn in the Income Tax Court Fight”

From the Seattle Weekly, 11/15/17

“On Friday, a King County Superior Court judge will hear arguments on the legality of the income tax proposal approved by the Seattle City Council over the summer. The hearing is the first step in litigating the lawsuits filed against the City of Seattle that, if successful, could scuttle the attempts by activists and city leaders to introduce a more progressive tax structure.

In the City of Seattle’s corner is Paul Lawrence, an attorney with Pacifica Law Group; Hugh Spitzer, a professor of law at the University of Washington; and in-house staff from the City’s Law Department.

“The overarching theme [of our argument] is that this is a tax that the city is authorized to impose,” Lawrence told Seattle Weekly.

This, said Lawrence, is because the ordinance taxes gross income and not net income (which is the type of income explicitly banned by state statutes). “We distinguish between what I as an individual resident take in versus what the entity I work for earns,” he said. “It looks at it from a personal income basis and we think that, in that context, we have a gross income tax and not a net income tax.”

Read the full Seattle Weekly article>

Nov 7, 2017

Partner Faith Pettis Elected to The American College of Bond Counsel

Pacifica is proud to announce that partner Faith Pettis has been elected to the American College of Bond Counsel. Membership in the College is extremely limited and admission as a Fellow is a recognition of the lawyer’s accomplishments and legal expertise in the field of bond law.

The American College of Bond Counsel was formed in 1995 for the purpose of recognizing lawyers throughout the United States who have established reputations among their peers for their skill, experience and high standards of professional and ethical conduct in the practice of bond law. The College believes that a bond lawyer’s expertise can best be judged by his or her peers and has sought to admit to membership in the College only bond lawyers that have long experience and outstanding reputations in the field of municipal bond law.

For more information about the College, see

Sep 21, 2017

Pacifica Attorney Helps Preserve U.S. Columbia River Quarantine Station

The Knappton Cove Heritage Center, a Washington nonprofit organization, works to preserve and promote the U.S. Columbia River Quarantine Station, a national historic site considered to be the Ellis Island of the Columbia River. The Station is located on the north side of the Columbia River, across from Astoria, Oregon, and from 1899 to 1938, the federal government used the Station to quarantine immigrants with diseases like yellow fever and smallpox. Pacifica attorney, Andrew Zellers, worked with the Heritage Center to evaluate restrictions on the Station property and ultimately to transfer it to a third party to ensure the Station’s continued preservation and operation as a historical and an educational center.

Aug 22, 2017

Pacifica Legal Team Defends Seattle’s New Income Tax Law

Puget Sound Business Journal, 8/17/17

“The city of Seattle hired a team of experienced lawyers to help draft the new income tax on high earners. Now, those same attorneys will help defend it. Pacifica Law Group partners Paul Lawrence, Greg Wong and Jamie Lisagor will join Assistant City Attorney Kent Meyer in fighting legal challenges to the tax.”

Read the full Puget Sound Business Journal article>

Aug 15, 2017

Pacifica Partners Selected to Best Lawyers in America© 2018

Pacifica Law Group is very pleased to announce that eleven lawyers in the firm have been selected by their peers in the legal industry for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2018. In addition, Chris Hirst has been selected as 2018 Lawyer of the Year in Education Law in Seattle, and Faith Pettis has been selected as 2018 Lawyer of the Year in Public Finance Law in Seattle.

The complete list of Pacifica lawyers and their selected practice areas in Best Lawyers includes:


Jul 25, 2017

Pacifica Law Group Hosts Northwest Minority Job Fair – Saturday, August 19, 2017

Pacifica Law Group is honored to host the 31st Annual Northwest Minority Job Fair. We are committed to the Fair’s mission of fostering access to employment opportunities for historically underrepresented persons in the practice of law and to provide a networking forum for legal employers and minority law students.

For more information, click here >

Jul 24, 2017

Nicole DeNamur Writes Chapter in New Book

Pacifica attorney Nicole DeNamur wrote chapter 16 titled “The Intersection of Law, Human Health, and Buildings” in the book Health and Well-being for Interior Architecture that was just published by Routledge.

If you would like more information about this book, it is available on Amazon.  Click here >

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.)