I earned my juris doctor degree in 1979 from the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington D.C. I graduated from Berlin American High School in 1971. After high school, I attended college for three years in Munich, Germany – two years at the University of Maryland, Munich Campus and one year at the Ludwig Maximillian Universität under the auspices of Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. During this time, I received a Zellidja travel scholarship for study in Israel. In 1974 I returned to the United States to attend college at Penn State University where I received my BA degree in 1975 and my MA degree in 1976. Before attending law school, the focus of my education was literature, art and history, particularly of the Weimar Republic in Germany between the World Wars.
I came to Seattle sight unseen in 1979. When I arrived, Seattle was still a small town – Boeing was the biggest game in town. Microsoft wasn’t even on Wall Street’s radar. I cut my trial lawyer’s teeth under the tutelage of Washington ‘s senior state trial judge, the Hon. George H. Revelle. After that, I joined the 100 year old Seattle law firm of Ogden Murphy Wallace where I practiced as a civil and commercial litigator, first as an associate and then as a partner/member, for 23 years. My practice over the years covered a range of issues from contract, business, real estate, and construction disputes to personal injury and probate litigation. I represent both plaintiffs and defendants.
As I practiced law, I also remained active in the bar. I was the youngest member elected to serve on the Washington State Bar Association Board of Governors. The preceding four years I was editor in chief of the Washington State Bar News. After serving on the Board of Governors, I was appointed to, and later chaired, the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct. From time to time, I continue to represent the Commission as outside special counsel. I have participated in numerous panels, programs and symposiums related to technology, constitutional and privacy issues, the judiciary, bench-bar-press relations and the practice of law.
I have chaired or co-chaired six WSBA or KCBA approved Mandatory Continuing Legal Education seminars and lectured at others, typically on the issues of contract litigation, civil procedure and ethics. During the preceding thirty-five years, I have published more than 60 articles in professional journals as well as numerous articles, commentaries, stories or works of fiction that have appeared in non-legal venues. A sample of some of my writings are available at this site.
While practicing law, I have also served my local community. I was a trustee of the Montlake Community Club, a director, and later President of the Windermere Corporation neighborhood association, a director of the Fuhrman and Boyer Neighborhood Improvement Association, and an officer of the Sandpoint Tennis Center Association. I get involved in local, national and international issues.
I am not a “techie”, but I speak “geek” and I am keenly interested in technology issues. I serve as President of Monowave Corporation, a closely held neurotechnology company that is doing R&D in the area of machine speech recognition. I have been a member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Academy of Model Aeronautics and the Free Software Foundation. My law firm computer systems run on open source Gnu/Linux.
I am nearly fluent in German. I also can read and speak a modicum of French and a smidgen of Italian. I have played the guitar for more than fifty years. I finger-pick my own compositions and play personal arrangements of blues, rock and folk music. I practice law like I play the guitar: it’s not always conventional, but it often works.
I am married. I have a strong interest in bicycles, three-wheeled utility vans, motor scooters and small electric or ICE urban vehicles. I am a voracious reader. I am an amateur history sleuth with a keen sense of the 3D tapestry of events over time and space. For many reasons, including client confidentiality, I do not use a “smart phone” or social networking sites. I have been television-and-Hollywood-disconnected for more than two decades.