2019-2020 Board of Trustees Election
Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association election ballot for the 2019-2020 Board of Trustees
Following is the slate of candidates. You must follow these instructions to cast a valid vote.
- Please select only one candidate for the office of Vice-President, one candidate for the office of Secretary-Treasurer, and three candidates for the three Trustee positions open. Candidates are listed in alphabetical order.
- Ballots must be completed before 4:00 p.m., January 24, 2019.
SCROLL DOWN TO SEE INDIVIDUAL CANDIDATE’S STATEMENTS.
Bar members may only submit one ballot per election. The election ballot will only appear to bar members that are logged in.
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The new Board term commences at the time of the 111th Annual Lincoln Day Banquet on February 1, 2019. The elected candidates will join the members of the Board listed at the bottom of this page.
Your vote is important. PLEASE vote before 4:00 PM on Friday, January 24, 2019. THANK YOU.
CANDIDATES FOR VICE-PRESIDENT
VOTE FOR ONE (3-Year Term, President in 2020)
James W. McCormick
I am a partner at Evergreen Personal Injury Counsel in Tacoma. I have spent the past 15 years of practice dedicated to representing plaintiffs in personal injury actions. Before joining EPIC, I was an Assistant Attorney General practicing in the Labor and Industries Division in Olympia. I graduated from the University of Washington and then completed law school at the University of Montana where I also earned an MPA. Outside the office I’m busy with family, raising two daughters to be strong and kind. I love being outside skiing, boating and riding motorcycles at any chance I get.
I want to serve on the upcoming TPCBA Board because I believe more now than ever that our organization has not yet achieved its full potential. To do so, we have some important decisions to make about the future of our organization and what we really want it to be. TPCBA exists to be more than a membership organization. Supporting our membership is important, but equally if not more important is that TPCBA also exists to serve the community and especially to help members of our community with access to justice. I believe our organization has great potential to better serve our community by harnessing the talents, skills and compassion of our membership, but we need to make the decision to do so. I envision TPCBA’s future as a vital, relevant community service organization that supports its members and its community.
Sarah E. Richardson
I am adding my name to the ballot for the Vice-President position because the TPCBA by-laws require at least two candidates for each position. James McCormick will make an excellent vice-president, and I don’t want his election to be cast in doubt if procedures aren’t followed. I’ve been honored to be the secretary-treasurer for the past two years and a trustee for the two years prior to that. This organization is vital for our members. We need new ideas and energy to keep it strong and to provide diversity of representation and leadership. I will continue to participate and volunteer with the TPCBA and in the future may seek another elected position. Please vote for James McCormick.
CANDIDATES FOR SECRETARY-TREASURER
VOTE FOR ONE (2-Year Term)
I have been practicing civil ligation in Tacoma for the past eight years. Having served as a Trustee on the Board in 2017 and 2018, I am acutely aware of the budgetary concerns facing the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association. My goal as Secretary-Treasurer will be to encourage the board to continue to critically examine the budget process for the purposes of adopting a balanced budget that will ensure for the longevity of the organization. In the past few years, the Board has been faced with difficult budgetary decisions as well as innovative ideas to increase revenue and create less strain on financial resources. I am dedicated to ensuring the continued success of this organization by creating a balanced budget, while also ensuring that the organization continues to provide tangible benefits to its members.
Heather M. Young
Hi, I am Heather Young and I practice Family Law in Tacoma. I have practiced in Pierce County for my entire legal career, starting in 1998. I operate a small business with my legal partner, Todd Tuell. I have previously been involved in Bar leadership in various different capacities, from my early years in the TPCBA Young Lawyers Section and the WSBA YLD, to President of the TPCBA Family Law Section, and have been on the TPCBA Board as the Family Law Liaison. I have experience in Board roles as both Secretary and Treasurer in other non-profit organizations and believe I bring a breadth of knowledge to the TPCBA Board. I hope you will consider voting for me.
CANDIDATES FOR TRUSTEE
VOTE FOR THREE (2-Year Term)
James H. Bush
I have been a civil law practitioner in Tacoma for the past 40 years, both with a large firm and for the past 18 years as a sole practitioner. My practice emphasizes trusts and estates, elder law, guardianships, small business, and state and federal taxation. I have held office and served on committees with the Tax Section (Chair) and Elder Law Section of the Washington State Bar Association and the CLE and Guardianship committees of the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association. I have also served on the Washington State Bar Association Access to Justice committee on delivery of legal services to those of moderate means. I taught Business Planning at Seattle University Law School for a dozen or so years as an Adjunct Professor. I am currently President of the Pierce County Law Library Board and a member of the North End Neighborhood Council.
In the past, I have been a regular speaker and contributor to CLE programs, both for the Washington State Bar Association and the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association. I am a graduate of the University of Washington, University of Puget Sound and Boston University. I served in the United States Coast Guard in the early 70s, including a tour in South Viet Nam. I look forward to finding ways the TPCBA can better deliver services and assistance to its members and to enhance that relationship. I also believe the bar association should work more closely with the Veteran community. With my experience, I ask you to allow me to serve in a trustee capacity for the coming term. Thank you for your consideration.
Loren A. Cochran
I am a Pierce County resident, and I’m proud to have been born and raised in the Puget Sound region. I believe in spirited advocacy in service of a client’s best interests, while recognizing the importance of civility and professional courtesy. I have been in practice for 16 years with experience working in a variety of positions including as a trial lawyer at a general law firm, staff attorney at a non-profit in Washington, D.C., in-house counsel at a network television production, and as a trial lawyer at a plaintiff’s firm. My varied experiences help me connect with and relate to lawyers from all practice areas.
I want to serve on the TPCBA Board so that I can contribute more to the legal community in which I live and predominately practice. I also want to help promote excellence and professionalism in our local bar such that Tacoma-Pierce County practitioners are recognized as providing the very best legal services to the community at large.
I have been in solo practice in Tacoma since 1986. Over the years, criminal defense has been my primary focus. This past year I was editor of the Pierce County Lawyer Magazine and for several years I have been on the Law Library Board of Trustees. For many years I have been on the Pierce County Superior Court Arbitration panel and a pro tern Commissioner in Pierce Court Superior Court.
I am a graduate of the University of Puget Sound School of Law. If not for the law school being here, I would never have learned what a fine place Tacoma is. If elected I would like to work with other bar members and the community to bring a law school back to Tacoma. I am close to retirement and not working full time. I look forward to giving back to the Bar which has given so much to me.
Larry J. Couture
My background is pretty simple. I graduated from Mt. Rainier High School in the Highline District. I worked, went to the UW for a year, started to work again and got a nice letter saying I was going to be drafted so instead I got lied to by a recruiter and enlisted for three years. I went into the Army, got married, had a child and got out of the Army early to return to the UW in 1965 and proceeded to the University of Oregon for law school. I came to Tacoma in 1971 from law school and have been here since. While in Tacoma, I worked as a Deputy Prosecutor, went into private practice about a year later, got divorced and remarried and have been here since 1971.
I could expand on some of the stuff I did in school and the army but it was so long ago it makes nice stories but isn’t much help in this venue. Since I have been in Tacoma I have been active both in law and the community. A short list: Broadway Center, First Place for Children, Puget Sound Legal Assistance Foundation, various local and State Bar committees and active in a lot of law fields. I just finished 6 years on the Family Law Executive Committee and want to offer something back to the profession I have loved and practiced for all these years.
I am always glad to add to the brief comments or to answer any questions you have about anything – even law. Call me or stop me at the courthouse.
Ronald E. Culpepper
As a proud member of the Pierce County legal community for over 40 years, I have been involved with and respected the activities of the TPCBA for many years. Now mostly retired, I have the time and energy to devote myself to the activities of our bar association. As an active member of the community, including serving with a number of local non-profits, reading with Tacoma school students and helping coach mychildren’s teams, I have been deeply involved in our community. My decades as a judicial officer and knowledge of our legal system also provide me with a perspective that could add a good deal to the association’s governance. I would greatly appreciate your support to be elected a trustee.
Heather K. de Maine
My husband and I moved to Pierce County 20 years ago after we graduated from law school. I have spent my entire career at the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office in the criminal division. Now that our two children are in middle school, I would like to get more involved in our local bar association.
If elected as one of your trustees, I look forward to the opportunity to work with other attorneys to help our local Bar meet the various needs of our legal community.
Robert S. Felker
I was admitted to the Bar in 1967 and was hired by the Attorney Generals office. I went into private practice two years later. I became a partner with Jack Tanner, Frank Burgess, Fred Fleming, Don McGavick, Dan Lazares and Chuck Johnston. It was great fun. After the judgeships Dan Lazares, Chuck Johnston and I practiced our law careers together until my retirement ten years ago. I was fortunate to have handled several significant cases.
In Hartford v Novak I was able to persuade the Supreme Court to eliminate the physical contact requirement of the hit and run terms of the policy. Such a requirement would penalize an insured for taking evasive action to avoid a collision. This changed all auto policies in Washington.
In Omer v Omer I was able to persuade the court to divide up property between two persons married to other people but who had worked together with a common purpose and design. It was the first palimony law suit and served as a precedent for the Lee Marvin case in California.
In State v Dorothy Savage, she was convicted of murder and sentenced to prison. She then came to our office and after a successful appeal she was granted a new trial. Dan Lazares and I handled her defense and the jury found her not guilty. We believe it was the first “Battered Women Syndrome” case in Pierce County if not the State of Washington. While there are many other interesting cases, I must end due to length requirements here.
The practice of law has been a great adventure. Since my retirement I now serve on the Board of the Tacoma Chapter of the United States Ballroom Dance Association, the Tacoma Narrows Airport and the Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce, as well as a task force for economic development of the airport.
I would love to return to more involvement with the Pierce County Bar and ask for your vote.
André M. Peñalver
I am happy to have called this town home all my life. My first law job was in 2010 as a civil litigator at Gordon Thomas Honeywell. Since 2015, I have prosecuted federal felonies at the U.S. Attorney’s Office. But my passion in the law is addressing the problem of civil legal aid. I have donated hundreds of pro bono hours toward that end. In 2016 and 2017, I co-chaired Pierce County’s Campaign for Legal Justice, the largest civil aid fundraiser in the county. That work gave me a taste for serving this legal community, which leads me to running as Trustee. As Trustee, I look forward to promoting solid CLEs, memorable social gatherings, and convenient, meaningful pro bono opportunities. My experiences in practice and service have prepared me for that role, and so I ask for your support.
Carlos M. Sosa
I have been practicing law in the State of Washington since 1981. I have always been a general practitioner and have been a solo practitioner since September of 1986. Although my office is in Auburn, I have been a resident of Puyallup, Washington for twenty years. I have always practiced in both the King County and Pierce County courts, and have appeared in courts throughout the state. I am a past president of the South King County Bar Association, and most recently I have been chairman of the TPCBA Diversity Committee and a member of the Superior Court Commission. My WSBA committees include the following: Diversity, Judicial Selection, Court Rules and Procedures, and Department of Corrections. Chief Justice Gerry Alexander appointed me to the Time for Trial Task Force in 2002. From 1982 to 1992 I was the color commentator on radio and tv for the Seattle Breakers and Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League, and was on KING Radio’s Hockey Coverage Team for the 1990 Goodwill Games. Since 1989 I have been a registered NHL Player Agent. I believe that I can bring a broad range of experience to the position including a varied background to the Board of Trustees. My wife Shelly and I have four children and six grandchildren. I hope to earn the opportunity to serve as a trustee of the best local bar association in the State of Washington.
Harry S. Steinmetz
I would like to serve on the Board of Trustees for several reasons. First, I see the need for a well-organized voice for the attorneys practicing in the area. Second, I want to increase the communication and information available to attorneys to improve their own practices. I believe the TPCBA can do a better job in reaching out to a very diverse set of attorneys and providing them with information that is relevant to their practices.
My goals as a Trustee are to see the information put out by the Bar made available in multiple formats allowing attorneys to access the information in a format they prefer. I would also like to see more interaction between the big and small firms and solo practitioners. Lastly, I would like to see the Bar Association have a more substantial voice in setting legal policy with the courts and the county government.
I am a criminal defense attorney and have been practicing in Tacoma since 2004. I am currently the Co-Chair of the Criminal Law Section and was the Chair of that section from 2009-2014. I served on the Judicial Management Initiative Committee, the Ad Hoc Committee and the Criminal Procedures Committee of the Pierce County Superior Court. I was appointed by the Pierce County Council to the Criminal Justice Taskforce. I served on the joint Legislative Domestic Violence Workgroup and am a member of the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Nicole M. Vaswig
I graduated from the University of Connecticut School of Law in 2013. During law school, I interned for the U.S. Attorney’s Office as a Civil Rights Fellow, participated in a program teaching constitutional law to high school students, and interned at an organization that assists start-up non-profits. Shortly after law school, I returned to the Tacoma area, having been raised in Puyallup, to practice locally. I have been with Robin H. Balsam P.S. since 2014. I routinely handle guardianship, vulnerable adult, probate, trust, and estate litigation matters, which often include issues related to complex financial exploitation and breach of fiduciary duties. I would like to serve as a Trustee on the TPCBA Board so I can become more involved in the local legal community, promote the best interests of our members when deciding how to allocate TPCBA funds, and act as a liaison between our legal community and the TPCBA. This past year, I served as co-chair of the TPCBA Guardianship Committee, which helped me understand the areas our Bar Association can improve. My goals if I am elected include strengthening the role of the various committees within our community, guiding the organization to be a greater service to its members, and advocating for inclusivity.