About Bob Geballe

Bob Geballe Articles written 31

Bob Geballe is a longtime journalist based near Seattle. He has written for Washington Law & Politics and Super Lawyers for two decades, as well as for other local and regional publications. He has also worked for PBS NewsHour, Frontline, and network television stations in Seattle and Boston. He is a full-time high school teacher, specializing in science and visual media. In addition, he loves to hike, garden, cook and travel, and spend increasing amounts of time with his three grandchildren.

Articles written by Bob Geballe

Shaping Seattle

Faith Li Pettis has helped fund major community projects and guide the city’s quest for affordable housing

Government finance law might not sound like the most riveting practice area to everyone, but don’t tell that to Faith Li Pettis. “I drive around Seattle and I’m constantly telling my family, ‘That’s bond work’—that was done with bonds,’” says Pettis, who has spent 30 years working on some of the most influential public bond issues in the state. She ticks them off. “We underwrote the Mercy Housing complete renovation of the old Navy barracks known as Building 9 at Magnuson …

Going 25 for 25

Perennial Super Lawyers listees reflect on the past quarter-century

To help commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Washington Super Lawyers list, we sat down with six of the attorneys whose names have appeared every year since the list was first published in 1998. Each hailed from somewhere else, coming to Seattle in search of everything from temperate weather to racial tolerance. Each found a home and a calling, and stayed to help shape the area’s rich legal culture. How did you end up in Seattle? Kay Frank, MacDonald Hoague & Bayless, Seattle; …

Building Trust

It’s just one of the lessons Geoffrey Brown learned during his tour of duty in Bosnia

When Geoffrey Brown entered the law program at Notre Dame in 1997, he cut a slightly different figure than the typical first-year student. He was older (just shy of 26), married, and had seen the world. For 2½ years he was an active-duty Army field artillery officer, much of that as part of the U.S. contribution to the NATO peacekeeping mission in Bosnia. “That year I spent in Bosnia taught me some things I will never forget,” says Brown, who practices plaintiff’s personal injury law at …

The Atlas of Legal Aid

If Salvador Mungia had his way, ‘justice for all’ would be a given

In the living room of a small house in the blue-collar Lakewood suburb of Tacoma, a black-and-white TV sits on a coffee table. Sprawled on the couch is a 7-year-old kid. On the screen, the judge hands the verdict to the clerk. “In the Superior Court of the State of California, the jury finds the defendant … not guilty.”  The camera cuts to a shot of Raymond Burr, whose mouth registers a slight smile. The boy on the couch smiles, too. Another injustice righted. “I knew since second …

Making Connections

Jeffrey Beaver has always brought people together; now he’s helping Sound Transit unite the whole region 

Jeffrey Beaver is helping reshape King County— but not through politics. It’s more like a jurisprudential version of Euclidian geometry: finding the shortest legal distance between two points. Beaver is the lead eminent domain trial attorney at Miller Nash Graham & Dunn, which is handling the lion’s share of land acquisition for Sound Transit as its light rail system knits the region together.  That network, scheduled to be completed in 2041, will have 116 miles of track and cost …

Above Reproach

Why James Williams came to mind when the ACLU needed someone to spearhead a major access-to-justice case

One evening in the late fall of 1992, the phone rang at the San Vito dei Normanni Air Station in Brindisi, Italy. Capt. James Williams, on his last military assignment in the Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps, picked up. “I was the only person in the base office,” says Williams, who was surprised to hear Marcella Fleming Reed, a friend from law school, on the other end. “We hadn’t talked in four years. She wanted to convince me to interview for work in Seattle.” Williams was …

The Many Lives of Janet George

The onetime blackjack dealer, pilot and prosecutor brings a lot—especially empathy—to the family law table

“Wait a second, I can find it,” says Janet George, rummaging through a pile of documents on a table near her desk. She pulls out a 1977 issue of True Detective: “I’m in here.” Sure enough—three-quarters of the way through “The Tragic Revenge of the Jealous Husband” by Seattle true-crime writer Ann Rule—there she is, in a slightly blurred black-and-white photo, poring over documents with fellow prosecutor Doug Whalley at the trial of wife-killer Heinz Jager.  The cutline …

The Road Less Traveled

Mark Kamitomo’s circuitous path to law

It was 4 a.m., deep in the winter of 1985. At a road-construction camp in far northern Alberta, Mark Kamitomo, 28, pulled himself out of a deep sleep and got ready for another day driving a crew cab up and down the job site to make sure the machine operators had everything they needed. “We slept in trailers with propane heaters,” Kamitomo recalls. “Sometimes they would run out of fuel during the night. … It was 20 below. The pay was good and the food was good, but it was cold and …

To Market, to Market

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

Many cities have a beloved public market whose sights, sounds and smells are encoded in their DNA—from Paris’ Les Halles to Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar. In Seattle, of course, it’s Pike Place Market, home of a good-luck bronze pig named Rachel, world-famous flying fish and the original Starbucks.  This summer, the 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. This was …

Finding Her Voice

In kindergarten, Tana Lin was punished for not speaking English. Today, she speaks for those who have been treated unfairly  

When Tana Lin was 3 years old, she and her family picked up their lives in emerald-green Taipei, Taiwan, and flew 7,400 miles, landing in the golden heartland of Kansas.  “My parents gave up a lot,” says Lin. “All my dad’s dreams were put into his daughters.” Those dreams pretty much revolved around the sciences. “All good Asians are doctors,” she quips. “That’s what they wanted for me.”  So, some 18 years later, when Lin—premed at Cornell University—announced to her …

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