About Bob Geballe

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Bob Geballe Articles written 30

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

Defending the Mastros

Jim Frush has always lived for high stakes—and high peaks

Four words went through Jim Frush’s mind as he stood up in the King County Courthouse to deliver the prosecutor’s closing argument in a 1982 murder trial: “Going through the motions.” Thirty-two years later, sitting in the 35th-floor office of Cable, Langenbach, Kinerk & Bauer, Frush explains: “I had become the go-to guy for murders for the prosecutor’s office. But if you feel yourself bored when you are about to give a summation in a murder case, it’s time to move on. It’s …

Second-Generation Success

Intellectual property attorney Janet Kim Lin’s heritage is a source of strength

Growing up in Federal Way, Janet Kim Lin found herself living in two different cultures. “Korean at home and American at school,” she recalls. That has turned out to be an advantage for the intellectual property attorney at K&L Gates in Seattle. “I just kind of take it in stride that people do things differently,” she says. “Especially for my practice, as things become more global and international, that really helps.” Lin initially specialized in real property and construction …

Employing Justice

Sheryl Willert defends bosses—and reminds them to play fair

Sheryl Willert’s journey has taken her from a segregated childhood in South Carolina to law school at Vanderbilt to a career as one of the most respected employment attorneys in Washington state—with a prestigious national award named in her honor. “When Sheryl and I were starting out,” recalls Colleen Kinerk of Cable, Langenbach, Kinerk & Bauer, “to have one female attorney [at a firm] was unusual. To have a female attorney of color was amazing. She broke a lot of glass …

Champion of Peace

The explosive case that took David Mann to the U.S. Supreme Court

Perched along the Strait of Juan de Fuca, on a sweeping bluff with a panoramic view from Vancouver Island to Mount Baker down to Mount Rainier, Port Townsend is a Realtor’s dream. Incongruously, this idyllic spot on the Olympic Peninsula, with its 19th-century lumber-baron architecture, is adjacent to a major U.S. Navy explosives storage ground. Two miles across the strait is Naval Magazine Indian Island, a weapons depot that handles munitions ranging from bullets and rocket propellant to …

The Analytical Mind of David E. Mills

Detail work is this Cleveland appellate lawyer’s forte

The rookie was coming up to bat—in the cool, cloistered halls of the U.S. Supreme Court. David E. Mills was just 33 years old and a solo practitioner at The Mills Law Office, based out of a spare room in his Cleveland apartment, when he hit the ball out of the park with a unanimous high-court victory. The ruling overturned a 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision, based on a technical issue, which had thrown out a $625,000 award to Mills’ client, Michelle Ortiz. She had sued state …

The Strategist

Stephen Graham takes battlefield strategy from Board game to boardroom

Ask Stephen Graham about his life and he’ll tell you it’s not very interesting. “I’m just a small-town kid from East Texas,” he says, settling his lanky frame into a chair in the 10th floor conference room at Fenwick & West in downtown Seattle. Not just any small-town “kid,” as it turns out. Graham, 60, is the lead biosciences attorney and managing partner at Fenwick’s recently opened Seattle office. The Silicon Valley-based firm, known for its expertise in high-tech and …

Crash Expert

Kevin Durkin cushions the blow for accident victims and their families

By the time the sun rises over Lake Michigan, Kevin Durkin has been up for hours, at his desk since 6. The Chicago personal injury attorney has been involved in handling some of the most publicized cases in transportation law, including nearly every major commercial airline accident case in the last two decades. He represented victims of Alaska Airlines Flight 261, which fell into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California in 2000, and American Airlines Flight 587, which crashed in Queens, …

The Accidental Author

Steven J. Harper on law, letters and comedy

A compelling tale, according to Steven J. Harper, is at the center of every successful case. “You have to take complex information and make it simple and compelling,” says Harper, 60. “You have to be an effective storyteller.” Harper is talking not only about his 30-year career as a commercial litigator for Kirkland & Ellis but his burgeoning career as an author. In the last few years, Harper has written two biographies—one on his father and one on a former professor—and a …

All Business …

… Her job description, that is. But real estate lawyer Jane Rakay Nelson is about more than finance and acquisition

A 5-year-old goldendoodle named Snickers charges across the hallway and careens into the corner office, all ears, tongue and tail. It is 5 o’clock in the afternoon, and a good portion of Lane Powell’s 41st floor office in the City Center building now belongs to Snickers. “He’s a pretty excitable guy,” says his owner, Jane Rakay Nelson. She orders the pooch to calm down, then apologizes: “He loves everybody, but you’ve got to ignore him at first.” As the highly respected co-chair …

Never a Dull Moment

If you think constitutional law is dry, you haven't met Stephen A. Smith

Religion, sex and politics may be taboo topics for polite conversation, but for constitutional lawyer Stephen A. Smith, they're just part of the job. His body of work is not what most people might associate with the term "constitutional lawyer." His career has never been about the dry parsing of the nation's two-and-a-half-century-old founding documents. Smith has dealt with leaders of a religious cult, pornography peddlers, a serial killer, the word of Moses and the media. Smith, who has been …

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