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

The Family Man

For Shawn Menashe, no other kind of law feels like home       

If anyone ever makes a movie about Shawn Menashe's life, he already has a title picked out: My Big (Not Fat) Greek Family. From social life to community service to career, family plays a central role. "My father's family came from Rhodes, in Greece, and most of them moved to Portland," Menashe explains. "I've got aunts, uncles, cousins; we have family gatherings with hundreds of people." The 30-year-old family law attorney spent his early childhood in the Rose City, then his parents divorced …

Sweet Spot

Steven Ungar hits his rhythm in the courthouse and on the drums        

Musicians call it being in "the groove:" that indescribable sense of floating on the rhythm, melody and synergy of a musical performance. For Steven Ungar of Lane Powell, it comes when he's perched on his drum throne, riffing his way through a jazz tune. "When it works, it's beautiful," says Ungar, chair of the white-collar criminal defense and regulatory compliance practice group. But the groove is not limited to performing a Count Basie song. "It's completely analogous to litigating," he …

Extreme Lawyers

The thrills and chills of the courtroom are not enough for these adventurous spirits

You’d think standing in front of a judge, and maybe a jury, in one high-stakes case after another would be scary enough. Not so for four local attorneys who also seek high adventure after hours. These lawyers “unwind” by doing things like jumping off a suspension bridge, dangling on a rope tethered to a 3,000-foot cliff, racing a bike on a nearly vertical incline and practicing “touch-and-go” landings in a small plane. Bob Dawson’s ‘reasonably safe’ thrills “I like to try …

Helping Hands

Four local lawyers have a soft touch and a long reach

It is not a prerequisite for admission to law school. It’s not quantified as part of the LSATs or required for admission to the Bar. But it is a quality shared by many Oregon lawyers. Call it altruism, empathy, volunteerism: the desire to give back to their community—or to the needy in other nations. Four local attorneys are shining examples of this impulse.   Paul Fortino: crossing cultures The tie between Paul Fortino and Elham Battayev could hardly be more tenuous. Fortino, 62, is a …

The Heat Is On

Fears over global warming are keeping local environmental attorneys busy 

The glistening, snowy flanks of Mount Rainier replaced by a dry, rocky facade. The carpet of Douglas firs metamorphosed into cottonwoods. Salmon displaced by hake. Palm tree-lined boulevards in Bellevue; desert-scaped yards in Laurelhurst. Water rationing, heat stroke and mosquitoes year-round. If global warming goes unchecked, Washington state could look a lot different in a century, according to many experts. The Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington predicts that, by 2080, …

Meet the Generalist

Maureen Hart kept sex predators locked up, fought for legal services for the poor, battled union power—and found herself with the title of solicitor general

Had things gone differently, Maureen Hart could have been an inside-the-beltway person, breathing the politicized vapors of the seat of federal government. She grew up in Damascus, Md., near Bethesda, and during high school, she sat quietly as her father explained to the family that they were moving to Washington. “He was contrite,” she recounts. “We said, ‘That’s not a big deal, Dad. D.C.’s just 30 miles down the road.’ We didn’t even realize which Washington he was talking …


Seth Fine never expected to find himself on the prosecutor’s side of the courtroom, much less in charge of appellate law for the Snohomish County prosecutor

Growing up on Seattle’s placid Beacon Hill, Seth Fine’s room was a scene of carnage.   “I was always interested in war games as a teenager,” he recalls. “I can remember having ‘Blitzkreig’ [conflict board game] spread all over my floor.” The attraction was historic and philosophical. “I was fascinated by games and strategies. Here’s a rule, there’s a rule, how do you fit them all together and make a system work?”    Now deputy prosecuting attorney for Snohomish …

Many Thanks

Five successful lawyers offer a few words of thanks for the mentors who got their careers on track

David Markowitz Co-founder, Markowitz, Herbold, Glade & Mehlhaf Great lawyers don’t just happen; they need help along the way, says David Markowitz, who co-founded Markowitz, Herbold, Glade & Mehlhaf in 1983. Now head of that firm, Markowitz attributes a good portion of his success to his mentors.   “Lawyers develop very slowly without good mentoring,” says Markowitz, 57, who specializes in commercial litigation. “There have to be really good role models.”   Markowitz says …

Giving Back

After hours, a lot of attorneys open their hearts and wallets to make their communities richer

Did you hear the one about the lawyers who were taken hostage and their captor threatened to release them one by one unless his demands were met?   Ba-da-boom. No one has a better collection of lawyer jokes than attorneys themselves, who usually have a wry sense of humor when it comes to money-grubbing stereotypes. In reality, attorneys are often extraordinarily generous when it comes to giving their time and money back to the community.   Just for kids For Kim Street, an estate planning …

With Honors

Many Rising Stars have a cum laude or two under their belts. Are those resume adornments worth all the sleepless nights?

Those glistening awards beckon beguilingly at the start of law school—cum laude, magna cum laude, summa cum laude. Are they anything more than ephemera, attractive to look at but insubstantial as fog when it comes to impact on a career? Or are those arduous hours in the law library, the spurned invitations to football tailgate parties and late-night revelries actually worth something—financial or otherwise? According to three local honors recipients, the question is hardly …

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