Chris is a creative, results-oriented professional with extensive experience in domestic and international labor and employment issues, commercial contracts and business disputes. Decades of significant litigation and trial practice make her a savvy, proactive advisor. Recruited by a corporate client in 2013, Chris spent almost three years as in-house legal counsel in a fast-paced global organization. Her deep background as a private practice attorney is well complemented by this hands-on business experience – enabling a smart, “real world” approach to her legal work.
Beyond advice and advocacy for companies and individuals, Chris conducts training and workplace investigations, frequently serving as a neutral fact finder on behalf of public and private employers who are attempting to address workplace complaints.
- Trial to obtain a multi-million dollar verdict on behalf of two executives denied promised equity.
- Repeated representation of Washington longshore workers, including trial for a $750,000 sex harassment verdict; litigation and settlement ($3.4 million) of a class action sex discrimination suit.
- Successful deterrence/defense of discrimination lawsuits against Seattle area employers and individual management defendants.
- International employment advice and strategy.
- Representation of developer in partnership dissolution and breach of contract litigation arising out of a large mixed use project.
- Representation of foreign investors in partnership dissolution and breach of contract litigation arising out of local commercial development projects.
- Pursuit of claims by regional consulting and placement firm in litigation against former president based upon unauthorized use of proprietary information, raiding of employees, and tortious interference with contract.
- Defense of tribal casino investor in tortious interference lawsuit by former tribal employee.
- Repeated representation of employees and employers in noncompete litigation.
- Negotiation of executive employment contracts and severance agreements.
- Investigations on behalf of the Washington State Senate regarding hostile work environment claims filed by and against two state senators.
- Defense and trial of a $1+ Million commercial real estate claim, resulting in post-trial dismissal of that claim and a judgment in favor of defendants on a $250,000 counterclaim, plus attorneys’ fees and costs.
Edifecs, Inc., Bellevue WA – AVP People & Culture|Sr. Employment Counsel (March, 2013-December 2015)
Stokes Lawrence, Seattle WA – Attorney and Shareholder (May, 2005 – March, 2013)
Short Cressman & Burgess, Seattle, WA – Attorney (May 1992 – April 2004)
University of Michigan Law School – JD, 1991
University of Michigan – BA (Philosophy), 1988
RECENT PUBLICATIONS & SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS:
“Reasonable Accommodation in the Workplace,” Program Co Chair & Speaker (The Seminar Group), Seattle,WA (March30,2012)
“Selected Employment Law Issues,” Speaker, 18th Annual Washington Construction Law Conference (TheSeminarGroup), Seattle,WA (September 15&16, 2011)
“Litigating Non-Competes & Trade Secrets Cases,” Speaker, Annual Labor & Employment Law Conference (TheSeminarGroup), Seattle,WA (August 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011
“Post Employment Competition in UnstableTimes,” Live CLE & Webcast (TheSeminarGroup), Seattle,WA (October 28, 2009)
The Best Lawyers in America ®, U.S. News & World Reports (2011, 2012, 2013)