Founder Profile

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


“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)