Board of Directors


OFFICERS

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Caleb Oken-Berg | President


Caleb M. Oken-Berg is an attorney at Skellenger Bender, P.S. in Seattle.  His practice focuses primarily on family law, including divorce/dissolutions with complex asset divisions, committed intimate relationships, domestic partnership issues, parenting plan and child support modifications, child custody, parentage actions, and adoption. Caleb serves on the Membership Committee of the National LGBT Bar Association’s Family Law Institute and is a member of the William L. Dwyer Inn of Court. In addition to his work with QLaw, Caleb is the founder of the pro bono family law legal clinic at the Sea Mar Community Health Center in the South Park neighborhood of Seattle, where he serves as a volunteer attorney for patients and community members.


 

Alison J. Warden | President-Elect


Alison is an attorney at Lasher Holzapfel Sperry & Ebberson, where she focuses her practice on estate planning, tax advising, and tax controversy. Prior to joining Lasher, Alison was a criminal defense attorney for 9 years at Society of Counsel Representing Accused Persons (SCRAP), a non-profit public defense agency in Seattle. In addition to serving on the QLaw Board, Alison volunteers her time at the University of Washington Federal Tax Clinic, representing low-income taxpayers in controversies involving the IRS. When not practicing law, Alison enjoys reading the newspaper, playing word games, and spending time with her family and friends.



Thuy Nguyen | Vice President


Thuy Nguyen is Assistant General Counsel at A Place for Mom, Inc. A Place for Mom is North America's largest senior living referral service with more than 600 employees, helping families find senior care and housing. Thuy has been a member of QLaw since its first year, helped the QLaw team raise funds for the Lifelong AIDS Alliance Annual Walk, served as a mentor to law students, and joined the board in 2011. She was previously President of the Asian Bar Association of Washington.  Thuy also volunteers as a Homework Helper through the Seattle Public Library.





Dan Shih | Vice President


Dan is a partner at Susman Godfrey L.L.P. with a complex litigation practice.  He also serves on the boards of the ACLU of Washington, API Chaya, and the Lakeside School Alumni Board.  Dan lives with his husband and three daughters in Seattle.


James (Jamie) Corning | Secretary


Jamie is a commercial litigator at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, where he concentrates his practice on antitrust, intellectual property, consumer protection class-actions, and government investigations.  Before joining DWT, Jamie clerked for Judge Edward F. Shea of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington.  In his spare time, he volunteers with the Housing Justice Project clinic and coaches the national appellate moot court teams at Seattle University School of Law, where he also serves on the Law Alumni Board.  Before law school, Jamie worked for nearly a decade as a software developer and program manager for Microsoft and other technology companies.


 


David Howenstine | Treasurer


David Howenstine is an attorney at Lane Powell, where his practice focuses on tort defense, complex insurance litigation, and aviation law. Prior to joining private practice, David clerked for the Honorable James L. Robart of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington and for the Honorable Ernest M. Robles at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California.
Alex Oh | Immediate Past President

Alex Oh is a partner in the Technology and Intellectual Property group at Stoel Rives LLP. His practice focuses on U.S. and foreign patent strategy, preparation and prosecution for start-ups, Fortune 500 companies, research institutions, and universities in a wide variety of technologies, including biotechnology, chemistry, pharmaceuticals, clean technology, mechanical devices and medical devices. Alex also devotes significant time to strategic intellectual property counseling, pre-litigation patent analysis, intellectual property litigation, post-grant proceedings, patent opinions, patent portfolio management, product clearance and freedom-to-operate assessments, and IP due diligence and transactions.  




DIRECTORS_____________________________________________



 

Beau Backman


Beau Backman is a third year student at Seattle University School of Law who will graduate in May 2017. He currently studies legal advocacy for businesses and entrepreneurs with aspirations of becoming comprehensive business counsel after graduation. His previous experience includes working as a staff assistant to a boutique law firm before school, and working at the WA State Dept. of Financial Institutions and the Center for Infectious Disease Research through Seattle University’s Externship program. In addition to the QLaw board, his volunteer work includes coordinating student information sessions at Mission Creek Correctional Center for Women and active involvement in the OUTLaws group. Outside law school (pause for laughter) you’ll find him working in his garden plot at the Cascade P-Patch or hiking one of Washington’s beautiful trails. 







Cynthia Buhr


Cynthia practices exclusively in the area of family law, including estate planning, adoptions, prenuptial agreements and dissolutions. She served as the 2009-2010 President of QLaw: The GLBT Bar Association of Washington and is a 2009 graduate of the Washington State Bar Association Leadership Institute. Prior to re-joining the board of QLaw, she spent a few years on the board of Out for Sustainability. In addition the QLaw board, she volunteers her time to the QLaw Foundation Legal Clinic and Family Law CASA.






Abigail Caldwell


Abigail Caldwell is an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Seattle. She represents the City in disputes related to construction, contracts, and public utilities. Prior to the City of Seattle, Abigail gained extensive experience as a litigator with Gordon Thomas Honeywell LLP, where her practice focused on civil defense and insurance coverage. Abigail was an active member of the Judicial Evaluation Committee (JEC) prior to joining the board and is now serving as a co-chair for the committee.

                                        






Yvonne Curtis


Yvonne Curtis’ practice focuses on criminal and family law. Before opening her own firm, Yvonne was a public defender in King County for 18 years where she represented adults and juveniles charged with felony and misdemeanor offenses. Prior to serving on the board, she was actively involved with the Judicial Evaluation Committee (JEC) and served as chair from February 2008-February 2010.





Hon. Adam Eisenberg


Adam Eisenberg serves as a magistrate in Seattle Municipal Court, and is co-director of the Seattle Youth Traffic Court.  He teaches art & cultural property law for the University of Washington Museology (Museum Studies) Graduate Program, and is the author of the book A Different Shade of Blue: How Women Changed the Face of Police Work (2009).








Catherine Elliott


Cat has been a criminal defense attorney at the King County Department of Public Defense for nine years. She represents adults and juveniles charged with adult felony offenses. She currently supervises a unit of felony attorneys and investigators who practice at the Regional Justice Center in King County. Cat is an at-large member of the Board. She co-chairs QLaw’s Judicial Evaluations Committee.






 


Matt Etter


Matt is an Associate Director of the Center for Professional Development at Seattle University School of Law.  He advises students and alumni who are interested in public interest and government opportunities.  Prior to joining Seattle University, Matt was an account executive and recruiter for Robert Half Legal.  Matt began his legal career serving as an Assistant Attorney General for Washington State's Attorney General, representing and advising the Department of Social and Health Services, the Department of Early Learning, and higher education clients.  Matt is excited to return to the QLaw Board, as he previously served as a student board member while attending law school at Seattle University.



 

Shaun T. Greer


Shaun is legal counsel at Associated Industries in Spokane.  He focuses his practice on employment law, with an interest in ERISA, employee benefits, and labor-management relations.  Shaun assists employers in a variety of employment law issues including workforce leave laws, wage and hour law, as well as hiring, discipline and termination practices.  Shaun graduated from the University of San Francisco School of Law in 2014.  Shaun joined QLaw in 2016 as an appointed board member and is QLaw’s first Spokane-based board member.  Shaun is also active in raising awareness of LGBT issues in Spokane, and is a founding member of the LGBTA Law Section of the local bar.






Alexis Howell


Alexis is a concurrent student at the University of Washington, pursuing both her Master's in Public Administration and her Juris Doctorate.  Alexis is working alongside a dedicated team of students to create a Trans Health Pro Bono Project, and spends a lot of her free time running fitness and self-defense classes at the Q Center on UW's campus.  Alexis loves playing rugby, going to concerts, and cuddling with her cat.





Dustin Howie


Dustin is a student at Gonzaga University School of Law, Class of 2019.  Growing up in Canada, he pursued his undergraduate degree at Vancouver Island University in British Columbia.  During his education Dustin was actively involved in a variety of university organizations.  He held the Director of Internal Relations seat for the Vancouver Island University Students’ Union Board for two years while also representing student interests as a University Senator.  Over the past two years, Dustin has been involved in Gonzaga Law’s Gender and Sexuality Club.  He has helped organize and participate in its fundraising events for the Spokane AIDS network and Odyssey LGBTQ Youth Movement.  Dustin successfully immigrated to the U.S. in 2015 and now lives with family in Spokane.







Christopher Sweeney


Christopher Sweeney is a partner at Knobbe Martens. His practice includes worldwide patent procurement, IP portfolio management, due diligence, licensing, trademark and invalidity/non-infringement opinions. He currently represents clients in technological areas including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, immunology, life sciences, food sciences, industrial chemistry and medical devices. In graduate school, Chris focused his research on DNA/RNA transcription proteins. He is currently the President of the Washington State Patent Law Association (WSPLA) and is active on the Business Development Committee of the Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association (WBBA). Chris also serves on the faculty for CASRIP, the Center for the Advanced Study & Research on Intellectual Property at the University of Washington School of Law.







          





 


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