Chris has represented more than a thousand clients in criminal, personal injury and civil rights cases throughout his career. Collaborating with the the ACLU of Washington, the Public Defender Association, and Disability Rights Washington, Chris litigated a successful class-action lawsuit challenging unconstitutional delays in the state’s process for evaluating whether criminal defendants with mental illness are competent to stand trial.
Since the ground-breaking victory in that case (Trueblood v DSHS), Chris has served as a core member of the task force that is working to hold the State of Washington accountable, so that mentally ill inmates are no longer denied their constitutional right to timely competency hearings or treatment to restore their competency.
A former King County public defender, Chris teaches mental health law at the University of Washington School of Law. Other career highlights include:
Serving as lead trial counsel in a civil rights and medical malpractice case that awarded nearly $1 million to a mentally ill woman who gave birth in a King County jail cell, alone and ignored as she cried for help.
Collaborating with the Innocence Project Northwest to free people who had spent years in prison for crimes they did not commit.
“Champion of Justice” award, Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 2015.
“Chris’s compassion and zealous advocacy are highly regarded. He is incredibly bright, dedicated, and kind — a rare combination in an experienced and effective trial attorney.”
— Emily Cooper, Disability Rights Oregon Legal Director
“Chris was extremely responsive to all my questions and concerns throughout the process. … He fostered an open and honest dialogue … gave his best recommendations and made sure I felt comfortable with whatever decision we made.”
— Marshall Reinsch, client
Washington State Bar Association number: 30325