2018 WACDL Board Nominations

WACDL’s Nominating Committee has developed its slate of nominees for Board of Governor positions.

WACDL’s Nominating Committee has developed its slate of nominees for Board of Governor positions. New officers and board members take their positions at the annual meeting on June 8 in Chelan.


The committee has nominated the following members for one-year terms as officers:

President-elect Robert Butler (Bellingham)
Vice Pres./East Jeffery B. Swan (Yakima)
Vice Pres./West Larry Jefferson (Olympia)
Secretary Aimée Sutton (Seattle)
Treasurer Leslie E. Tolzin (Tacoma)

Chris Black (Seattle), our current president elect, will begin his year as president in June. Our current president, Patricia Fulton (Seattle), will then continue to serve on the board as immediate past president.

Board Positions

Nine positions are open for two-year terms on the Board of Governors, one in each board district — with the exception of District 5 (King County), which will elect two board members this year — and one at-large position. The nominees are:

The following board members will continue to serve on the board: Michelle L. Hess (Spokane), Gregory L. Scott (Yakima), Jessica Fleming (Everett), Laura Shaver (Everett), Stacey MacDonald (Seattle), Heather Straub (Tacoma), Paul Strophy (Olympia), and Paul Thompson (Everett).


You may be added to the ballot by submitting a petition signed by fifteen current WACDL members. Only current board members may petition for an officer position; any voting member may petition for a board position. Petitions are due to the WACDL office by 5 PM on April 24.

Along with the petition, submit a candidate’s statement, which will be sent out with the ballot, of up to 80 words — this is also due by 5 PM on April 24. If there are no contested elections, those nominated will be declared elected.

If there are contested elections, ballots will be mailed by April 29 to voting members whose dues are current on that date. Ballots will need to be returned to the WACDL office by May 12. District board members will be elected by members in each congressional district (e.g., the District One board members will be elected by members in the District One). Note that we are now basing board seats on board districts based on counties.

Statements from Nominees

President Elect: Bob Butler

It is an honor to be nominated to serve as WACDL’s President-Elect. As a 20+ year member of WACDL, I am proud to be a part of this great organization. I have benefitted greatly from the resources provided by WACDL. I have served the last two years as Secretary on the WACDL board and prior to that represented District 3. I look forward to the privilege of continuing to serve and give back to WACDL as the President-Elect.

Vice President/East: Jeffery B. Swan

I am proud to have served this great organization this last term as Vice President - East. I ask our members to allow me to continue serving in this capacity. WACDL has an outstanding commitment to improving professionalism in criminal defense representation. Having practiced criminal defense in central Washington my entire career, I hope to continue making WACDL relevant to those of us on defending the accused on this area of the state.

Vice President/West: Larry Jefferson

It has been an honor to represent WACDL for the last year as Vice President West. I look forward to working to increasing the value of our organization, our membership numbers and welcoming our new director.

Secretary: Aimée Sutton

I have been honored to serve for the last few years on the WACDL board. I am excited at the prospect of continuing to contribute as the board’s secretary. WACDL’s contributions to our legal community are very important and I look forward to aiding my fellow defense attorneys in advancing its mission.

Treasurer: Les Tolzin

It is an honor to be nominated to continue serving as WACDL’s treasurer. I joined WACDL in 1995, and soon after that I became a patron member. Over the years I have benefitted from WACDL’s CLEs, brief bank, list serves, and most importantly from the friendship and support of other WACDL members. I look forward to continuing my service as treasurer and as a member of the executive committee.

Board - District 1: Steve Felice

Thank you for considering me to serve on the WACDL Board of Governors. What an Honor. I have been practicing criminal defense for over 35 years and have been a member of this wonderful organization for as long as I can remember. I look forward to serving my colleagues from an organization that is so essential to all of us and our clients.

Board - District 2: Robin C. Emmans

WACDL is an association of which I’m proud to have been a member since Adam Moore first introduced me to the practice of criminal defense about a decade ago. At the same time, he introduced me to the family of criminal defense lawyers who make Washington a place I’m proud to practice. I look forward to serving and promoting this organization and our State and Federal Constitutions.

Board - District 3:  Ali Hohman

I am honored to be nominated to be a board member of WACDL. WACDL has provided brilliant insight from members contributing to the listserv, and the brief bank has been an invaluable resource. I practice in Skagit County working as a conflict public defender, representing children in dependencies, and assisting clients in post-conviction relief. I look forward to advancing the important work WACDL provides across the state, including expanding eligibility for post-conviction relief.

Board - District 4: Schöen Parnell

Serving our district these past two years has been an honor. Like most of you, my nose is usually to the grindstone, just trying to ensure that the people whose future I’ve been entrusted with get the best I’ve got. As a former public defender now in private practice, I recognize that a group like ours is essential, not just for our practices, but for our clients. I accept and appreciate this nomination on behalf of my clients, and yours.

Board - District 5/Position 1: Sarah J. Perez

It is an honor to again be given an opportunity to serve on the WACDL Board. I greatly look forward to assisting and collaborating with my fellow WACDL colleagues to ensure the continuing efforts of an organization I have been a proud member of for the past 12 years. I look forward to my continued service on the board if reelected.

Board - District 5/Position 2: David Hammerstad

I am pleased to be nominated to serve another two year term on the WACDL Board of Governors. It has been an honor and a pleasure to have a voice in shaping WACDL’s priorities, be it supporting “Ban the Box” legislation, giving input on court rules to promote jury diversity while preserving peremptory challenges, or putting together the Chelan CLE program. I look forward to continue serving and enjoying the community of defense lawyers that makes our organization strong.

Board - District 6: Kent W. Underwood

I am proud to be a member of the WACDL and am honored to be nominated to serve as a member of the Board of Governors. Through the WACDL’s CLE’s, list serve, resources, and other services, I have benefited immeasurably. As co-chair of the Rules Committee, I have worked with exceptional lawyers in seeking to advance the interests of the WACDL. I look forward to continued service as a member of the board.

Board - District 7: Harry Gasnick

I welcome the opportunity to be considered for membership on the WACDL board of directors. If elected I hope my 25+ yrs as a Clallam County public defender will help give voice to the perspective and special concerns of the small, rural county practitioner.

Board - At Large/EA WA: Rachel Cortez

I am humbled and honored to be nominated for the WACDL board. As a small-town attorney, I rely heavily on this organization. I look forward to being a part of what makes WACDL great and look forward to serving.

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