Updated: Feb. 13, 2018

Decoding the Law logo


The Washington State Bar Association invites you toDecoding the Law, a conversation series for members and the community to discuss timely and relevant legal topics. The Decoding the Law series is intended to share information and facilitate dialogue with the general public and legal community.


Next in the Series:

Decoding the Law: Sexual Harassment

Save the date: Noon-1 p.m. Wednesday, March 21, 2018

WSBA Conference Center, 1325 Fourth Ave., Seattle

More details to come.


Last in the Series:

Decoding the Law Race Relations, Policing and the Law logo

Decoding the Law: Race Relations, Policing, and the Law

What is the legal system’s response in this time of racial tension?

Noon–1 p.m. Monday, Dec. 4, 2017

WSBA Conference Center, 1325 Fourth Ave., Seattle


Norm Stamper – Former Chief of Police, Seattle Police Dept. (1994-2000)
Sue Rahr – Executive Director, Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission
Michele Storms – Deputy Director, ACLU Washington
Moderator: Bill Pickett – President-elect, WSBA

Watch the Recorded Webcast


Illustration of immigrants and Statue of Liberty

Decoding the Law: Immigration – Policy and Personal Perspectives

Immigration: Personal Perspective
Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017
Noon–1 p.m.
At the WSBA office, 1325 Fourth Ave., suite 600, Seattle, and via live webcast

Legal practitioners and law enforcement will address immigration rights, enforcement of immigration laws, and how to be an ally.


  • Heidi Anderson – Lane Powell
  • Rich Stolz – One America
  • Enoka Herat – ACLU
  • Lt. Adrian Diaz – Seattle Police Department

Moderated by Greg McLawsen – Sound Immigration

Immigration: Policy Perspective
Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017
Noon–1 p.m.
At the WSBA office, 1325 Fourth Ave., suite 600, Seattle, and via live webcast

Panelists will look nationally and locally as they discuss the status of travel ban legislation, sanctuary cities, and the availability of H1B visas and the impact on businesses.


  • Tahmina Watson – Watson Immigration Law
  • Qingqing Mao – Lane Powell
  • Dustin O’Quinn – Lane Powell

Moderated by Greg McLawsen – Sound Immigration

Watch the Recorded Webcast

The public and members of the Bar are invited to attend and participate in these conversations at the WSBA Conference Center. Decoding the Law is also available via live webcast and recorded for viewing on this page after each event.

Registration for in-person attendance is not required. Access to the live webcast will be available here on Aug. 1 and Aug. 8. The series is not CLE accredited.

If you have a subject in mind for future discussions in the Decoding the Law series, please send your suggestions to questions@wsba.org

The WSBA is committed to full access and participation by persons with disabilities. If you have questions about accessibility or require accommodation, please contact adamr@wsba.org.


A legal primer on Transgender Rights and Legislation

Transgender symbolJune 7, 2017
This Decoding the Law conversation featured legal practitioners and community partners discussing proposed legislation in Washington and elsewhere seeking to change access rights to bathrooms and locker rooms. This event delved into important information and considerations, including:

  • An overview of the evolution of the law
  • Proposed legislation now
    under consideration
  • Potential and current community impacts
  • How changes in the law are handled in the education system

Sal Mungia, past president of WSBA, the Western States Bar Conference, the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association, and Legal Aid for Washington; partner, Gordon Thomas Honeywell
Colleen Melody, chief of the Civil Rights Unit, Washington State Attorney General’s Office
Gunnar Scott, director of programs, Pride Foundation
Kelli Schmidt, chair, WSBA Civil Rights Section; owner and principal, Advance Law Office, PLLC

Watch the Recorded Webcast

For more information, please email Megan Scott at MeganS@wsba.org.

In March, we kicked off the series with “The Death Penalty in Three Parts,” where leading academics and legal practitioners convene a discussion on an overview of the death penalty, its financial implications, and the question of disproportionate impacts. This three-part series will occur in March and takes place at the WSBA Conference Center. The series will be available via live webcast and recorded for viewing after each event.

Decoding the Law: The Death Penalty in Three Parts

The Death Penalty in Washington State: An Overview
March 2, 2017

View a PowerPoint presentation used in this part of the series.

Mark Larrañaga, defense attorney and partner at Walsh & Larrañaga Law
Mary Pat Treuthart, professor, Gonzaga University School of Law
Mark Larson, chief deputy, Criminal Division, King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office

Financial Implications of the Death Penalty
March 8, 2017

Watch Recorded Webcasts From the Death Penalty Series

View on mobile devices here.