The Board of Governors is the WSBA's governing body directed by the Washington Supreme Court to determine the general policies of the Bar and approve its budget annually. The Board consists of the president, president-elect, immediate past president, members elected from each of the state's congressional districts and three at-large members.
The Board meets six times each year at locations across the state. Except for executive sessions, Board meetings are open to the public. The Board has several committees, and governors serve as liaisons to WSBA committees.
William D. Pickett | President (2018-2019)
William D. Pickett was elected to the Board of Governors in September 2015. He assumed the office of president after former President Brad Furlong resigned on March 17, 2018.
Pickett is a solo practitioner in central Washington, where he focuses his practice on trial advocacy in personal-injury and wrongful-death matters, civil rights and police misconduct, and medical malpractice. He is a frequent guest speaker on trial advocacy, police misconduct, and medical negligence issues. He is licensed to practice law in Washington, Oregon, and Alaska.
Pickett serves as an adjunct faculty member in the LL.M. Trial Advocacy Degree Program for Temple University School of Law. He is a member of the National Police Accountability Project, which monitors law enforcement misconduct across the country.
Born and raised in Yakima, Pickett received his B.A. degree in society and justice from the University of Washington in 1994, and his law degree in 1997 from Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon. He later earned an LL.M. degree in trial advocacy in 2007 from Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law. In addition, he is a graduate of the Gerry Spence Trial Lawyer’s College in Dubois, Wyoming.
Rajeev Majumdar was elected to the Board of Governors in September 2016 and was selected by the board to serve as president-elect in June 2018. Majumdar focuses his practice on civil litigation and business-oriented law at the Law Offices of Roger Ellingson, PS in Blaine, Washington.
He serves as prosecutor in jurisdictions including the City of Blaine, Bellingham’s Mental Health Diversion Court, and the Nooksack Nation. As an adjunct professor at Western Washington University, he teaches rights, liberties and justice in America. He previously worked for the National Nuclear Security Administration in Washington, D.C., helping to establish protocols of cooperation between the U.S. and other nations to ensure the containment of weapons of mass destruction technology.
In 2015, Majumdar received the WSBA Local Hero Award for his work in improving public access to civil legal aid and advocating for homeless youth. He received his undergraduate degree in biology and philosophy from the Albertson College of Idaho; master’s degrees in international affairs and public administration from the University of Washington; and his law degree from Seattle University School of Law.
Dan W. Bridges | Treasurer, Governor, District 9 (2016-2019)
Dan W. Bridges was elected to the Board of Governors in September 2016, when he replaced Elijah Forde as District-9 governor. Bridges is a partner with McGaughey Bridges Dunlap PLLC. He has tried over 50 jury trials in state and U.S. District Court and argued more than 30 appeals in Washington Supreme Court, all three divisions of the Washington Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. And he serves as a superior court arbitrator in four Washington counties.
Bridges received his undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Washington and his law degree from the University of Puget Sound (now Seattle University School of Law).
Open Position | Governor, District 1, (2018-2021)
Carla J. Higginson | Governor, District 2 (2018-2019)
Carla J. Higginson was elected by the Board of Governors to represent District 2 in June 2018, replacing Rajeev Majumdar who became president-elect. Since her admission to the bar in 1980, Higginson has practiced in Friday Harbor, handling family law, real property and land use, estate planning and probate, elder law and guardianship, and civil litigation. She formerly handled criminal defense as well.
Higginson is the treasurer of the San Juan County Bar Association for which she previously served as president for five terms. She has served as a municipal court judge for the Town of Friday Harbor, and she once was the youngest judge in the state. She also served on the San Juan County Planning Commission, Bastyr University Board of Trustees, and as a long-time volunteer attorney for several nonprofit organizations.
A native of Western Washington, Higginson earned her B.A. in communications at Western Washington University and her J.D. at University of Washington School of Law.
Kyle Sciuchetti | Governor, District 3 (2017-2020)
Kyle Sciuchetti was elected to the WSBA Board of Governors in September 2017. He is a shareholder with Bullivant Houser Bailey PC where he maintains an active practice serving as outside general counsel for businesses throughout Washington, Idaho, and Oregon. His clients include construction contractors, consultants, design professionals, firearm manufacturers, transportation-related companies, restaurants, component manufacturers and businesses large and small.
Sciuchetti is a former prosecutor with the City of Spokane and former session attorney with the Washington State Legislature, Code Reviser’s Office. For 14 years, he served on the WSBA Legislative Committee, most recently as its chair in 2016. He is the director/legal counsel for the board of the Metropolitan Business Association and serves on the Board of Directors for the Humane Society for Southwest Washington. He is past chair of the Board of Directors for the Clark County Food Bank. He is licensed and admitted to practice in all state and federal courts in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho and the United States Supreme Court.
Born and raised in Spokane, Sciuchetti received his undergraduate degrees in political science and psychology from the University of Washington and his law degree from Lewis & Clark Law School. He currently resides in Vancouver, serving the legal needs and communities of Southwest Washington.
Daniel D. Clark | Governor, District 4 (2018-2021)
Daniel Clark was elected to the Board of Governors in July 2017 to serve a vacancy and was subsequently elected for a full term in 2018. Since 2002, he has served the taxpayers of Yakima County. Clark is a senior deputy prosecuting attorney with the Yakima County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Corporate Counsel Division. His legal practice includes providing legal representation to various Yakima County department heads and elected officials in various civil and ad valorem taxation litigation matters. He also assists deputy prosecutors and law enforcement in various criminal prosecutions and civil real and personal property forfeiture matters. He is also the legal counsel for the Southeast Aging and Long Term Care Council of Governments, an entity comprised of eight counties (including three in the 4th District) that provides important services under the Older Americans Act for the elderly and those in need of long-term care. Previously, he worked for Yakima County Superior Court where he served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable James Hutton, Michael E. Schwab, Robert N. Hackett, and C. James Lust.
Born and raised in Yakima, Clark received his undergraduate Bachelors of Art degree in political science from Central Washington University, graduating magna cum laude, and was honored as a Dean’s Scholar in the College of the Sciences. He earned his J.D. from Gonzaga School of Law, where he graduated cum laude. He is a proud Gonzaga law alumni, and an avid Zags Basketball and Seahawks sports fan.
Peter J. "P.J." Grabicki | Governor, District 5 (2018-2021)
Peter Grabicki was elected to the Board of Governors in September 2018. He is a managing partner at Randall | Danskin in Spokane, where he focuses his practice on estate planning, probate, trust, and estate litigation. He is the current president of the Legal Foundation of Washington, which administers grants for low-income civil legal aid support. He also serves on WSBA’s Mandatory Malpractice Insurance Task Force.
Grabicki earned a B.A. in economics from the University of San Francisco and his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law, where he graduated cum laude.
Brian Tollefson | Governor, District 6 (2017-2020)
Brian Tollefson Hon. Brian Tollefson (ret.) is a principal at Black Robe Dispute Resolution Services, PLLC. He also serves as a pro-tem judge for Pierce County Superior Court. Previously, he served as a judge for Pierce County Superior Court for more than 27 years. During his time on Superior Court, he was on the Executive Committee, served as presiding judge, and participated on a number of local Superior Court committees. He served on several committees in the Washington State Superior Court Judges Association and as a trustee on the Association’s board of trustees for five years.
Before serving as a Superior Court judge, he was partner in a private practice firm, focusing on general civil law. At the start of his legal career, he served as law clerk to Chief Justice Charles T. Wright on the Washington Supreme Court. Tollefson is a National Courts & Science Institute Fellow and an emeritus member of the Robert J. Bryan American Inns of Court.
He earned his law degree from Willamette University College of Law, a master’s in judicial studies from the University of Nevada, Reno, and his accounting degree from the University of Washington.
Paul Swegle | Governor, District 7 North (2017-2020)
Paul Swegle was elected to the WSBA Board of Governors in September 2017. He is in-house general counsel to several tech companies and serves as of counsel to Kinsel Law Offices in Seattle, where he handles projects for clients involving all areas of business law, as well as finance, mergers and acquisitions, and litigation. He also speaks across the country on a variety of law and business topics.
From 2000 to 2012, Swegle was general counsel of ShareBuilder, a Seattle startup that he helped grow into a leading online brokerage before helping lead the company’s sale to ING Direct and later to Capital One. He began his law career in 1988 with the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, serving two appointments as a special assistant U.S. attorney. He transferred to the SEC's Division of Corporation Finance in 1994, where he handled IPOs, mergers and acquisitions, and other complex transactions. Swegle left the SEC to become director, Law of Plum Creek Timber.
Swegle served two terms as chair of the WSBA Corporate Counsel Section, currently serves on the Securities Law Committee of the WSBA Business Law Section, and is a member of the Technology and Innovation Law LL.M. Advisory Board at Seattle University School of Law. He is a past-president of the Bellevue College Foundation, serves on the Alliance for Pioneer Square Board and has co-chaired the Cystic Fibrosis StairClimb in Seattle for 22 years. Swegle received his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Washington and his law degree from the University of Washington School of Law.
Jean Y. Kang | Governor, District 7 South (2018-2021)
Jean Y. Kang was elected to serve District 7 in September 2018. She was first elected to the Board of Governors in 2017 in the at-large, new and young lawyer position. She is a litigator at Smith Freed & Eberhard. She handles a wide-range of complex litigation suits arising from personal injury negligence, errors & omission, premises liability, and various insurance claims. Prior to civil work, Jean served as a criminal deputy prosecuting attorney in Cowlitz County and King County. She serves on the state board for Washington Women Lawyer as co-chair for Professional Development, and previously served on the board for the Korean-American Bar Association. She also was a member of the 2017 class of the Washington Leadership Institute.
She speaks Korean fluently and volunteers in the Korean-American community. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Washington and her law degree from the Seattle University School of Law.
Kim Hunter | Governor, District 8 (2017-2020)
Kim Hunter. was elected to the WSBA Board of Governors in September 2017. She is the owner of the Law Offices of Kim E. Hunter, PLLC, where she maintains an active criminal defense practice as a conflict public defender and also serving as a pro-tem Judge. She is a former prosecutor for the City of Spokane and former public defender for the cities of Kirkland, Bellevue and Redmond. Hunter is a member and past chair of the Criminal Law Section. A member of Phi Delta Phi, she was named a Rising Star in 2010-2014, and in 2015-2017 she was recognized as a “Super Lawyer” by Washington Law and Politics. She was named one of the top two female DUI attorneys in the state. Hunter has been on the WSBA Supreme Court Pro Bono Publico Honor Roll since 2004. She is a member of the South King County Bar Association, King County Bar Association, National College of DUI Defense, National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, and she served as co-chair of the Criminal Justice Institute for six years.
Born and raised in Spokane, Hunter received her undergraduate degree, cum laude, in biomedical history and ethics from the University of Washington and her MBA, magna cum laude, in marketing from City University. She earned her J.D. at Gonzaga University School of Law, where she was co-founded the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund. She resides in Auburn, serving the needs of communities in Seattle and South King County. She enjoys travel, reading, music, and her cat Nutmeg.
Christina A. Meserve | Governor, District 10 (2016-2019)
Christina A. Meserve was elected to the Board of Governors in September 2016. She is a family law attorney and has been with Connolly Tacon & Meserve for 36 years. Her practice focuses on arbitration, divorce, custody and support, mediation, and prenuptial agreements. A former president of the Thurston County Bar Association, Meserve also served on the board of trustees of The Evergreen State College.
Meserve has served on the WSBA's Judicial Recommendation, Character and Fitness, and Legislative committees. Early in her career, she was president of Washington Women Lawyers and served as its liaison to the WSBA Board of Governors.
She received her undergraduate degree from The Evergreen State College and her law degree from the University of Washington School of Law.
Athan P. Papailiou | Governor, At-Large (2016-2019)
Athan P. Papailiou was elected to the Board of Governors in September 2016. He is a litigator at Pacifica Law Group in Seattle, where he focuses his practice on complex appellate and civil litigation, including constitutional, municipal, and commercial matters in state and federal courts. Before entering private practice, Papailiou served as a judicial law clerk for Washington Supreme Court Justice Debra Stephens.
Papailiou received his law degree from the University of Arizona and undergraduate degree from the University of Oregon. A Pacific Northwest native, Papailiou lives on Shilshole Bay in Ballard.
Russell Knight | Governor, At-Large (2018-2021)
Russell Knight was elected to the Board of Governors in September 2018 to represent new and young lawyers in an at-large position. Russell Knight is a partner with the Tacoma law firm of Smith Alling, P.S., and focuses his practice on the litigation of business, real estate, and employment disputes. He has tried cases before judges, juries, arbitrators, and governmental agencies and has defended and appealed cases to the Washington Court of Appeals and 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Knight is a past president of the Young Lawyers Section of the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association and served as the Pierce County representative to the Washington Young Lawyers Committee. He is a member of the Robert J. Bryan American Inns of Court. Knight earned his B.A. at the University of Puget Sound and his J.D. at Gonzaga University School of Law.
Alec Stephens | Governor, At-Large (2017-2020)
Alec Stephens was elected to the Board of Governors in September 2017. Prior to serving on the BOG, Stephens served two terms as Chair of the WSBA Civil Rights Law Section, and was the small Sections representative on the BOG’s Sections Policy Workgroup. He has been a civil rights lawyer since his admission to the Bar in 1981, and was national co-director of the Law Students Civil Rights Research Council, and national co-chair of the National Lawyers Guild Affirmative Action/Anti-Discrimination Committee. He began his career as Northwestern Regional Attorney for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
In 2014, he retired as diversity technical advisor in the Diversity Programs Office of Sound Transit (the Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority). Joining the agency in 1995, he was the initial manager and architect for contracting and employment programs to provide opportunities for People of Color and Women, and coordinated the Agency’s compliance with federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and Title VI non-discrimination requirements.
Active in civic affairs, he has served as a member of the City of Seattle Parks Levy Oversight Committee and he was the first Disproportionality Task Force Chair of Seattle Public Schools. In 2012, he was one of 12 Electors to cast Washington’s electoral votes in the Electoral College.
A native of Miami, Florida, Stephens has a law degree from the University of Puget Sound (now Seattle University) law school, and a bachelor of business administration from the University of Miami.