Award recognizes attorneys with exceptional achievements early in their careers
OLYMPIA - Attorney General Bob Ferguson has selected six assistant attorneys general to receive the 2013 William V. Tanner Award for outstanding achievements early in their careers. Ferguson established the new award this year in honor of the youngest Attorney General in state history.
In 1911, William V. Tanner became Washington’s sixth Attorney General at age 29 after working his way up the ladder from law clerk, to stenographer to assistant attorney general. He was initially appointed to succeed Attorney General Walter Bell, who stepped down to accept an appointment to Snohomish County Superior Court. He was re-elected twice, serving from 1911-19.
“This award not only honors the recipients, it also celebrates the rich history of the Attorney General’s Office,” said Ferguson. “I’m proud to recognize these attorneys who, like Tanner, have exhibited excellence early in their careers and are already making extraordinary contributions to the people of Washington.”
AAG Chris Lanese - Recognized as an excellent litigator and appellate lawyer. Lanese, from Olympia, is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School. He joined the office in 2010 and is currently serving as a managing attorney in the Olympia Torts Division. The Torts Division defends the state against lawsuits seeking damages.
In the past year, Chris resolved all of his cases with a zero payout by the state, meaning he successfully defended against all lawsuits he handled and no state funds were paid out to claimants. His “zero-payout” rate for all the cases he has handled in his three years in the Torts Division is over 80 percent.
“Chris works hard to defend the state of Washington against unfounded claims for damages,” Ferguson said. “His dedication and expertise saves the state of Washington millions of dollars.”
AAG Zeb Madison - Recognized for outstanding legal work and dedication to community service in his home town of Tacoma. Madison is a graduate of the University of Washington and Seattle University Law School. He joined the office in 2006, and is currently serving in the Tacoma Division.
“Zeb loves to be in court,” said Ferguson. “If any jury trial is up for grabs in the Labor and Industries section, Zeb is the first to respond. Zeb has established an excellent reputation before the
Pierce County Superior Court bench. He has a passion for litigation and is doing an outstanding job.”
AAG Lionel Greaves - Recognized as an exceptional attorney and ambassador for the Attorney General’s Office. Greaves grew up in Seattle, attended Duke University and returned to his hometown to earn his J.D. at University of Washington School of Law. He joined the office in 2010, and is currently serving in the Tacoma Division.
“Lionel has excellent analytical and advocacy skills and readily takes on assignments that will help the team and also help him learn new areas of law,” Ferguson said. “He recently handled an extremely tough assignment against a highly-experienced adversary. Lionel maintained his cool and was the epitome of professionalism from start to finish. He did an excellent job for the client.”
AAG Dionne Padilla-Huddleston - Recognized for outstanding performance, ethical advocacy and leadership. She is a graduate of the University Of Illinois College Of Law. She joined the office in 2010, and is currently serving in the Seattle Licensing and Administrative Law Division.
Since last fall, Dionne has been advising Department of Licensing (DOL) officials regarding requests from several people, including national media and a state representative, for records pertaining to DOL’s confidential license plate and driver license programs. This work requires her to work closely with the US Attorney’s Office due to federal claims of privilege as to the records.
“Dionne’s clients find her ‘beyond excellent in every category,’” Ferguson said. “Dionne is knowledgeable, provides timely responses to questions, gives sound option-based advice and handles litigation expeditiously. Her clients are pleased with her exceptional problem solving skills, and that she is candid, clear and respectful.”
AAG Jonathan Mark - Recognized for remarkable skills, experience and service to the public. Mark is a graduate of Seattle University School of Law and has been with the office since 2006.
He is currently serving in the Seattle Antitrust Division, where he handled a major antitrust case involving international manufacturers of LCD panels.
“Jonathan regularly engages in negotiations with partners from some of the largest, most aggressive in the country and does so successfully,” Ferguson said. “He has negotiated strong settlements in many complicated cases against large, well-represented companies.”
AAG Annika Scharosch - Recognized as an outstanding attorney with exceptional analytical, writing and advocacy skills. Scharosch is a graduate of Gonzaga Law School. She joined the office in 2008 and currently serves in the Spokane Division.
“Annika possesses exceptional analytical, writing and advocacy skills,” Ferguson said. “She also has a desire to continually grow as an attorney and to serve the AGO, and she actively seeks out challenges to help her achieve these goals.”
Annika also leapt at the opportunity to apply for a position on the Solicitor General’s Opinions Committee, seeking to hone her already excellent research and writing skills. She was selected to serve on that committee in 2010, and quickly distinguished herself. Former Solicitor General Marnie Hart commended Annika after reading one of her first opinions, writing, “it’s a pleasure to read an opinion that is so well reasoned, well written, and clear.”
The Office of the Attorney General is the chief legal office for the state of Washington with attorneys and staff in 27 divisions across the state providing legal services to roughly 200 state agencies, boards and commissions. Attorney General Bob Ferguson is working hard to protect consumers and seniors against fraud, keep our communities safe, protect our environment and stand up for our veterans. Visit www.atg.wa.gov to learn more.
• Janelle Guthrie, Director of Communications, (360) 586-0725
• Alison Dempsey-Hall, Deputy Communications Director, (206) 641-1335