Firm Members - Cline Law Firm Attorneys at Law
James M. Cline
Jim received his B.A. with distinction in Political Science from the University of
Washington in 1980, an M.A. in Political Science from UW in 1982, an M.A. in Economics
from the University of Notre Dame in 1986, and his J.D. from the University of Notre Dame Law School in
After passing the Washington State Bar, Jim served as
an associate in a Seattle labor law firm and as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the
King County Prosecutor's Office. Since leaving the Prosecutor's Office in 1990, Jim
has represented law enforcement labor organizations throughout the state.
He has participated in hundreds of cases at every
level of state and federal court and various administrative and arbitration tribunals.
He has made over 30 appellate oral arguments between his appearances at the Ninth
Circuit Court of Appeals, the Washington State Supreme Court and the Washington Court of
Appeals. He has been involved in the negotiation of nearly 200 labor contracts. He has
provided counsel in about 150 officer-involved shooting incidents. He has
participated in 15 Washington State interest arbitration
Jim is a frequent speaker and the author of numerous
articles and two books: The
Rights of Washington Public Safety Employees: Member's Manual and
The Rights of Washington Public Safety Employees: Representative's
Manual. He is currently planning and developing a number of other public
safety labor law books.
M. Katherine Kremer
Kate received her B.A. in Political Science from Fairfield
University in 1983 and her J.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School in 1987.
After graduation from law school, Kate was admitted to
the Pennsylvania Bar Association. She practiced several years at the Northwestern Legal
Center where she was involved in a variety of civil litigation.
Kate has contributed to the Cline law practice since
1995. Kate's responsibilities include legal research and writing, litigation and
preparation of statistical analysis reports for labor negotiations and interest
arbitration. She is responsible for digesting and summarizing more than a 1000 labor
contracts within the Cline and Associates database. She has prepared the Master Brief¯ that is
the proprietary Cline and Associates brief used to develop interest arbitration
arguments. She has testified a number of times about her database reports and is likely
the most knowledgeable person in the state on the contents of public safety labor
Christopher J. Casillas
Chris is a 2003 graduate of the Seattle University School
of Law, where he distinguished himself academically, graduating with the high honors of
Magna Cum Laude, reserved for the top students in the class. Chris previously received
his B.A. with honors in Political Science from the University of California, Santa
Barbara in 2000. After joining Cline and Associates, Chris took a leave of absence in
2006 to attend graduate school at Cornell University in New York. While there, he earned
a Masters of Arts Degree and Ph.D. in Government.
Chris' primary area of practice at Cline &
Associates includes negotiating labor contracts and litigating various contract
grievances and unfair labor practice charges. He has also developed an expertise in
interest arbitration proceedings. Throughout his years at Cline & Associates, he has
served as lead counsel in dozens of contract and interest arbitration grievance hearings,
as well as unfair labor practice hearings in front of the Public Employment Relations
Beginning in the 2012-2013 academic year, Chris will
join the adjunct faculty at Seattle University School of Law as a part-time professor.
He will be responsible for teaching a course on advanced Constitutional Law.
Mitch graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1978 with
the degree in economics. After graduating, he moved west to the University of Oregon
School of Law, where he graduated in 1981.
Mitch has had a distinguished career with over 30
years of wide ranging trial experience in both private law firms and in public and
nonprofit entities. He is an expert in administrative procedures as well as in employment
law. Prior to joining Cline Associates, Mitch had represented numerous
employee/plaintiffs with excellent results. He has litigated in nearly all areas of
employment law ranging from disability discrimination to wage claims. He is appeared at
multiple levels of state and federal court and has had many jury trial successes and
successful appeals including ones in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Mitch continues his employment practice with Cline and
Associates and is available to be retained by individuals for their own employment and
civil rights issues. Mitch also contributes to the firm's labor practice and serves as
the senior litigator in the firm's significant and complex litigation including
arbitration discharge cases.
Pamela Van Swearingen
Pam is a 1982 Graduate of thea University of Wisconsin School of Law, where she was on the Dean's list. She later attended the University of Edinburgh,where she received an advanced degree in international arbitration in 1992. She received her undergraduate education at University of OklahomaUniversity of Oklahoma.
Before arriving at Cline and Associates in 2013, Pam had a widespread legal career, with an extensive amount of litigation and employment law experience. Upon graduation, she worked as counsel for the Dane County (Madison Wisconsin) corporate counsel's office where she provided the County advice on a wide range of legal and employment law matters. In 1994, after moving to the Northwest, Pam served two and a half years as a Deputy Prosecutor in the Snohomish County Civil Division, again participating in a wide variety of legal employment law matters for the County. Since then, she has been engaged in the private practice of law.
Pam serves as one of the Firm's Senior Litigators, assisting in discipline representation and other grievance arbitrations. She is also involved in the Firm's employment law practice.
Therese received her Bachelor of Arts with honors from Western Washington University.She received her law degree from the Seattle University school of law in May 2010. She was recognized for her academic distinction at the law school graduating cum laude and receiving the King County Bar Association award for Excellence in Labor and Employment Law.
Therese launched her legal career following 10 years working in the non-profit sector as a fundraiser and consultant. After graduating with honors from Seattle University School of Law, Therese worked as a law clerk and bailiff for the King County Superior Court Judge Mariane Spearman, and then for a small employment law firm before moving to Cline and Associates.
Therese joined Cline & Associates in March 2013. She is involved in special projects for Cline and Associates and participates in its litigation and employment law practice. In particular, her employment law practice areas include employment discrimination, hostile work environment, wage and hour, and unemployment compensation matters
Besides a busy law practice, Therese is committed public service. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Unemployment Law Project and volunteers for the LBAW/SGB Spanish Legal Clinic. Therese speaks Spanish, is trained in mediation, and holds certificates in business management and fundraising.
In her spare time, you will find her gardening, taking cooking classes, singing karaoke or walking her dog Lenny around Green Lake.
Joy Beckerman Maher
Joy Beckerman Maher joined Cline & Associates as our Paralegal in September of 2012, arriving with over 15 years of complex legal support experience. Joy came to Cline & Associates after serving as a Senior Complex Litigation Paralegal for several years in one of Seattle's largest firms. The vast majority of Joy's extensive experience is in the area of labor and employment law, which is also the mos interesting and rewarding area of law according to her! Joy's passion for the work we perform and the workplace rights of our clients, combined with the full spectrum of refined skills she possesses, make her a very valuable member of our Team.
Joy was born and raised in New England and migrated to Seattle in 1998. She is the proud mother of two sons who are both full-time college students, and she is recently recovering from many years of juggling a busy legal career with her responsibilities as a founding Board member of the Edmonds Woodway Athletic Booster Club. Joy's outside interests are now focused on social justice, sustainability, and mastering the art of balancing professional demands with personal goals.
Darrah is the firm's Officer Manager. Darrah is a recent graduate of Seattle
University. As a Resident Assistant at Seattle University, Darrah has distinguished
herself for her organizational and leadership skills. Darrah was a 2010 winner of the
Seattle University Leadership Award and and 2011 Housing & Residence Life Hall of Fame inductee. Darrah is
originally from Anchorage, Alaska.
Darrah is responsible for the management of the
Firm's operations. She manages the Premium Content portion of the Firm's website. Additionally, Darrah is the editor of the Firm's three blogs and drafts weekly newsletters. In conjunction, she assists in complex litigation tasks as needed.
David is a Law Clerk with Cline and Associates. He is a third-year law student at Seattle University. He performs a wide range of legal research for the firm, including research and writing associated with an upcoming new addition of
of Washington Public Safety Employees.
David is a 2007 graduate of the University Washington, where he had a number of academic and athletic achievements. David was a member of the University of Washington
national championship rowing team and was one of 24 finalists competing for a spot on the 2008 United States Olympic rowing team.
Tony is a law clerk with Cline & Associates. He is a second-year law student at the University of Washington School of Law. Before coming to Cline and Associates, he interned in the Marion County District Attorney's Office. Tony performs a variety of legal services for the firm including researching and writing associated with the new addition of The Rights of Washington Public Safety Employees; he also writes articles for the firm's blogs. Anthony is a 2010 graduate of Pacific Lutheran University where he made the Dean's list while also being a three-time NCAA letter winner for the Lutes' football team
Ainsley is the Office Assistant at Cline & Associates. She is a junior at Seattle Pacific University, and in pursuit of her Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. Ainsley is
responsible for managing the firm's filing system. Additionally, Ainsley helps the office with special projects as needed.
Ainsley is originally from Puyallup, Washington. She was part of 3-member team that earned meritorious winner status in "The Mathematical Competition in Modeling" in early
2012. Additionally, she is a Seattle Pacific University Trustee's Scholar Award recipient, volunteers as a leader of a youth group at High Point Church, is part of the Falconettes, a community service group
for selected SPU junior and senior women and is a Seattle Pacific University tutor in the mathematics department.
Marga is the Clerical Assistant at Cline & Associates. She is a senior at Seattle Pacific University and in pursuit of her Bachelor's degree in Sociology, with a minor in Psychology. Marga is primarily responsible for the administrative functionality of the office, in conjunction with assisting in special projects as needed.
Marga was born and raised in Manila, Philippines. She received her Associate degree in Communications from Shoreline Community College while part of the Running Start program in high school. Marga graduated frin SCC on the Dean's List and is a recipient of the Transfer Achievement Scholarship Award at Seattle Pacific University.