We pride ourselves on attracting and retaining attorneys who are academically and intellectually gifted and highly skilled. Just as important to us is the integrity of our attorneys, and the reputation for honesty and trustworthiness that our attorneys carry before the local bar and judiciary.
"I love working with people to find realistic and reasonable solutions to complex problems."
Focusing on all aspects of construction law, Darrel Addington assists his clients with issues concerning construction contract formation, claims avoidance and litigation of real estate, environmental, commercial, and construction disputes.
In addition to serving his business clients, Darrel also serves as a mediator and arbitrator, helping parties find a common ground.
Darrel earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Tennessee School of Law, then served as a clerk to Federal District Judge Robert L. Taylor. After serving as a Judge Advocate General for the U.S. Army, he was a Deputy Prosecutor for Pierce County, Washington. He joined Vandeberg Johnson & Gandara in 1975, and continues to enjoy serving both private and public sector clients.
Darrel is a member of the Washington State Bar Association, Washington State Council of School Attorneys, and Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association. He was admitted to the Washington State Bar in 1973 and the Tennessee State Bar in 1969. He is on the American Arbitration Association panel of arbitrators.
In addition to his professional service, Darrel has served as the president of the Tacoma Community House Board of Directors and as past president, vice president, and treasurer of the Pierce County Alliance Board. He has also been a United Way volunteer and he is active in his local church. Outside of his law practice, Darrel's passions include extended backpacking trips, reading, history, and golf.
"As I have come to know generations of families over my years of practice, I have learned so much about family loyalty and resilience and the way families pull together in difficult times. It is a privilege to practice law and to work with these clients."
Kerry Brink brings experience, insight and compassion to her practice in the areas of estate planning, probate, and elder law. She is admitted to the U.S. Tax Court and is a member of the Washington State Bar sections on Taxation, Estate Planning, and Elder Law. Kerry has served as Treasurer for the Washington State Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and Chair of the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association Guardianship Committee. Kerry successfully completed the first Elder Law Certification sponsored by the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. Kerry speaks frequently to community groups and professional groups on issues related to elder law, estate planning, and estate taxation.
Before going to law school, Kerry obtained her Graduate Certificate in School Psychology and served as a school psychologist in two Washington school districts and as a community psychologist and head of Child Development Services in Neu Ulm, Germany. After graduating with honors and serving as a member of the Law Review editorial board, Kerry was admitted to the Washington State Bar in 1988 and has been in private practice ever since. She joined VJ&G in October 1993, where she is a member of the firm.
Kerry has served on numerous community boards. She is currently on the Advisory Board for The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation and a board member for the Liliir Education Project. In 2017, Kerry was honored by the Tacoma Pierce County Bar Association for her providing outstanding service to further the goals of the legal profession and promoting the ideal of professionalism.
Read Kerry's Blog Posts:
"I love to find creative and cost-effective solutions to the challenging problems that confront my clients."
Lucy Clifthorne represents individuals and businesses in a wide range of matters, from litigating disputes to helping them structure and plan business transitions. She is active in the firm's business, litigation, estate planning and real estate practices.
After graduating magna cum laude from the Seattle University School of Law in 1997, where she served as research and technical editor on the Seattle University Law Review and was active on the moot court board, Lucy served as clerk to Washington State Court of Appeals Judge J. Dean Morgan before joining Vandeberg Johnson & Gandara in 1998. She is a member of the Washington State Bar and admitted to practice in the Federal District Court for the Western District of Washington and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Prior to becoming a lawyer, Lucy obtained a BA from Beloit College in 1981 and an MA in Journalism from the Ohio State University in 1987, where she was a member of Phi Kappa Phi. Lucy lived in Okayama, Japan for three years with her family, where she was a faculty member in the international department of a local college.
Beyond the law, Lucy enjoys cycling, hiking and samba dancing.
Several decades advising and representing school districts allow Bill Coats to bring invaluable depth of knowledge and understanding to his clients' problems. Bill's practice encompasses administrative and municipal law, and employment and labor issues, primarily in the context of school law. He serves as Chair of Vandeberg Johnson & Gandara's School Practice Group.
After obtaining his JD from the University of Washington in 1972, Bill served as an Assistant Attorney General for the state of Washington from 1972 to 1975, after which he joined a predecessor of Vandeberg Johnson & Gandara. He has been a member of the Washington State Bar since 1972, and is admitted to practice in the Western District of Washington, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court.
He has served as an Adjunct Professor for the University of Washington, Tacoma and Pacific Lutheran University. Bill is a frequent panelist and speaker in programs concerning school law, municipal law, and labor and employment. He is a member of the Washington State Council of School Attorneys (President 1978) and was a member of the Continuing Legal Education Committee of the Washington State Bar Association. He is a member of the bar sections on Labor and Employment Law, Urban, State and Local Government Law, and Administrative Law.
Outside the firm, Bill enjoys tennis, reading, and is an avid sports fan.
"I enjoy helping clients find the structures and solutions that will help them be successful in their business."
Marlo DeLange joined Vandeberg Johnson & Gandara, LLP in 2004. She practices in the areas of corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, franchise law, securities law, international business law, and business organizations and transactions.
Prior to joining VJ&G, Marlo was a Securities Enforcement Attorney with the Securities Division of the Washington Department of Financial Institutions from 1997 to 2000. She began private practice as an associate with Gordon, Thomas, Honeywell from 2000 to 2004.
Marlo obtained her JD cum laude in 1997 from the Seattle University School of Law, and her B.A. in Finance in 1992 from the Idaho State University, College of Business.
Marlo received the "40 Under 40" Award presented by the Business Examiner in 2006; the Securities Division’s Enforcement Employee of the Year in 2000; the Washington State Governor’s Quality Award in 1999; the Department of Financial Institutions Director’s Quality Award for 1999; Idaho State University College of Business Outstanding Academic Achievement Award in 1992; and was on the Idaho State University College of Business Dean’s List, 1989 to 1992.
Marlo is a member of the Washington State and Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Associations. She has served on the Executive Committee of the WSBA Business Law Section since 2006 and currently serves as the Chair. She is a former Co-President of Pierce County Washington Women Lawyers.
Marlo has served on the Board of Directors for World Trade Center of Tacoma since 2004 and served as Chair of the Board from 2009 to 2010. She served on the Board of Directors for Chambers Creek Foundation from 2001 to 2006 and was an adjunct professor for the School of Business at Pacific Lutheran University from 2006 to 2008.
"Land is vitally important to people. I get a tremendous amount of satisfaction out of clarifying the complicated rules governing a project and helping people understand how they apply and what they mean. I want to put them in a position of strength so that they have the tools to make smart choices. "
Erica's passion is to help people facing uncertainty to understand the rules of the game, make a plan, and manage risk so that they can get on with their lives. She works with her clients to understand their problems, goals, and the non-legal issues influencing their cases. She combines practical advice with patient, determined advocacy to ensure that her clients know what is happening every step of the way.
Erica's practice focuses on environmental issues and related litigation, advising businesses and individuals on permitting, regulatory compliance, insurance coverage, cost allocation, and cost recovery. She advises individuals and business owners on issues related to managing dangerous waste, land use and development permitting, cannabis permitting, and neighbor disputes.
Her work has included guiding generators and recyclers through regulatory compliance issues; assisting corporate clients with storm water permitting and management; helping developers and business owners obtain land use permits; and assisting businesses and homeowners in litigation and alternative dispute resolution related to environmental contamination and property disputes.
In addition to being a member of the Washington State Bar Association and the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association, Erica serves on the boards of the Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center, the South Sound Chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women, YWCA Pierce County, and the Pierce County chapter of Washington Women Lawyers. Erica has spoken on land use and environmental issues at several seminars and conferences.
When not helping her clients, Erica enjoys spending time with her family, running, cooking, camping, and exploring the natural beauty that Washington has to offer.
Kinne Hawes’ primary areas of practice include Real Estate Transactions and Financing, Business, Commercial, and International Business Law.
Kinne earned his Juris Doctorate in 1972 from the University of Washington School of Law. He was a member of the Board of Editors of the Washington Law Review. He was admitted to the Washington State Bar in 1972.
After several years in private practice in Seattle with Lane Powell Spears Lubersky, Kinne served as in-house corporate counsel for 14 years, most recently as Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Pay'n Save Drug Stores, Inc. Since January 1993, he has been in private practice in Seattle. He joined Vandeberg Johnson & Gandara, LLP in 1994 in its Seattle office and moved to the firm’s Tacoma office in January, 2014.
Kinne is a member of the Real Property, Probate and Trust, and Corporation, Business and Banking Law sections of the Washington State Bar Association. He has served as Special District Counsel to the Bar Association. He has spoken at Bar Association presentations on antitrust fundamentals and in-house corporate practice.
In addition to his professional service, Kinne has been a member of the Vestry and Junior Warden of Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Mercer Island; Chairman of the City of Mercer Island Park Board; and a member of the Fiscal Committee of the Mercer Island School Board.
“Few things mean more to people than their house, their land or their development project – that is why helping people solve real estate problems is so rewarding.”
For more than 30 years Mark Hood has been involved in real estate in the Puget Sound area. Starting with a local title company and continuing with 25 years of law practice, Mark has helped people buy houses, develop property, lease space for businesses, and resolve issues with neighbors.
In addition to helping his clients, Mark assists other lawyers and real estate professionals with improving their skills and knowledge. Mark is a frequent lecturer and presenter to the real estate industry, leading discussions and teaching classes on topics as diverse as resolving boundary disputes, solving title and ownership issues, drafting easements and crafting purchase agreements.
When not at the office, Mark spends time with family and pursuing several hobbies, including sailboat racing and playing trumpet in local jazz and swing bands.
"I enjoy helping my clients ensure that they can pass on as much of their legacy as possible."
Although Daelyn comes from a family of educators, it was her desire to help and serve on an individual basis, which led her to the law. This desire was magnified through her experience at the Gonzaga University Legal Assistance Program, where she helped a terminally ill client draft a Will. Helping the client not only gave Daelyn a defined purpose, but also provided her with a roadmap as to how she was going to help others in the future.
Daelyn's approach is individualized. Different families have different needs, and striking a balance between preservation and protection can be difficult and emotional. To ease an otherwise trying process, Daelyn takes an education-centered approach to every situation, ultimately allowing her clients and their families to make informed, cognizant decisions.
Obtaining her LLM at the University of Denver, provides Daelyn with additional tools to help her clients successfully execute their wishes while limiting possible tax ramifications. This way, Daelyn is able to help her clients ensure that their assets and legacy are preserved.
Admitted to practice before the courts of Washington and the Federal Tax Court, Daelyn is also an active participant in the Washington Women Lawyers, the Tacoma Pierce County Bar Association, and the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation. She is also a frequent speaker on current tax-related issues and changes in the law.
When not helping her clients, Daelyn enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter. She and her family enjoy participating in community events and are slowly but surely renovating their 100-year-old house.
"One of my greatest joys is seeing so many of my clients who started with little to nothing rise to the very top of their businesses and professions."
Jim Krueger joined our firm when he got out of the army after a tour of duty in Vietnam. He represents clients in a wide variety of business and personal matters.
Jim graduated cum laude from Gonzaga University and obtained law degrees from Georgetown University (JD) and New York University (LLM). He was an adjunct professor of law at the University of Puget Sound School of Law, and served as a Special District Counsel to the Washington State Bar Association. He is co-author of the Washington Partnership Law &Practice Deskbook and the Washington Partnership and Limited Liability Company Deskbook.
His biography is included in "Who's Who in America" and "Who's Who in American Law." Jim was named a "Super Lawyer" by Law and Politics Magazine and rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell peer review rating service.
Jim has a special commitment to help those who are less fortunate. He has served on the board of directors of the United Way of Pierce County and Catholic Community Services.
In his spare time, he enjoys gardening, bicycling, walking, skiing, a glass of wine, and going to Disneyland with his grandchildren.
Read Jim's Blog Posts:
“Public education is the cornerstone of our democracy. It is an honor and a privilege to support it from the legal standpoint.”
As the daughter of a first-generation Mexican immigrant who has practiced as a pioneering cardiovascular surgeon in the United States for over thirty years, Heidi Maynard has witnessed firsthand the generational impact of education. This experience motivates her on a daily basis as she assists school districts in navigating the highly regulated field of K-12 school law.
Heidi earned her Juris Doctorate from The Florida State University School of Law. While doing so, she studied the history of the common law at Oxford University, England, competed nationally as a member of the FSU Mock Trial team, and tried cases for the State Attorney’s Office in Tallahassee Florida. She practiced civil litigation at a private firm in Tallahassee, Florida, prior to joining the Florida Department of Education’s General Counsel’s Office as an Assistant General Counsel. After that she served as an Assistant General Counsel for the Florida Department of Health and then as a hearing officer for the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services.
After moving to Washington State with her family, she served as Policy & Legal Services Director for the Washington State School Directors’ Association (WSSDA) for five years, writing model policy for the state’s 295 school districts and providing legal guidance for board directors and superintendents statewide. While at WSSDA, she founded the WSSDA Law Conference to provide school board members with legal insight to support their vision and goals for the Districts they served. She also served on multiple statewide committees and workgroups contributing to statewide policy implementation, presented at the National School Board Association’s (NSBA) School Law Conference and for Western Washington University’s Principal Certification Program.
Following WSSDA, she served as Deputy General Counsel for one of the largest school districts in the state prior to joining Vandeberg Johnson & Gandara, LLP.
Heidi is a member of the Washington State Bar Association, the Florida Bar, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, the Western District of Washington Bar, the Tacoma Pierce County Bar Association, and the Washington Council of School Attorneys. She is currently engaged in mentoring a candidate in the Washington State Bar Association’s Rule 6 program and is enjoying every minute of it.
Outside of the practice of law, Heidi spends her time gardening, trying to keep up with her husband and three teenage daughters and all their sports and music activities, as well as exploring the beauty and scenery of the Pacific Northwest.
“'Always ask yourself: ‘is that the type of law I want to practice and is that the type of lawyer I want to be. If you cannot answer yes to both questions, then don't do it.'” That was the advice I received from an experienced attorney at VJ&G shortly after I joined this firm. The advice was in response to my wondering whether it was best to respond in-kind to an obnoxious opposing attorney. My colleague's response stopped me from taking the low road. Over the years, I have tried to follow that advice, which typifies my experience here and has made it a special place to work."
Since joining VJ&G in 1996, Dan Montopoli's practice has primarily involved representing school districts and businesses. Representing school districts often involves a wide range of challenging issues, from student speech, school levies, and public record requests to more mundane issues such as the regulations governing pediculosis (lice). Similarly, representing businesses in litigation often involves an array of complex issues governing commercial litigation, employment law, and intellectual property. Since 2003, Dan has enjoyed teaching School Law, first at the UPS School of Education and currently at the Education Program at the University of Washington-Tacoma.
Before joining VJ&G, Dan earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Washington, where he was Managing Editor of the law review and a Teaching Fellow in the Basic Legal Skills Department. Prior to law school, he was a writer, editor, and filmmaker in New York City, where he produced numerous books and films on medical and psychiatric subjects. Dan received his undergraduate degree from New York University, where he won an Academy Award for Best Student Documentary.
Dan was recently appointed to Tacoma Community Redevelopment Authority Board by the Tacoma City Council. In his free time, he and his wife enjoy participating in their daughter’s academic and sporting events. Dan likes to remember what someone wise once said: “the days are long but the years are short.”
"Businesses today encounter varied and complex issues. Our clients deserve intelligent and creative solutions customized to match their particular needs and desires. Focusing on client business needs and crafting solutions that fit allow us to enjoy loyal, long-term client relationships and build an engaged and relevant law practice."
Mark Patterson's practice focuses are Business law; Corporations and Partnerships; Commercial Law; Business Taxation; Mergers and Acquisitions; and Business Succession. He represents a variety of business clients in Tacoma, Pierce County and beyond, primarily serving as outside general counsel or special counsel to companies engaged in banking, real estate, professional service and commercial business transactions.
Mark earned his Juris Doctorate in 1977 from the University of Puget Sound (now Seattle University School of Law), cum laude. He was Editor-in-Chief of the University of Puget Sound Law Review. He obtained his BA cum laude in 1974 from the Washington State University and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
Mark is a member of the Washington State Bar Sections on Taxation and Business Law and is the co-chair of its Uniform Commercial Code Subcommittee. He has been a contributor and an editor of the Washington State Bar's Commercial Law Deskbook. He is a member of the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association. Mark is a member of the Business, Taxation and Science and Technology Sections of the American Bar Association and a member of the Washington Society of Health Care Attorneys.
In addition to his professional service, Mark actively engages in community leadership and local organizations. He is currently a member of the Tacoma Public Utility Board. He recently completed his term on the board of Franke Tobey Jones, a non-profit continuing care retirement community, where he also served as Board chair. In prior years, Mark served as the president and a board member of the Municipal League of Tacoma-Pierce County, a member of the Board of Associated Ministries of Tacoma-Pierce County, a member of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce's Legislative Committee, and is a member of the Business Advisory Committee of the Metropolitan Park District of Tacoma. He was for many years active in youth athletics, particularly as the president and board member of the Tacoma Swim Club
Read Mark's Blog:
Andy Saller focuses his practice on Employment Law and Civil Litigation, including civil rights, commercial, and personal injury matters. He represents businesses, school districts and individuals.
He earned his Juris Doctorate, cum laude, in 1982 from the University of Puget Sound. Andy served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Labor & Industries and Tort Claims Divisions from 1982 to 1987, and as a Special Assistant Attorney General on numerous matters representing the Washington House of Representatives, Bates Community College and several individual public officials. He is the managing partner of the firm in the Tacoma office.
Andy practices in state and federal courts and is admitted to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Eastern and Western Washington U.S. District Courts. He is a member of the Washington State Bar Association section on Litigation, the Federal Bar Association and is also a member of the Washington Defense Trial Lawyers Association and the Washington Council of School Attorneys.
In addition, Andy serves his community, and has served on the Board of Legal Aid for Washington (Law Fund) for 11 years and is a Board member and Volunteer for Great Shape! Inc. which provides free dental care, eye care and other services to low income residents of Jamaica.
"I enjoy providing assertive, creative solutions that balance short term objectives with long-term strategies."
As an undergraduate working toward a degree in molecular biology, Erin learned that the smallest of details can have the greatest of impacts. Since then, she has taken a focused, multi-faceted approach when representing her clients, ensuring that immediate goals are met while keeping long-term strategies in sight.
Upon graduating from law school with honors, Erin gained valuable litigation experience as an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Everett. She then joined a Seattle law firm in 2005, representing a variety of business in administrative matters, from worker’s compensation to EEOC complaints.
Presently, Erin represents business, school districts, and individuals in administrative matters and litigation. She provides employers with training and guidance in developing risk assessment and management strategies. She helps employers develop policies and rules to avoid litigation. Erin’s advice to each client is unique to the operation of the business, and she assists the business in developing proactive solutions for addressing problems as they arise. She has provided guidance on issues pertaining to licensing, compliance with administrative policies, audits, worker’s compensation, and intellectual property issues.
For school districts, Erin provides guidance on a wide variety of issues, but primarily focuses her efforts in the area of special education. She works with the school district to resolve disputes with parents prior to litigation, working with the district and parent team to identify avenues of resolution. However, if necessary, Erin will readily defend the school district through litigation, providing an assertive representation that balances the immediate issues while keeping the long-term relationship between the District and parents in mind. Her cases have ranged from addressing requests for independent educational evaluations to unilateral out of state residential placements.
For Erin the goal is to resolve issues without litigation, but she will assertively defend her clients' interests at all levels, whether before administrative agencies, hearings boards, the Courts of Washington, the Federal Western District Court, or the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Erin is a member of the Washington and Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Associations, Washington Defense Trial Lawyers, Washington Self-Insurers Association, the Counsel Of School Attorneys and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. Erin serves on the Board of COSA, and speaks regularly to employer groups throughout the state as well as training other attorneys.
When not practicing law, Erin enjoys spending time with her family. She credits her children with pointing out the finer things in life, such as digging for clams at dawn in winter, making cotton candy, and eating dessert before dinner. In turn, she has shared her love of gardening, music, and sleep.
Scott Winship joined Vandeberg Johnson and Gandara in 2004, bringing with him experience in corporate finance, mergers, acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, employment law, and Employee Stock Ownership Plans. Presently, he represents clients in a variety of matters, focusing on trust and estate administration, litigation, and dispute resolution, estate planning, elder law, and general business matters.
Scott started his law career as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Pierce and King Counties before entering private practice. He later moved into banking, spending more than a dozen years in that industry.
He is a member of the Order of the Barristers, the Washington State Bar Association, and the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association, where he serves on the Guardianship Committee and the Judicial Qualifications Committee.
Beyond the law, Scott has been a member and Chair of the governing boards of United Way of Pierce County, the MultiCare Health Foundation, the Nonprofit Center, and the Municipal League of Tacoma-Pierce County. He has served on the boards of Faith Homes, the Tacoma Trauma Trust, and Tacoma Rotary Club #8. He currently is a board member and Treasurer for the Hilltop Artists in Residence and for the Pierce County Community Development Corporation, and is in his second term as a member of the Tacoma Planning Commission, where he serves as Vice Chair.
H. Frank Crawford has retired and is looking forward to spending more time with his family and the great outdoors!
Daniel Gandara has retired and is looking forward to retirement.
G. Perrin Walker has retired after more than 50 years in practice. Perrin is looking forward to his next great adventure!
We wish these gentlemen the best!