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Spokane Division

Division Description

Overview
Legal Services Provided 

Contact:
1116 W Riverside Avenue
Spokane, WA 99201-1194
E-mail


Overview

The Spokane Division is comprised of 36 attorneys and 67 professional staff, including legal and office assistants, investigators, paralegals, and law clerks.  The division provides an array of legal services to agencies of state government, including several state institutions of higher education, located in eastern Washington.  Division attorneys advise client agencies on a wide array of legal issues and represent clients in a variety of legal venues, including administrative tribunals and state and federal courts.  Additionally, most consumer protection enforcement functions for the eastern half of the state are handled by the Spokane Division. 

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Legal Services Provided

The Spokane Division is organized into four different legal sections, each of which provides legal advice and representation to different client agencies.

Social & Health Services:  This section provides legal services to the Department of Social and Health Services and Department of Early Learning personnel based in the Inland Northwest.  The majority of the work consists of representing the DSHS Children’s Administration in child abuse and neglect cases in Spokane, Stevens, Lincoln, Adams, Pend Oreille, and Whitman counties and advising personnel in those counties on child abuse and neglect matters.  This section also provides advice and representation on a variety of matters including:

  • the Aging and Disability Services Administration, where legal services relate to the protection of vulnerable adults and the developmentally disabled, such as advice and representation related to guardianship proceedings, protection orders, and the licensing of adult family homes;
  • the Department of Early Learning, where advice and representation is provided regarding licensed day care providers;
  • the Division of Child Support and Community Services Offices, where advice and representation is provided for administrative orders appealed to the state courts); 
  • the Division of Licensed Resources where advice and representation is provided regarding foster care licensing;
  • Eastern State Hospital, where legal services include providing advice on various issues and representing the hospital in civil commitment hearings and jury trials. 

Labor & Industries:  This section mediates and litigates industrial insurance appeals, cases involving the Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act, and fraud cases before the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals and in the trial courts in Spokane County and several other eastern Washington counties, as well as Building Trade hearings before the Office of Administrative Hearings.  This section also provides counsel to the Worker's Benefits program, and other various L&I specialty compliance boards administered by L&I.

Spokane Interdivisional Section:  This section’s employees work in a variety of different legal areas: 

  • Consumer Protection - handling the bulk of the consumer protection complaints and investigations in eastern Washington;
  •  Education - advising and representing Eastern Washington University, Big Bend Community College, the three schools comprising the Community Colleges of Spokane,  Educational Service District 101, and Innovate Washington -- an economic development agency and the successor agency to the Spokane Intercollegiate Research and Technology Institute (SIRTI) and the Washington Technology Center (WTC);
  • Labor and Personnel - advising and representing most state agencies in eastern Washington on employment matters;
  • Licensing - advising and representing the Department of Licensing on driver's licensing revocation appeals and Employment Security Department in unemployment benefits appeals;
  • Corrections - providing advice and representation to the Department of Corrections in eastern Washington in matters involving civil rights and other legal issues relating to prisons and prisoners;
  • Transportation and Public Construction - advising and representing the Department of Transportation in a variety of matters, including condemnation work and the construction of Spokane’s North-South highway.

Attorneys also advise and represent the Eastern Washington State Historical Society (also known as the “MAC,” Spokane’s Museum of Arts and Culture).

Torts:  This section represents state agencies, boards and commissions and state officials who are sued where the case arises in eastern Washington.  Section attorneys work to resolve lawsuits through the use of pretrial motions, negotiations and settlement where appropriate, as well as in jury trials.   Typical clients include the Department of Social and Health Services, Department of Corrections, Department of Transportation, Washington State Patrol, and various institutions of higher education.

In addition to the above sections, the Spokane Division contains  both a Criminal Justice Unit/HITS (Homicide Investigation and Tracking System) program and a Corrections Unit Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU).  The HITS program supports major crime investigations by providing a senior criminal investigator to work directly with local law enforcement agencies in eastern Washington.   The MFCU investigates and prosecutes Medicaid fraud in eastern Washington.

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