Annual awards recognize exceptional contributions of attorneys
OLYMPIA — Attorney General Bob Ferguson recently honored Senior Counsel Carrie Hoon Wayno and the late Tacoma Torts Section Chief Glen Anderson with the Attorney General’s 2017 Steward of Justice Award.
The award, created in 1998 by then-Attorney General Christine Gregoire, recognizes employees who make an extraordinary difference in the lives of others, both personally and professionally.
Eight attorneys also received 2017 Tanner Awards, which recognize exceptional accomplishments of attorneys in the early years of their legal careers. The award, which Ferguson established in 2013, is named for former Attorney General William V. Tanner. Tanner, who was 29 when he took office in 1911, is the youngest Attorney General in Washington state history.
The awards were announced at the Attorney General’s Office Annual Attorney Conference earlier this month.
“These attorneys do exemplary work for the people of Washington without any expectation of recognition,” Ferguson said. “I’m honored to recognize these incredible individuals.”
Steward of Justice Awards
Attorney General Ferguson honored Carrie Hoon Wayno, a section chief for the Olympia Social & Health Services Division, with a Steward of Justice Award for a career dedicated to protecting children from abuse and neglect.
That dedication solidified first in her work as a juvenile litigation attorney in Vancouver and Tacoma, and later as the lead counsel for the Department of Social & Health Services Children’s Administration. She has also served as the office’s statewide juvenile litigation coordinator.
“Carrie is a leader on juvenile issues for my office, as well as with DSHS, the Governor’s Office and the Legislature,” Ferguson said. “She is an incredible resource for any court case, proposed legislation or policy initiative that impacts the child welfare system.”
The second 2017 Steward of Justice Award was given to Glen Anderson, who passed away in October.
Anderson began his more than 30-year career at the AGO as a law clerk during his third year of law school at the University of Puget Sound. In his role as a senior Torts litigator, Anderson handled some of the most complex and high-risk cases for the State of Washington.
Anderson was also a valued mentor to dozens of attorneys over his nearly two decades as the team leader of the Tacoma Torts section, which is affectionately known by the nickname “Fort Courage.”
“Glen’s successes in defending the state and its employees have been consistently recognized at the highest levels of state government,” Ferguson said. “Glen would routinely tell his staff how proud he was to be an Assistant Attorney General. We miss him terribly and mourn with his family and friends.”
Tacoma Social & Health Services AAG Brian Ward was honored with a Tanner Award for his skills in court, both at the trial court level and at the Court of Appeals, despite only practicing law for five years. Ward has also been recognized for his devotion to pro bono and volunteer work by the Washington State Bar Association and the Asian American Bar Association.
“Brian has earned the trust of his colleagues as someone who will always step forward to help,” Ferguson said. “Outside of the office, he exemplifies the spirit of service.”
Tanner Award honoree Kelly Owings has spent five years with the AGO’s Revenue & Finance Division. She handles complex cases for the state Department of Revenue, and has a considerable appellate resume.
“Kelly is an excellent listener, is timely and thorough, and goes above and beyond to effectively handle a heavy, complex caseload,” Ferguson said. “Her up-beat, positive personality makes everyone in the division eager to work with her.”
Corrections Division attorney Tim Feulner has developed expertise litigating complex Public Records Act cases, including those involving inmate requestors and a class action suit brought by the ACLU over disclosure of sex offender registration records. The Tanner Award recipient’s court experience, including before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the state Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, represents a level of experience that few five-year attorneys attain.
“Tim has distinguished himself as a go-to litigator with exceptional legal instincts and judgment, and an admirable work ethic,” Ferguson said. “His dedication is on display most evenings and weekends.”
After joining the agency in 2012, AAG Greg Ziser quickly became indispensable to his colleagues at Social & Health Services in Olympia, handling everything from civil rights litigation to public records cases and civil commitment proceedings. The 2017 Tanner Award recipient’s duties have quickly expanded to include appellate work at the Ninth Circuit and state Court of Appeals. Ziser was also selected as a fellow for the Solicitor General’s Office.
“Greg has an expert ability to analyze complex legal issues,” Ferguson said. “Greg is a truly gifted advocate who one former supervisor describes as one of the smartest attorneys they have ever worked with.”
Tanner honoree Karen Zehnder-Wood efficiently handles a high-volume dependency caseload for the Seattle Social & Health Services Division with a common-sense approach and excellent communication. She thinks creatively to resolve cases, and is generous with her ideas. She is also a frequent volunteer.
“Karen has very quickly demonstrated initiative, leadership, sound judgment and creative problem solving,” Ferguson said. “She’s exactly the type of attorney I want to thrive at the AGO.”
Tanner Award recipient Albert Wang joined the AGO two years ago in the Labor & Personnel division, and quickly became known for strong research and writing skills. The graduate of Harvard Law has since moved to the Transportation & Public Construction Division, quickly getting up to speed with complex issues facing DOT.
“Albert jumped into his new position without any hesitation and quickly became fluent in some very complex issues,” Ferguson said. “I have no doubt the DOT appreciates his counsel.”
Licensing and Administrative Law Division attorney R. July Simpson is extremely adaptable and wears many hats. Along with a varied practice that includes clients like the Board of Architects and the Funeral & Cemetery Board, her Tanner Award recognizes her emergence as an office expert on firearms-related issues. In addition to helping draft agency request legislation related to firearms, she also played a crucial role in the office’s successful defense of Initiative 594.
“July came up with the strategy to defend the citizen initiative, researched the case law and convinced us that the argument would be successful,” Ferguson said. “Her expertise is a key reason that we won the case.”
The final Tanner Award recipient, Thomas Vogliano, spent two years in Social & Health Services before joining the Labor & Industries Division in 2014. His exceptional work at SHS and L&I has quickly earned him praise in his young legal career. Colleagues and supervisors describe him as a quick learner and team player with a quiet humor. Vogliano is a leader and frequent volunteer, working with Thurston County Volunteer Legal Services, the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project and Big Brothers & Big Sisters.
“Thomas is a responsible and committed public servant, who is dedicated to the legal profession and service,” Ferguson said. “I have no doubt he’ll continue to make meaningful contributions to the AGO.”
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. Visit www.atg.wa.gov to learn more.
Brionna Aho, Communications Director, (360) 753-2727; firstname.lastname@example.org