PO Box 2317
Tacoma, WA 98401
The Tacoma Division is comprised of 37 attorneys and 42 professional staff. The division is the “face of the AGO” in communities in Pierce and Kitsap counties. This division provides a wide variety of legal services for a number of different client agencies, including the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), Department of Labor & Industries (L&I), Employment Security Department (ESD), Department of Licensing (DOL), and Department of Early Learning (DEL). Employees in the Tacoma office also handle consumer protection and tort matters.
A large percentage of the work of the Tacoma Division involves juvenile litigation, which is done on behalf of the Children’s Services Administration of the Department of Social and Health Services. The Tacoma Division attorneys also handle licensing actions relating to foster homes, as well as guardianships and adult family home and boarding home licensing actions for the Aging and Disability Services Administration of DSHS.
Attorneys defend L&I orders before the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals and state courts that are appealed by injured workers who are seeking benefits or additional benefits. To a lesser degree, they also defend L&I orders that assert worker fraud, as well as orders that are appealed by employers who challenge the amount assessed for their workers’ compensation premiums, or penalties assessed for violations of WISHA standards. Attorneys also represent L&I before the Office of Administrative Hearings and state courts on contractor and electrical citations, wage and hour citations, prevailing wage citations, employment standards matters, and WISHA discrimination cases, as well as provide client advice on these matters.
The Consumer Protection attorneys enforce the consumer protection law to help keep the Washington marketplace free from unfair and deceptive practices. The division investigates and files legal actions to stop these practices, recovers refunds for consumers and imposes penalties on offending businesses. The Tacoma section specializes in enforcement of unfair practices in the auto industry and lending industries as well as unfair practices conducted in southwest Washington.
Tacoma Division attorneys represent the Employment Security Department in Superior Court appeals seeking review of claims in which unemployment benefits were denied to claimants or granted to claimants and the matter is appealed by the employer.
Attorneys represent the Department of Licensing by handling appeals in Superior Court where drivers, whose license have been suspended or revoked, challenge their breath test results or their refusal to take breath tests when suspected of drinking and driving.
The Tacoma division defends the Department of Early Learning’s decisions regarding denial of license applications, suspension and revocations of licenses and employment disqualification in administrative hearings, the superior court and the court of appeals. Additionally, the Tacoma division provides client advice to DEL regarding issues of statewide significance, and serves as liaison between the agency and our office.
The Tacoma Torts section defends state agencies and employees in state and federal court lawsuits typically involving claims of personal injury, death or property damage allegedly caused by state employees. Additionally, the section defends the state and state agencies in claims brought by state employees alleging discrimination or harassment in the workplace.