DAVID A. LEEN was principal in the law firm of Leen & O’Sullivan, PLLC in Seattle until 2016, where his main emphasis of practice was consumer finance. He received his B.A. degree with honors from Beloit College (1968) and his J.D. degree from the University of Oregon (1971) and was a Reginald Heber Smith Fellow from 1971-1973. He is a former regional attorney for the Federal Trade Commission and the Legal Service Corporation. Mr. Leen is the author of several law review articles, including recently published Wrongful Foreclosures in Washington, 49 Gonzaga Law Review 331 (2014) as well as manuals on real estate and consumer law. He is also a frequent speaker before professional and civic groups. He has testified on foreclosure issues before the Washington State Legislature and the U.S. Congress. Mr. Leen was lead counsel in several class actions involving recovery of millions of dollars of illegally charged mortgage fees from lenders in Washington. Mr. Leen also handled several landmark cases on deed of trust foreclosure, including Cox v. Helenius, 103 Wn.2d 383 (1985), which imposed fiduciary responsibilities upon trustees in the foreclosure process, Jametsky v. Olsen, 179 Wn.2d 756 (2014) finding violations of the Washington Distressed Property Act, and Vail v. Brown, 946 F.2d 589 (8thCir. 1991), imposing due process protections upon foreclosure of VA insured loans. In Whitehead v. Derwinski, 904 F.2d 1362 (9th Cir 1990), $103 million in VA deficiency claims against veterans were voided and disability payments to veterans resumed. He is also a founding member of the National Association of Consumer Advocates and on the Board of Northwest Consumer Law Center. In 2012 he received the Vern Countryman Award for excellence in representing low income consumers.
Beth E. Terrell
Vice Chair and Treasurer
Beth Terrell is a member of Terrell Marshall Daudt & Willie PLLC (“TMDW”). Concentrating her practice in complex litigation, including the prosecution of class actions on behalf of consumers and employees, Ms. Terrell routinely serves as co-lead counsel on multi-state and nationwide class actions. She also represents individual employees including those who have suffered from race, gender, age, marital status, and disability discrimination. She frequently works with executives negotiating compensation plans, employment contracts, and severance agreements with Fortune 500 companies. Ms. Terrell has successfully tried cases in both state and federal court. In addition to her litigation and trial work, she also counsels small and medium sized companies facing personnel and human resource issues and has represented both employees and employers in restrictive covenant litigation. Prior to founding TMDW, Ms. Terrell was a member of Tousley Brain Stephens PLLC, where she practiced litigation for twelve years. She is a frequent speaker at legal conferences on a wide variety of topics, including consumer class actions, employment litigation, and electronic discovery. Ms. Terrell has been often recognized as a “Super Lawyer,” was named one of the “Top 50 Washington Women Super Lawyers” of 2012 and 2013, and has been awarded an “AV” rating in Martindale Hubbell by her peers, a rating denoting the highest legal ability and ethical standards. Beth obtained her Bachelor of Arts from Gonzaga University and her law Degree from UC Davis School of Law King Hall. She is a member of the National Association of Consumer Advocates, the Public Justice Foundation and is a founding member of the Northwest Consumer Law Center.
Melissa A. Huelsman has been the principal of Law Offices of Melissa A. Huelsman P.S. in Seattle since 2001, advocating for consumers in predatory mortgage lending and loan servicing, foreclosure defense, fraud and foreclosure rescue scams, and bankruptcy. She has been named King County Bar Association’s (KCBA) Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year, recognized by KCBA’s Volunteer Legal Services as a Volunteer of the Year, awarded by the Urban League of Seattle/Metropolitan King County, and named 2012 Pro Bono Honoree by Columbia Legal Services. She has contributed to numerous legal publications such as the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) Report Dreams Foreclosed, NCLC’s Foreclosure Manual, the Washington Appleseed Judge’s Manual, King County Bar Bulletin, the ABA Solo Practitioner, and a treatise for Lexis-Nexis. She has testified before the Washington State Legislature and contributed to significant changes to the Foreclosure Fairness Act and the Washington Distressed Property Act. She speaks regularly for organizations such as NCLC, National Association for Consumer Advocates (NACA), National Business Institute, Washington State Bar Association, Oregon State Bar Association, KCBA, King County Housing Authority, the Urban League, Solid Ground, International District Housing Alliance, and HomeSight. She has given interviews for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, Bloomberg.com, MSNBC, Seattle Times, Nightline, National Public Radio, and other media outlets. Ms. Huelsman received her B.A. from California State University at Fullerton in 1993 and her J.D. from Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles in 1997. She is a proud member of NACA, Washington State Association for Justice and the Public Justice Foundation. She is a founding member of the Northwest Consumer Law Center. She also sits on the board of Consumer Education and Training Services (CENTS), a nonprofit organization focused on financial literacy.
Guy Beckett has been litigating cases since 1985, after his graduation from the University of Virginia School of Law. Guy’s practice emphasizes consumer protection litigation, including class action lawsuits. He has successfully litigated at all levels in Washington’s court system, from district court to the Washington Supreme Court, in federal courts in Eastern and Western Washington, and in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He has been counsel of record on several published and reported appellate court cases, including McCurry v. Chevy Chase Bank, FSB, 169 Wn.2d 96 (2010), in which the Washington Supreme Court reversed the trial court’s and Court of Appeals’ dismissal of his client’s claims, and declined to adopt the U.S. Supreme Court’s Iqbal/Twombly standard for deciding Civil Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal motions in Washington.
Guy resides in Seattle and is a Pacific Northwest native, having been born and raised in Bremerton, and graduated from Washington State University in 1981. He is married to Heather, and between the two of them, they have three children. In his spare time, Guy enjoys hiking in the mountains and collecting and listening to old 78 rpm jazz and blues records.
Forrest Carlson is a founding partner of Assemble Law Group. He provides estate planning, probate, business, and litigation services. Forrest is dedicated to increasing access to legal services for people of all economic backgrounds, which he works toward by offering several flexible pricing models. He also applies his technology knowledge to develop legal apps, online legal tools, and other legal resources for the public.
Brendan Donckers litigates civil cases and appeals in state and federal courts. His practice focuses on individual and class action consumer protection, civil rights, and employment litigation. He also represents individuals, nonprofit organizations, community groups, and small businesses in disputes involving real and personal property, contracts, public records, land use, and nuisance issues. Brendan has successfully argued cases before trial courts, the Washington Court of Appeals, and the Washington Supreme Court. He was second-chair to David Mann in a landmark FOIA case before the U.S. Supreme Court, Milner v. Dep’t of the Navy.
Brendan is vice president of the Board of Trustees for the Northwest Justice Project. He was appointed to the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission in 2014 and is presently the Vice-Chair. The Mayor Seattle appointed Brendan to the Pioneer Square Preservation Board in 2017. He was appointed by the Seattle City Council to the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program’s Advisory Committee on Tolling and Traffic Management in 2013. He is also a member of the board of the Alliance for Pioneer Square. Brendan has regularly provided pro bono representation to low-income tenants facing eviction through the Housing Justice Project since 2008 and is a mentor to students at Seattle University’s School of Law.
Brendan previously served as the board president of the Historic South Downtown Preservation and Development Authority. He has also served on the boards of the King County Chapter of Washington Conservation Voters, the Washington State Chapter of the Sierra Club, and the Renton/Skyway Boys and Girls Club of King County. Prior to joining Breskin Johnson & Townsend, Brendan litigated at Gendler & Mann.
Before private practice, Brendan worked as a staff attorney in the Washington Supreme Court Commissioner’s Office and provided policy counsel to the Washington State Legislature’s House Democratic Caucus for the 2008 legislative session. Before law school, Brendan worked on a global security initiative with the United Nations Foundation in Washington, D.C. and was a campaign aide to former U.S. Congressman, Jim McDermott.
Brendan received his J.D. with honors from Seattle University’s School of Law. He was the Valedictorian of Santa Clara University in 2002.
Joan Fairbanks' legal career has been focused around the delivery of civil legal aid for low income and vulnerable people. Most recently (1995-2014), she served as the first Staff Director of the Washington State Access to Justice Board (ATJ Board). Established by Washington State Supreme Court Order in 1994, the ATJ Board works to address barriers to the civil justice system facing those with financial and other significant barriers. She has worked for three legal aid programs: Communications Director for Oregon Legal Services Corporation in Portland; Staff Attorney for Neighborhood Legal Services Program in Washington, D.C.; and Managing Attorney of the Voluntary Legal Services Program of Northern California in Sacramento, a pro bono program affiliated with Legal Services of Northern California. She also served as staff attorney for the American Bar Association's Commission on Legal Problems of the Elderly in Washington, D.C. She discovered her passion for equal justice during her service as a VISTA (Volunteers in Service to American) in 1972 in Dallas, Texas. Working as a community organizer, she continually found herself consulting with local legal aid lawyers who were using the law as an effective tool for change. She holds a B.A. degree in English from the University of Oregon and a J.D. degree from Antioch School of Law in Washington, D.C.
Tim Harrison joined the board of the Northwest Consumer Law Center in 2016 as an MBA candidate at University of Washington’s Foster School of Business. Prior to beginning his MBA at Foster, Tim worked in San Francisco at a healthcare startup as the in-house digital analytics expert. Since moving to Seattle he has expanded upon this experience to include marketing analytics and modeling. Upon graduation he hopes to pursue a career in marketing analytics or corporate finance. As part of the Foster School of Business’s community service program Tim has spent time volunteering at the local food bank and Boys and Girls Club. He has also been involved in a fundraising effort across 11 major west coast business schools. Tim in originally from Honolulu, Hawaii and is a graduate of the University of Oregon, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in both Mathematics and Economics.
Sam is the owner of Leonard Law, a practice that focuses on consumer protection, bankruptcy law, foreclosure prevention, debt collection defense, general litigation, consumer law, and class actions. His consumer advocacy also includes finding solutions to the student loan debt crisis.
Sam volunteers his time to help traditionally underrepresented communities navigate the legal system. In law school, Sam was president of the Public Interest Law Foundation, and participated in the Civil Rights Amicus Clinic. Since 2008, he has volunteered his time with the King County Bar Association's Neighborhood Legal Clinics. He also volunteers at Northwest Justice Project's free debt clinic. He has also lobbied Washington State's Congress on issues such as wage theft, increasing the minimum wage, and protecting worker compensation.
Before starting his own private practice and joining Cameron Sutherland as Of Counsel, Mr. McNeil served as a professor at Gonzaga University School of Law. During his 37-year tenure, he founded and led the Consumer Litigation Clinic at Gonzaga/s University Legal Assistance (ULA), now Center for Law and Justice, where he instructed and oversaw student-led pro-bono consumer cases. At ULA, Mr. McNeil had countless successes bringing justice to low and middle-income consumers, families, and individuals. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Ohio and his law degree from Gonzaga University. He is a member of the National Association of Consumer Advocates and founding Board member of the Northwest Consumer Law Center.
Sart Rowe is a professor and techie working at Northwest Justice Project, managing the National Technology Assistance Project and teaching at the University of Washington and Seattle University. Sart teaches as an adjunct in the areas of Privacy law, Ethics, Copyright and Information Policy, with a focus on user rights.
Sart has worked for Creative Commons, Public Knowledge, the Washington State Access to Justice Board, Microsoft, Wizards of the Coast, and Disability Rights Washington and has served as chairman of the board for Washington Lawyer for the Arts. He is also a social media expert with a modest YouTube following.
""Differences in the ability of the classes to use the machinery of the law…lead inevitably to disparity between the rights of classes…[a]nd when the law recognizes and enforces a distinction between classes, revolution ensues or democracy is at an end."