Once a month, for the past twelve months, we’ve shined the spotlight on some of the rising stars in the Puget Sound region who are helping the business community thrive. Here is our June group of attorneys, including details of their accomplishments. This is the final installment in the series. We thank the Puget Sound region legal community for helping us highlight the next generation of leaders in their field.

Mike Mahoney | Associate

Area of practice: Environmental law
Years in the profession: 8

Mike’s practice increasingly focuses on climate change matters. He’s helped clients navigate Washington state’s climate commitment act and Oregon’s clean fuels program. Mike has also contributed to a carbon offset project in Montana as well as the development of renewable energy projects, including nuclear and biofuels. The most important piece of professional advice Mike says he’s been given: “Look to set the agenda.” Mike was recently named co-chair of the King County Bar Association’s environmental and land use section.

Bree Black Horse | Senior Associate
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton

Area of practice: Native American affairs and litigation
Years in the profession: 10

Bree Black Horse is an enrolled member of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma. She has litigated federal court cases to ensure treaty-guaranteed fishing rights as well as the acquisition of ancestral land and reclamation of hunting and gathering rights for local tribes. A cooperating attorney with ACLU-WA, Bree has a significant pro bono practice that serves historically marginalized groups in Western Washington. Before joining Kilpatrick Townsend, Bree was a public defender and legal aid attorney for the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation. The experience taught her the value that determination, resourcefulness and relationships have in helping clients resolve issues that make everyday living a challenge.

Chen-Chen Jiang | Attorney
Schroeter Goldmark & Bender

Area of practice: Aviation and employment law
Years in the profession: 7

As a proud immigrant and former teacher for low-income students, Jiang witnessed how many of our nation’s systems fail underserved communities. Her advocacy for former students and current legal clients has gained them compensation, justice and the aid they deserved, she says. While at Harvard Law, Chen-Chen struggled to choose just one career path because of her many passions and interests. “My clinical professor told me, ‘You can’t shoot all targets with one arrow. Different problems require different solutions, and lawyers should be well-equipped to solve them all.'” Inspired, Chen-Chen added “more arrows to my quiver, endeavoring to obtain a multitude of skills instead of pursuing just one form of advocacy.”

Caitlin Royse | Attorney
McKinley Irvin

Area of practice: Family law
Years in the profession: 3

An attorney with McKinley Irvin since 2022, Caitlin provides representation to Snohomish County residents in all family law matters and is highly skilled in creating parenting plans in cases that involve substance abuse or domestic violence. “It is so important for people to feel sae in their homes and in their families,” Caitlin says. “In family law, we are able to create effective safety plans in high-risk situations and work to create peaceful and stable futures for our clients.” Caitlin has recently become involved in complex litigation matters, including a trial that has been sent back to a lower court that entails complicated issues such as a retrospective valuation of assets.

Ben Woodruff | Associate
K&L Gates LLP

Area of practice: Commercial disputes
Years in the profession: 9

Ben has represented clients ranging from multinational companies and sovereign wealth funds to individuals and nonprofits. The issues he works on are wide-ranging too, involving violations of constitutional rights, breach of contract, securities fraud and other white-collar crimes, bankruptcy and class actions. “What I love about the law is that we help people at critical moments in their lives,” says Ben. “Being in conflict can take a real personal toll and, as lawyers, we can help. The law gives us the tools to find facts, establish clarity and get the best outcome for our clients.” Ben was recently appointed by the Bainbridge Island City Council to serve a three-year term on the city’s ethics board.

Read the full article in the Puget Sound Business Journal.

This article was republished with permission from the Puget Sound Business Journal.

This article summarizes aspects of the law and does not constitute legal advice. For legal advice for your situation, you should contact an attorney.

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