James joined GTH after completing a clerkship for the former Chief Justice of the Washington Supreme Court. He focuses his practice pursuing trials in the areas of personal injury, employment law, and insurance coverage.
He has briefed and argued multiple appeals, including cases before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Washington Supreme Court. In his practice he has represented families in wrongful death cases, victims in sexual abuse cases, and many returning U.S. service members who face discrimination or retaliation in the workplace.
When he’s not working, he’s blazing trails, scaling peaks, and skiing with his wife, who works as a local primary care physician, and their three adventurous children.
Washington State Bar Association
Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association
Member of Washington State For Justice Association
Member of Washington Employment Lawyers Association
American Bar Association
Confidential settlement. Trial and Appellate Counsel for employee in Ockletree v. Franciscan Health System, 179 Wn.2d 769 (2014). In a sharply divided 5-4 decision in February 2014, the Washington Supreme Court held that religious non-profit employers cannot discriminate against their employees whose jobs are unrelated to the religious mission of the employer. While the Court held that a state law exemption for religious employers is not unconstitutional in all circumstances, it determined that our client, a hospital security guard who was terminated after suffering a stroke, could continue his disability discrimination case against Franciscan Health System.
Click here to view James Beck's oral argument before the Washington State Supreme Court: Larry C. Ockletree v. Franciscan Health System, et al. (Does the exemption for nonprofit religious employers in WA's law against discrimination violate the state constitution?)
Appellate Counsel for The News Tribune in Public Records Act lawsuit regarding scope of attorney-client privilege. Prevailed before the Washington State Supreme Court in efforts to acquire access to records claimed as attorney-work product.
Click here to view James Beck's oral argument before the Washington State Supreme Court: Morgan v. City of Federal Way, 166 Wn.2d 747 (2009). (Is the City's internal report a nonexempt public record subject to disclosure under the Public Records Act?)