Joanne T. Blackburn, Partner
  • A native of Washington, Joanne takes a Northwest approach to practicing law.  Joanne welcomes the opportunity to help her clients develop outside-the-box solutions that are designed to avoid protracted litigation.  However, if the dispute needs to be settled in Court, she is no stranger to the Courtroom and welcomes the challenge.  She became a partner with Garvey, Schubert & Barer in Seattle in 1999 and later moved to Gordon Thomas Honeywell as a partner in 2008.

    Her primary areas of practice include defense litigation, products liability, construction, insurance defense and coverage, broker and agency defense, and appellate advocacy. She is past president of the Washington Defense Lawyers, where she also served on the board of directors for eight years.  She is also a past Board Member of the Defense Research Institute (DRI).

    Joanne received her undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkley and her JD from the University of Notre Dame.  She has been a long-time, active supporter and board member of FareStart, a culinary job training and placement program for homeless and disadvantaged individuals.  She enjoys climbing, cooking, and fishing for crab with her family.

  • Education

    • J.D., University of Notre Dame, 1987
    • B.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1984

    Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice

    • Washington State Courts
    • California State Courts
    • Alaska State Courts
    • U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington
    • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Washington
    • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
    • U.S. District Court, Central District of California
    • United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

    Professional & Bar Association Memberships

    • Washington State Bar Association

    • King County Bar Association

    • Alaska Bar Association

    • Defense Research Institute

      • State Representative for Washington, 2004-08
      • Board Member of DRI, 2008-11
    • Washington Defense Lawyers

      • Member, Board of Directors 2000-08
      • President, 2003
    • Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel

      • Member, 1999-present
      • Barb Currie Diversity Law Scholarship Committee, 2017
      • Member, Admissions Committee, 2016-2019
      • Founding member of FDCC Deposition Bootcamp, speaker and contributor to manual, 2014-present
      • Chair, Construction Committee, 2007-10
      • Member, Membership Development and Retention, 2014-2016
    • Washington Women Lawyers

    • Trial Attorneys of America

    Professional History

    • Joined Firm as Partner in 2008
    • Jackson & Wallace LLP, Senior Partner, 2006-08
    • Garvey, Schubert & Barer, Partner, 1999-2005

    Honors & Awards

    • AV Preeminent Rated by Martindale Hubbell
    • Recognized by Best Lawyers of American in Insurance Law, 2013-2018
    • AV Preeminent Womens Lawyers, Martindale Hubbell, 2014 to present
    • Listed in Washington Super Lawyers, 2004-2018
    • AVVO Top Contracts/Agreements Lawyer, Washington CEO Magazine, 2008
    • Super Lawyers Top 10 Women Lawyers in Washington State, 2015-present

    Community Activities

    • FareStart, Board of Directors, 2001-2010

    • Member and President, National Charity League, 2007

    Articles & Presentations

    • 2016 FDCC Presenter and Contributor for "Persuading Each and Every Juror - Translating Technical and Complex Concepts for Every Jury of Every Age."
    • 2016 DRI Insurance Bad Faith, DRI Publications, Contributing Editor for Washington State.
    • 2015, FDCC Deposition Bootcamp, Presenter and Contributor to FDCC Deposition Manual, First Edition.
    • 2015 Claims Litigation Management Alliance Northwest Panel for the Multi-State Coverage.
    • 2014 West Coast Casualty Construction Defect Seminar, “Duty to Defend in Construction Defect Claims in the Northwest.”
    • 2014-present, Founding member of FDCC Deposition Bootcamp, speaker and contributor to manual.
    • 2013 Washington Defense Trial Lawyers (WDTL) Annual Construction Law Update: “Defenses/Summary Judgment Motions Regarding HOA Claims for CPA Violations, Fraud, and Misrepresentation Claims Under Washington Condominium Act.”
    • 2011 Washington Defense Trial Lawyers (WDTL) Annual Insurance Seminar
    • 2011 Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC) Winter Meeting: “Green Construction & LEED – A Primer Counsel.”
    • 2010 Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC) Winter Meeting: “A Road Map – Stipulated Judgments and Covenants Not to Execute for Insurance Coverage, Construction, Insurance Industry and Reinsurance, Excess and Surplus Lines Sections.”
    • 2010 Washington Defense Trial Lawyers (WDTL) Annual Construction Law Seminar, “Keepin’ it Covered: Practice Pointers for Defending “Mixed” and Complex Civil Claims from the Coverage Perspective.”
    • 2010 Washington Defense Trial Lawyers (WDTL) Annual Insurance Law Seminar, Moderator of Judicial Panel Discussion: “Current Issues and Views from the Bench.”
    • 2010 Insurance Bad Faith, DRI Publications, Contributing Editor for Washington State.
    • Law Seminar, “Declaratory Judgment Actions.”
  • Recent Jury Trials

    • We defended a company in a three-week jury trial in Alaska superior court on a product liability claim. The plaintiff alleged that she had sustained injuries while participating in a PPCT program and requested extremely high damages. The jury awarded a unanimous defense verdict after only one hour of deliberations that our client’s product was not defective.

    • We defended an insurance agency and its broker in a case claiming insurance broker negligence. The plaintiff alleged that he requested insurance coverage for his company from our clients but that they failed to purchase it. A claim was filed against our clients for alleged breach of fiduciary duty and special relationship, negligence and misrepresentation and sought damages. After a week-long jury trial, the jury returned a unanimous defense verdict in less than one hour.

    • We obtained a defense verdict from a jury in another product liability case in Alaska even though the defective product sank to the bottom of the Bering Sea.

    • Another defense verdict was received in a wrongful death claim involving a trucking accident despite the plaintiff being run over by the driver. The jury found fault in the plaintiff, not the driver.

  • Pioneer Square
  • Tacoma Arches at the History Museum
  • Reflection pond by the Tacoma Glass Museum
  • Duwamish Waterway and brown field cleanup
  • Fireboats on the Seattle Waterfront
Gordon Thomas Honeywell LLP


1201 Pacific Ave, #2100
Tacoma, WA 98402

Telephone: 253.620.6500
Fax: 253.620.6565


One Union Square
600 University St, #2100
Seattle, WA 98101

Telephone: 206.676.7500
Fax: 206.676.7575

Visit the Gordon Thomas Honeywell Governmental Affairs Web Site


1201 Pacific Ave, #2100, Tacoma, WA 98402
Telephone: 253.620.6500  Fax: 253.620.6565


One Union Square, 600 University St, #2100, Seattle, WA 98101
Telephone: 206.676.7500  Fax: 206.676.7575