With over 34 years of trial experience as a former prosecutor, Dawn has spent her career in the courtroom handling thousands of felony and misdemeanor criminal cases, including aggravated murder, child sexual assault, rape, domestic violence, criminal conspiracy and solicitation, unlawful possession of a firearm, burglary, theft, fraud, drugs, trafficking, driving under the influence, among many more.
Dawn has the unique skills and expertise to spot weaknesses and issues in the prosecution’s case, and use that to her client’s advantage, with more than three decades as a prosecutor.
As a trial attorney, Dawn has extensive knowledge presenting and defending against all types of forensic evidence and asserted defenses, including self-defense, alibi, mental disease or defect, intoxication, DNA, fingerprints, gunshot residue, and cell phone evidence.
Dawn spent 29 years with the Piece County Prosecutor’s Office as a trial attorney and was promoted to Chief of Staff, working for three elected prosecutors in this capacity. In addition to trying some of the biggest felony cases in the county, Dawn oversaw 218 employees and supervised the office’s top leadership team, including the Chief Criminal Deputy and the Chief Criminal Investigator. Prior to becoming Chief of Staff, Dawn was promoted to Chief of the Misdemeanor Unit, which was responsible for handling over 13,000 new misdemeanor cases each year, including all traffic offenses, driving under the influence, and domestic violence crimes.
After more than two decades with the prosecutor’s office, Dawn was hired by the City of Fife to create a new prosecution program in their municipal court. As the City Prosecutor, Dawn handled all aspects of prosecution, including reviewing and charging misdemeanor investigations, negotiating cases, conducting jury trials, writing and arguing appeals, handling contested infraction hearings, and filing motions to vacate criminal convictions.
Dawn spent over three decades training and advising law enforcement throughout Pierce County. She is also the former legal advisor for the Fife Police Department, where she provided regular training and on-call legal advice to police officers on police use of force, police pursuits, search warrants, recorded custodial interrogations, juvenile access to attorneys, the new drug laws, impounding vehicles, investigation of crimes and infractions, evidence seizure, effective report writing, courtroom testimony, and criminal law updates.
Upon graduating from law school, Dawn worked as a public defender representing those accused of crimes, before being recruited by the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office.
Dawn is the former President of the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association, which represents over 1400 lawyers in Pierce County. She is the recipient of the Special Pro-Bono Leadership Award for facilitating the creation of a Native American Legal Aid Program in Pierce County, recipient of the Gold Star Award from the Sexual Assault Crisis Center of Pierce County, recipient of the Fife Police Department’s special recognition award for providing expertise and insight to the Fife Police Department, and recipient of City of Fife’s excellence in public service award.
Dawn understands the incredible power a prosecutor has to charge someone with a crime. With such power, comes great responsibility to do the right thing. In recent years, Dawn found herself questioning charging decisions being made by other agencies, often expressing the sentiment, “I wish I could represent that individual, I know I could help them win their case.” When Puget Law Group recruited Dawn to join their team, she saw it as an opportunity to take her 34 years of experience as a prosecutor and zealously advocate for those who find themselves being accused of a crime.
Dawn knows what it takes to win a case, she is strategic, works extremely hard to prepare each case properly, and is dedicated to providing her clients with what they deserve – high quality and effective representation.