Cathryn Dammel
Name: Cathryn Dammel
Firm Name: DamelLaw PLLC
Jurisdiction: USA - Washington
Practice Area: Employment Law


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Professional Biography:

A few weeks before the overthrow of a Middle Eastern government, Cathryn was in the capital city’s bombed-out airport. A low-seniority union employee, she traveled there several times a month because it was her job. Finally, she and some colleagues said, “no more,” and the saga that followed introduced a front-line worker to the world of labor relations. It also sparked Cathryn’s interest in the law. She left Pan American World Airways for Stanford Law School.

Cathryn spent several years with Bogle & Gates, then Seattle’s largest law firm, before rejoining the airline industry, this time on the management side. Ultimately Deputy General Counsel/Staff Vice President, she was Alaska Airlines’ chief legal officer responsible for labor and employment law and labor relations.

Now back in private practice, Cathryn is a nationally recognized Best Lawyer (U.S. News & World Report). She has litigated hundreds of employment, labor, and administrative cases over her three-decade career. She has conducted dozens of complex workplace investigations and cultural assessments, developed company-wide labor strategy, and led multiple rounds of union negotiations.

From a small Idaho mining town, Cathryn moved to Honolulu, then London, New York, and California. A Phi Beta Kappa, cum laude graduate of the University of Idaho, she also studied as a Rotary International scholar in Besançon, France.

Cathryn likes to garden, decorate, and meet interesting people. She also cherishes time with friends and family – including the Alsatian and northern Italian relatives she connected with in her college days, her son in the San Francisco Bay Area, and her 87-something dad who still lives in the house where she grew up on Cathryn Avenue, the street named after her.

“Cathryn knows how to translate the law into what matters in business.”

“Cathryn wasn’t just our trusted legal advisor, but a true partner. She is analytical and detail-oriented, recognizing very quickly our unique challenges and was fiercely loyal. Cathryn is a caring professional with extraordinary standards of performance. Nice mix.”

“I’ve worked side by side with Cathryn on intensive labor matters and can honestly say she totally ‘gets it.’ She’s incredibly bright and very practical.”

FIRM DESCRIPTION

DammelLaw PLLC is dedicated exclusively to workplace law and investigations, serving family businesses, Fortune 500 companies, public employers, and executives.  With over thirty years’ experience, Cathryn V. Dammel brings a unique perspective having been a big firm attorney, in-house counsel, frontline worker, and corporate executive.

The Practice

  • Workplace investigations and cultural assessments
  • Litigation, arbitrations, administrative charges
  • Labor relations
  • Advice and counseling
  • Handbooks, severance, employment, related agreements
  • Audits
  • Training

Representative Work

  • Dozens of workplace investigations into allegations of discrimination, harassment, failure to accommodate, retaliation, bullying, ethics violations, fraud, workplace violence, other misconduct
  • Workplace cultural assessments for private and public employers in union and non-union environments such as a large, multi-national, multi-lingual health care facility and a culturally diverse, multi-union school district
  • Summary judgment in federal court for large health care provider on race discrimination and failure to accommodate claims
  • Jury verdict in state court for grocery retailer on disability discrimination claim
  • Railroad’s chief regional counsel for a dozen employment lawsuits alleging race, age, sex and disability discrimination and retaliation. 70% dismissed on summary judgment; others favorably settled
  • Race, color, national origin, age discrimination, whistleblower, failure to accommodate, retaliation claims dismissed by federal and state administrative agencies
  • Dozens of complex labor arbitrations involving contract interpretation and discharges with 100 percent win rate for twenty-five years
  • Led team of attorneys, economists, accountants and industry experts in the strategy, preparation, presentation, appeal and implementation of three interest arbitrations, one resulting in $90 million dollars in annual cost savings
  • Exclusive outside employment and labor counsel to a dozen companies, providing day-to-day advice, drafting policies, procedures and agreements, conducting investigations and training, handling grievances, presenting arbitrations, defending administrative complaints and lawsuits
  • Primary legal advisor through major corporate downsizings and restructurings and led strategy/negotiation of multiple rounds of collective bargaining for six union contracts

For more information about who she is and what she does, please visit Cathryn at WWW.DAMMELLAW.COM.

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