Connect with Peers and Practitioners through WSBA's 29 Sections

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Sections members become part of active professional communities and gain access to an array of exclusive section member benefits. Over 10,000 WSBA members currently belong to one or more of the WSBA’s 29 sections. The section membership year begins Jan. 1.

Member Benefits

In the past year, WSBA Sections have sponsored approximately 70 CLE seminars and hosted multiple professional networking events around the state. Various sections offer a plethora of member benefits, including, but not limited to:

  • List serve communities
  • Newsletters, reports, deskbooks, and sourcebooks
  • Free and discounted CLEs
  • Opportunities to engage in the Washington state legislative process

...and more! Join a Section Today!

Interested in Section Leadership?

Each section is led by a group of volunteers who are elected to serve on the executive committee. Many find leading a section to be a rewarding experience because of the leadership growth, professional development, firsthand experience with the legislative process, and collegiality it offers. Executive committee discussions are productive and challenging, offering a unique opportunity to work with other legal professionals in a goal-oriented setting that benefits WSBA members and the greater legal community.

Executive committee terms begin Oct. 1, 2022, and sections accept applications for the following year in early spring. Consider applying to become a section leader!

For general sections questions, send an email with your Bar number to or call 800-945-9722.

WSBA Sections


Updated: Dec. 27, 2022

Criminal Law Section

The Criminal Law Section seeks the participation of the Bar, including prosecutors and defense counsel, by providing a forum for the exchange of ideas in the areas of criminal law, correction, procedure, and evidence. The section works with pending legislation and development of statutory enactments to improve and facilitate the administration of justice within the criminal arena.

With an equal number of defense and prosecuting attorney positions, the executive board champions the rights of both the accused and victims in the criminal justice system. Activities include publishing a newsletter, as well as assisting with the Criminal Law Institute.

Annual Report   |   Budget  |  Bylaws  |  Year in Review

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The Latest Criminal Caselaw Notebook for Free

As a benefit to Criminal Law Section members, download the Criminal Caselaw Notebook 2022, prepared by the Hon. Ron Kessler.  If you are having trouble accessing the documents, contact


Archived issues are available to section members upon request. To request an issue, please email

Executive Committee

Terms run Oct. 1, 2022–Sept. 30, 2023, unless otherwise noted

ChairJosephine Townsend

Chair-Elect: Vacant

Immediate Past Chair: C Dale Slack 

Secretary/Treasurer: Nicholas Holce 

Young Lawyer Liaison*: vacant

Board of Governors Liaison*: Erik Kaeding (2022-2023) and Brett Purtzer (2022-2023)

Committee Members

Representing Defense

Mark E. Vovos (2021-2024) 
Mary Kay High  (2022-2025)
John Strait (2020–2023)
Kelsey Page (2020–2023)

Representing Prosecution

Anita Petra (2022–2025)
Hugh Birgenheier (2022–2025)
Daniel LeBeau (2020–2023)
Ed Owens (2021-2024)
Tracey Munger (2021-2024) 

*Nonvoting member>


The Executive Committee of the Criminal Law Section conducts meetings from time to time. As meetings are scheduled, details will appear in the events section of this page.

Please contact committee member for any other details on their upcoming meetings and locations.

Join Our List Serve

To join the section list serve and for general questions, please send your email address and Bar number to For more information and to get involved with the section, please contact the section chair, Josephine Townsend.