Media Contact

Jennifer Olegario
Communications Manager

Mike Pettit Receives APEX Professionalism Award │ Sept. 27, 2019

Updated: March 17, 2021

Pullman Defense Attorney Praised for Dedication to Clients and Outstanding Conduct

SEATTLE [Sept. 27, 2019] — The Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) presented Mike Pettit the 2019 APEX Professionalism Award. This honor is awarded to a WSBA member who exemplifies the spirit of professionalism in the practice of law, as defined in the WSBA's Creed of Professionalism. WSBA President William D. Pickett presented the award at the annual WSBA APEX (Acknowledging Professional Excellence) Awards Dinner on Sept. 26 at the Sheraton Seattle.

Pettit has always exemplified perseverance and professionalism to protect his clients, but especially so in one case that drew heaps of praise and admiration by his colleagues, even those who have sat opposite him in court. When representing a client charged with a DUI, but whose status under Deferred Action Childhood Arrival (DACA) elevated the stakes to potential deportation, Pettit put together a well-reasoned and overwhelming defense with over 50 pages of legal research, documents, letters, and statements, ultimately winning his client a plea agreement that saved him from being completely uprooted from his family and community.

“He is tenacious, he works hard for his clients, he puts his clients first, and he gets the job done,” said Whitman County attorney Colleen Harrington.

Pettit has a well-earned a reputation as an attorney who fights determinedly for his clients, lends thoughtful responses to other attorneys who seek his guidance, and consistently represents himself and his clients with the degree of professionalism worthy of acclaim.

Pettit began his career in 1978, after graduating from University of Idaho College of Law and beginning to practice in the Seattle area, but he soon returned to his rural roots and opened the first Student Legal Services office at Washington State University in Pullman, followed soon after by his own private practice.

“Whitman County is in a rural part of the state; all the lawyers here know each other,” said Whitman County Prosecutor Denis Tracy. “We tell the new lawyers that we see, ‘When Mike Pettit says something, take it to the bank.’ We hold him out as an example of excellent behavior.” 

Download a printable PDF version of this release.

About the Washington State Bar Association

The WSBA operates under the delegated authority of the Washington Supreme Court and exercises a governmental function authorized by the Court to license and regulate the state’s nearly 40,000 legal professionals, including lawyers, limited practice officers, and limited license legal technicians. The WSBA both regulates legal professionals under the authority of the Court and serves its members as a professional association — all without public funding. The WSBA administers the Bar admission process, including the bar exam; provides record-keeping and licensing functions; administers the lawyer discipline system; and provides continuing legal education for legal professionals, in addition to numerous other educational and member-service activities. The Bar’s mission is to serve the public and its members, to ensure the integrity of the legal profession, and to champion justice.