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Date: November 1, 2011
GSB Press Release

Seattle, Nov. 1, 2011 – Garvey Schubert Barer adds five new attorneys to its Seattle office, launching the firm’s Hospitality, Travel and Tourism practice. Continuing its recent trend of growth—there have been 15 lateral attorney additions at the firm in the past 12 months—Garvey Schubert welcomes Greg Duff, Diana Shukis, Ryan McFarland, and Michael Brunet as owners and Ruth Walters as of counsel. The group was previously with Cairncross & Hempelmann.

“We’re extremely pleased to add this group of attorneys. Together they have decades of experience and an unparalleled depth and breadth of knowledge in hospitality, travel and tourism, which are important industries in the Northwest,” said Anne Preston, chair of Garvey Schubert Barer. “It says a lot about our firm that so many quality attorneys are deciding that our firm, with its unique platform of client-focused excellence, innovation and collegiality, is where they want to practice.”

Leading the group, Duff’s practice is directed toward operations-related matters, including negotiation of franchise agreements, leasing, distribution, sales and marketing, and liquor licensing. He also counsels clients on project development, advising on acquisitions and dispositions, as well as financing and management contracts. Duff serves as general counsel and legal advisor to many of the Pacific Northwest’s hospitality industry associations and trade groups, including the Washington Tourism Alliance, Seattle King County Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Seattle Hotel Association. He earned his J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Puget Sound School of Law (1994) and his B.S., magna cum laude, from Pepperdine University (1991).

Shukis advises clients, such as Hyatt, Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Clise Properties, Hotel Division, in regard to employment law issues. She counsels employers on a wide range of personnel and management issues, such as creating and implementing policies and procedures, discrimination, employee training and harassment matters. Shukis also represents employers in litigation and administrative investigations and proceedings, including before the Washington Human Rights Commission, Washington Department of Labor and Industries and U.S. Department of Labor. She earned her J.D. from the University of Oregon School of Law (1999) and her B.A., with honors, from Michigan State University (1994).

McFarland handles real estate purchases and sales, leasing and finance in the hospitality, travel and tourism sector. He advises clients on transactional structure, negotiation strategy, documentation and due diligence approaches, and minimizing liability. In addition, McFarland is experienced with operation and management of transactions involving multiple sites in various states. He earned his J.D., cum laude, from Cornell Law School (1999) and his B.A. from Whitman College (1996).

Brunet focuses his practice on labor and employment and counsels clients on workplace issues, including discrimination, harassment, employee restrictive covenants, employee training, wage-and-hour requirements, termination and policy creation and implementation. He also represents employers in litigation and administrative inquiries in multiple venues. In addition, he represents clients in civil cases, including corporation and partnership disputes, real estate litigation, landlord/tenant issues and eminent domain. Brunet earned his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law (2004) and his B.A. from Wesleyan University (2000).

Walters focuses on intellectual property, trademark and copyright counseling, advising clients on matters such as online hospitality inventory distribution agreements, in-licensing of video-on-demand technology, music and software licensing, application service provider agreements and general trademark, copyright and advertising review and advice. She has represented international hotel companies in global co-branding and marketing agreements, in addition to advising clients on website privacy policies and terms of service. Walters provides trademark advice, from initial clearance through policing and post-registration maintenance, including those trademark issues arising exclusively in regard to the Internet. She received her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Michigan School of Law (2000) and her B.S., with distinction, from Indiana University (1996).

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