Our Attorneys

Joanne Blackburn| Partner

p | 425.646.2956

A native of Washington, Joanne takes a Northwest approach to practicing law. Joanne welcomes the opportunity to help her clients develop outside-the-box solutions that are designed to avoid protracted litigation. However, if the dispute needs to be settled in court, she is no stranger to the courtroom and welcomes the challenge. Before becoming a partner with Gillaspy & Rhode, Joanne was a partner with Garvey, Schubert & Barer in Seattle in 1999 and then later with Gordon Thomas Honeywell in 2008.

Her primary areas of practice include defense litigation for businesses, products liability, construction, insurance coverage and broker and agency defense. She has successfully defended cases to verdict in Washington, California and Alaska courtrooms. She also is a long-time, active supporter and 10 year board member of FareStart, a culinary job training and placement program for houseless and disadvantaged individuals. In her spare time she enjoys climbing, cooking, and fishing for shrimp and crab with her family and friends.

Practice Areas: 
Product liability
Insurance coverage
Broker and agency defense
Appellate advocacy
Property damage 
Dram shop
Premise liability 
Contract and business law
Land use and property disputes 
Trucking and wrongful death defense work 

Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice:
Washington state courts
California state courts
Alaska state courts
U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Washington
U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
U.S. District Court, Central District of California
United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

Ms. Blackburn earned her J.D. at the University of Notre Dame in 1987 where she also represented the Moot Court team in regional competitions. Ms. Blackburn earned her B.A. in both Economics and Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley in 1984. 

Professional Affiliations:
She is a past president of the Washington Defense Lawyers, where she also served on the board of directors for eight years. She is also a past Board Member of the Defense Research Institute (DRI). She has been an active member of the Federation of Defense and Trial Lawyers for over 21 years and served in numerous leadership roles for the FDCC. She is also an active member of the Association of Defense Trial Attorneys (ADTA). Ms. Blackburn actively gives presentations on the different areas of her practice before the WDTL, DRI, FDCC and ADTA. She is currently a co-chair for the Diversity Committee for the FDCC and presented on the subject for several different organizations.