October 2013 Bar Bulletin
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October 2013 Bar Bulletin

In Memoriam: J. Hartley Newsum: Pro Bono Exemplar

By Bruce Hand


J. Hartley Newsum was born in Seattle in 1936 and raised in eastern Washington where he completed Whitman College. He attended law school at Willamette University and was admitted to our bar in 1963. He served four years as a deputy to the King County prosecutor followed by a few years of practice with small firms. Thereafter, he worked in general practice as a sole practitioner sharing offices.

Since early in his practice, Hartley was one of the most generous contributors to the bar ideal of pro bono service to clients in need. Client beneficiaries included many who came through his office door as well as the numerous people he volunteered to help through programs of our bar and various nonprofit organizations.

His extraordinary work was recognized by the King County Bar Association, which awarded him its 2003 award for consistent and diligent representation of pro bono clients. In 2008, the Housing Justice Project of the King County Bar Foundation recognized him for a decade of exemplary service.

When asked about his considerable efforts in this regard, Hartley said, "Everyone should have access to legal services. The system does not allow access to the needy, and it is the responsibility of every lawyer to provide pro bono services." Over the decades, Hartley also volunteered as a trustee of a number of nonprofit organizations.

Poor health caused Hartley to give up his practice in early 2013, and in August he passed away peacefully at his home in Kirkland. He is survived by Judy, his wife of almost 50 years, their four children and five grandchildren.

The bar will miss his generous example.

Retired attorney Bruce Hand was well acquainted with Hartley Newsum for almost 40 years and shared offices with him for six years before retiring in 2007.


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