June 2013 Bar Bulletin
 
Skip Navigation Links
CLE / Education
For Lawyers
Judicial
Legal Help
Membership
Special Programs
YLD
 
MyKCBA Login


June 2013 Bar Bulletin

HELEN M. GEISNESS AWARD: Sharon Sakamoto

By James A. Andrus

 

This year, the King County Bar Association proudly presents the Helen M. Geisness Award to Sharon K. Sakamoto. "She is an outstanding lawyer, a generous and effective leader and an absolutely lovely human being," said UW Law School Dean Kellye Testy.

This award is presented on an occasional basis to recognize an outstanding lawyer or non-lawyer for exemplary distinguished service on behalf of the King County Bar Association. Sakamoto has generously and enthusiastically served KCBA in an exemplary manner consistent with KCBA's grandest traditions.

She has served as a member of the Board of Trustees, as a member and chair of the Judicial Screening Committee, as a member of the Awards Committee, and as a chair and a 25-year member of the Ethnic Diversity in the Legal Profession Committee. In these capacities, Sakamoto has had direct positive influence on the education and development of numerous lawyers in King County.

Sakamoto has come a long way since she was born during World War II in the Minidoka Internment Camp in Idaho. Because of her experience, she has devoted her life to justice and equality, and has held the torch of liberty high so that others may have the opportunity to live the American promise that she was so harshly shuttered away from.

Sakamoto began her professional career as an educator in the Seattle Public Schools. In 1981, she elected to change careers and enrolled in law school. While still in law school, she began work with the legal team representing Gordon Hirabayashi, an American convicted of violating military evacuation and curfew orders during World War II. In fighting to restore his honor, the Hirabayashi coram nobis team discovered documents proving that the evacuation and curfew orders were not based on military necessity, and the government had hidden this evidence at his trial. After a six-year fight, the team was successful in getting the Ninth Circuit to find that Hirabayashi's convictions should be vacated.

During Sakamoto's legal career, she has been a champion for what is right. Having firsthand knowledge of the destruction that unchecked power might do to the powerless, she has been a champion for justice, opportunity and equality.

Her legal practice has encompassed a variety of areas, including estate planning, probate and guardianship matters, property transfers, business organizations and transactions, and municipal bond financing. Sakamoto has served on the boards of the Seattle University School of Law Alumni Association, the Board of the Archdiocese of Seattle Catholic Schools, the Kawabe Memorial House (an affordable apartment building that is home primarily to first-generation immigrant seniors), the Center for Human Services, and the Chief Seattle Council, among others.


...login to read the rest of this article.


Return to Bar Bulletin Home Page

KCBA Twitter Logo KCBA Facebook Logo KCBA LinkedIn Logo KCBA Email Logo

King County Bar Association
1200 5th Ave, Suite 600
Seattle, WA 98101
Main (206) 267-7100
Fax (206) 267-7099

Pillars of the Bar Page

King County Bar Foundation Home Page

Charitable Arm of the Bar

KCBF Endowment Page

Future of the Law Home Page

PRO BONO DICTA


All rights reserved. All the content of this web site is copyrighted and may be reproduced in any form including digital and print
for any non-commercial purpose so long as this notice remains visible and attached hereto. View full Disclaimer.