Professional Experience

Ms. Gilliam’s practice focuses primarily on defending independent and public schools and other public entities in a wide range of civil litigation matters pending in state and federal courts and before administrative agencies, with an emphasis on employment-based and negligence claims.  She regularly trains and presents to employers on civil rights compliance and employment best practices, and in the last few years has broadened her practice to include conducting workplace investigations concerning claims of discrimination and retaliation.

Ms. Gilliam has practiced in Washington for the past seven years following a move from the island of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where her practice extended to all aspects of civil litigation before the Federal District and Territorial Courts in defense of corporate clients in varying tort and employment matters.  Representative clients included Sears Holdings, RadioShack and refinery HOVENSA, L.L.C. Prior to her work in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Ms. Gilliam served almost two years as a Staff Attorney to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and also worked for the Office of the City Attorney for the City of Berkeley.

Admissions

  • United States District Court of the Virgin Islands
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of California
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Washington
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • Washington State Court of Appeals
  • Washington State Bar
  • California State Bar

Professional Memberships

  • Washington State Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Loren Miller Bar Association
  • Member of the Board of Directors for the Washington Initiative for Diversity, 2017-2020
  • Past Member of the Board of Trustees, Giddens School
  • Washington Defense Trial Lawyers Diversity Committee
  • Washington State Council of School Attorneys

Representative Cases

  • Wright . Tukwila School District – Successfully moved for summary judgment on several claims allowing for attorneys’ fees in multi-plaintiff race discrimination case against Tukwila School District.  Successful dismissals put case in posture for resolution favorable to the school district.
  • Goode v. Tukwila School District – Obtained complete dismissal with prejudice of claims alleging discrimination under the Washington Law Against Discrimination.

Presentations

  • #MeToo: Receiving, Responding To, and Recovering After, Sexual Harassment Complaints (Spring 2018 Helsell Fetterman Employment Breakfast)
  • State and Local Safety Laws and Workplace Violence (Fall 2017 Helsell Fetterman Employment Breakfast)
  • Office for Civil Rights Complaints and Title IX Compliance, October 2015, a joint presentation at the Washington Schools Personnel Association and Washington Schools Risk Management Pool Law Conference.
  • Leave Laws: Interplay between Washington State and Federal Laws, May 2015, a presentation for the 35th Annual Labor Relations Institute for the Association of Washington Cities.
  • “Hiring Smart’, October 2014, a presentation for the Washington Association of County Officials.

Content by Onik’a Gilliam