Social Justice

Smith & Lowney looks for opportunities to represent clients in pursuit of social justice. Attorneys and staff at Smith & Lowney are committed to using our legal skills on a broad array of social issues. 

The following are representative cases: 

Junction City Redevelopment Group v. Sierra Pacific Industries.
Represented 18 mostly low-income families whose properties had been negatively impacted by a lumber mill in Aberdeen, Washington. The case was settled through mediation in 2004 after litigating several lawsuits and permit challenges. Settlement included a multi-million dollar buy-out of clients’ properties. 

Laurine Harris, Seattle Displacement Coalition, and Friends of Rainier Vista, et al. v. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, et al.
Represented Friends of Rainier Vista and the Seattle Displacement Coalition in their fight against the redevelopment of Rainier Vista, one of Seattle’s most ethnically diverse public housing complexes. Smith & Lowney partnered with attorneys from Columbia Legal Services and the Northwest Justice Project to challenge the redevelopment under the National Environmental Policy Act, the Fair Housing Act, and the Administrative Procedures Act. Following mediation, the case settled for: new and extended protections for low-income residents displaced by the redevelopment; concessions from the Seattle Housing Authority and the City of Seattle regarding the distribution of handicap-accessible units, tree retention, community gardens, limited housing density, and traffic calming; the creation of a Rainier Vista Citizen Review Committee to ensure compliance with design guidelines and other commitments; the creation of a Yesler Terrace Citizen Review Committee; and the recovery of costs and attorneys’ fees. 

» For more information or to request a case evaluation, click here.