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ADR Neutral: Carol MacKinnon

Carol MacKinnon
7612 27TH ST W
TACOMA, WA 98466
Tel: 253-460-5582

Focus of Practice

Alternative Dispute Resolution, in particular mediation of business disputes and facilitative mediation of large probate estates and minority shareholder disputes. I also advise clients on a wide-range of general corporate legal issues pertaining to their businesses as manufacturers, contractors, retailers, and professional service providers.

Legal Experience

1995-present, Solo Practice representing businesses of various sizes/complexity. 1984-1995, Principal-Smith Allling, PS (Tacoma, WA): handling breach of contract litigation, complex negotiations for manufacturers vs. suppliers or financiers, resolving minority shareholder disputes and an inter-generational leveraged buy-out; also lead attorney on two antitrust cases involving a nationwide bid-rigging conspiracy affecting construction of Big Cajun and Coal Creek power plants. 1982-1983: Of Counsel- Law Offices of John Schwab (Baton Rouge, LA) handling construction defect cases for power plant owner vs. systems suppliers. 1979-1982, Associate Attorney- Duncan Weinberg Miller and Pembroke, P.C. (DC): federal court and administrative litigation incl. prosecuting 2 class actions for federal employees, defending 2 Bivens actions v. former CIA official, and defending litigation re take-or pay contracts. 1978-1979: Law Clerk to Hon. Kenneth R. Harkins, United States Court of Claims, Trial Division (now U.S. Claims Court). 1976-1978: Part-time Law Clerk at District of Columbia law firms/offices: Pratt and Queen (local general practice); Houger Garvey and Schubert (Seattle) and Coudert Brothers (NYC).

Court Admissions

1978, District of Columbia and U.S. District Court, District of Columbia; 1979, New Jersey, U.S. District Court, D.N.J., and U.S. Claims Court; 1980, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit; 1981, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit; 1982, U.S. Supreme Court; 1983, Washington, U.S. District Court W.D.WA, and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; 1987, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.


Smith College, B.A., with distinction in the field of major, 1975; Amherst College (1973-1974); American University, Washington College of Law, J.D. 1978.

Professional Associations

Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association; Washington State Bar Association; District of Columbia Bar Association. American Inns of Court, Chapter XXV (Hon. Robt. J. Bryan/Puget Sound chapter), Barrister, 1988-1991.

ADR Training

Accredited ADR Training in the past 36 months as follows: The Art of Listening by PCCDR 02/11/2014 (1.5 CLE); Gain the Edge! Negotiation Strategies for Lawyers by WSBA 01/23/2014 (6.0 CLE); The Art of Negotiating Environmental and Land Use Agreements by WSBA 02/24/14 (6.25 CLE); Empathy vs. Impartiality: Advanced Mediator Skills by PCCDR 02/09/2016 (2.0 CLE).

ADR Experience

At least semi-annually, I volunteer for the Pierce County Center for Dispute Resolution, mediating contract law disputes. Since 2012 when I began mediating for PCCDR, all but two of the PCCDR cases I've mediated settled in the session (the other two settled within weeks thereafter; and in both, the parties asked my permission to designate me as the binding arbitrator in the event of a subsequent dispute). In the current reporting period, I arbitrated one matter that was a PCCDR-originated settlement. For approximately 25 years, I've worked as an Arbitrator on Pierce Co. Superior Court Mandatory Arbitration Panel, handling three fact-intensive breach of contract cases during 2014-2016. Over my almost forty-year legal career, my practice has been divided roughly 50/50 between litigation and transactional matters. As a litigator, Ive participated in mediations at every stage of legal proceedings (before commencing litigation, at the close of discovery, Rule 39.1 conferences, a settlement conference ordered by a federal judge during jury selection, and pending appeals). As a transactional attorney, I've participated in protracted direct negotiations of commercial matters. At present my practice is chiefly devoted to the process of private facilitative mediation of complex probates (involving commercial properties and family businesses) and negotiation of contracts.

ADR Practice Areas

Antitrust/Trade Regulation, Business Litigation, Consumer Protection, Construction, Contracts, Corporations, Environment, Real Property, Wills and Trusts