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Jackee Walker

There is nothing more important to me than providing exceptional legal service and developing collaborative, trust-worthy relationships with my clients. My job is to help you reach your goal by coming up with the answer you need when you need it. By understanding your priorities, challenges, objectives, and timeline, I am able to provide tailored and cost-effective solutions. Quotation mark
Jackee Walker
Jackee Walker
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About Jackee

Jackee Walker helps local governments navigate all aspects of the eminent domain process, inverse condemnation, regulatory takings, and the associated negotiation and valuation. Over the last decade, she has been involved in hundreds of public projects in the Pacific Northwest, large and small. Jackee takes a proactive approach, advising clients from the pre-project planning stage through to project completion, identifying and addressing issues and potential risks quickly, creatively, and effectively. She has extensive mediation experience and is known for resolving cases short of the courtroom. When litigation is unavoidable, she has successfully first-chaired multimillion-dollar cases in Washington courts. Jackee focuses on understanding her clients’ overall objectives, internal processes, and construction timelines. Her clients include local transit authorities, counties, cities, special districts, utility companies, and private property owners. She regularly works with outside experts, such as appraisers, engineers, architects, developers, land planners, relocation agents, title/escrow officers, and environmental consultants to assure the best possible outcome for her clients.

Jackee is a frequent guest speaker on legal issues involving eminent domain law and has served as author and editor for a number of state and national legal treaties on the topic. Since 2015, Jackee has been selected every year for inclusion as a Washington Super Lawyer—Rising Star. She was named to Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch for 2021.

Jackee has been with Miller Nash her entire career. She is a thought leader on diversity and co-chairs Miller Nash’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee. Jackee is a relentless champion for those underrepresented in law and seeks to bring true equity to the firm. By challenging the systems that have kept select groups from succeeding, she is helping to ensure diverse attorneys have the opportunity to flourish, and are sufficiently recognized and compensated for their contributions. Jackee provides strategic DEI leadership, develops key initiatives, provides hiring and promotion oversight, and mentors diverse attorneys.

Jackee is also an executive board member of the Loren Miller Bar Association.

Representative Experience

  • Transit Authorities Plus
    • Serves as outside eminent domain counsel for Sound Transit providing comprehensive guidance on all aspects of eminent domain and inverse condemnation, as well as litigating disputes when they arise. Successfully represented Sound Transit in obtaining settlements in hundreds of condemnation matters in Pierce, King, and Snohomish Counties, including acquisitions for the following light rail links:

      • South Link
      • Tacoma Link
      • University Link
      • Capitol Hill Link
      • Northgate Link
      • East Link
      • Lynnwood Link
      • Federal Way Link
      • Downtown Redmond Link
    • Regularly works with the City of Ferndale in connection with its capital projects to maintain and improve city infrastructure. Provides counsel on pre-project planning, pre-filing negotiations, ordinances authorizing eminent domain, final action requirements, eminent domain filings, and dispute resolution. Advised city or handled condemnation actions for the following city projects:

      • Washington Street, Main Street to Vista Drive ProjectRepresented City in a condemnation of property rights for a road-widening project. Case involved complex valuation issues and an adverse possession dispute. Settled at mediation for $120,000 less than the owner’s just compensation evidence. 
      • Thorton Street Overpass
      • Gateway Stormwater Improvement/Main Street LaBounty Drive Roundabout Project
      • Church Road
      • Main Street Improvement Project
    • Provided pre-condemnation and final action advice in connection with acquisition of right-of-way interests and construction easements necessary for the City of Federal Way’s Transportation Improvement Plan.

    • Provided pre-condemnation and final action advice on O&M Road Project and helped the City of Kennewick reach settlement in advance of filing an eminent domain petition.

    • Represented Olympic Pipe Line Company navigating final action procedures and condemning demolition of an occupied residential structure illegally constructed above active pipeline. Advised pipeline though the entire eminent process and helped the pipeline reach settlement shortly after filing an eminent domain petition.

    • Represented Clark County PUD in navigating final action procedures and pre-condemnation of transmission easement. 

    • Represented King County Fire District #2 in condemnation of adjacent property for fire station expansion project. Jury returned a just compensation verdict matching fire district’s valuation and was less than its pre-trial settlement offer. No fees or costs were awarded to property owner.

    • Represented large commercial property owner in connection with the City of Bellevue’s NE 4th Extension Improvements.

    • Jackee has been trying cases to juries and the bench for more than a decade. She is a skilled trial attorney and has first-chaired complex, multimillion-dollar cases helping shape eminent domain law in Washington. Because of her vast experience of trying cases, she understands it’s a completely different atmosphere, and is better able to make accurate jury-value predictions and assess settlement.

      • Successfully tried a six-week virtual condemnation bench trial for Sound Transit to acquire property rights needed to construct the Federal Way Link Extension. The trial involved ten experts, a number of complex legal issues regarding conversion of a motel to apartments, and a valuation dispute of millions in just compensation. The court awarded just compensation matching Sound Transit’s valuation evidence and was less than its pre-trial settlement offer. No fees or costs awarded to property owner. (2020, Bench Trial - Singh)
      • Successfully represented Sound Transit in a multi-day condemnation trial to acquire property rights needed to construct the Federal Way Link Extension. The trial involved a dispute over the highest and best use of the property and the court awarded just compensation matching Sound Transit’s valuation evidence of more than $1 million less than owner’s just compensation. No fees or costs awarded to property owner. (2019, Bench Trial - Ingersoll)
      • Member of trial team that successfully represented Sound Transit in a multi-week condemnation trial for the Lynwood Link Extension. The trial involved a dispute over whether or not Sound Transit’s light rail station specially benefited the property due to proximity and an upzone. The jury determined the property was specially benefitted by light rail and returned verdict matching Sound Transit’s valuation evidence and $1.4 million less than the owner’s valuation. No fees or costs awarded to property owner. (2018, 12-Person Jury Trial – Maxwell)
      • Member of trial team that successfully represented Sound Transit in a multi-week condemnation trial for the East Link Extension. The trial involved a dispute over whether or not Sound Transit’s light rail station specially benefited the adjacent property due to proximity. The jury determined the property was specially benefitted by light rail and returned a verdict that did not exceed Sound Transit’s pretrial settlement offer. No fees or costs awarded to property owner. (2018, 12-Person Jury Trial - Safeway)
      • Successfully represented Sound Transit in condemnation trial for the East Link Extension. The trial involved a dispute over project influence, capitalization rates, and special benefits. The court awarded just compensation that did not exceed Sound Transit’s pretrial settlement offer. No fees or costs awarded to property owner. (2015, Bench Trial – PS Business Park)
      • Successfully represented Sound Transit in condemnation of a tunnel easement for the Roosevelt Station. The court awarded just compensation matching Sound Transit’s valuation evidence and was less than its pre-trial settlement offer. No fees or costs awarded to property owner. (2014, Bench Trial – Tacey Miller)
      • Successfully represented Sound Transit in a 3-week condemnation trial for the South Link - Airport to 200th Street light rail project. The trial involved a value dispute over damages to the remainder property, offsite impacts, and business damages. The jury returned a verdict for nearly $1.5 million less than the owner’s just compensation evidence. (2013, 12-Person Jury Trial – Hospitality First)
      • Member of trial team that represented Sound Transit in multi-week condemnation trial for its South Link - Airport to 200th Street light rail project. The trial involved a number of complex legal issues regarding the valuation of temporary easements, franchise requirements, and reducing the scope of the acquisition at trial. The jury returned a verdict in less than two hours that matched Sound Transit’s valuation and did not exceed Sound Transit’s pretrial settlement offer. No fees or costs awarded to property owner. (2013, 12-Person Jury Trial – Airport Investment)
        • The property owner appealed this result to the Supreme Court. The Court ruled in Sound Transit’s favor concluding Sound Transit’s settlement offer was timely, which was not rendered ineffective by subsequent revisions to reduce the impact of its temporary construction easement.
      • Successfully represented King County Fire District No. 2 in condemnation of adjacent property for fire station expansion project. The jury returned a just compensation verdict matching King County’s valuation and was less than the fire district’s pre-trial settlement offer. No fees or costs awarded to property owner. (2010, 6-person Jury Trial)

Services

Education

  • J.D., Seattle University School of Law, magna cum laude, 2012
  • B.A., University of Washington, business administration & marketing, 2007

Bar Admissions

  • Washington, 2012

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington

Activities

Professional Plus
  • International Right of Way Association, Puget Sound Chapter, board member
  • Loren Miller Bar Association, executive board member
  • King County Bar Association, member
  • Washington State Bar Association, member
  • American Bar Association, Litigation Section, board member
  • King County Partnership for Youth Justice, chairperson, 2007-2014

Recognition

  • Selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in Commercial Litigation and Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law, 2021
  • Selected for inclusion as a Washington Super Lawyer—Rising Star, 2015-present
  • Faculty Scholar Finalist, Seattle University, 2012
  • Nationals Quarter-Finalist, National Black Law Student Association Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competition, 2012
  • Scholar, King County Bar Foundation, 2010-2012
  • Dean’s Diversity Scholar, Seattle University, 2009-2012
  • Scholar, Seattle Access Resource Center (ARC), 2009-2012
  • Regionals Second Place, National Black Law Student Association Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competition, 2011
  • First Place, Seattle University In-House Black Law Student Association (BLSA) Mock Trial Competition, 2011
  • 1L Diversity Fellow, Graham & Dunn, 2010

Insights from Jackee

  • “Washington Lawyers Practice Manual,” King County Bar Association, Part Eighteen: Eminent Domain, coeditor (2012-2017 edits, 2004 original materials)
  • “Stories from the Trenches: What Appraisers Need to Know About Larger Parcels and the Unit Rule,” Appraisal Institute Seattle Chapter, Fall Conference (Sept. 2019)
  • “Stories from the Trenches: What an Appraiser Should Know About Special Benefits and Private Covenants,” Appraisal Institute Seattle Chapter, Fall Conference (Oct. 2018)
  • “Understanding Utility Easements and Rights of Way,” HalfMoon Education, Inc., Washington Easements, Rights-of-Way, and Eminent Domain (Feb. 2018)
  • “Eminent Domain Mock Trial,” International Right of Way Association Puget Sound Chapter (Sept. 2017)
  • “At Trial–What Can Appraisers Do to Help the Attorney and the Client,” Appraisal Institute Seattle Chapter, Fall Conference (Oct. 2015)
  • “Presenting and Defending Your Expert Opinion at Trial,” International Right of Way Association, Education Conference (June 2015)
  • “Preparing for Mediation,” The Seminar Group, Suing and Defending Government Seminar (May 2014)
  • “Reviewing an Appraisal,” Appraisal Institute Seattle Chapter, Fall Real Estate Conference (Oct. 2013)
Collaborations

Outside the Office

Jackee spends her free time enjoying life and creating memories with her four-year-old daughter, Jaya. She is an avid DIYer and enjoys beautifying spaces. She is also a gym and health enthusiast. When she can get away, Jackee enjoys last-minute trips to remote locations, unplugging in unspoiled locations where the beauty of the environment replenishes her energy.

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