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Kutak Rock Expands Litigation Team with Prominent Spokane Hires



Kutak Rock has expanded its national litigation team by welcoming Heather C. Yakely and Geana Van Dessel, two of Spokane’s leading female litigators with more than 35 years of collective experience.

“Heather and Geana are two of the best known and most highly regarded and talented litigators in the state,” remarked Roy Koegen, managing partner of Kutak Rock’s Spokane office. “They are among the few female attorneys to appear in courtrooms as lead counsel, they bring an exceptional track record in working with clients, they aren’t afraid to go to trial and they are comfortable in any courtroom. Their years of experience will enhance the firm’s ability to serve clients in various disputes and add range and depth to our litigation practice group. We are excited to welcome them.”

For 20 years, Heather Yakely has practiced in the areas of employment and constitutional law issues, municipal law, and tort defense. She has successfully defended law enforcement and municipalities in civil rights defense throughout her career. She has also successfully defended clients, municipal and private, in various employment matters, including discrimination, sexual harassment and ADA litigation. Ms. Yakely has experience in both State and appellate courts, and is admitted to the State of Idaho, the Federal District Courts of Idaho, Washington and the Ninth Circuit. She will lead the litigation team in Spokane.

Geana Van Dessel has 15 years of experience in all phases of complex commercial litigation. She has tried both bench and jury cases and has represented clients in AAA commercial arbitration. Her litigation experience includes trademark, contract, banking, employment, and consumer protection litigation, both in federal and state court. She has defended multiple, federal class action lawsuits, and has appeared before the Washington State Supreme Court, Division III of the Washington State Court of Appeals and the Ninth Circuit.

“Joining Kutak Rock will undoubtedly provide a broader bench, additional resources and opportunities to grow beyond the Pacific Northwest,” said Yakely. “The firm has an extraordinary commitment to client service and exceptional value that resonates with my own.”

“I’m excited about the ability to connect with so many well-credentialed attorneys at Kutak Rock,” said Van Dessel. “The firm’s focus on the client, collaboration and a culture of collegiality means I’ll have instant access to bigger teams and immediate support.”

Both Ms. Yakely and Ms. Van Dessel received their undergraduate and law degrees from Gonzaga University.