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I graduated from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, where I served as a vice-president for the Black Student Union. After college I interned as an investigator for the Washington DC Civilian Complaint Review Board, investigating complaints of police abuse, worked at a Vermont ski resort and as a reporter for a daily newspaper in Pennsylvania. I graduated from the University of Oregon School of Law, where I served as an editor on the law review. I also taught English to adult students as part of a literacy program with the Sacramento Food Bank.

I learned about Social Security law while working at Royce, Swanson, Thomas and Coon in, small but mighty labor and environmental law firm in Portland Oregon. I opened a solo practice in 1995 in Seattle. My work includes hundreds of administrative appeals and numerous federal court appeals.

Standing up to a large insurance company or huge government bureaucracy is not for the feint of heart. Sometimes the fight for benefits can take years.

“Invictus” means unconquerable and unbowed in the face of adversity. It is paying homage to William Ernest Henley’ and his poem Invictus that inspired Nelson Mandela to persevere and thrive through more than 27 years of imprisonment by the South African Apartheid government.


Out of the night that covers me, Black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.