Brendan has more than thirty years of experience in litigation and counseling clients in Eastern Washington. He assists clients with all aspects of agricultural employment, including recruitment, immigration compliance, onboarding, health and safety, wages and benefits, and discipline and termination. Brendan has assisted clients with a wide range of legal issues, including unemployment claims, sexual harassment and assault allegations, and class action employment cases involving large sums of money. Brendan regularly helps clients resolve issues related to wrongful death, severe crop damage, and corporate ownership and control disputes.

Brendan provides policy development and strategic planning for some of the largest producers of apples, cherries, pears, hops, and blueberries in the world. He has argued employment matters of first impression before the Washington State Court of Appeals (Div. III), Washington Supreme Court, and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Brendan has also tried employment discrimination cases in U.S. Federal District Court for Washington's Eastern and Western Districts, as well as in Yakima, Kittitas, and Klickitat counties. He has delivered successful outcomes in contested proceedings regarding wages, benefits, and health and safety issues before Washington's Employment Security Department, Department of Labor and Industries, and Department of Agriculture. In addition, Brendan has also been involved in multiple proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board, including arbitrations and elections.

Brendan's mediation and arbitration practice is focused on helping parties reach prompt and orderly settlements or an expeditious path to final resolution. With his extensive litigation background, he analyzes the risks and opportunities posed by each case and helps parties understand how the case may be viewed from the eyes of the judge or jury. As an arbitrator, Brendan's focus is on efficiency and balance. He helps each party chart the most direct and least disruptive course from inception to finality while facilitating a comprehensive and nuanced examination of legal issues within the competing narratives. Each situation has its own unique challenges and factors that come into play. The necessary speed and level of action can differ. Brendan recognizes that maintaining efficiency and balance are fundamental principles to finding solutions to resolve disputes promptly and cost effectively.

In 2023, Brendan was inducted into the College of Labor & Employment Lawyers.  


  • Washington, 1992
  • Oregon, 2006
  • U.S. Supreme Court (2018)
  • U.S. District Courts for the Western and Eastern Districts of Washington
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Yakama Nation Tribal Court (2014)


  • Boston College Law School, J.D. (1992)
  • St. Mary’s College of California, B.A. in the Great Books program, cum laude (1988)

Recognition & Honors

  • Best Lawyers in America in Commercial Litigation (2017 - 2024)
  • Washington Super Lawyers (2013 - 2023)
  • Valued Participation Award, Yakima County Volunteer Attorney Services (2009)
  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell's highest ranking

Representative Work

  • Served as pro bono cooperating counsel with ACLU of Washington in the matter of Glatt v. City of Pasco. Achieved historic Consent Decree in Voting Rights Act case that guarantees equal access to electoral process to Pasco’s Latino community; argued motion that achieved immediate implementation of new single-member voting districts.
  • Prevailed in $20 million tax appeal. Brendan and Andre Penalver represented Cougar Den Inc., a Yakama Nation corporation, after the Washington State Department of Licensing assessed approximately $20 million in taxes against fuel that Cougar Den had hauled to the Yakama Nation Reservation. By applying extensive research on the history of the Yakama Treaty and aggressively asserting Cougar Den’s Treaty rights, Andre and Brendan successfully claimed an exemption for Cougar Den from any taxes. Cougar Den Inc. v. Department of Licensing of the State of Washington, Case No. 14-2-03851-7 (Yakima County 2015).
  • Represented Dan Newhouse For Congress campaign in a federal lawsuit by rival Clint Didier. In the last month of a close congressional race, Didier sued the Newhouse campaign based on alleged First Amendment and election law violations. Upon analyzing the federal laws at issue and performing a public records act request, Brendan worked with Andre Penalver on a letter to Didier's attorney regarding possible sanctions against Didier. Two days later, Didier dropped his lawsuit against the Newhouse campaign. Didier et al. v. Dan Newhouse For Congress et al., No. 4:14-CV-5095-TOR (E.D. Wash. 2014).
  • Prevailed on a motion to dismiss and a favorable summary judgment on behalf of two agricultural clients facing pattern and practice claims of discrimination in a class action lawsuit filed by the EEOC in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington. The court dismissed several claims against our clients on a motion to dismiss and subsequently ruled that the EEOC may not seek any relief on behalf of time-barred individuals and set a specific deadline by which the EEOC was required to identify its class members. These rulings came despite the EEOC maintaining that it is not bound by the 300-day requirement and its historical practice of revealing class members throughout discovery and sometimes up to and including during trial.
  • Obtained unanimous defense jury verdict for one of the largest apple growers in the United States in a multi-claimant class action brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Following a two-and-a-half week trial a nine-member jury of women and men found that the government had failed to prove that any of the 14 individuals whose claims went to trial had experienced sex harassment or a hostile work environment. Earlier in the case the court dismissed at summary judgment claims brought on behalf of 11 additional claimants.
  • Obtained complete summary judgment on multi-claimant allegations of retaliation brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against one of the largest apple growers in the United States. The case involved extreme allegations of intimidation, including threats of violence up to and including a murder-for-hire scheme by a former ranch foreman. At summary judgment, the court concluded that the government and plaintiff-intervenors had failed to present any admissible evidence to support any of their very serious claims. Stokes Lawrence has asked the court for an order requiring the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to pay its client's fees for having to defend against a frivolous lawsuit.
  • Counsel for a group of Washington farmers who intervened in the matter of In re Washington State Apple Advertising Commission. The farmers successfully argued that the mandatory assessments paid to the Apple Commission violated their First Amendment right to be free from forced speech, resulting in a preliminary injunction and summary judgment in favor of the farmers.
  • Lead counsel for defendants in the case of Marin v. Evans, a class action RICO case, which was premised upon unproved allegations that defendants artificially depressed the wages of lawful employees by knowingly hiring illegal aliens. The case was dismissed on summary judgment after it was demonstrated that defendants had not engaged in racketeering and that no damages were suffered.
  • Counsel for the Yakima Herald Republic on a number of public records cases, including successful efforts to obtain internal records from a school district about a misbehaving teacher, and sealed records in criminal case involving a defendant's improper conduct with minors.
  • Defense counsel in a variety of class action wage and hour cases. Representative cases include claims brought by unionized warehouse workers, truck drivers, guest farm laborers, and construction workers.
  • Represented legal entities as well as individual officers, members and shareholders in minority oppression and corporate dissolution cases. Representative businesses include fruit packing and sales operations, property development entities, manufacturing and sales companies, logging operations and physician practices.
  • Successfully litigated crop damage claims against chemical manufacturers and dealers. Representative claims include failure to warn (nematode damage in potatoes), failure to test (leafroller damage to apples), and negligent application (sulfur burn on apples).

Publications & Presentations

  • Presenter, "Trends in Litigation for Ag Employers: Retaliation," Washington Grower's League 2018 Labor Conference and Annual Meeting (February 2018)
  • Co-presenter with Jaime Cuevas, "Legal Ramifications of H-2A for the Agricultural Employer:  What You Need to Know About Handling Domestic Referrals, Employing Local Workers, and Complying with Farm Labor Contractor Law," Washington Growers League-MasLabor H-2A Forum (January 2018)
  • Panelist, “2018 Employment Law Update - What You Need to Know,” Greater Yakima Chamber of Commerce (January 2018)
  • Presenter, "Navigating the H-2A System," Washington Grower’s League, H-2A Conference (February 2017)
  • Presenter, "Labor Unions in Agriculture," Washington Farm Labor Association, Work Force Summit (February 2017)
  • Presenter, "Use and Abuse of H-2A and How to Avoid a Lawsuit," Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers Annual Meeting & Trade Show (February 2017)
  • Presenter, "Farm Labor Contractor Act:  What You Need to Know as a Farmer," Washington Grower’s League Annual Meeting (February 2017)
  • Chair and Moderator, Annual District Conference and CLE, Federal Bar Association for the Eastern District of Washington (September 2016)
  • Presenter, "Agricultural Employment Issues," WSBA Labor and Employment Section CLE (August 2016)
  • Presenter, "Employment Lawsuits in Agriculture:  A Defense Lawyer’s Perspective, or Why Doing the Right Thing is Good for Business," Tri-Cities Development Council (June 2016)
  • Co-author, "Supreme Court Redefines Who Constitutes a 'Farm Labor Contractor' in Washington," blog post, Stokes Law Briefs (March 2016)
  • Presenter, EmSpring's Third Annual Employer Forum (September 2015)
  • Co-Presenter with Sarah Wixson, "Transportation Matters," WAFLA webinar (June 2015)
  • Panelist, "Strategies for Success Under Health Care Reform," ACA Agricultural Forum (October 2014) 
  • Co-Presenter, "Common Mistakes in the Federal Courtroom and How to Avoid Them," 8th Annual Federal Civil Trial Practice Seminar (May 2014)
  • Co-Presenter, "Wage and Hour Issues in Agriculture" and "Farm Labor Contractor Law Issues," Washington Grower's League Annual Meeting (January 2014)
  • Co-Presenter, "Assessing Risk Under the Farm Labor Contractor Act," 2014 Annual Fruit Industry Seminar, presented by the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the National Society of Accountants for Cooperatives (January 2014)
  • Co-Presenter, "Best Practices for Protecting Your Business From Becoming a Target of the EEOC," Stokes Law Brief (August 2013)
  • Presenter, "Farm Labor Contractor Law," presented by the Washington Growers League (August 2013)
  • Presenter, "Farm Labor Contractor Law," Washington Farm Labor Association (August 2013)
  • Presenter, "The Applicability and Enforcement of the Farm Labor Contractor Act," Washington Farm Labor Association (June 2013)

Professional & Community Activities

  • Fellow, College of Labor & Employment (2023 – present)
  • Board Member, The Seasons Performance Hall (2019 – present)
  • Board Member, Sozo Project (2019 - present)
  • Board Member, The Pegasus Project (2010 – 2020)
  • Yakima Downtown Plaza Committee (2017-2019)
  • Past Chairman of the Board of Directors, Capitol Theater Committee (2017)
  • Past President, Federal Bar Association for the Eastern District of Washington (2015 - 2016)
  • Ninth Circuit Lawyer Representative for the Eastern District of Washington (2011)
  • Past President, Yakima County Bar Association (2008)
  • Past President, Yakima Greenway Foundation (2003)
  • Past Board Member, LaSalle High School, People for People, Yakima County Coalition for the Homeless, and Yakima County Volunteer Attorney Services


Background & Interests

Before joining the firm, Brendan was a shareholder with Velikanje, Moore & Shore, P.S. in Yakima, where he worked as a litigator from 1992 until 2007. In July of 2007, he and his fellow shareholders, George Velikanje, John Moore and Morrie Shore, brought their combined 155 years of experience and opened the Yakima office of Stokes, Lawrence, Velikanje Moore & Shore.