Since graduating from Gonzaga University School of Law in May of 2008, Casey Arbenz has focused his efforts entirely on litigating personal injury and criminal defense cases in Pierce County and other Washington Courts - representing clients injured by negligence, medical malpractice and civil rights violations, as well as those accused of a wide range of felonies, misdemeanors, DUI’s and infractions. Mr. Arbenz has tried several cases both in state and federal courts.
Although he spends most of his days in Pierce County courtrooms (and many others) fighting for his clients, Mr. Arbenz has also submitted several appellate briefs to the Washington Supreme Court, the Washington Appellate Courts as well as the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. He has won both civil and criminal law appeals. Mr. Arbenz has represented clients in the courts of Pierce, King, Kitsap, Thurston, Snohomish, Spokane, Jefferson, Clallam, Grays Harbor, Pacific, Kittitas, Cowlitz, Benton, Chelan, Clark, Yakima, Whatcom, Lewis, Douglas, Grant and Mason Counties – as well as the numerous municipal courts within those counties (Tacoma Municipal Court, Seattle Municipal Court, Puyallup Municipal Court, Kent Municipal Court, Olympia Municipal Court, etc).
Mr. Arbenz’s representation in these courts has ranged from complex civil cases such as medical malpractice, drug interaction, elder abuse, auto accidents, slip and falls, civil rights violations, bicycle injury cases, etc., as well as intentional assaults including bar fights and shootings that occurred on private property. Mr. Arbenz has also prosecuted negligence claims against the State of Washington for failures to properly supervise offenders on DOC (Department of Corrections) probation and for failures by DSHS (Department of Social and Health Services) to monitor foster parents who abuse foster children. Mr. Arbenz also focuses a significant portion of his practice on suing sex offenders on behalf of their victims. The Hester Law Group has recovered millions for injured victims in Pierce County and elsewhere!
As it relates to his defense of people accused of committing crimes, Mr. Arbenz fights vigorously for his clients. His representation ranges from defense of misdemeanors such as Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and Assault in the 4th degree, Domestic Violence in addition to more serious felonies such as Assault, Murder, Rape, and the like – as well as serious white collar crimes involving accusations of complex embezzlement, theft, forgery, perjury and fraud in both state and federal courts. Mr. Arbenz is a passionate defender of constitutional rights who strongly believes in protecting individual liberties from government encroachment. He has had successful results suppressing evidence obtained by way of illegal searches or defective warrants. He is also a zealous advocate for the mentally ill having successfully defended many clients suffering from schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and having their charges either dismissed outright or by way of a not guilty by reason of insanity finding.
Mr. Arbenz got his start in criminal law as a law school intern with the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office where he won his first four trials, prosecuting those accused of Driving Under the Influence in Everett, Lynwood and elsewhere in Snohomish County. After graduation and a very short stint with the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office prosecuting juvenile offenders, Mr. Arbenz was hired by the Hester Law Group in Tacoma Washington and has been with the firm since 2008. Alongside Lance Hester, Mr. Arbenz obtained a not-guilty verdict following his first criminal defense trial – a trespassing in the second degree charge out of Tacoma Municipal Court – soon after joining the Hester Law Group, and has never looked back.
Mr. Arbenz has been recognized for his fervent representation of his clients – earning Washington State’s 2012 “Professionalism Award” from the Young Lawyers Section of the Washington State Bar Association. This award recognized Mr. Arbenz’s uncompromising work-ethic, as well as his regard for civility, decorum and his dedication to litigating on behalf of his clients in Tacoma, Pierce County and throughout Western Washington. He has also served as president of the Young Lawyers Section of the Tacoma/Pierce County Bar Association and is a member of the Robert J. Bryan Inns of Court. This committment to excellence has earned Mr. Arbenz invitations to present to fellow attorneys at Continuing Legal Education seminars sponsored by the Washington State Bar Association in Seattle as well as the Tacoma/Pierce County Bar Association.
Mr. Arbenz believes there are no unwinnable cases, and that oral advocacy skills in the courtroom are secondary to the research and analysis necessary to weaken the opponent’s case and ultimately achieve the best results for the client. Mr. Arbenz is licensed to practice law in all Washington State courts, as well as federally, in the Western District of Washington.
Before law school, Mr. Arbenz was a recognized collegiate debater who then coached debate while earning his Master’s Degree in Speech Communication. After earning his Master’s degree, Mr. Arbenz served as the Director of the Kansas State University Debate Team and was also a teacher at K-State. During law school at Gonzaga, Mr. Arbenz was actively involved with student government and a member of Gonzaga’s National Moot Court Team. His team won the “Best Brief” award at the regional competition at Seattle University in 2007.
Much like his colleagues at the Hester Law Group, Mr. Arbenz pursues a very active lifestyle. He ran the Los Angeles Marathon in 2002 and since then has competed in four half-marathons and more than twenty triathlons - including Half-Ironman races at Lake Stevens, Oceanside, CA, Victoria, BC and Whistler, BC. Mr. Arbenz loves baseball, golf, fishing, hunting, cycling, open-water swimming, weight-lifting, jogging, basketball, softball, eating out and traveling. He lives in Gig Harbor with his beautiful wife, Annie Arbenz, who is a partner at the firm of Andrews and Arbenz in Old Town, Tacoma. Casey and Annie have two wonderful kids and are also proud owners of a beautiful German Shepherd dog, Maverick, whose personality and strong will give Casey, Annie and the kids a lot of joy (and a few headaches).
Mr. Arbenz believes strongly in public service. In November of 2013 Mr. Arbenz was elected to serve on the Gig Harbor City Council. He began his four-year term in January, 2014.
In March of 2016, Casey was promoted from Associate to Partner of the Hester Law Group.
- BA, Chico State University, 2000
- MA, California State University, Fullerton, 2002
- JD, Gonzaga University School of Law, 2008.
Professional Affiliations & Honorable Credentials
- Washington State Bar Association
- Tacoma Pierce County Bar Association
- Named 2015 and 2016 "Rising Star" in Washington Law and Politics Magazine
- Named 2015 Top "40 under 40" by South Sound Business Examiner Magazine
- Winner of the 2012 “Professionalism Award” – Awarded by the YLS of the Washington State Bar Association.
- Former President of the Young Lawyers Section of the Tacoma/Pierce County Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- Member Robert J. Bryan Inns of Court
- Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
- Washington State Association for Justice
Casey Arbenz helped a client get a petition for domestic violence restraining order dismissed following two hearings in Pierce County Superior Court. Mr. Arbenz filed declarations on his client's behalf which showed the petitioner was unable to prove his case.
Casey Arbenz successfully convinced the Court of Appeals to reverse a finding of summary judgement against his client who was injured while riding her bike on the Foothills Trail. The defendant (Pierce County) had claimed immunity. Thanks to Mr. Arbenz's good work, his client will get her day in court. Read the opinion here: http://www.courts.wa.gov/opinions/?fa=opinions.disp&filename=486598MAJ
Brett Purtzer just convinced a jury to find his client not guilty of unlawfully displaying a weapon (a handgun) in Tacoma Municipal Court. The client was looking at a lengthy jail term and was very pleased with Mr. Purtzer's effort in proving that he was acting in self-defense. This is the second time the Hester Law Group has obtained a not guilty verdict for this same client. Roughly six years ago, Lance Hester and Casey Arbenz convinced a jury to find the client not guilty of trespassing in the second degree.
Two years after obtaining a favorable verdict for his client, Mr. Arbenz was successful again - this time in the Court of Appeals - where the trial verdict and an award of attorney fees in his client's favor were affirmed. The Court of Appeals opinion can be reviewed here: http://www.courts.wa.gov/opinions/index.cfm?fa=opinions.showOpinion&filename=487616MAJ
Casey Arbenz successfully convinced a King County District Court judge to reverse an award of attorney fees stemming from a protection order hearing commenced several years ago when the client was unrepresented. Mr. Arbenz appealed the case to Superior Court and won just enough to have the $8,000 attorney fee award imposed against his client excused.
Lacey Municipal Court charge amended from domestic violence assault to disorderly conduct.
Casey Arbenz helped a client accused of Negligent Driving have his case dismissed in Thurston County District Court.
After a month-long trial in Seattle (King County Superior Court) attorney Casey Arbenz obtained a NOT GUILTY verdict for a client charged with first degree theft with a "major economic offense" aggravator. Mr. Arbenz's client was very relieved at the result and extremely pleased with Mr. Arbenz's hard work and dedication to the complex embezzlement case.
During an administrative hearing regarding whether to suspend a DUI suspect's Drivers License, Casey Arbenz successfully argued that the citing officer's report was statutorily inadequate. The Department of Licensing's motion to suspend the client's license was dismissed.
Casey Arbenz argued two motions for discretionary review in front of the Washington State Court of Appeals, Division One in Seattle.
Wayne Fricke and Casey Arbenz represented a client in Grant County, Washington who was facing a negligent driving charge. The facts were such that the prosecutor was threatening to add a count of Driving Under the Influence.
Attorney Casey Arbenz represented an electrician at risk of losing his license for an allegedly improper hookup. After several months of negotiation with the Department of Licensing and Attorney General's Office, Mr. Arbenz was able to successfully resolve the matter in a way that was very pleasing to his client.
Casey Arbenz fought to have his client's citation for Negligent Boating dismissed. The trial judge in Lakewood Municipal Court agreed to dismiss the case.
Casey Arbenz helped a client facing two charges of Assault in the Fourth Degree and one count of Harassment in Lakewood Municipal Court. Mr. Arbenz convinced the City Attorney's Office to allow his client to enter a six-month stipulated order of continuance - meaning the case will be dismissed in six months time upon successful completion of a few minor conditions.
Casey Arbenz secured a $50,000 policy limit award for a motorist injured by an uninsured driver utilizing his client's Uninsured Motorist (UIM) Policy.
After only one court appearance, Casey Arbenz convinced the prosecuting attorney for the City of Lacey to dismiss an assault in the fourth degree, domestic violence, charge in Lacey Municipal Court. The client was very pleased with the result.
Six months after an arrest for felony assault, and imposition of a required "no-contact order" between the defendant and his family, Mr. Arbenz was able to have the order lifted so that the family could be re-united and begin the process of healing. The underlying case also resolved favorably, with the charges to be dismissed in two years upon successful compliance with treatment and law abiding behavior.
Following mediation, Mr. Arbenz secured a $200,000 settlement for a client injured by bouncers at an Olympia tavern. The bouncers had criminal records and instigated the brawl that caused his client's injuries.
Casey Arbenz settled a personal injury case for a client who fell down a flight of stairs that were out-of-compliance with building codes. His client was very happy with the $100,000 settlement.
A recent client was accused of threatening to kill a Tacoma Police Officer. Mr. Arbenz was able to have the felony charges reduced to misdemeanors.