Richard L. Hughes (you can call me Rick) has practiced law since 1987. The first 13 years of his legal career were spent in civil litigation, handling cases initially for public entities and insurance companies at a private firm in the San Francisco area. There he rose to the level of partner in fewer years than any other non-lateral hire in the firm’s 103 year history. His practice later included employment law, construction, and business law. During this time, Rick was also elected to the City Council where he resided, after serving on the planning commission for four years.
In the year 2000, Rick left private practice to become a tenured legal studies faculty member at Highline Community College near Seattle. There he had the opportunity to teach courses in civil litigation, torts, employment law, contracts, civil rights, and real estate.
While in higher education, Rick served as a court-appointed arbitrator for the Superior Courts of Thurston, Mason, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties. He authored the chapter on “damages” in a State Bar Deskbook on Motor Vehicle Accidents, as well as a textbook on legal career advice. He was also legal advisor to the Thurston Economic Development Council.
The “Law Office of Richard L. Hughes, PLLC” was created with the idea that sophisticated, high quality legal services can be delivered in a communicative and cost-effective way that values the client and is always working toward a positive outcome.
In 2004, Richard L. Hughes left higher education to become the LOTT Clean Water Alliance’s first full-time in house General Counsel. As such, Rick was the Chief Legal Officer for a half-billion dollar regional utility, providing advice in a multitude of areas, including labor and employment law, corporate governance, construction, procurement, environmental, land use, insurance, Public Records Act, Open Public Meetings Act, rate setting, water, and general utility risk management. At various times, while the corporation was in its infancy, Rick also oversaw finance, human resources, contracts, and the public records management functions. In 2008, Rick was chosen LOTT’s first “Employee of the Year.”
In 2015, Rick decided to return to his professional roots in private practice, while retaining LOTT as a client. The “Law Office of Richard L. Hughes, PLLC” was created with the idea that sophisticated, high quality legal services can be delivered in a communicative and cost-effective way that values the client and is always working toward a positive outcome. Rick’s return to private practice also supports his belief that working with a lawyer should not be a mysterious, intimidating experience.
Rick also believes in giving back to the community through his time and his financial support. He was a board member of Thurston Together, a local non-profit that advocates for youth drug and alcohol prevention. He served as Board President for five of his seven years with Together. He is also active in Leadership Thurston County, where he has served as a Board of Regents member since 2014, and as Chair in 2015-2016. He is also a member of West Olympia Rotary, and was appointed in 2015 to the Thurston County Water Conservancy Board and the State Bar Diversity Committee.
Richard L. Hughes has been a presenter at the Washington Trial Lawyers Association on the topic of alternative dispute resolution. He was a presenter, and later a panel moderator, at the annual Washington Labor Relations Institute, on topics related to negotiation and collective bargaining. He was a guest speaker on the topic of professionalism at the annual Washington State Paralegal Association Conference.
Rick and his wife of over 30 years reside in Olympia, Washington. They have two kids, one a graduate of the University of Washington and the other a student at Northwest University. In his spare time, Rick enjoys riding a bicycle in various events, such as the Marin Century and the Daffodil Classic. He often rides his bicycle to work and, when the weather allows, he takes his motorcycle for a spin along the many beautiful country roads in Thurston County.