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Kelley J. Sweeney
Founding Partner 

Kelley was born in Whittier, California and raised in Bellevue, Washington.   Kelley received her Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration, with concentrations in Finance and Organization & Environment from the University of Washington. She was Captain of the University of Washington Women’s Volleyball Team. Kelley received her Juris Doctor, Cum Laude, from the Seattle University School of Law.

​Kelley began her legal career within the Corrections Division of the Washington State Attorney General’s Office wherein she had the opportunity as a Rule 9 Legal Intern to draft several successful summary judgment motions dismissing inmate Section 1983 claims and participated in parole revocation hearings.

Kelley then spent five years with the Washington State Office of the Attorney General as an Assistant Attorney General, first in the Licensing and Employment Security Division and then in the Torts Division.  In the Torts Division, she defended a variety of tort, civil rights, employment and personal injury lawsuits and claims against several State agency clients. As an AAG, she tried over 20 cases to successful jury verdicts, and argued multiple cases in the Court of Appeals.

​In 2001, Kelley joined Safeco Insurance Company as a defense attorney.  She became the managing attorney of the Tacoma staff counsel office in 2005 and then the Safeco Seattle staff counsel office in 2007.  Safeco was acquired by Liberty Mutual Group, Inc. in 2009 and Kelley continued to manage the Seattle Field Legal and eventually the  Spokane Field Legal offices.  She worked for Safeco and Liberty Mutual for 17 years, defending commercial and personal liability claims for negligence, wrongful death, timber trespass, premises liability, veterinary malpractice, landslide, dog attacks and worksite injury.  As managing attorney, she oversaw the work of 28 attorneys on over 1200 litigated files while also trying her own cases and arguing her own appeals. Over the course of her career, Kelley has tried nearly 50 cases to verdict and argued appeals in all three divisions of the Court of Appeals.

​In 2018, Kelley joined Bret Simmons and Jill Smith to form Simmons Sweeney Smith PS. At that firm, and now at Simmons Sweeney Freimund Smith Tardif PLLC, Kelley defends both insurance and municipal damage claims. Kelley has served as an arbitrator in King and Pierce Counties and for several insurance companies in first party binding arbitration matters. She has also served as a mediator in damage claims.

​Kelley is a longtime member of the Washington Defense Trial Lawyers and the King County Bar Associations. She holds a position on the Executive Board of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) which is a national association of experienced trial lawyers and judges. ABOTA membership is by invitation only.

Kelley has been a speaker and a presenter at numerous Continuing Legal Education seminars for the Washington Defense Trial Lawyers and King County Bar Association. She has volunteered to judge many mock trial competitions for YMCA Youth & Government, and Seattle University School of Law.

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