Managing Partner, Lynn Sarko featured in Lawdragon Limelight

July 05, 2022 has recently featured Keller Rohrback Managing Partner, Lynn Sarko, in its popular Lawyer Limelight interview series. In the interview, Lynn, who was previously recognized by Lawdragon as one of the 2022 Leading Lawyers in America, discusses his path to becoming a lawyer, how his early life on farm in Illinois prepared him for his current role leading a nationally recognized law firm, and the work that he is most proud of amongst other interesting topics.

A short excerpt of the interview can be read below: 

Few Lawdragon 500 members have been at the center of as many monumental legal efforts targeting corporate wrongdoing as Lynn Lincoln Sarko. The Seattle-based Keller Rohrback trial lawyer has litigated on behalf of victims of a wide mix of environmental and financial catastrophes, from Exxon Valdez to Enron and Bernie Madoff, among many other high-profile cases. Sarko is now among the nation’s top plaintiffs’ lawyers fighting for recoveries in response to tragedies ranging from the devasting wildfires to the opioid epidemic – continuing a tireless practice that dates to his decision to join Keller Rohrback in 1986. For most of that time, Sarko has also served as the firm’s managing partner.

Lawdragon: How do clients and other lawyers view you?

Lynn Lincoln Sarko: Clients value my counsel for my ability to achieve creative resolutions to complicated legal matters, particularly in multi-party cases. I’ve been told by judges and mediators that my intuition and personality make me especially effective as an advocate.

Parker Folse, an attorney whom I’ve worked with over the years, described me by saying: “While he's vigorous in pursuing his client's interests, he's also charming, non-confrontational, understands people, and tries to be creative in achieving his objectives with a minimum of wasted time and conflict.”  
Still, others have described me as very shrewd, very adaptable. My secret is that people trust me because I’m authentic and I honor my word.

LD: What was your path to becoming a lawyer?

LLS: I now live on Lake Washington in Seattle, but I grew up on a farm near Marengo, Ill. It then had a population of 2,000 and no stoplights. I was fascinated by Illinois native Abraham Lincoln, who is my namesake, and by the small-town lawyers I got to know growing up. My first competitions were showing sheep at local county fairs. 
My formal college education began at the University of Wisconsin, where I earned a bachelor's degree in accounting and finance, followed by an MBA, and then finally a law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School, where I was the editor and chief of the Wisconsin Law Review. Following graduation, I clerked for the honorable Judge Jerome Farris of the 9th Circuit. After that, I worked as a litigation associate for Arnold & Porter, then spent a short stint as a federal criminal prosecutor in the District of Columbia. In 1986 I moved to Seattle and joined my current firm, Keller Rohrback, where I segued into the field of complex civil litigation by first getting involved in a case alleging bid-rigging by the builders of nuclear power plants. Shortly thereafter, I had the honor of representing fishermen and local governments in the Exxon Valdez trial. Now much of my practice involves representing victims in fraud and environmental cases.

I went from being a criminal prosecutor to essentially doing the same thing in private practice because our capitalist system only works if those who cheat are penalized. This is a principle on which I have built my career.

You can read the full interview here.


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