Elizabeth “Bets” Bracelin was one of the founding members of our firm.
Bets was one of the founders of Washington Women Lawyers and served on the board of advisors of the Northwest Women’s Law Center. She served on the Board of Governors of the Washington State Bar Association from the 7th District from 1983 to 1986. She was the first elected woman president of the Washington State Bar Association. She was one of the charter members of the Damage Attorneys Round Table and was a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. In 1993, she was honored as a distinguished graduate by the University of Washington School of Law.
Bets’ trial practice was varied. She was recognized as an authority in employment discrimination and labor law. In the early 1970s, along with other members of the firm, Bets was counsel for the plaintiffs in the case of Van Bronkhorst v. Safeco, a class action by women employees claiming sexual discrimination against the insurance company. This was the first white collar case of its type to be successfully litigated as a class action under a new law – Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Filed in August of 1971, the case was settled for a then-unprecedented $1,000,000. In addition to employment discrimination, her practice included medical negligence, personal injury and domestic relations litigation.
A Seattle native, Bets was a graduate of Holy Names Academy and the University of Washington, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 1967. From the University of Washington Law School, she received her J.D. degree in 1969 and was Law Review editor. Prior to becoming a founding member of our firm, Bets was an associate with the firm of Horswill, Keller, Rohrback, Waldo & Moen.
Bets was a stellar example of dedication and commitment to her profession. She died after a long and courageous battle with polycystic kidney disease on December 27, 1996, at age 51.