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About Us

A watchdog for all Washingtonians. 

Citizen Action Defense Fund is a watchdog for all Washingtonians, helping to ensure that state and local governments play by the rules and that the public’s constitutional rights are protected. We achieve these goals by supporting and pursuing strategic, high-impact litigation in cases where we have an opportunity to advance free markets, restrain government overreach or defend constitutional rights.

We are a nonprofit corporation and registered charity with both the IRS and Washington state. We are a recognized 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization and we receive financial support from donors across the state.

Working tirelessly to preserve your rights.

Washingtonians need a watchdog for constitutional rights and governmental accountability, and a team that isn’t afraid to fight for those causes in court. There are other legal organizations that are are dedicated to advancing progressive causes, that have a national scope, or that focus only on particular issues. We are focused on Washington State, litigation is our primary tactic, and we advocate for all manner of constitutional causes.

Defending your rights by winning legal battles.

As a watchdog over state and local government, we file lawsuits, represent affected parties and intervene in other cases when the state enacts laws that violate the state or federal constitutions, when government officials take actions that infringe upon First Amendment or other constitutional rights, or when agencies promulgate rules in violation of state law.

If you know of a case where our team might be able to help, let us know.

Experienced leaders fighting for your rights.

Citizen Action Defense Fund is overseen by a board of directors and guided by the expertise of over a dozen highly-experienced attorneys practicing throughout Washington.

Want to get in touch? Contact us here.

Board of Directors

Jackson Maynard

Executive Director

Jackson has practiced law in the public and private sector for over 20 years. He is a former prosecutor and worked as a staff attorney to the Washington State Senate. Prior to joining CADF in a full-time capacity, he served as General Counsel for the Building Industry Association of Washington.

Paul Graves

Director

Paul is general counsel for a large family-owned transportation company. He previously worked at a world-class law firm in Seattle and represented Washington’s 5th Legislative District in the House of Representatives.

Dann Mead Smith

Director

Dann Mead Smith has served as President of Washington Policy Center, the state’s premier public policy think tank, since 2001. He has testified at dozens of legislative hearings in Olympia and appeared on numerous radio and TV programs around the state and the nation.

Craig A. Williamson

Director

Craig is an accomplished business executive with experience as a CEO in the engineering and construction industries and later, running his own business. He has been active in the realm of public policy for over two decades, serving as a board member and two term Chairman of the Board at the Washington Policy Center. In addition, he authored the thought-provoking book, Regarding Things That Matter

Staff

Sam Spiegelman

Associate Counsel

Sam is an expert on constitutional law who has litigated cases before local, state, and federal courts, including as an amicus before the United States Supreme Court. He received his law degree at the University of Virginia School of Law.

Paige Jaramillo

Office Manager & Paralegal

Paige started her career in sales and has worked in the legal field for seven years. She has her BA in Mass Communication & Media Studies from Arizona State University and along with office management and paralegal support, she handles communication and social media for CADF.

Attorney Advisory Board

  • Bill Maurer, Seattle
  • Callie Castillo, Seattle
  • Chris Corry, Yakima
  • Dan Brady, Bellingham
  • David DeWolf, Spokane
  • Diane Tebelius, Issaquah
  • Harry Korrell, Seattle
  • Heather Burgess, Olympia
  • Hunter Abell, Seattle
  • Jay Smith, out of state
  • Joel Ard, Bainbridge Island
  • Julie Sund Nichols, Shelton
  • Paul Graves, Seattle
  • Rob Maguire, Seattle
  • Ronald Berenstain, Seattle