Firm Members

Firm Members

James M. Cline

James M. Cline

Jim received his B.A. with distinction in Political Science from the University of Washington in 1980, an M.A. in Political Science from UW in 1982, an M.A. in Economics from the University of Notre Dame in 1986, and his J.D. from the University of Notre Dame Law School in 1986.

After passing the Washington State Bar, Jim served as an associate in a Seattle labor law firm and as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the King County Prosecutor’s Office. Since leaving the Prosecutor’s Office in 1990, Jim has represented law enforcement labor organizations throughout the state.

He has participated in hundreds of cases at every level of state and federal court and various administrative and arbitration tribunals. He has made over 35 appellate oral arguments between his appearances at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Washington State Supreme Court and the Washington Court of Appeals. He has been involved in the negotiation of nearly 300 labor contracts. He has provided counsel in about 160 officer-involved shooting incidents. He has participated in 19 Washington State interest arbitration proceedings.

Jim is a frequent speaker and the author of numerous articles and two books: The Rights of Washington Public Safety Employees: Member’s Manual and The Rights of Washington Public Safety Employees: Representative’s Manual. He is currently planning and developing a number of other public safety labor law books, including a soon to be released book concerning the representation of injured public safety personnel.

M. Katherine Kremer

M. Katherine Kremer

Kate received her B.A. in Political Science from Fairfield University in 1983 and her J.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School in 1987.

After graduation from law school, Kate was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar Association. She practiced several years at the Northwestern Legal Center where she was involved in a variety of civil litigation.

Kate has contributed to the Cline law practice since 1995. Kate’s responsibilities include legal research and writing, litigation and preparation of statistical analysis reports for labor negotiations and interest arbitration. She is responsible for digesting and summarizing more than a 1000 labor contracts within the Cline and Associates database. She has prepared the Master Brief that is the proprietary Cline & Associates brief used to develop interest arbitration arguments. She has testified a number of times about her database reports and is likely the most knowledgeable person in the state on the contents of public safety labor contracts.

Cynthia McNabb

After working for more than a decade as a litigator and corporate counsel in the transportation industry Cynthia joined Cline and Associates in 2012 and worked for a few years in King County government before rejoining in 2017.  She brings her extensive trial and labor and employment experience in that field to serve as a senior litigator in an “Of Counsel” role at Cline and Associates.

Cynthia graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 1995 and then moved to Washington, D.C to work, including an internship with Senator Patty Murray.  While in Washington D.C she earned a Master Degree in Public Policy at the American University.  She attended the Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver, earning her Doctor of Jurisprudence in 2000.  While at the Sturm College of Law, she served as a General Editor and writer for the Transportation Law Journal.

Early in her career she worked at a Washington D.C. law firm specializing in transportation regulation.  She served 3 years as a trial attorney for the United States Department of Transportation prosecuting transportation law violators.  She then moved into corporate counsel positions which provided her extensive experience in labor and employment issues in the transportation industry.

Ben Teets

Ben is a 2013 Graduate of Georgetown Law School. Before attending Georgetown, Ben served in the United States Marine from 2005 to 2010. Ben is committed to public service and labor union representation and worked for various unions while attending Georgetown.  

Upon graduation, he accepted a position in a Seattle labor law firm. Following that, he worked for the National Labor Relations Board. In between his various positions, Ben has worked as a teacher and as a deputy sheriff.  

He joined Cline and Associates in 2019 and primarily handles litigation and client advice for the firm’s clients, in addition to contract negotiations. 


Shanleigh Kennedy

Shanleigh is a 2018 graduate of Case Western Reserve University School of Law. A Seattle native and graduate of Holy Names Academy, Shanleigh attended George Washington University where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in 2010, followed by a Masters Degree in language from Kent State University in 2012. 

Before starting at Cline and Associates in 2019, Shanleigh worked in a number of legal roles, including interning in the U.S Attorneys Office for Northern Ohio. Shanleigh serves the firm and its clients in a wide range of research and writing functions, which include contributing legal content to the firm’s Premium Website. 


Troy Thornton

Troy attended George Mason University undergraduate before moving to the West Coast and attending Seattle University School of Law. While in law school, he pursued his interest in labor law, which included an internship with the Teamsters Union and with the Seattle U Workers’ Rights Clinic. Following Law School, Troy served as in-house General Counsel for a UFCW local.  

Troy started at Cline and Associates in 2019. He serves in a variety of capacities, including as lead negotiator on labor contracts. 


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