Born and raised in Spokane, Scott is a true Eastern Washingtonian. Scott attended high school at Gonzaga Prep where he was a student body officer and national debate champion. After graduating Gonzaga Prep in 1990, Scott attended Pacific Lutheran University, graduating in 1994 with a double major in history and political science. From Pacific Lutheran, Scott moved east, and attended the University of Baltimore School of Law, in Baltimore, Maryland. At the University of Baltimore, Scott was one of an 8-member mock trial that advanced to the national finals in 1996 and 1997. Scott graduated from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 1997.
During law school, Scott had the privilege to work as an intern for Federal Judge Marvin Garbis, of United States District Court for the District of Maryland, as a legal intern for the Maryland law firm Reese and Carney, and as a legal intern for the Benton County Prosecutor’s Office in Kennewick.
After graduating from the University of Baltimore, Scott was happy to return home to Eastern Washington, and honored to accept a position as a deputy prosecutor with the Benton County Prosecutor’s Office in 1997. Scott worked in District Court, Juvenile Court, where he was promoted to Chief Juvenile Court Deputy, and Superior Court, where he was further promoted to Chief Deputy of the criminal division. Scott prosecuted criminal cases ranging from DUI, to livestock rustling, to complex white collar theft, kidnapping, rape, and murder. Scott has argued extensively in Division III of the Washington State Court of Appeals and has argued before the Washington State Supreme Court. After over 12 years of public service at the Benton County Prosecutor’s Office, Scott left the office in 2009 to go into private practice.
In 2009, Scott joined Sal Mendoza Jr. and Shawn Sant at the Mendoza Law Office. After Shawn was elected Franklin County Prosecutor, Scott became partners with Sal Mendoza and the two formed Mendoza & Johnson in 2011. Sal then became a Benton County Superior Court Judge and later a United States District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Washington. Scott then became law partners with Mia Mendoza. Scott handled all levels of criminal cases and select civil litigation at Mendoza and Johnson.
In October of 2015, Scott was presented with an opportunity to start his own firm. Seeing a need in the Eastern Washington legal community for highly skilled attorney services with rapid crisis response, and without layers of bureaucracy separating the client and lawyer, Scott formed the law firm of Johnson and Orr, with partner Deric Orr. Scott and Deric have been able to implement their philosophy of offering client’s rapid crisis response from highly skilled attorneys that client’s actually have access to.
Scott has tried over 200 jury trials and countless bench trials. Scott has had significant success in having clients found not guilty in extremely serious cases. Scott has also been able to secure hundreds of thousands of dollars in awards and settlements for his civil clients.
I’m a Tri-Cities native, having graduated from Hanford High School. In 2009, I graduated from the University of Washington after having to witness entirely too many losing football seasons. At the University of Washington, I majored in English and will never let you forget it. I then went on to attend the University of Illinois School of Law in Urbana-Champaign.
After earning my law degree, I decided to return to the Pacific Northwest to be closer to my family. I immediately began my legal career at the Benton County Office of Public Defense. I have always been exclusively interested in and committed to the practice of criminal law. While at the Office of Public Defense, I spent time in District Court handling misdemeanors and gross misdemeanors for indigent clients. After spending a year and a half with the Office of Public Defense, I was hired as an Associate at Mendoza & Johnson, where I expanded from misdemeanors to felony charges and became federally licensed in the Eastern District of Washington.
In 2015, I partnered with Scott Johnson to form the Johnson & Orr Law Firm, where we spent weeks fighting over the logo.
In private practice, I quickly realized that often what separates a good attorney is not necessarily legal prowess, but communication. Too many attorneys are unable or simply unwilling to allow for transparency, to not only make decisions, but the reasoning behind those decisions. These are difficult choices to make; one that requires a collaborative effort with our clients. It is easy to forget that most everyone seeking legal counsel is enduring one of the most trying times of their life, but it shapes everything. I have always been passionate about my role as an advocate for my clients, and that doesn’t exist in a vacuum at the courthouse.
Outside of my private practice, I hold a position on the Benton & Franklin County Adult Drug Court. This has provided me an opportunity to secure close ties to the treatment community, while also allowing me to work towards criminal justice reform. I will unabashedly advocate for any all reforms to our justice system and I rarely will bite my tongue about it. I like to believe that advocacy helps guide me in my individual relationships with my client. In addition to this position, I have helped coach the Richland High School Mock-Trial team for the last two years in a futile effort to appear youthful.
I pride myself on honest, clear communication that helps my clients find empowerment by understanding their options. Clients can look forward to accessible representation, vigorous preparation, and effective resolutions. Whether you have been accused of committing a misdemeanor or felony, Johnson & Orr provides skilled representation in a wide variety of criminal law matters.