- University of Washington School of Law, Seattle, Washington
- J.D. – 2020
- Washington State University
- B.A. – 2016
- University of Washington School of Law, CALI Excellence for the Future Award®, Trial Advocacy II, 2019
- University of Washington School of Law, CALI Excellence for the Future Award®, International Law, 2018
Benjamin Watson began training as a lawyer in college as the captain of the mock trial team, where he competed—and won—in regional mock trial competitions. He recognized that he flourished in an environment with a set of rules and facts around which he could create and apply theories to support a position, and he applied to law school. Today, at PCVA, Benjamin uses his talents and experiences to represent injured people and victims of childhood sex abuse at settlement or trial.
Benjamin is an integral part of the team that represents victims in abuse claims against entities that have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for children, including the Boy Scouts of America and various Catholic dioceses. In many cases, the abuses occurred decades ago and the victims no longer have access to the courts due to state statutes of limitations. In states with strict time limits, Benjamin worked with the team to file claims against the BSA during its bankruptcy process. In other states, where previously time-barred claims are now allowed to be brought, Benjamin is the lead associate handling all BSA cases and is the lead associate in cases against dioceses in Pennsylvania. As lead associate, he is responsible for coordinating complaints, lawsuits, depositions, motions, and more.
Benjamin has always gravitated towards helping others, particularly through their dark times. From this experience, he understands how difficult it is for anyone, especially childhood sex abuse victims, to dig up traumatic memories in order to mount a legal case. He believes his initial conversation with the client is critical, and is mindful that in many cases the victim has been denied a voice for years. He works to build trust by being a compassionate and thoughtful listener and letting the client control the flow of the exchange.
When talking to a victim about the abuse they experienced, Benjamin follows a proven strategy. More than anything, he believes it is his job to let them finally feel heard, and to memorialize their experience in writing. This, he knows, is worth a lot to most victims, regardless of the case outcome or financial compensation. For many, to be heard and to have their pain recognized by someone who wants to help and who listens without judgement or doubt is the first step toward closure and healing.
- $4.25 million settlement for survivors who were sexually abused by a wrestling coach employed by the University Place School District.
- $1.1 million settlement in lawsuit against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for sexual abuse.
- $325,000 settlement for a survivor who was sexually abused by a priest employed by the Archdiocese of Seattle.
- Peterson Wampold Rosato Feldman Luna, Law Clerk, 2019 to 2020
- King County Superior Court, Judicial Extern, 2019