Robert E. Mack

Robert Mack is a founding member of the Smith Alling firm. Before joining the firm, he served in a number of positions in Washington State government, including Legal Counsel to the Governor, Assistant Secretary of State, Assistant Attorney General, and special counsel to the State Senate.

At Smith Alling, he has represented clients on matters involving land use, water rights, shoreline development and use, and state and local administrative matters. In addition, he represented clients – municipalities, associations, and others – on state legislative and executive branch matters. He was involved in development of Washington State’s Growth Management Act and municipal water law.

In 2007, he took a leave of absence to serve as Deputy Director of Tacoma Public Utilities (TPU), a regional provider of power, water, rail, and telecommunications services. In 2017, he retired as Deputy Director for Public Affairs and Communications, and ended his leave of absence from Smith Alling. In commending him, the TPU Board concluded that “Mr. Mack has mastered the art of defusing difficult situations through the use of humor and self-deprecation.”

Former Board Memberships

  • Bellarmine Preparatory School (Tacoma), Board Member
  • Chinese Reconciliation Project, Board Member
  • City Club of Tacoma, President
  • Futurewise (formerly 1,000 Friends of Washington), Board Member
  • Tacoma Community Boat Builders, Board Member
  • Tacoma Historical Society, Board Member
  • Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce, Board Member
  • Tahoma Audubon Society, Board Member
  • Washington Environmental Council
  • Washington State Bar Association, Editorial Advisory Board
  • Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, Board Member

Past Positions

  • Washington State Government, Legal Counsel to the Governor
  • Washington State Government, Assistant Secretary of State
  • Washington State Government, Assistant Attorney General
  • Washington State Government, Special Counsel to the State Senate

Current Board Positions

  • Washington State Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, Board Member
  • Pierce County Board of Equalization
  • Slavonian American Benevolent Association


  • Best Lawyers in America, 1999 - 2000
  • Super Lawyer (Washington Law and Politics), 2000
  • Martindale-Hubbell Rating: AV
Robert E. Mack
  • Shareholder
  • Founding Member

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Practice Areas

  • Administrative Law
  • Business and Corporate Law
  • Environmental and Natural Resources Law
  • Land Use and Real Estate Law
  • Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Municipal and Utility Law


  • Harvard University Law School
    • J.D. - 1975
  • Harvard University
    • A.B. - 1972

Bar Admissions

  • Washington, 1975
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1979
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Washington
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Washington
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit