Charlie Roe is an honored local attorney who pioneered the practice area of environmental-resource law beginning when he joined the Washington State Attorney General’s Office in 1960. Among his many accomplishments was to head the office’s Environmental Protection division (and under other titles) for nearly a quarter-century.
Graduating from Tacoma’s Stadium High School in 1949, Charlie received a BA in history from the University of Puget Sound (UPS). While pursuing a Master’s degree in Washington State history at UPS, he was called to active duty in 1954 for three years with the U.S. Air Force. In 1957, he attended the Boalt Hall School of Law at U.C. Berkeley for one year and completed his law degree at the University of Washington (UW) Law School in 1960.
In 1990 Charlie retired from the Attorney General’s Office and joined the Olympia office of Perkins Coie, a large Seattle-based international law firm, where he continued to practice environmental and water resource law until 2008. Still not completely retired, Charlie continues to represent several longtime clients.
Charlie has also been an educator. Over the years he taught at The Evergreen State College (1974) and the law schools at UPS (1985-1990) and Gonzaga University (1973-1977), and supervised the Sea Grant Program of the UW Law School (1970-1972). Both the American Bar Association and the Washington State Bar Association have honored him for establishing continuing education programs, especially in environmental and water issues, and for chairing sections of both organizations. Over the years, he was a consultant on water policy to the federal National Water Commission (1970-1972), as well as serving in all three branches of state government: (1) Assistant Director of Ecology (1967-1969); (2) Counsel to the Natural Resources Committee, Washington State House of Representatives (1970); and (3) Referee, Stevens County Superior Court (1968).
In 1990 the Washington State Legislature passed a resolution commending Charlie for drafting and pursuing to enactment many environmental protection laws, especially during the 60s and 70s. Since 1998 he has served of the board of the Washington Courts Historical Society.
Charlie and Marilyn, his wife of 60 years, have two daughters: Sharon, who heads a consulting firm in St. Andrews, Scotland; and Jeannine, a long-time State Senate staffer, who has served on the Olympia City Council since 2009.
Charlie’s great-great-grandfather, Dr. Nathaniel Ostrander, served on term in the Territorial Legislature and was elected twice as Mayor of Olympia in the 1880s.