Attorney Kate Skeehan began her legal career with the Sonoda Law Firm, where she has since focused on criminal and immigration law and the intersection of the two. She specializes in felony and appellate practice, representing those accused of a variety of charges from burglary and armed robbery to drug possession and trafficking, sex-based crimes and crimes against children to aggravated assault and murder. Kate understands that sometimes the most difficult part of any criminal case is the uncertainty of not knowing what will happen. To that end, she uses all tools available to bring her clients the best result, whether that be through skilled negotiation with prosecutors, suppression motions to systematically attack flaws in the DA's case, or effective representation at trial.
Examples of notable results include a successful immunity motion, where Kate proved that her client used a firearm in self-defense; the dismissal of a six-count indictment of sexual exploitation of children; the reduction of a drug trafficking case to mere possession through effective motions practice and negotiations, resulting in the client being released from jail that day; and the granting of a habeas petition where Kate established that her client had not been informed of the certain deportation consequences of his plea as required by law.
Kate graduated Magna Cum Laude from Emory University School of Law in May of 2013. She was selected for membership in the Order of the Barristers, a national honor society promoting excellence in achievement in appellate advocacy. As a member of Emory Moot Court Society, Kate won 7th Best Oralist at the American Bar Association's National Appellate Advocacy Competition. She received a fellowship to work in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in the Office of the Lord Chief Justice, where she researched and advised on sentencing guidelines for convictions of human trafficking in Northern Ireland's highest court. Kate also participated in Emory's International Humanitarian Law Clinic, where she worked for the Public International Law and Policy Group's High Level Working Group on Piracy, analyzing whether piracy triggers international law of war and whether pirates should be treated as criminals, combatants or a hybrid.
Kate graduated from Duke University with a double major in Public Policy Studies and Women's Studies and a minor in Economics. Her research paper, "Impact of gene patents and licensing practices on access to genetic testing for Alzheimer disease," is published in the journal Genetics in Medicine.
*Admitted to practice in Georgia, New York and Federal Immigration Courts.