Frank J. Chmelik


Frank Chmelik represents businesses and governments throughout Washington State.   As a long time municipal lawyer he routinely provides advice on municipal issues law including litigation, public contracting, public records and governance issues.  Frank is the general counsel for the Washington Public Ports Association and a member of the legal committee of the Washington Fire Commissioners Association where he authors a monthly column on municipal legal issues.[1]  As an experienced business lawyer he is the general counsel to Northwest Washington businesses, construction companies, and cooperatives providing a broad range of business and litigation legal advice.  As a well respected environmental lawyer he advises business and governments on regulatory compliance issues including stormwater and operational permits; on all aspects of environmental law including permitting of remediation of complex former industrial sites and sediment sites; and on recovery of remedial costs from other liable parties and historic insurance carriers.  Blending business, municipal, and environmental law Frank has worked with businesses and governments throughout the State on redevelopment or repurposing of historically contaminated industrial Brownfield sites.  Frank was a legal member of the consulting team for the Department of Ecology that authored a report on Brownfield redevelopment. [2]

Frank Chmelik started his legal career as a U.S. Army JAG Corps officer where he served as a prosecutor and defense counsel at Fort Lewis, Washington.  He then worked for the Seattle law firm, Karr Tuttle Campbell. In 1987, he moved to Bellingham where he co-founded the law firm of Chmelik Sitkin & Davis, P.S.   Frank is the general counsel for the Washington Public Ports Association and a member of the legal committee of the Washington Fire Commissioners Association.  He has been a faculty member of the Colorado based National CLE Conference® where he has taught environmental law and Brownfield redevelopment.  Each year, since 1999, Frank has been chosen by Washington Law & Politics Magazine as a “Super Lawyer®” representing the top 5% of the lawyers in Washington.  Frank has served as a member of the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates and as a member of the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Military Law.  In 2014 Frank was elected a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.


[2] The 2011 report, published by the Department of Ecology entitled Washington State Brownfields Policy Recommendations – Redeveloping Brownfields/Revitalizing Our Communities  is available at

  • Claremont McKenna College (B.A., cum laude, Political Science
    and Economics, 1978)
  • Hastings College of Law (J.D., 1981)
Professional Associations & Memberships
  • Washington State Bar Association - admitted (1984)
  • Minnesota State Bar Association - admitted (1982)
  • California State Bar Association - admitted (1981)
  • United States District Court – Northern District of California
  • United States District Court – Western District of Washington
  • Fellow of the American Bar Foundation
  • Whatcom County Bar Association
Community Involvement
  • Bellingham Bay Rotary Club, Member
  • Mount Baker Chapter of the American Red Cross, Chair of Board
  • Bellingham YWCA, Member of the Board of Trustees
  • Former Volunteer Firefighter/EMT, Local fire district