Diane M. Butler

Shareholder | Seattle | 206.223.7715 |

Areas of Practice

Diane Butler focuses her practice on business immigration and manages the Firm’s immigration and Canada practices. Diane graduated with honors from the University of Wyoming. After spending time in Shanghai, China, working for the Canadian law firm of Bull, Housser & Tupper, she received her law degree from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Diane is rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell®, which identifies a lawyer with very high to preeminent legal ability, recommended by Chambers USA’s Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Immigration, and was named as a “Washington Super Lawyer” in Super Lawyers magazine. Chambers USA’s Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business states that “she is held in high regard by peers, while clients praise her responsiveness and round-the-clock availability,” and one client stated “if Diane can’t do it then no one can. She possesses great attention to detail and thoroughness.” She was also named as a “Top Business Immigration Lawyer” in Seattle Business magazine, as well as a “Top Lawyer” by her peers in Seattle Magazine. She is a member of the national American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) liaison committee for Transformation issues. In addition, Diane holds a Yellow Belt certification in Legal Lean Sigma® and Project Management. Her remarks have been quoted in The New York Times, and other publications, and she has been interviewed on KING-5 TV news.

Admitted to Practice

  • Washington
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • U.S. Court of International Trade

Academics and Accreditations

  • George Washington University, National Law Center (J.D., 1992)
  • University of Wyoming (B.A., cum laude, 1983)
  • Legal Lean Sigma® and Project Management — Yellow Belt Certification

Practice Group and Specialty Team Memberships

  • Chair, Canada Practice Group
  • Immigration Practice Group
  • International Business
  • Diversity Committee

Representative Clients

  • Nordstrom, Rhapsody, Cray, Indochino and HTC

Representative Practice Areas

  • Temporary, Nonimmigrant Work and Business Status
  • Employment-Based Permanent Resident Status (“Green Cards”)
  • Company Compliance with Immigration Laws and Worksite Enforcement
  • Naturalization and Citizenship Issues
  • Strategizing and Problem Solving — Assessment of issues, development of strategies, and contact with government officials concerning issues including the following:
    • Applying for visas U.S. embassies and abroad
    • Applying for extensions of stay
    • Handling visa denials
    • Denial at U.S. border ports of entry
    • Waiver of inadmissibility for prior indiscretions or violations
    • Response to Request for Evidence from the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (“US CIS,” formerly the Immigration and Naturalization Service “INS”)
  • Other Immigration Matters
    • Re-entry Permits (“White Passports”)
    • Special Immigrant Visas
    • Political Asylum

TV/Radio Interviews

  • “Duvall Farm Faces $1 Million Fine For Illegal Hiring,” Interviewed by KUOW Radio (April 23, 2012)


  • Principal Contributor to the Immigration Edge Blog
  • “Africans wary of US travel after series of border denials,” CNN, Quoted (April 19, 2017)
  • “Immigrant Advocates Hail Ruling Blocking Trump’s Travel Ban,” Wall Street Journal, Quoted (March 16, 2017)
  • “Federal Judge Temporarily Halts Trump Order on Immigration, Refugees,” Wall Street Journal, Quoted (February 4, 2017)
  • “Safe Harbor Period for H-1B Petitions Following Job Site Changes Ends January 15,” Lane Powell Legal Update (December 22, 2015)
  • “After 7 Years of Bureaucratic Limbo, Alaskan Stuck in Russia Finally Returns Home,” Alaska Dispatch News, Quoted (August 22, 2015)
  • “EB-5 RCBJ Retrospective: Form I-924A as a National Security and Fraud Detection Tool,” Invest In the USA Regional Center Industry Weekly Report, Co-author (May 8, 2015)
  • “H-1B Quota for October 1: Prepare Labor Condition Applications by March 16,” Lane Powell Legal Update (March 5, 2015)
  • “Obama Immigration Executive Action: How It Affects Business and Employment,” Lane Powell Legal Update (November 21, 2014)
  • “U.S. Expands Visas to Chinese Citizens to 10 Years,” Immigration Edge Blog, Lane Powell PC (November 11, 2014)
  • “Banks and the EB-5 Program: Look Before You Leap,” Issues and Answers magazine, Washington Bankers Association, Co-author (September/October 2014)
  • “Commuting to the United States as a Permanent Resident: ‘Alien Commuters’ or ‘Green Card Commuters,’” Lane Powell White Paper (May 28, 2014)
  • “H-1B Visa for Foreign Employees During the Shutdown,” Corporate Counsel, Quoted (October 16, 2013)
  • “Does Employment of a Person Without Legal Authorization to Work in the United States Count as Harboring an Illegal Alien?” Puget Sound Business Journal ADR and Litigation Q&A Column Titled “Ask the Legal Professionals” (November 25, 2011)
  • “Immigration and Investments in the United States,” Sounding Board Newspaper, The Vancouver Board of Trade (November 2011)
  • “Handling Social Security No-Match Letters — What Employers Need to Know,” BUILDERnews magazine (August 2011)
  • “Number of Immigration Compliance Audits Soars,” Compliance Week, Quoted (March 29, 2011)
  • “Immigration Sweep on Employers’ I-9 Forms,” World Law Group’s World Law Reports (Fall 2010)
  • “On Thin Ice” (The Hamoui Family Political Asylum Story), Washington Law & Politics (December 2007)
  • Thompson’s HR Employment Forms, Revised 3rd Ed., Contributing author (2007)
  • “Current Immigration Debate Masks Gap in the Law,” The Seattle Times Op-Ed (August 24, 2006)
  • “Immigration Enforcement in the Construction Industry,” BUILDERnews Magazine (August 2006)

Speaking Engagements

  • “The Impact of Regulatory Changes on the M&A Market,” The Seminar Group’s 11th Annual Mergers and Acquisitions Seminar (November 1, 2017)
  • “Business Immigration Under the New Administration,” Lane Powell Immigration Seminar, Co-presenter (April 19, 2017)
  • “Business Immigration Update: One Month With the New Administration,” Lane Powell Business Immigration Webinar, Presenter (February 23, 2017)
  • KORUS FTA and Professional Visa Seminar, Korean American Bar Association and the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Seattle, Panelist (October 26, 2016)
  • “But Office, I Only Had One,” American Immigration Lawyers Association Fall Conference, Panelist (September 23, 2016)
  • “Options for Challenging USCIS Adverse Decisions and Denials,” American Immigration Lawyers Association Washington State Monthly Chapter Meeting (November 7, 2014)
  • “Free Trade and Immigration 20 Years Later:  U.S. and Canadian Perspectives on the CFTA & NAFTA,” Canada/U.S. Board Immigration: Sixth Annual Fall Conference, American Immigration Lawyers Association, Keynote Speaker, Buffalo, New York (October 17, 2014)
  • “Nonimmigrant Visa Processing in Canada and Mexico for Third Country Nationals,” American Immigration Lawyers Association Podcast (August 7, 2014)
  • “Hiring Foreign Talent,” Employer Executive Leadership Training (April 15, 2014)
  • “Tax, Estate and Immigration Implications for Canadians with U.S. Property Interests,” Royal Bank of Canada Advice Event (September 25, 2013)
  • “The Future of High Skill Immigration,” Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce’s Interactive Discussion, Panelist (September 7, 2012)
  • “Immigration Compliance:  Guiding Your Way Through the Web of Immigration Laws,” Lane Powell Seminar, Seattle (December 6, 2011)
  • “Canadian Border Issues,” American Immigration Lawyers Association “U.S. Immigration Law in the 21st Century:  Navigating Conflicting Agency Interpretations, Regulatory Caps and Local Policies” Conference, Panelist (October 12, 2011)
  • “Immigration Compliance Issues for Employers: I-9 Litigation,” American Immigration Lawyers Association Northwest Regional Conference (March 11, 2011)
  • “Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Litigation & Naturalization Delay Litigation,” American Immigration Lawyers Association Federal Litigation Conference (March 3, 2011)
  • “Employing a Foreign Workforce:  Key Issues Employers Need to Know,” Association of Corporate Counsel Washington State Chapter Meeting (January 26, 2011)
  • “What Employers Need to Know About Immigration Law,” Immigration Works Summit (August 12, 2010)
  • “Gems from the Department of Homeland Security Field Manuals and the Department of State Foreign Affairs Manual,” American Immigration Lawyers Association National Conference  (July 3, 2010)
  • “Hot Topics in Immigration Issues for Employers,” Lane Powell Seminar, Anchorage, Alaska (November 2009)
  • “Managing Immigration Compliance Issues in the Workplace,” American Healthcare Association Webinar (July 2009)
  • “Employer Sanctions & Hot Issues in Employment Enforcement,” American Immigration Lawyers  Association Northwest Annual Conference (February 2009)
  • “Responding to Increased Immigration Worksite Enforcement,” American Immigration Lawyers Association Monthly Meeting (November 2008)
  • “Waivers and Relief for the Nonimmigrant, American Immigration Lawyers Association Fall Conference, Savannah, Georgia (October 2008)
  • “Immigration Update 2007,” Washington State Bar Association, Annual Labor and Employment Conference (November 2007)
  • “Immigration Compliance,” TOC Management Services Conference (September 2007)
  • “What Does CBP Know About Your Client,” American Immigration Lawyers Association Spring Conference (March 2007)
  • “The Games and The Players, North and South of the Border,” 2010 Games Business Seminar, Organizer (November 2005)
  • “Don’t Get Irked by IRCA Regulations — Immigration and I-9 Compliance for Employers,” Lane Powell Employment Law School for Managers, Portland, Oregon, and Seattle (June 2004)
  • “Canadians Working in the United States,” British Columbia Institute for Studies in International Trade, Vancouver, B.C. (May 2004)
  • “Consular Processing Update,” American Immigration Lawyers Association Conference, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (April 2004)
  • “Nonimmigrant Status Update,” Northwest Regional American Immigration Lawyers Association Conference, Seattle (February 2004)
  • “Business Immigration Law,” Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Attorney Training Session (June 2003)
  • “Immigration Law Basics,” Lorman Education Services (May 2003)
  • “Immigration Law,” University of Washington Law School, International Tax Law Course, Guest Speaker (May 2003)
  • “INS Implications for Fishing Vessel Owners” (December 1999 and December 2000)
  • “Cross Border Venture Transactions,” Washington State Bar Association (December 2000)
  • “Immigration Law Under Homeland Security,” Lane Powell Seminar (October 2002)
  • “Immigration Law Basics for Employers,” Lane Powell Seminar (October 2001)
  • “Employment Law Conference,” The Continuing Legal Education Society of B.C. (May 2000)
  • Various Training Presentations for Companies

Awards and Honors

  • AV Preeminent® in Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™
  • Named as one of The Best Lawyers in America®, Immigration (2013-2017)
  • Recommended by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Immigration (2008-2017)
  • Named as a “Washington Super Lawyer,” Super Lawyers® magazine, Immigration (2012-2013)
  • Recommended by Who’s Who Legal, Corporate Immigration (2012)
  • Named as a “Top Business Lawyer” in Immigration, Seattle Business magazine (2008)
  • Named as a “Top Lawyer” by her peers in Seattle Magazine (2005)

Professional and Community Activities

  • City of Seattle, Immigrant Voting Rights Task Force
  • Economic Development Council of Seattle and King County, Brookings Institute, Foreign Direct Investment Steering Committee and Export Development Steering Committee (2014-Present)
  • Medical Legal Partnership, Pro Bono Services (2014-Present)
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association
    • Director, Board of Governors (2011-Present)
    • Member, Distance Learning Committee (2014-Present)
    • Member, Students and Scholars Committee (2013-Present)
    • Member, Department of Homeland Security Transformation Committee (2011-2014)
    • Chair, Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection Committee (2005-2008)
    • Member, Washington Chapter Executive Committee (2002-2004)
  • Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle, Advisory Committee (2005-Present)
  • Gage Academy of Art, Advisory Board (2003-Present)


  • Mandarin Chinese (Conversational)

Diane M. Butler

Shareholder | Seattle | 206.223.7715 |


Diane M. Butler

Shareholder | Seattle | 206.223.7715 |