D. Michael Reilly

Shareholder | Seattle | 206.223.7051 |

Areas of Practice

Mike Reilly, a nationally recognized employment attorney recently named one of the “Top 100 Most Powerful Employment Attorneys in the Nation” by Human Resource Executive®, is the Director of Lane Powell’s Labor and Employment and Employee Benefits Practice Group. Mike represents small and large employers in employment litigation and provides advice in claims involving discrimination, wrongful discharge, ERISA and non-ERISA employee benefit claims, retaliation, wage/hour and disability claims. He has successfully tried over 75 jury trials, arbitrations and bench trials, and claims before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Washington State Human Rights Commission. Mike has served as lead counsel in an employee raiding/trade secret case as reported in the Wall Street Journal, and defended companies in class action claims.

Mike also was named Seattle’s 2012 and 2015 “Lawyer of the Year” for his work in ERISA and employee benefits litigation by Best Lawyers®. He is consistently listed in The Best Lawyers of America® for his work in Employee Benefits, Employment Management, Labor Management and ERISA Litigation. Seattle Business magazine ranked Mike a “Top Lawyer” in Labor and Employment Law. Chambers USA’s Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business listed Mike as a “Leading Lawyer,” describing him as “truly phenomenal [with] superb legal instincts.” Mike also is the founder and a contributor to the Firm’s Boom: The ERISA Law Blog. His remarks on employment issues have been quoted in Newsweek, Corporate Legal Times, Seattle Times, Employee Relations Law Journal, Puget Sound Business Journal,, and other professional journals and management publications.

Mike also serves as Chair of the Board of Regents for Gonzaga University.

Professional Experience

  • EEOC Training Institute, Annual Speaker
  • The Honorable J.B. McInturff, Appellate Law Clerk

Admitted to Practice

  • Washington, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and pro hac vice admission in Oregon, Idaho, Alaska, California and Montana


  • Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. (J.D.)
    • Catholic University of America Law Review, Board of Editors, Member
  • Gonzaga University, Spokane Washington (B.B.A., cum laude)
    • Outstanding Student of the Year Award
    • School of Business Administration Excellence Award
    • Loyalty in Leadership Award
    • Albert Mann Debate Award

Lane Powell Practice Group and Specialty Team Memberships

  • Director, Lane Powell Labor and Employment and Employee Benefits Practice Group
  • Chair, Lane Powell Retail Industry Team
  • Member, Lane Powell Board of Directors
  • Education
  • Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation
  • Employment Arbitration
  • Ethics Compliance and Whistleblower Internal Investigations
  • Life, Health, Disability and ERISA
  • Financial Institutions
  • Food, Beverage and Hospitality
  • Health Care
  • International Arbitration

Representative Clients

  • Nordstrom, Home Depot, Seattle Seahawks, KeyBank, Starbucks, Rhapsody International, Intermec, Tesoro, Michaels Stores, Carquest, Bank of America, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Knowledge Learning Centers, Ferrellgas, Seattle Chamber of Commerce, Kadlec Medical Center, Diamond Parking, City of Tacoma, Chelan County PUD

Representative Matters

  • Successful jury trials representing specialty retailers and Fortune 100 Companies in claims involving race, gender and disability discrimination, and retaliation
  • Patch v. FGI (Seattle Seahawks) (King County Superior Court September 2014) (Summary judgment in retaliation claim)
  • Claffey v. Starbucks (Snohomish County Superior Court July 2013) (Summary Judgment in FMLA retaliation claim)
  • Simpson v. Inter-Con Sec. Sys., Inc., 2013 WL 1966145 (W.D. WA May 10, 2013) (Granting motion to compel employment arbitration)
  • Lattin v. Worldpac (W.D. Washington 2011) (Defeated class certification on wage/hour claims)
  • Noren v. Jefferson Pilot, 378 Fed. Appx. 696 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 2010 U.S. Lexis 9334 (2010) (Affirming Summary Judgment in ERISA fiduciary duty claim)
  • Kendall and Rahlfs v. Home Depot, U.S.D.C., Alaska (Obtained summary judgment against both plaintiffs (former store managers) alleging age and disability discrimination) (2009)
  • Calence v. Dimension Data et al., U.S.D.C., W.D. Washington (Trade secret and unfair competition claim representing plaintiff; defeated all defendants’ motions for summary judgment and obtained settlement during jury trial) (2007)
  • Blomster v. Nordstrom, Washington State Court of Appeals (FMLA: No implied private right of action; Published Opinion)
  • Weyer v. Twentieth Century Fox, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (ERISA/ADA: Mental disability issues; Published Opinion)
  • Guijosa v. Wal-Mart, Washington State Supreme Court (Race discrimination defense verdict upheld; Published Opinion)
  • Eaton v. Equilon, U.S.D.C., W.D. Washington (ERISA Class Action contingent workers; Dismissed)
  • Wal-Mart v., King County Superior Court (Represented Plaintiff in employee raiding and trade secret case)
  • Harmon v. Home Depot, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (Affirming defense judgment in sexual harassment and hostile work environment case; Published Opinion)


  • Principal blog contributor, BOOM: The ERISA Law Blog, Lane Powell PC
  • “Five Tips for Reducing BYOD’s Legal Risks,” FierceMobileIT, Quoted (February 9, 2015)
  • “The BYOD Question: Sound Advice on ‘Bring Your Own Device’ to Work,” Seattle Business magazine (February 2015)
  • “Security Screenings Settled?” Human Resource Executive Online, Quoted (December 31, 2014)
  • “What Does the Recent Hobby Lobby Decision Mean for Washington Employers?” Puget Sound Business Journal Best Practices for Best Employers™:  How to Become a Best Workplace Starting Today Special Insert (August 22, 2014)
  • “Internships: Yea or Nay? A Good Program Will Generate Benefits, but Be Sure to Do It Right,” Seattle Business magazine (July 2014)
  • “’Best Practices’ Audit Checklist for Employers — Are You in Compliance? 50 Questions to Ask Yourself,” Puget Sound Business Journal Best Practices for Best Employers™:  How to Become a Best Workplace Starting Today Special Insert (September 6, 2013)
  • “Say What? Terminated Employees ‘Own’ Their LinkedIn Accounts (and the Company’s Trade Secrets)?” Seattle Business magazine (July 2013)
  • “Wage and Hour Compliance Checklist — How to Avoid Class Actions and Prepare for a Government Audit,” Seattle Business magazine (May 2013)
  • “Mandatory Arbitration Can Work for Employers and Employees,” Puget Sound Business Journal (December 14, 2012)
  • “If the Shoe Fits: Avoiding Tax Liability From Employee Misclassifications,” Puget Sound Business Journal Best Practices for Best Employers™: How to Become a Best Workplace Starting Today Special Insert (September 7, 2012)
  • “Employment Challenges for Community Banks and Key Tips to Stay Ahead,” Community Bankers of Washington magazine (Fall 2011)
  • “The Low-Down on Layoffs — Thinking About a Reduction in Force?” Seattle Business magazine, Co-author (June 2009)
  • “Human Resources 2008: Answers to Your Top 25 Questions,” Thompson Publications, Co-author (2008)
  • ”ERISA Fiduciary Claims: Planning, Protecting and Preparing for Class Actions,” Employee Relations Law Journal (2005)
  • “High Court Opens the Door For Age Discrimination Cases: Companies Should Get Their Policies in Order to Avoid Potential Suits,” Corporate Legal Times, Featured (June 2005)
  • “Job Nightmare — When is a Company Responsible For a Shooting?” Newsweek, Featured (July 2003)

Speaking Engagements

  • “Internships A to Z,” Lake Washington Human Resource Association’s March Chapter Meeting, Co-presenter (March 10, 2015)
  • “Revenge Is Sweet, but Has a Bitter Aftertaste — The Continued Surge in Retaliation and Whistleblowing Claims,” Lane Powell’s 32nd Annual Labor and Employment Seminar, Seattle (September 9, 2014)
  • “Tips on How to Conduct an EEO Investigation,” Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s 2013 Technical Assistance Program Seminar (September 26, 2013)
  • “Holistic Guide to Handling High Profile Employment Cases,” Human Resource Law Forum (July 2013)
  • “New Challenges, New Opportunities:  What to Expect When Arbitrating Employment Disputes,” Washington State Bar Association’s Employment Law Institute (June 25, 2013)
  • “The Interactive Process and the ADA, FMLA, and Worker’s Compensation,” Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s 2012 Technical Assistance Program Seminar (September 11, 2012)
  • “Investigations: Trepidation, Systematization and Documentation,” Northwest Human Resource Management Association Conference (October 6, 2011)
  • “Winning the Class Certification Battle in Wage/hour Litigation,” American Conference Institute, San Francisco, Calif. (September 21, 2011)
  • “Investigations: Trepidation, Systematization and Documentation,” Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s 2011 Technical Assistance Program Seminar (August 2011)
  • “New and Anticipated Legislation, Regulations and Amendments Affecting the Retaliation and Discrimination,” American Conference Institute, New York, N.Y. (July 27, 2011)
  • “Ethical Obligations of Pleadings and Briefing,” Washington State Bar Association’s “8th Annual Law of Lawyering Conference” (November 9, 2010)
  • “The Surge in High-Exposure Retaliation Claims,” American Conference Institute (February 25, 2010)
  • “The Nuts and Bolts of Twitter and Social Media for Employers: How to Use It, What’s to Gain, Guidance to Minimize Risk,” Washington Society of Association Executives (November 2009)
  • “ERISA and Employee Benefit Litigation Law Update,” National ERISA Law Forum (June 13, 2006)

Awards and Honors

  • Twice named Seattle’s “Lawyer of the Year” for his work in employee benefits (ERISA) litigation by Best Lawyers® (2012, 2015)
  • Named one of the “Top 100 Most Powerful Employment Attorneys in the Nation” by Human Resource Executive® (2012-2014)
  • AV Preeminent® in Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™
  • Recommended by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Labor and Employment
  • Named in The Best Lawyers in America®, Employment Management, Labor Management, ERISA Litigation (2010-2015); Employee Benefits (2010-2013)
  • Named in “Top Business Lawyers,” Seattle Business magazine
  • Named as a “Washington Super Lawyer,” Super Lawyers magazine, Labor and Employment, Employment Litigation: Defense

Professional and Community Activities

  • Chair, Board of Regents, Gonzaga University
  • Member, Board of Trustees, Gonzaga Preparatory High School
  • Commissioner, Washington State Economic Development Commission (2005-2007)
  • Gubernatorial Debate Consultant to the Governor, State of Washington
  • Past Member, Board of Directors, American Red Cross

D. Michael Reilly

Shareholder | Seattle | 206.223.7051 |


D. Michael Reilly

Shareholder | Seattle | 206.223.7051 |


D. Michael Reilly

Shareholder | Seattle | 206.223.7051 |