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, 2015 and 2017 “Lawyer of the Year” for his work in 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 rated Mike in the top ranking (band one) and described him as “one of Seattle’s top-rate attorneys” who is “truly phenomenal [with] superb legal instincts” and that he is “an amazingly assertive litigator.” 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 on the Board of Trustees 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., 1984)
    • Catholic University of America Law Review, Board of Editors, Member
  • Gonzaga University, Spokane Washington (B.B.A., cum laude, 1981)
    • Outstanding Student of the Year Award
    • School of Business Administration Excellence Award
    • Loyalty in Leadership Award
    • Albert Mann Debate Award

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
  • London Insurance
  • Premises Liability
  • Title III ADA Public Accommodation
  • Transportation Client Team
  • Wage and Hour

Representative Clients

  • Nordstrom, Home Depot, Seattle Seahawks, KeyBank, Starbucks, Vulcan Inc., Bloomin’ Brands, Intermec, Tesoro, Michaels Stores, Bank of America, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Knowledge Learning Centers, Ferrellgas, Seattle Chamber of Commerce, 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
  • Brooks v. Nordstrom (Defense verdict for Nordstrom in disability discrimination case) (March 2016)
  • Swaw v. Safeway, 2015 WL 7431106 (W.D. Washington, November 20, 2015) (Dismissal of recreational marijuana wrongful termination claim)
  • Turnquist v. Nordstrom, Inc. (U.S.D.C., W.D. Washington, July 1, 2015)  (Summary dismissal of class action employment claims)
  • Leiberg v. Bloomin’ Brands, Inc. d/b/a Outback Steakhouse (Obtained dismissal of Franchisor in Title III public accommodation claim) (October 15, 2015)
  • Leiberg v. Red Robin (U.S.D.C., W.D. Washington) (Lead counsel for Red Robin in successful resolution of nationwide class action asserting Title III ADA claims)
  • Brown v. Home Depot (U.S.D.C., February 5, 2015) (Off-duty recreational/medical use of marijuana wrongful discharge claim: motion to dismiss granted)
  • Patch v. Seattle Seahawks (September 2014) (Summary judgment for defendant in retaliation claim)
  • Claffey v. Starbucks (July 2013) (Summary judgment for defendant in FMLA retaliation claim)
  • 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, U.S. Lexis 9334 (2010) (Affirming Summary Judgment in ERISA fiduciary duty claim)
  • Kendall and Rahlfs v. Home Depot (U.S.D.C. Alaska, 2009) (Obtained summary judgment against both plaintiffs (former store managers) alleging age and disability discrimination)
  • Calence v. Dimension Data et al. (U.S.D.C., W.D. Washington, 2007) (Trade secret and unfair competition claim representing plaintiff; defeated all defendants’ motions for summary judgment and obtained settlement during jury trial)
  • 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)


  • “What Employers Need to Know NOW About Washington State’s Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Laws,” Lane Powell Legal Update, Co-author (November 23, 2016)
  • “Seattle Set to Micromanage Private Sector Work Scheduling; Employers Alarmed,” The Lens, Quoted (September 16, 2016)
  • “The End of Unpaid Internships,” Human Resource Executive Online, Quoted (August 2, 2016)
  • “Business Success: How to Establish a Winning Company Culture,” Seattle Business magazine (February 2016)
  • “Attorneys React to High Court ERISA Reimbursement Ruling,” Law360, Quoted (January 20, 2016)
  • “State of the Union Speech Signals More Workplace Changes,” Human Resource Executive Online, Quoted (January 13, 2016)
  • “Three Quick Strategic Responses to Title III ADA Class Action Claims,” Lexology (October 28, 2015)
  • “The BYOD Question: Sound Advice on ‘Bring Your Own Device’ to Work,” Seattle Business magazine (February 2015)
  • “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)
  • ”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

  • “‘A Beautiful Mind’: Identifying Employees in Crisis and Managing the Employee Struggling With Mental Illness,” Lane Powell’s 35th Annual Labor and Employment Seminar, Seattle (October 17, 2017)
  • “Tips on How to Conduct an EEO Investigation,” Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Seattle Seminar (September 14, 2017)
  • “Seattle’s New Scheduling Ordinance: 10 Ways It Will Drastically Change How Large Retailers and Restaurants Do Business,” Lane Powell and Washington Retail Association Webinar, Co-presenter (November 14, 2016)
  • “Views From the Bench: Employment Litigation,” College of Labor and Employment Lawyers Seattle Seminar on Ethics in the Profession, Moderator (October 27, 2016)
  • “The New Seattle Scheduling Laws for Hourly Workers,” In-house CLE, Presenter (October 24, 2016)
  • “The New ‘Price is Right’: Pay Equity and Statistics — Avoiding and Defending Claims,” Lane Powell’s 34th Annual Labor and Employment Seminar, Co-presenter, Seattle (October 11, 2016)
  • “Employers and Employees Working Together,” Cancer Pathways’ “When Cancer Comes to Work” Seminar (May 17, 2016)
  • “Top 10 Mistakes Employers Make: What Your Employment Lawyer Would Tell You If You Would Just Return His Call,” Washington Bankers Association’s Education and Human Resources Conference (April 26, 2016)
  • “Finding and Keeping Your Key Employees,” Lane Powell’s Second Annual Startups and Emerging Companies Seminar, Co-presenter, Seattle (December 2, 2015)
  • “’In the Line of Fire’: What Works in Responding to the EEOC, DOL and OFCCP in Investigation and Enforcement Matters,” Lane Powell’s 33rd Annual Labor and Employment Seminar, Seattle (September 15, 2015)
  • “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)
  • “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

  • Seattle’s “Lawyer of the Year” for his work in Employee Benefits (ERISA) Litigation by Best Lawyers® (2012, 2015, 2017, 2018)
  • Named one of the “Top 100 Most Powerful Employment Attorneys in the Nation” by Human Resource Executive® (2012-2017)
  • AV Preeminent® in Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™
  • Recommended by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Labor and Employment (Band One Top Rating)
  • Named in The Best Lawyers in America®, Employment Management, Labor Management, ERISA Litigation (2010-2018); Employee Benefits (ERISA) (2010-2013, 2018)
  • 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

  • Member, Board of Trustees for Gonzaga University
  • Fellow, American College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, American Employment Law Council
  • Member, Board of Trustees, Gonzaga Preparatory High School
  • Member, National Association of College and University Attorneys
  • 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 |