Michael A. Patterson


Michael A. Patterson

Founding Principal
January 28, 1947 - September 25, 2018

Education
  • New York University, Masters of Law, 1977
  • University of Notre Dame Law School, Juris Doctorate, 1972
  • Gonzaga University, Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, magna cum laude, 1969

Practice Area

On September 25, 2018 Michael A. Patterson passed away after a prolonged and courageous fight with cancer.

As an attorney, Mike had a well-deserved reputation as a relentless advocate for his clients and a strong presence in the courtroom, whether before judge or jury. As a mentor, he impacted many of us greatly - helping us become thoughtful counselors and unflinching litigators.

In 2007, when our Firm was founded, Mike's determination and vision provided a strong foundation for our long-term success. His demand for quality and advocacy helped build the Firm. As Mike would have wanted, we will continue our work on behalf of our clients.

Mr. Patterson served as President at Patterson Buchanan. He possessed significant civil trial and appellate experience, having tried more than 150 cases to verdict in both federal and state courts, and having argued over 50 cases in federal and state appellate courts. Mr. Patterson was a nationally recognized trial attorney. Very few civil litigators match his trial experience.

Mr. Patterson concentrated his practice on high stakes, high profile litigation and represented scores of school districts; numerous cities, counties, and fire districts; various archdioceses throughout the country; and many well-known private clients. He won the Mary Kay Letourneau case for the Highline School District. Known for his experience working high profile cases, he was frequently called upon to be the media spokesperson for clients involved in difficult situations. He had been interviewed by ABC, CBS, Dateline and NBC. Mr. Patterson was also nationally recognized as a speaker for a wide variety of litigation and best practice issues.

In addition to defending clients, Mr. Patterson served as an expert witness in numerous matters throughout the country on fiduciary duty and insurance issues.


Admissions
  • Washington State Bar
  • Oregon State Bar
  • New York State Bar
  • United States Supreme Court
  • New York Court of Appeals
  • United States Bankruptcy Court District of Montana
  • United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Washington
  • United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Washington
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Washington
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • United States District Court of Oregon
  • Idaho Federal Court, appeared
  • Alaska State Bar, pro hac vice
  • Connecticut State Bar, pro hac vice
  • Illinois State Bar, pro hac vice
  • Kansas Federal Court, pro hac vice
  • Kentucky State Bar, pro hac vice
  • Montana State Bar, pro hac vice
  • United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, pro hac vice
  • United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, pro hac vice
  • Wyoming Federal Court, pro hac vice

Publications / Presentations / Speaking Engagements
  • Anti SLAPP Amendment
  • Boundary Invasion
  • Catastrophic Injuries
  • Coaching Standard of Care
  • Employment Issues
  • Legislative Reforms
  • Mandatory Reporting
  • Medicare
  • Misconduct Training
  • Retaliation Claims
  • Sexual Misconduct Litigation
  • Sexual Torts
  • Supervisor and Management Training
  • Tort Reform
  • Workplace Discrimination and Retaliation Law
Mr. Patterson was published extensively and frequently gave presentations to national, statewide, and local audiences on a wide variety of sex abuse, litigation, employment, and public entity topics.

Honors and Awards
Martindale-Hubbell rated Mr. Patterson as “AV,” its highest rating. He was voted one of the Top 20 Trial Lawyers by Judges in Western Washington and was listed in The National Registry of Who’s Who. He was selected as a Super Lawyer by American Law and Politics.
  • Invited member of the Notre Dame Lawyer (Law Review)
  • Nominated and elected to the national registry of Who’s Who
  • Voted Top 20 Trial Lawyers by Judges in Western Washington
  • Stewardship Award for Archdiocese of Western Washington
  • Washington Law & Politics voted “Super Lawyer”
  • Archdiocese of Western Washington Catholic Fund, Chairman
  • Coeur d’Alene Lakeshore Homeowners Association, Board of Directors
  • Crystal Mountain, Board of Directors
  • Gonzaga University
    • Board of Trustees: 1999-Present
    • Chairman of the Committee on Trustees
    • Executive Committee: Present
    • Legal Committee: Present
    • Long Term Planning Committee: Present
    • Former Chairman of the Board of Trustees
    • Chairman of the Board of Control
    • Chairman of the Budget Advisory Committee
    • Chairman of the Governance Committee
    • Chairman of the Long Range Planning Committee
    • Member of the Executive Counsel
    • President of the Spokane Club
    • Junior Advisor to the Freshman Class
    • Resident Hall Council Representative
    • Chancellor of the Exchequer/Knights
  • Legatus Seattle Chapter, President and Founder
  • Legatus International, Board of Directors
  • Magis Institute for Faith & Reason, Board of Directors and Executive Committee
  • Napa Institute, Board of Directors
  • Nazareth Guild, Board of Directors
  • Notre Dame, Member of Admission Committee 1975-1977
  • Program of Church Management International Business Leaders Advisory Council
  • Sacred Story Institute, Board of Directors
  • Serra Club, Member and past President
  • The Spitzer Center, Board of Directors
  • Washington Association of School Administrators Golden Gavel Award
  • Washington Defense Trial Lawyers Association Newspaper, Co-Editor 1984/1985 and former Trustee

Other Services
  • King County Superior Court Arbitration Panel
  • U.S. Federal District Court Magistrate Panel

Professional Memberships
  • ABA (American Bar Association)
  • AGRiP (Association of Governmental Risk Pools)
  • Council on Litigation Management
  • DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar
  • Education Law Association
  • International Association of Defense Counsel
  • International Association of Fire Chiefs
  • International Municipal Lawyers Association
  • King County Bar Association
  • National Council of School Attorneys
  • NFPA (National Fire Protection Association)
  • NSBA (National School Boards Association)
  • PRIMA (Public Risk Management Association)
  • Seminar Network
  • Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association
  • Washington Council of School Attorneys
  • Washington Defense Trial Lawyers Association
  • Washington Fire Commissioners Association
  • Washington, Oregon and New York State Bar Associations
  • WFCA (Washington Fire Commissioners Association)
  • WPUDA (Washington Public Utility Districts Association)
  • WSAMA (Washington State Association of Municipal Attorneys)

Representative Cases
Jury Trials include:
  • Fualaau v. Highline School District – Mary Kay Letourneau had sexual relations with her 12 year old sixth grade student, Vili Fualaau, resulting in two children. Fualaau sued the school district. Prevailed for the school district.
  • King v. Kalama School District – Teacher union president claimed discrimination and retaliation against the superintendent. Prevailed.
  • Johnson v. Catholic Community Services
  • Biteman v. Archdiocese of Seattle
  • Moore v. King County Fire District
  • Barbee v. Jefferson County
  • Carlson v. Pierce County Fire District
  • French v. Whatcom County
  • Howard v. Catholic Community Services
  • Knittle v. Catholic Community Services
  • Jones v. Port Angeles School District
  • Patterson v. City of Bremerton
  • J.D. v. Bellingham School District
  • Johnson v. Hamm – Won $2.6 million verdict for the plaintiff as the plaintiff’s attorney.
  • Davis v. Tacoma School District
  • M.R.B v. Puyallup School District – Won defense verdict in high-profile student press case.


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