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Malaika M. Eaton

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T: 206-467-1816
F: 206-624-5128

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Malaika M. Eaton

Malaika Eaton is a trial lawyer at McNaul Ebel since joining the firm in 2008. Before joining McNaul Ebel, she practiced at Heller Ehrman LLP. She also served as a law clerk for the Honorable Thomas G. Nelson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Ms. Eaton’s practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, including legal malpractice, securities, business and shareholder disputes, class actions, insurance coverage, and antitrust litigation in both federal and state courts. She also has significant experience in appellate litigation, including interlocutory appeals and expedited appeals in both federal and state court. Ms. Eaton has a successful track record of representing numerous clients in jury trials, bench trials, and arbitrations, including as lead counsel. Ms. Eaton has likewise represented clients in the U.S. Supreme Court and served as lead counsel before the U.S. Court of Appeals, again achieving victories for the client.

Representative Cases

• Represented lawyer in malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty action arising out of tax-related advice; favorable verdict after lengthy jury trial that was upheld on appeal.
• Represented majority shareholders in closely held company in expedited arbitration arising out of dispute over purchase of company; favorable verdict after expedited arbitration including fee award.
• Represented law firm in fee dispute and malpractice counterclaims; prevailed on summary judgment, which was upheld on appeal.
• Represented bank in case alleging unlawful discrimination; case settled prior to closing arguments after multi-week jury trial.
• Represented local charity in TEDRA litigation relating to family’s challenge to decedent’s charitable gift; case was resolved favorably to client on an expedited time frame.
• Represented majority shareholders in minority shareholder oppression and breach of fiduciary duty case; full defense verdict after multi-week jury trial.
• Represented doctor in dispute with local hospital over removal of privileges; prevailed after multi-day internal hearing process.
• Represented local business and employee in dispute with competitor over terms of non-compete agreement; case settled favorably to client.
• Represented developer in cross-suits with lender relating to various projects; case settled favorably to client shortly before trial.
• Represented lawyer in malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty claims relating to real estate development; case dismissed on summary judgment.

Awards and Activities

• Rated “AV Preeminent (4.9 out of 5.0)” by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating available
• Rated “Superb” by Avvo.com, the highest rating available
• Selected by Washington Law & Politics as a “Super Lawyer” and, before that, as a “Rising Star”
• Faculty, 11th Annual Law of Lawyering Conference, WSBA Continuing Legal Education seminar (2013)
• Faculty, The Business Divorce, WSBA Continuing Legal Education seminar (2014)
• Faculty, Compensation and Conflicts, WSBA Continuing Legal Education seminar (2014)
• Earned numerous awards for her commitment to pro bono service, including Heller Ehrman’s Richard E. Guggenheim Award, given each year to one or more attorneys in recognition of “exceptional commitment” to pro bono work in their legal practice
• Board of Directors for Mother Attorneys Mentoring Association of Seattle
• President, Mother Attorneys Mentoring Association U.S.A.
• Founding member of the Steering Committee for the Puget Sound Chapter of the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy 

Publications

• "The Continuous Ownership Requirement in Shareholder Derivative Litigation: Endorsing a Common Sense Application of Standing and Choice-of-Law Principles," 47 Willamette Law Review 1, 2010. Coauthored with Leonard J. Feldman and Jerry C. Chiang.
• “Mootness in the Class Action Context: Court-Created Exceptions to the ‘Case or Controversy’ Requirement of Article III,” The Review of Litigation, Vol. 26, No. 1, Winter 2007. Coauthored with Leonard J. Feldman, Daniel A. Zariski, and Darin M. Sands.
• “Limitation of Suit: A Call for Equitable Tolling,” 12 Insurance Law Section: Association of Trial Lawyers of AM.5, Winter 2006. Coauthored with Leonard J. Feldman and Daniel A. Zariski.
• “The Equitable Tolling Doctrine in First Party Insurance Coverage Matters: Analysis, Benefits, and an Illustrative Case Study,” 41 Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Law Journal 61, 2005. Coauthored with Leonard J. Feldman and Daniel A. Zariski.
• “Litigating in the New Class Action World: An Update on the Evolving Case Law Under the Class Action Fairness Act,” 6 BNA Class Action Litigation Report 18, 677, Sept. 23, 2005. Coauthored with Peter Danelo, Leonard J. Feldman, and Aneelah Afzali.
• “Note, Of Salmon, Salamander, and Lizards: Can State and Local Conservation Plans ‘Preempt’ the Endangered Species Act?”, 87 Cornell Law Review 185, 2001.
• “The Role of Municipalities in Regulating the Land Application of Sewage Sludges and Septage,” 41 Nat. Res. J. 77, 2001. Coauthored with Ellen Z. Harrison.

Ms. Eaton is a dedicated bike commuter, rain or shine. When she is not representing her clients or biking, she enjoys skiing, snowshoeing, swimming, kayaking, baking, and doing her best to keep up with her three very active kids.

Practice Areas

Education

  • Cornell Law School (J.D.), magna cum laude; articles editor, Cornell Law Review
  • Cornell Institute for Public Affairs (M.P.A.)
  • Willamette University (B.A.), cum laude

Bar Admissions

  • Washington State

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Super Lawyers Designation