Avi J. Lipman
Avi Lipman is a trial attorney at McNaul Ebel, where he represents plaintiffs and defendants in commercial litigation, professional malpractice, insurance, employment, criminal defense, franchise, and business disputes as a member of the Litigation and Trial Practice. He has tried and arbitrated numerous civil and criminal cases as first-chair counsel in Washington, DC, and throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Before joining McNaul Ebel in 2008, Avi taught trial advocacy and practiced at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he was an E. Barrett Prettyman Fellow. He also represented clients as a trial attorney at the Defender Association of King County.
Avi earned his JD cum laude from New York University School of Law, where he was a Root-Tilden-Kern scholar. He also holds a Master of Laws (LLM) degree in trial advocacy from the Georgetown University Law Center. Prior to law school, he completed two years of public service with Teach for America in Oakland, California.
An active thought leader in his field, Avi gives presentations regularly on trial practice and other professional issues. He served as a lecturer at University of Washington School of Law (2009–2012), as a panelist at the Advanced Trial Advocacy Institute, Seattle University School of Law (2014, 2015), and as a panelist at ABA Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division (2012).
Since 2014, Avi has served on the Board of Directors of Jewish Family Service of Seattle, and he was a member of the Board of Directors for the Defender Association of King County (2009–2012).
Representative Cases & Matters
- Employment litigation/appeals: Represented a plaintiff in an employment dispute against a Fortune 100 employer. Avi argued the appeal successfully before Division I of the Court of Appeals, which ruled unanimously that the plaintiff is not required to litigate her claims in Europe. A copy of the Court’s decision is available here.
- Commercial litigation/constitutional law/appeals: Represented plaintiffs in Davis v. Cox, an action for breach of fiduciary duty against corporate directors. Avi argued the appeal successfully before the Washington State Supreme Court, which ruled unanimously that Washington’s Anti-SLAPP Act (RCW 4.24.525) violates the Washington State Constitution and is therefore invalid. A copy of the Supreme Court’s decision is available here.
- Commercial litigation: Defended a 50% shareholder of a closely held corporation against a claim for breach of fiduciary duty. Avi was the first chair counsel in a jury trial that resulted in a complete defense verdict.
- Financial services: Defended a former financial advisor against a brokerage firm’s claims for breach of contract. Avi served as first chair counsel at arbitration before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), which resulted in an award in the client’s favor on counterclaims.
- Franchising: Defended a national franchisor against claims by franchisees alleging violations of Washington’s Franchise Investment Protection Act. Avi was first chair counsel in a jury trial that resulted in a complete defense verdict and award of fees and costs in the clients’ favor.
- Professional malpractice: Defended a Seattle law firm in an action for professional malpractice. He acted as first chair counsel at a jury trial that resulted in a hung jury in the client’s favor, then negotiated a favorable settlement to resolve the case.
- Financial services: Regularly counsels and successfully defends financial advisors and securities brokers with respect to claims by brokerage firms. Avi has acted as first chair counsel at numerous arbitrations before FINRA.
- Insurance: Defended a Fortune 100 insurance company in a coverage dispute. He defeated claims in federal court with a motion for summary judgment and negotiated a favorable settlement to resolve the appeal.
- Criminal defense: Defended a client charged with first-degree murder in a complex case involving DNA and ballistics evidence. Through extensive litigation and negotiation, Avi persuaded the King County Prosecuting Attorney office to dismiss the entire case before trial.
- Georgetown University Law Center (LLM, 2005)
- New York University School of Law (JD, 2003), cum laude
- Oberlin College (BA, 1996), with honors, Phi Beta Kappa
- Washington State, 2006
- US District Court for the Western District of Washington, 2008