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Seattle attorney Michael T. Pfau is a trial lawyer who has practiced law for more than 20 years. He has tried over 50 cases to juries, the bench and arbitration panels. Michael has obtained multiple verdicts in excess of $1 million and he has recovered tens of millions of dollars in settlements for his clients. In 2012, he obtained an $8 million jury verdict against the Catholic Church, which is believed to be the largest verdict of its kind in Washington history.
Michael is generally considered one of the most successful lawyers in the United States when it comes to prosecuting claims of child sexual abuse. Read more about this area of our practice.
Michael was born in 1964 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and is the son of a trial lawyer. He attended Boston College, graduated magna cum laude, and earned a number of other academic honors. After Boston College, Michael attended the prestigious Michigan law school and graduated in 1991. He has been named a perpetual “Super Lawyer” by Washington Law and Politics, receiving that honorable distinction every year since 2003.
While Michael has represented a wide range of clients, including businesses and injured persons, he has dedicated a large part of his practice to representing victims of childhood sexual abuse against sexual predators and the institutions that employ and protect them. In this endeavor, Michael has been lead counsel for hundreds of victims of sexual abuse victims, and has recovered nearly $100 million dollars for his clients over the past 10 years in lawsuits against the Catholic Church, the Mormon Church, the State of Washington, the Boy Scouts of America, and other institutions responsible for child sex abuse.
Michael is involved with a number of community activities, and he takes special pride in working with the disadvantaged and with children who have special needs. He has two children, Michael and Alexandra, with whom he spends the majority of his non-working hours.
Catholic Diocese of Spokane
Recovered in excess of $48 million for more than 70 victims who were sexually abused by priests and others associated with the Spokane Diocese.
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon Church)
Obtained a $4.2 million verdict for two women who were sexually abused by members of the Mormon church. The verdict is believed to be one of the largest verdicts against a religious organization for the sexual abuse of children in the state of Washington.
B.B. v. The Corporation of the Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle, et al
King County Superior Court Cause No.: 06-2-14120-2
Obtained a $1.1 million settlement on behalf of a victim of childhood sexual abuse by a Christian Brother who was employed as a principal at a Catholic grade school in Seattle. This is believed to be one of the largest single victim, Catholic clergy settlements involving the Archdiocese of Seattle.
Briscoe School / Christian Brothers litigation
Recovered in excess of $16 million for 30+ victims of sexual and physical abuse at the now defunct Briscoe Memorial School and at O’Dea High School.
Loomis, et al. v. City of Puyallup Police Department, et al
U.S.D.C. Cause No.: C02-5417
Obtained a $940,000 settlement against the Puyallup Police Department on behalf of the parents of a mentally ill man who was killed by a Puyallup Police Officer.
R.C. et al. v. The Corporation of the Catholic Archbishop of Seattle, et al.
King County Superior Court Cause No.02-2-16505-2
Recovered $8.6 million for 16 victims of childhood sexual abuse by Seattle priest Father James McGreal.
Kenneth Fleming, et al. v. Church of Latter Day Saints
U.S.D.C. Cause No.: C04-2338
Obtained a $1.4 million verdict for a victim of childhood sexual abuse by a Mormon scout master.
PI, P2, P3 v. The Corporation of the Catholic Archbishop of Seattle, et al.
King County Superior Court Cause No.: 04-2-15884-2
Recovered $1,075,000 for two victims of childhood sexual abuse by Seattle priest Father John Cornelius.
J.S. v. The Corporation of the Catholic Archbishop of Seattle
Cause No.: 04-2-40947-1
Recovered $2.4 million for three brothers who were sexually abused as children by Father Ed Boyle, a priest of the Seattle Archdiocese.