Michael T. Pfau
Partner

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Education

  • The University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, Michigan
    • J.D. - 1991
    • Honors: Moot Court Semi-Finalist
  • Boston College
    • B.A. - 1987
    • Honors: magna cum laude
    • Honors: Boston College Scholar of the College
    • Honors: Order of the Cross and Crown
    • Honors: Dean's List, 1983-1987
    • Honors: Golden Key Honor Society
    • Honors: National Dean's List
    • Major: Philosophy and Psychology

Honors

  • Super Lawyer, Washington Law & Politics, 2001-2009
  • “Eagle” Member, Washington State Association for Justice
  • AV Preeminent

Bar Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • Washington
  • Illinois

Biography

Seattle attorney Michael T. Pfau has practiced law for more than 25 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 a Catholic religious order, which is believed to be the largest verdict of its kind in Washington State.

Michael attended Boston College, graduated magna cum laude, and earned a number of other academic honors. After Boston College, Michael attended Michigan law school and graduated in 1991. He has been named a perpetual "Super Lawyer" by Washington Law and Politics magazine, receiving that honorable distinction every year since 2003. He is peer rated AV Preeminent.

Michael 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. Michael has had tremendous success prosecuting claims of child sexual abuse in a number of different states and jurisdictions. In this endeavor, Michael has been lead counsel for hundreds of victims of sexual abuse across the United States and has recovered in excess of $200 million dollars for his clients over the past 15 years in lawsuits against the Catholic church, the Mormon church, the Boy Scouts of America, and other institutions responsible for child sex abuse.

Mr. Pfau was recently involved in a lawsuit on behalf of three minor girls sexually trafficked on the website Backpage.com, the largest online marketer of prostitutes in the United States. His clients obtained a landmark victory in the Washington State Supreme Court over whether federal immunity barred the case. The case settled for a confidential amount weeks before trial. Mr. Pfau now represents clients who were human trafficking victims on Backpage in cases in Washington, California, Texas, Hawaii, Illinois, Alabama, and New York.

Representative Cases

  • $95,000,000+ class action total judgment on a $57M jury verdict for 22,000 home care workers, believed to be the largest class action verdict against DSHS of its kind
  • $40,000,000 bankruptcy settlement for 70 victims of sexual assault by Jesuit priests
  • $31,000,000 bankruptcy settlement for 74 victims of sexual abuse by members of the Spokane Catholic Diocese
  • $12,125,000 settlement for victims of sexual abuse at the hands of a Seattle Archdiocese priest
  • $10,150,000 settlement for 9 victims of sexual abuse by a notorious pedophile Catholic priest
  • Eight figure settlement in a premise liability case against a private business owner and a security company
  • $6,500,000 settlement for 5 plaintiffs who suffered sexual abuse at the hands of a Catholic priest at a high school
  • $5,570,000 settlement for 19 victims of sexual abuse by members of the Catholic Church of New Orleans
  • $4,600,000 settlement for 25 victims of sexual assault by members of the Illinois Catholic Church
  • $4,232,000 Jury Verdict for 2 victims of sexual assault by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon Church)
  • $3,000,000 sexual abuse settlement against DSHS
  • $2,100,000 wrongful death settlement with DSHS for father of a 3-year-old boy killed by the mother’s boyfriend, who CPS should have known was a chronic child abuser
  • $1,200,000 settlement for a victim of sexual assault by a Catholic priest
  • $1,000,000 settlement for the victim who died during a police arrest

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association
  • King County Bar Association
  • Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association
  • Washington State Association for Justice, Board of Governors
  • Washington State Association for Justice Foundation Board, Secretary/Treasurer
  • National Crime Victims Bar Association, Board Member