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About me

I graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1993, after working as a ranch hand, baker and mental health counselor. 


I spent the first twenty years of my practice handling a wide variety of cases.  In the past few years, I have specialized in my favorite practice area -- helping people who  have been denied short-term disability and long-term disability benefits. Most of these cases fall under the federal law known as "ERISA."  My practice is now 100% devoted to this area of the law.  I like it.


I litigate against the major disability insurance companies, including Prudential, Hartford, Liberty Life, CIGNA, Unum, Aetna and others.  I represent people with a broad range of disabling conditions.  For more information about my ERISA disability benefits practice, please visit



Practice areas


  1. Employee Benefits: 100%
    23 years



Free consultation (60 minutes)

Attorney endorsements

5 total 

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  • Alexander J. Higgins

    Mel is an outstanding advocate. I often recommend clients to him on ERISA and disability insurance matters. He gets excellent results. He's hard-working and smart! What more could you ask for?!


    Alexander Higgins Employment and labor Attorney
    Relationship: Worked together on matter

  • No photo

    I have known Mel Crawford for 15 years. He is among the brightest, most dedicated, and talented lawyers I know. Mel is one of the truly outstanding civil litigators in Washington State and I strongly endorse him.


    Robert Mahler Commercial real estate Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

Law Office of Mel Crawford

1500 Hoge Building
705 Second Avenue
Seattle, WA, 98104-1745


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
AV Peer Review RatingMartindale-Hubbell2015
AV RatedMartindale-Hubbell2014
AV RatedMartindale-Hubbell2013
AV RatedMartindale-Hubbell2012
MemberWho's Who In American Law2011
AV RatedMartindale-Hubbell2011
2010 Best LawyersSeattle Met Magazine2010
Rising StarSuper Lawyers1994
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Sole PractitionerLaw Office of Mel Crawford2015 - Present
PartnerMacDonald Hoague & Bayless1999 - 2015
Associate AttorneyMacDonald Hoague & Bayless1993 - 1999
Association namePosition nameDuration
Washington State Association for JusticeEagle Member2004 - Present
United States District Court for the Eastern District of WashingtonAdmitted1999 - Present
United States Supreme Court BarAdmitted1998 - Present
United States Court of Appeals For the Ninth CircuitAdmitted1996 - Present
United States District Court for the Western District of WashingtonAdmitted1995 - Present
Washington State Association for JusticeMember1994 - Present
King County Bar AssociationMember1994 - Present
Washington State Bar AssociationMember1993 - Present
Washington Employment Lawyers AssociationMemberN/A
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
May v. Honeywell, Inc. and MetLifeNinth Circuit held short-term disability benefits are wages.
Kull v. Hain Celestial Group, Inc. and Hartford Life Insurance CompanyCourt ordered de novo review of ERISA case
Beach et al. v. JD Lumber, Inc.Court entered judgment in favor of all workers.
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
Lorman Education Services publicationDeductions from Pay2003
Lorman Educational ServicesPayroll Record-Keeping Requirements2003
Thompson PromisesContext, Extrinsic Evidence and the Employment Relationship (presented at Washington State Bar Association CLE “Contract Law Essentials – The Berg v. Hudesman 10th Birthday Celebration”)2000
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Harvard University Law SchoolLawJD - Juris Doctor1993
Antioch University-SeattleN/ABA - Bachelor of Arts1990
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Wage and Hour UpdateWage and Hour Law2003
Contract Law EssentialsEmployee Handbooks2000
Seattle UniversityGuest Lecturer: Employment LawN/A