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About me

I am a trial attorney who successfully represents clients sued in asbestos cases. I am passionate in providing my clients creative but solid defenses.

At my prior firm, I was elected as the first female partner in its 20 year history and focused my efforts on diversity.

Career achievements include being the current President of Washington Defense Trial Lawyers (800 person organization) and being voted into the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel.

Personally, I am as “out of the box” at work as I am outside of work. I am a Harley Davidson lover/rider, former Alaska commercial fisherman and have even run a marathon (that was the hardest of all).

Growing up in a small farming community of 500 people in Brewster, Minnesota taught me how to appreciate early mornings, hard work and community. And I was fortunate enough to be the first in my family to attend college.

My Mom and Dad are very proud of my being selected as a Top 100 Women Lawyers in Washington State, a "Super Lawyer" from 2012-present, a "Rising Star" from 2008-2011 and the Washington Defense Trial Lawyers (WDTL) Outstanding Litigation Associate in 2008.

My passion for life and the law is the fuel for my success. My motto, "don't do it if you don't enjoy it." My play fair attitude and solid reputation has been the key to my successes inside and out of the courtroom.


Photos and videos

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Practice areas


  1. Defective Products: 50%
  2. Personal Injury: 25%
  3. Litigation: 25%

Attorney endorsements

9 total 

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  • Gena Marie Bomotti

    Melissa is an energetic, professional, well-prepared, tireless advocate for her clients, and an active, wonderful member of the local bar.


    Gena Bomotti Employment and labor Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

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    I endorse this lawyer.


    Linda Gallagher Personal injury Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

Foley Mansfield

800 5th Ave., #3850
Seattle, WA, 98104


ILActive Out of State Lawyer - Permitted to PracticeUnknown05/11/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Top 100 Women Lawyers in WashintonSuper Lawyers2014
Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2013
Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2012
Rising StarSuper Lawyers2011
Rising StarWashington Law & Politics Magazine2010
Rising StarWashington Law & Politics Magazine2009
Rising StarWashington Law & Politics Magazine2008
Outstanding AssociateWashington Defense Trial Lawyers2008
Rising StarWashington Law & Politics Magazine2007
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Of CounselFoley Mansfield2015 - Present
ShareholderForsberg & Umlauf, P.S.2004 - Present
AttorneyMurray Dunham Murray2002 - 2004
Association namePosition nameDuration
Defense Research InstituteMember2008 - Present
Washington Defense Trial LawyersMember2005 - Present
Washington State Bar AssociationMember2000 - Present
King County Bar AssociationMember2000 - Present
Washington Defense Trial LaywersPresident2014 - 2015
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Butler v. ABISummary Judgment Victory
Faulkner v. Various DefendantsSuccessful Frye Hearing
Noll v. American Biltrite, Inc. et al.Victory
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
WDTL Defense News"To Whom the Bell Tolls: Analysis of Clare v. Saberhagen Discovery Rule"2006
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Thomas M. Cooley Law SchoolLawJD - Juris Doctor2000
South Dakota State UniversityN/ABS - Bachelor of Science1993
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
HarrisMartin AsbestosThe Outlook of Asbestos Litigation2014
Continuing Legal EducationRules and Experts North of Portlandia2013
Washington State Annual Asbestos CLEAsbestos Litigation Potpourri: Expert Exclusion 2.02012
National Business InstituteHow to Deal with Impossible Clients, Witnesses and Opposing Counsel in2011
NALSAlternative Dispute Resolution and Gearing up for Trial2009
Asbestos: A Year in ReviewWashington State Asbestos Cases2009
Asbestos Law Update (Full Day CLE)Asbestos Case Handling2009
How to pick a JuryTrial2008
Presenter: " The Art of Settlement," National Business Institute"Alternative Dispute Resolution2007
Presenter: " Taking and Defending Effective Depositions in Washington"Depositions2007
Presenter: " Legal Writing and Analysis Workshop for Paralegals: Brief Writing"Legal Writing2007