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Mel L. Crawford

Insurance Attorney at Seattle, WA

5.0   73 reviews

also known as Mel Crawford

Free consultation
Free consultation
  • Licensed for 30 years
    State WA
    Acquired 1993
    Status
    Active No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Mel

Learn Mel’s areas of practice.

1
Practice area
  1. Insurance
    100%
    Mel represents people who have been denied short-term disability or long-term disability benefits. He has litigated numerous cases under "ERISA," the federal law that governs most employee benefits.

FIGHTING DISABILITY INSURANCE COMPANIES -- AND WINNING -- SINCE 1994

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 my website.

 

Awards

AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating
Client's Choice 2023,2022,2021,2020,2018,2016,2015
Client's Choice
2023 2022 2021 + 4 ...

Location

Law Office of Mel Crawford
3244 N.E. 103rd St.
Seattle, WA, 98125

Reviews

5.0 / 5.0
  73 customer reviews
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Client's Choice 2023
Client's Choice
Client's Choice is an Avvo award granted to attorneys with a significant number of client reviews over 4 stars in a given year.
Posted by Lisa | May 26, 2024
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
My highest recommendation, Mel Crawford is the real deal
I hired Mel Crawford in 2021 for my disability case and I’m grateful for the hard work he has put into it. There have been a lot of insurance-related obstacles and I can confidently say that Mel has advised me like no one else throughout a stressful process. Mel is very responsive, and a positive light each time I feel a new phase in my case is seemingly unfavorable or too challenging. He sheds light on the insurance company’s intent, helps me field questions from my doctors, and keeps all content well organized for me. I have had positive after positive outcome navigating the disability process thanks to Mel. I highly recommend him to help you.
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Posted by anonymous | May 2, 2024
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Reliable, Knowledgeable and Kind
Mel, was key in successfully navigating my disability insurance denial/appeal and then later, a buyout offer. It was often a great relief knowing we could count on him and that we had his expertise on the case each step of the way. He has been reliable, knowledgeable and kind. Of important note is that his fee structure was fair.
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Posted by anonymous | April 26, 2024
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Mel is an A+ attorney, highly recommend
I highly recommend Mel without reservation. Mel was very thorough in his approach; he read through my long term disability policies and guided me on the process. He supported me with my private disability insurance carriers through the completion of forms, written responses and coached me on interactions. I was successful in securing long term disability as a result. Mel’s hourly rate is on the high side but he is efficient and his value is worth every penny. Mel is an expert in the field and an upstanding professional.
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Posted by anonymous | August 22, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
LTD Appeal
I went to Mel after my LTD cut off my monthly benefits. Anyone that is currently looking for a disability attorney knows how traumatic and stressful the whole process is. Mel is an exceptionally skilled, competent, and knowledgeable attorney. Following Mel's guidance, and putting my trust in his abilities, he was successful in resolving my situation to my fullest satisfaction. Nothing happens fast in the LTD world. However, Mel's experience instilled a great confidence (knowing that I was doing the right thing, and going down the right path). While nothing is guaranteed in this world, being able to have confidence in anything dealing with LTD is a rare commodity and hard to come by. My family and I couldn't be happier with the way Mel conducted himself, communicated, and ultimately in the result he was able to secure. I only wish that I would have secured his services earlier on so that I could have either avoided the whole appeals process altogether or that I would have seen it coming a mile away so I would have been better prepared to contend with it when it happened. Regardless, I will now continue to retain Mel's services for my ongoing needs. I can't recommend Mel highly enough!!!
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Posted by Michelle | July 30, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Client
When I couldn't find and an attorney to take me on as a client, an angel was presented to me in the name of Mel Crawford. He is an attorney shows compassion for his clients. He takes the time to understand you as a person, and your specific health issues, in order to best represent you as his client. He is honest and up front with the realities of what you can expect from him and what he can or can't do for you. I would recommend him to anyone looking for a knowledgeable, compassionate, hard working, and exceptional attorney in his field.
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Posted by anonymous | July 27, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Helped with a fight against unum to reinstate long term disability insurance.
Mel was instrumental in helping us put together an appeal after being removed from long term disability insurance. He guided us through what is a very opaque and stacked process. He was also able to identify nefarious practices and places where Unum was trying to mislead us and make the appeal more difficult. Without Mel, I am not sure we would have been able to get reinstated. His ability to help, his understanding when hearing our story, and his tenacious legal ability allowed us to put together an irrefutable packet of evidence to combat Unum. He was critical to our success.
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Posted by anonymous | July 26, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
I am so glad I found Mel Crawford
I asked for Mel to help with an important part of my private disability insurance determination. He knew all of the ins and outs and ‘whatfors’ and kindly and efficiently (and with integrity) helped me achieve a fair resolution of the issue. I would recommend him to anyone seeking assistance with private disability contracts where he practices. I can’t sing his praises more highly.
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Posted by anonymous | July 25, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
I highly recommend Mel Crawford to protect and defend your disability benefits.
Mel Crawford's expertise with both my disability insurer and employer as well as applicable laws resulted in the maximum payout of my benefits. He is thoughtful, extremely responsive, and efficient. I have referred colleagues in the past and will continue to do so in the future. About two years ago I faced a devastating and complex disability which required I access my long-term private disability benefits through my employer. Having faced a similar situation in the past, I was familiar with the process and tactics I was up against with the Insurance Company. Through a mutual colleague, I was referred to The Law Office of Mel Crawford. In our initial consultation Mel was empathetic, validated my fear and anxiety as justified, explained thoroughly and clearly the process, and offered fair and competitive rates. I left the meeting with renewed hope that I would have the opportunity to focus on my recovery without the fear of overwhelming, scary procedures. Those expectations were well-exceeded. Over the course of my leave, Mel vigorously and effectively protected my benefits. He was always extremely responsive in emails and phone calls. As complexities inevitably arose, he provided background and guidance with a recommended path forward. This path was the right one 100% of the time. If you are facing a similar situation, please reach out to Mel. It will make your life easier, alleviate your fear and anxiety, and help protect your income and assets - and, most importantly, allow you to focus on recovery.
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Posted by anonymous | July 25, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
We thank God for Mel!
Mel was a Godsend when we needed a lawyer most. My husband worked for many years after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, but eventually had to stop working last year. His company’s disability insurance company denied his short-term disability claim! That’s when Mel stepped in with a firm, well-written letter to the disability insurance company, and they immediately reversed their decision. Mel also assisted us with the long term disability application, which was readily approved. Mel was very quick to answer our calls and respond to emails and give wise counsel. His fee was surprisingly affordable. Mel helped us through a difficult and challenging time. I can’t imagine what we would have done without his help! Mel truly cares about people faced with disabilities; he cared for us. Mel has the experience and knowledge and dedication to take on disability companies, which are often dishonest and corrupt. Don’t go it alone! Mel is exceptional—a true Godsend. We can’t thank him enough.
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Posted by anonymous | September 25, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
I should have hired Mel earlier
I disagreed with an insurance company for months and months about their decision to terminate my benefits. I read every word of a 900+ page case file. I wrote what I thought was an incredibly strong appeal. The insurance company's tactics were transparently manipulative, stalling, and biased. Their decision forced me to do things that were not in my best interest medically. I was on the verge of giving up because it was just too much when a trusted person gave me Mel's contact information. Everything changed after that. Mel was reassuring, compassionate, and empathetic. He helped me understand that it wasn't personal. It was what insurance companies did and that this one was one of the worst of the worst. It was empowering when the insurance company asked one more blatantly stalling thing of me to be able to have Mel immediately contact them telling them that from there on out everything went through him. He wrote a second letter building on my own appeal, but based in legal precedence and without my frayed emotions. Mel is a gifted and effective writer. He had a quiet and calming demeanor with me, but his communications with the insurance company were professional but with a firm tone that left no doubt that they were no longer dealing with a person they could continue their standard practices with. Mel is clearly passionate about his work and cares very much about his clients. The insurance company seemed to double down but Mel's expertise in handling these matters allowed him to walk me through the expected reactions and possible outcomes. And we were very prepared and able to respond quickly and definitively. I was battling a huge corporation solo before hiring Mel. After hiring Mel, despite that we were a small team, Mel made us so effective against the insurance company that I feel we forced them to admit (of course, without admitting) that they had made the wrong decision initially. Ultimately, Mel brought us to a conclusion that I never could have on my own despite that I had in my original appeal accurately identified several of the shortcomings of the insurance companies decision. Despite this, their tactics had completely worn me down and without Mel I would have walked away. I absolutely felt that I was being bullied by the insurance company and felt utterly powerless to do anything about it. Mel very much helped me regain that empowerment by speaking on my behalf with his years of legal expertise behind his words. It's easy to feel like you have no options as a single person against a huge insurance company, but with Mel advocating for you, even two people can face a huge corporation that has had years to perfect their tactics of breaking people down. I believe I could have spared myself a lot of anguish if I'd hired Mel earlier.
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Posted by anonymous | September 17, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent
I was referred to Mel and couldn’t have been happier with the results. He is professional, upstanding and knowledgeable. He handled my disability case with ease and knew exactly what he was doing. Mel knows exactly what to do to get you your deserved compensation. He keeps in touch regularly with updates and guides you through the process with his experience. Mel is definitely the person you want on your side. I can’t say enough about his talent dealing with the disability insurance companies. If you have been denied your claim, Mel is absolutely the lawyer you need.
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Posted by anonymous | July 31, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent results
Mel Crawford handled my husband's disability case professionally and successfully. He held my hand when I was overwhelmed by the paperwork, he listened when I was frustrated by the process, he was efficient with his time to minimize our costs, and he got us the benefits we deserved. I cannot recommend him more highly!
Posted by anonymous | March 7, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Mel Crawford is Exceptional!
Mel Crawford is a brilliant attorney. From the first day we spoke I felt he had true empathy and understanding for my medical condition and a passion for justice and helping people. I had spoken to two other lawyers and they declined to work with me as they felt I would not win my case. Mel on the other hand could see through the Long Term Disability’s denial. His appeal was validating, accurate and thorough. Despite the challenges posed by the LTD he prevailed and won my case. I am so grateful and appreciative of Mel and highly recommend him as a disability lawyer.
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Posted by anonymous | February 11, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Received my Disability with back pay very quickly. Thumbs up!
Was looking for a lawyer to help with my insurance company denying my disability benefits for no apparent reason other than to hope I just go away. I found Mel and he cut through the issues with his experience and sent them all the evidence they needed. They never asked me for any of these records. With the overwhelming evidence in their possession, they had had no choice but to re-instate the benefits I paid for all those years. Great experience all around. Thanks Mel!!
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Posted by anonymous | January 5, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Mel Crawford Won Our Case with Expertise and Compassion
Two important facts: first, Mel won our case. Second, and as important to us, Mel was compassionate. My wife and I feel incredibly fortunate to have connected with Mel during a very difficult time for us. We were faced with a difficult situation of me being diagnosed with and disabled by multiple sclerosis. This caused me to lose my job and my ability to find other work. My disability insurance company took every opportunity to deny my long-term disability claim. With kindness and compassion as well as expertise and confidence, Mel worked us through the complicated process of disputing, and overturning, the insurance company’s position to deny my claim. This included working with my health care professionals, witnesses and filing a federal court case. We doubt we would have reached this good outcome if it was not for Mel’s many years of experience and extraordinary capabilities. Throughout the process Mel showed us kindness and showed the insurance company that they were wrong. We can’t imagine what this would have been like without working with Mel. Mel allowed us to focus on my medical challenges and minimized the emotional toll on us that came with fighting a big insurance company. Without reservation, my wife and I recommend Mel for any situation that falls in his many areas of expertise. With the utmost confidence, we have recommended him to close friends. We hope you do not need his services, but if you do, please contact Mel Crawford. We believe you will experience the same level of expertise and compassion we did during a very challenging ordeal.
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Posted by anonymous | December 20, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
You want this attorney on your side!
Mel was initially recommended to me by a very trusted family member, who had practiced law in Seattle >40 years. I am beyond grateful, as Mel helped me so much. My career as a physician was ended by a debilitating and ongoing illness. My professional disability insurance company had revoked my earned benefits without any reasonable cause, even though I continued to meet all contractual requirements. I found Mel to be consistently kind, professional, and thorough. After receiving the comprehensive appeal from Mel, the decision was reversed in 2 weeks. I attribute that speed to the powerful and lengthy package of supporting evidence sent to them by Mel, on my behalf. A very difficult time was made easier having such a smart and compassionate person advocating for me.
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Posted by Lawrence | April 27, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent
Mel is top notch. He clearly has the experience to navigate ERISA law. He understands the dynamics of creating a solid case for an appeal (what I had hired him for), as well as planning for if the case ends up in front of a judge. Mel is also personable, integrous, and communicates well. When I hired Mel, I felt like I was in good hands and am grateful to have had his help.
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Posted by anonymous | April 26, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Strongly recommending benefits lawyer Mel L. Crawford
I have been fighting stage 4 cancer. At some point in the treatment, I become unable to work. I needed disability benefits to continue the treatment with my medical providers in Seattle, WA. Without it, I would have to go back to a community in Midwest where I probably could not count on the same quality of medical care. However, the process of disability approval was so demanding, I could not respond to all that was required of me without a help of an experienced lawyer. An impressive recommendation led me to Mel Crawford. Mel called me the same day I contacted him to find out the details of the case. The discussion convinced me that he is the right person for the job, and he agreed to represent me in this case. He had to resolve ambiguities in the requests for medical information from the disability company to my medical providers, find out from the medical records departments of my providers the details of records release process and communicate them to the disability company, organize as speedy release of medical records as possible, and help speed up the review process. With his immediate reactions, he was able to prevent misunderstandings and delays that could have triggered negative response to my request. Yet he had plan in mind for that scenario too. He was also keeping me abreast of the progress throughout the process. Thanks to Mel, my disability request was approved several weeks after I hired him. Mel is an experienced and highly organized lawyer with outstanding communication skills. He represented me with utmost sincerity and dedication. His exceptional knowledge of the employee benefits law and his understanding of the complexities and pitfalls of the disability approval process were also the keys to the positive resolution of my disability request. I am grateful to Mel Crawford for representing me in this case. I am, without any hesitation, recommending Mel to anyone who needs an employee benefits lawyer.
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Posted by James W | April 26, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Mel knows what he is doing!
We hired Mel due to my wife's school districts insurance company denying coverage for medical disability insurance. The school was not the issue, the disability insurance carrier was. Mel fought for my wife's rights and the coverage benefits that she had paid into the system for many years to have coverage for, he did a great job to protect our interests and obtain what she was entitled to.
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Posted by anonymous | April 26, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Stellar Services and Proven Results
Mel is an A+++ attorney and is expertly knowledgeable in his craft. He helped me navigate very difficult situations for a year and a half with disability insurance companies so that I get the time I needed to recover from my health challenges. Mel is kind, caring, and compassionate - something that is very rare to find in business these days. I would recommend Mel to anyone that needs support the way I did because I don't think I would have been able to concentrate on my health recovery if it wasn't for Mel. I am very grateful for what Mel has done for me.
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Cost

Rates
  • Free Consultation 60 minutes

Resume

AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Sole Practitioner
  • Law Office of Mel Crawford
  • 2015 - Present
  • Partner
  • MacDonald Hoague & Bayless
  • 1999 - 2015
  • Associate Attorney
  • MacDonald Hoague & Bayless
  • 1993 - 1999

Education

  • Harvard University Law School
  • JD - Juris Doctor, Magna Cum Laude
  • 1993
  • Antioch University-Seattle
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1990

Sample of Legal Cases

  • Gallupe v. Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc., 358 F.Supp.3d 1183 (2019)
  • Judgment entered against Sedgwick Claims Management Services
  • Anderson v. Liberty Mut. Long Term Disability Plan, --- F.Supp.3d ---- (W.D. Wa 2015)
  • Judgment against Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston
  • Mirick v. Prudential Ins. Co. of America, -- F.Supp.3d ---- (W.D. Wa 2015)
  • Judgment entered against Prudential Insurance Company
View all legal cases

Associations

  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington
  • Admitted
  • 1999 - Present
  • United States Supreme Court Bar
  • Admitted
  • 1998 - Present
  • United States Court of Appeals For the Ninth Circuit
  • Admitted
  • 1996 - Present
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Washington
  • Admitted
  • 1995 - Present
  • King County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1994 - Present
  • Washington State Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1993 - Present
  • Washington Employment Lawyers Association
  • Member
  • N/A
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • AV Preeminent Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2017
  • AV Preeminent Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2016
  • AV Peer Review Rating
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2015
  • AV Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2014
  • AV Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2013
  • AV Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2012
  • Member
  • Who's Who In American Law
  • 2011
  • AV Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2011
  • 2010 Best Lawyers
  • Seattle Met Magazine
  • 2010
  • Rising Star
  • Super Lawyers
  • 1994
View all awards

Publications

  • Lorman Educational Services
  • Payroll Record-Keeping Requirements
  • 2003
  • Lorman Education Services publication
  • Deductions from Pay
  • 2003
  • Thompson Promises
  • Context, Extrinsic Evidence and the Employment Relationship (presented at Washington State Bar Association CLE “Contract Law Essentials – The Berg v. Hudesman 10th Birthday Celebration”)
  • 2000

Speaking Engagements

  • Wage and Hour Update
  • Wage and Hour Law
  • 2003
  • Contract Law Essentials
  • Employee Handbooks
  • 2000
  • Seattle University
  • Guest Lecturer: Employment Law
  • N/A

Attorney endorsements

Received (6)
Given (0)
Endorse Mel
Insurance Attorney | Dec 19
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I was opposing counsel to Mel on a few different disability insurance matters when I represented insurance companies. My client would always complain when she heard that Mel was opposing counsel, stating that it would cost the insurer a lot to settle any case with him. He is very good at his job, and anyone would be lucky to have him as their attorney."
Employee benefits Attorney | Aug 15
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"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?!"
Personal injury Attorney | Apr 07
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"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."
Litigation Attorney | Apr 07
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I've had the great pleasure of working with Mr. Crawford as co-counsel on a significant personal injury case. The decision to co-counsel with Mr. Crawford resulted from my experience with Mr. Crawford as opposing counsel in several employment-related litigation cases. Not only was Mr. Crawford a consummate professional in our dealings as opposing counsel, but he displayed true compassion for his clients. More importantly, Mr. Crawford worked tirelessly to achieve great success on his clients' behalf. I recommend Mel Crawford without equivocation and with sincere appreciation for his efforts and dedication on his clients' (and co-counsel) behalf."
Personal injury Attorney | Apr 02
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"Mel is a very bright and thorough trial lawyer. Mel and I have worked together on the opposite side of a difficult wrongful death case. Since we resolved our case, I have referred several plaintiffs' personal injury cases to Mel."
Personal injury Attorney | Apr 01
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer's work. I have know Mel for many years and can tell you that should you hire him, you will not only be getting a very smart lawyer who practices with the utmost integrity, but you will also be gaining a person who cares very deeply about your personal plight."
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