Matthew J.


Matt Segal has extensive courtroom experience, including numerous trials and appeals covering significant constitutional, insurance, public government, and agency matters.

Matthew (“Matt”) Segal is a founding partner of Pacifica Law Group. Matt’s practice focuses on constitutional, appeals, and complex public policy litigation, counseling and dispute resolution for public and private clients. Matt’s litigation experience spans the appellate and trial court level, including an emphasis on both federal and state constitutional issues, government, public records, commercial and insurance matters, and media & privacy issues.

Matt has appeared and presented arguments in state and federal trial and appellate courts across the country, including the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Washington Supreme Court, all three divisions of the Washington Court of Appeals, and the United States District Courts for the Western District of Washington and Eastern District of Washington, District of D.C., Southern District of California, Southern District of Texas, and District of Maine.

Matt regularly counsels and defends public clients with respect to a wide range of topics. Matt has represented cities such as Bellevue, Kent, Kennewick, Seattle, Snoqualmie and Everett; King and Clark Counties; and other public entities such as Sound Transit, SCORE Jail, and school districts throughout the state.

Prior to the founding of Pacifica Law Group, Matt was a partner at the law firm of K&L Gates, and an associate at its predecessor firm Preston Gates & Ellis. During his time at the Preston firm, Matt undertook a trial fellowship with the King County Prosecutor’s Office, where he tried felony criminal cases. Before entering private practice, Matt served as a judicial clerk for Justice Charles W. Johnson of the Washington State Supreme Court, and an extern for the Pierce County Department of Assigned Counsel. Matt began his legal career as a law clerk for Rush, Hannula, Harkins & Kyler in Tacoma, Wash.

Matt is an adjunct professor at Seattle University School of Law currently teaching Conflict of Laws. Matt served on the Board of Directors of the ACLU of Washington and the Seattle Opera. He has been repeatedly commended by the Washington State Bar Association for his pro bono legal work.

Matt earned his J.D. from Seattle University School of Law, in 1999, summa cum laude. He was a Presidential Law Scholar and Lead Article Editor for the Seattle University Law Review. He earned his B.A. in history from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1993. At Berkeley, Matt also served as the News Director for KALX Radio. Before he became a lawyer, Matt worked as a print and broadcast journalist, including filings and submissions for the Associated Press, A.P. Network News, ABC News, the Alaska Public Radio Network and Pacific Islands Monthly in Fiji.

Bar Admissions:
  • Washington
  • Oregon
  • University of California, Berkeley, B.A., History
  • Seattle University School of Law, J.D. summa cum laude (Presidential Law Scholar and Lead Article Editor for the Seattle University Law Review)
  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America©in the fields of Appellate Law and Municipal Law (Copyright by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC), 2013-2021
  • Selected for Washington Super Lawyers, 2011-2021
  • Selected for Washington Rising Stars, 2004-2009
  • Preston Gates & Ellis Jim Ellis Award for service as an ACLU Cooperating Attorney
  • Greater Seattle Business Association’s Special Recognition Award Collaboration for Social Change
  • Expressive Conduct, WSAMA Fall Conference, 2019
  • #PRA and Open Meetings Don’t Always Happen IRL, WAPRO Spring Training, 2019
  • Electronic Records, WAPRO Spring Training, 2018
  • That’s the Ticket: Navigating Gifting of Public Funds and Lending of Credit, WSAMA Fall Conference, 2017 (and accompanying article)
  • Sharing the Road with Uber and Lyft, WSAMA Spring Conference, 2017
  • Public Records Act Policies in the Digital Age, WSAMA Spring Conference, 2017
  • E-discovery, Metadata, and Public Records, WAPRO Spring Training, 2016
  • From Bruce to Baristas: “One Man’s Vulgarity is Another’s Lyric….”, WSAMA Fall Conference, 2014
  • How Penalties and Fees Tie to Agency Best Practices, WSBA: The State of the Public Records Act in 2014 and Beyond, 2014 (and contributing author to Deskbook)
  • Public Records Act, COSA Fall Workshop, 2014
  • Record Searches and Metadata: Learning from Civil Discovery, WAPRO Spring Training, 2013
  • Regulating Advertising in Public Spaces and Other Open Public Forum Issues, WSAMA Fall Conference, 2013
  • Update on Public Records Including Proactive Litigation: Prisoner Injunctions, WSAMA Spring Conference, 2012
  • Balancing Campaign Regulations and Free Expression, WASBO Conference, 2012
  • Trying the Takings Case/The Trial Before the Trial – The Practicalities of Effective Case Preparation and Strategy Before Filing and Hearing, Regulatory Takings Seminar, 2012
  • Applying the Latest Legal Authority in Your Production of Electronic Records, WAPRO Spring Training, 2011
  • Electronic Records: A Meta Philosophy of Metadata, WAPRO Fall Conference, 2011
  • Public Records: Practical Issues Managing Social Media, WSAMA Fall Conference, 2010
  • The Public Utility of Social Media: Using the Tools and Knowing the Rules, Washington Public Utility Districts Association, 2010
  • Applying PDC Guidelines to Social Media, Social Media Workshop for Schools, 2010
  • Preservation of Electronic Public Records: What is Required and How to Comply, WSAMA Fall Conference, 2009
  • Legal Implications of RIF (Regional Institutional Framework), Governing Council of South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission, Port Vila, Vanuatu, 2009
  • Religious Land Use Issues in Washington State, WSAMA Fall Conference, 2008
  • Washington’s Public Records Act, WSAMA Spring Conference, 2007
  • Northwest Public Records Statutes, PNRC-NAHRO Annual Conference, 2006
Representative Matters:
  • Black v. Cent. Puget Sound Reg’l Transit Auth., 195 Wn.2d 198, 457 P.3d 453 (2020)
  • Temple v. Clark Cty., 20-CV-5034-RJB-JRC, 2020 WL 2708830 (W.D. Wash. Apr. 22, 2020)
  • King Cty. V. King Cty. Water Districts Nos. 20, 45, 49, 90, 111, 119, 125, 194 2d830, 453 P.3d 681 (2019)
  • Willis v. City of Seattle, 943 F.3d 882 (9th 2019)
  • Edge v. City of Everett, 929 F.3d 657 (9th Cir. 2019)
  • Costco Wholesale Corp. v. Arrowood Indem. Co., 387 F. Supp. 3d 1165 (W.D. Wash. 2019), reconsideration denied, No. C17-1212RSL, 2019 WL 1979289 (W.D. Wash. May 3, 2019)
  • Kaseburg v. Port of Seattle et al., 744 F. App’x 356 (9th Cir. 2018), denied, 139 S. Ct. 1546, 203 L. Ed. 2d 712 (2019)
  • Lyft, Inc. v. City of Seattle, 190 Wn. 2d 769, 418 P.3d 102 (2018)
  • Temple B’Nai Torah v. City of Bellevue, No. C05-1921JCC (W.D. Wash. 2005-2018) (resolution of constitutional religion claims and consent decree)
  • Chamber of Commerce of the United States of Am. v. City of Seattle, 890 F.3d 769 (9th Cir. 2018) (amicus)
  • Soundbuilt Nw., LLC v. Commonwealth Land Title Ins. Co., 200 Wn. App. 1030 (2017) (affirmed jury verdict)
  • Hooper v. City of Seattle, No. C17-77RSM, 2017 WL 4410029, at *1 (W.D. Wash. Oct. 4, 2017) (denial of preliminary injunction)
  • Binschus v. State, 186 Wn. 2d 573, 380 P.3d 468 (2016) (amicus)
  • Milgard Mfg., Inc. v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 107 F. Supp. 3d 1171 (W.D. Wash. 2015), order amended on reconsideration, C13-6024 BHS, 2015 WL 4898902 (W.D. Wash. Aug. 17, 2015)
  • Davis v. Cox, 183 Wn. 2d 269, 351 P.3d 862 (2015) (amicus)
  • Sargent v. Seattle Police Dep’t, 179 Wn. 2d 376, 314 P.3d 1093 (2013)
  • Freeman v. State, 178 Wn. 2d 387, 309 P.3d 437 (2013)
  • Commonwealth Land Title Ins. Co. v. Soundbuilt Nw. LLC, 175 Wn. App. 1004 (2013)
  • PacifiCorp v. Nw. Pipeline GP, 879 F. Supp. 2d 1171 (D. Or. 2012)
  • Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority v. Level 3 Communications, LLC, 2012 WL 1574305 (9th 2012)
  • Parisi et al. v. Sinclair et al., 774 F. Supp. 2d 310 (D.D.C. 2011) (summary judgment in favor of in libel action), appeal dismissed, 2012 WL 3068437 (D.C. Cir. 2012)
  • Chicago Title Ins. Co. v. Washington State Office of Ins. Com’r, 166 Wn. App. 844, 271 P.3d 373 (2012), on review, 178 Wn.2d 120, 309 P.3d 372 (2013)
  • Freeman v. Gregoire, 171 Wn.2d 316, 256 P.3d 264 (2011) (dismissal of original writ proceeding in Washington Supreme Court in favor of Sound Transit)
  • Milgard Mfg., Inc. v. Illinois Union Ins. Co., 2011 WL 3298912 (W.D. Wash. 2011)
  • Eastwood Enterprises, Inc. v. Tacoma School Dist. No. 10, 2011 WL 2565255 (Wash. App. 2011) (obtained reversal of fee awards against the District, and denial of subsequent petition for review)
  • State v. Fry, 168 Wn.2d 1, 228 P.2d 1 (2010) (amicus)
  • Sanders v. State, 169 Wn.2d, 240 P.3d 120 (2010)
  • Pande Cameron & Co. of Seattle, Inc. v. Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority & City of Seattle, 610 F. Supp. 2d. 1288 (W.D. Wash. 2009), aff’d, 376 F. Appx. 672 (9th Cir. 2010)
  • Coulter v. AstenJohnson, Inc., 155 Wn. App. 1, 230 P. 3d 169 (2010)
  • United States v. Manning, 434 F. Supp. 2d 988 (E.D. Wash. 2006), aff’d, 527 F.3d 828 (9th Cir. 2008) (constitutionality of Washington Initiative 297)
  • Gearin v. Jones, 2008 WL 4060945 (Wash. App. 2008)
  • City of Bellevue v. Parmelee, No. 08-2-30056-1SEA, (K.C. Super. Ct., 2008-2009) (public records and constitutional claims)
  • Washington Rule of Law Project v. McKenna(Wash. 2007)
  • Pierce County v. State II, 159 Wn.2d 16, 148 P.3d 1002 (2006)
  • In re Disciplinary Proceeding Against Sanders, 159 Wn.2d 517, 145 P.3d 1208 (2006) (amicus)
  • Coulter v. AstenJohnson, Inc., 135 Wn. App. 613, 146 P. 3d 444 (2006)
  • Sheehan v. Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority et al., 155 Wn.2d 790, 123 P.3d 88 (2005)
  • United States v. Hoffman, 154 Wn.2d 730, 116 P.3d 999 (2005)
  • Washington State Farm Bureau Fed’n v. Reed, 154 Wn.2d 668, 115 P.3d 301 (2005)
  • Hansen v. Knoll(Wash. App. 2005) (appeal settled post argument)
  • Kirlan Venture Capital, Inc. v. Regis(Wash. App. 2005) (represented trial counsel in appeal of sanction award; appeal settled post briefing)
  • In re Marriage of Benson, 2005 WL 2417631 (Wash. App. 2005)
  • Hangartner v. City of Seattle, 151 Wn.2d 439, 90 P.3d 26 (2004)
  • Grant County Fire Protection Dist. No. 5 v. City of Moses Lake, 150 Wn.2d 791, 83 P.3d 419 (2004)
  • Gontmakher v. City of Bellevue, 120 Wn. App. 365, 85 P.3d 926 (2004)
  • Housing Authority of City of Pasco and Franklin County v. City of Pasco, 120 Wn. App. 839, 86 P.3d 1217 (2004) (amicus)
  • Reliance Ins. Co. v. Plum Creek Timber Co., L.P., 2004 WL 838634 (Del. Super.)
  • Pierce County v. State, 150 Wn.2d 422, 78 P.3d 640 (2003)
  • Davis v. Microsoft Corp., 149 Wn.2d 521, 70 P.3d 126 (2003)