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Matthew J. Sekits

Shareholder-in-Charge, Seattle
Board of Directors

206.521.6452
vCard | Email | PDF

Matthew J. Sekits

Shareholder-in-Charge, Seattle
Board of Directors

206.521.6452
vCard | Email | PDF

DEMONSTRATED LEADERSHIP IN THE COURTROOM AND IN BUSINESS

Matt Sekits is the Shareholder-in-Charge of Bullivant’s Seattle office and a member of the firm’s Board of Directors. As an accomplished trial lawyer who has successfully tried numerous cases to verdict, Matt defends corporate clients in complex commercial litigation, including class action lawsuits. He brings more than 25 years of experience as lead counsel in multi-million-dollar cases involving liability and property insurance, business torts, shareholder disputes, and catastrophic personal injury or wrongful death. Matt is a go-to lawyer for insurance carriers, handling some of the largest insurance coverage cases in the Northwest and internationally. He’s often called upon when a challenging case has gone awry, offering a fresh perspective and another path forward. 

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As a leader at Bullivant for many years, running a growing Seattle office that has grown five-fold in size under his stewardship, Matt can relate to clients by drawing on his own experience on the business side. He recognizes the responsibilities of business leaders today, and what it takes to be a confident leader who makes good decisions and stands by those decisions. He’s able to empathize with clients and puts himself in their shoes by taking a big picture approach and learning about their business and industry.

Given Matt’s extensive trial experience with large complex cases, he helps clients make sound decisions and crafts the best possible strategy. Clients see him as thorough and creative, with a unique ability to position a case for successful resolution, either through settlement or trial when necessary. 

ADMISSIONS

Bar Admissions

  • Washington, 1996

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Washington
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington

EDUCATION

  • University of Washington, School of Law – J.D.
  • University of California, Berkeley – B.A., with honors

CLIENT WINS

Insurance

  • Defended national property insurer in insurance coverage case  arising out of hurricane damage to a food manufacturing facility. 
  • Defended national liability insurer in jury trial of insurance coverage and bad faith case arising out of patent infringement claims brought against an insured shoemaking company. 
  • Defended national property insurer in jury trial of insurance coverage and fraud case arising out of the alleged vandalism to an insured’s home. 

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Commercial

  • Defended national auto parts maker in breach of contract and business tort case brought by a competitor. 
  • Prevailed in the trial and appellate courts pursuing a case that involved claims against the manufacturer of a clothes dryer after the dryer caught fire. Clients were awarded nearly $1.4 million. The unanimous jury verdict followed a two-week trial and the decision was affirmed on appeal by three judges.
  • Represented international bank in breach of contract case arising out of the purchase of equipment lease payment streams. 
  • Defended national vacation ownership developer in jury trial of copyright infringement case after $100 million lost profit claim was dismissed on summary judgment. 

Catastrophic Personal Injury 

  • Defended regional pipeline company in multiple personal injury cases arising out of a pipe bomb explosion. 
  • Defended stepfather in wrongful death case arising out of a gasoline can explosion that killed his stepson. 
  • Defended cabulance company in wrongful death case arising out of the death of one of its passengers.
  • Co-Speaker, “Bad Faith Discovery: What’s Discoverable, What’s Not, and What Might Be Deemed Discoverable Given the 2015 FRCP Amendments, and How to Adapt to States that Don’t Adopt Changes to Federal Rules,” American Conference Institute (ACI) Extra-Contractual & Bad Faith Liability Conference (2016) 
  • Co-Speaker & Author, “Change is in the Air: Recent Changes in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,” Western States Surety Conference (2016) 
  • Co-Speaker, “Surety Bad Faith: A Pre-Flight Safety Briefing,” Western States Surety Conference (2015) 
  • Co-Speaker, “Discovery and Attorney-Client/Work-Product Privilege Scare: Managing the Widening Scope of Plaintiffs’ Discovery Demands, Institutional Discovery in Bad Faith Cases, and the Erosion of Attorney-Client/Work Product Privilege,” American Conference Institute (ACI) National Forum on Bad Faith Claims & Litigation (2015) 
  • Co-Speaker, “Examining the Impact of Additional Insured Coverage in the Industry and Marketplace,” American Conference Institute (ACI) National Advanced Forum on Bad Faith Litigation (2014) 
  • Co-Author, “Binding Arbitration Clauses No Longer Bind Policyholders in Washington,” American Bar Association Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS), Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee Newsletter (2013) 
  • Co-Speaker, “Introduction to Extra-Contractual Insurance Claims in Washington State,” Western States Surety Conference (2013) 
  • Speaker, “Innovative Strategies for Litigating Bad Faith Claims,” Washington Defense Trial Lawyers (WDTL) Insurance Law Update (2013) 
  • Co-Speaker, “Innovative Procedural and Substantive Strategies in Litigating Bad Faith Claims: Motion Practice, Expert Witnesses, Attorneys Fees and Beyond,” American Conference Institute (ACI) Advanced Forum on Bad Faith Litigation (2012) 
  • Co-Speaker, “Insurance Bad Faith Claims,” Sterling Education Services CLE Seminar (2012) 
  • Chapter Author, “Professional Liability Insurance: A Compendium of State Law,” Defense Research Institute (DRI) (2012) 
  • Co-Speaker, “So You’ve Got All Sums – Now What?: Applying All Sums to a Complex Insurance Program,” HB Litigation Conference (2012) 
  • Co-Speaker, “Ethics: Attorney-Client Privilege & Work Product Protections,” American Conference Institute (ACI) Advanced Forum on Bad Faith Litigation (2011) 
  • Co-Speaker, “Preparing to Tell Your Story and Attack the Plaintiff’s Story at Trial,” Defense Research Institute (DRI) Insurance Bad Faith and Extra-Contractual Liability Seminar (2011) 
  • Co-Speaker, “Protecting the Insurer’s Internal Communications from Discovery,” Defense Research Institute (DRI) Insurance Bad Faith and Extra-Contractual Liability Seminar (2011) 
  • Co-Speaker, “Washington’s ‘Insurance Fair Conduct Act’—A Potential Landmine for the Unwary,” Western States Surety Conference (2011) 
  • Speaker, Society of Claim Law Associates (SCLA) Annual Claims Education Conference (2008-2010, 2012-2015) 
  • AV® Preeminent™, Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell  
  • Selected for inclusion in Washington Super Lawyers (2018-2022 — Insurance Coverage)
  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© (2016-2024 — Insurance Law)

CHAMPION OF COMMUNITY AND ACTIVE ATHLETE

Matt has also remained active in the community on diversity initiatives and children’s issues. He supports local diversity organizations and works on inclusive hiring practices for the firm. Matt is frequently asked by the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues to act as pro bono counsel to secure the return of children abducted from their home countries under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. He also serves as a guest faculty member for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) Building Trial Skills program. 

Growing up in Seattle, Matt has always enjoyed the outdoors. He is an active runner and cyclist and raced for the Cal Cycling team while attending UC Berkeley.

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