April 15, 2021

Volume XI, Number 105

Michael D. McKay

Michael McKay is a partner in the firm’s Seattle office. With his experience as a former United States Attorney, Mr. McKay focuses his practice on white collar criminal defense, commercial litigation, and internal investigations, both corporate and government.

As U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington in Seattle, Mr. McKay supervised many prominent lawsuits filed by and against the United States. He made the charging decision in the first flag burning case in America, an action granted direct review by the United States Supreme Court. He reorganized the office to more efficiently handle specialized cases including fraud, environmental crime, and drugs, mainstays of that office today.

Mr. McKay has significant experience assisting clients facing legal problems with federal and local governments, including civil, criminal and administrative matters. He represents corporations and executives, as well as physicians and dentists, facing governmental investigations. In addition, he has represented a variety of clients in complex commercial litigation.

Private companies and municipal corporations have hired Mr. McKay to conduct internal investigations. On rare occasions, the investigation results are made public:

  • In 2008, the Port of Seattle hired Mr. McKay to serve as counsel for the Special Investigative Committee, which conducted an internal investigation into Port contracting practices. Mike’s team found evidence of civil fraud and other instances where state laws and Port policies were violated, which were documented in the Report of the Special Investigative Team, issued on December 3, 2008. The Report provided a set of recommendations that the Port CEO implemented to improve the Port's compliance practices and deter fraud.
  • In 1999, the City of Seattle asked Mr. McKay to investigate police policies and procedures in the wake of allegations that a detective stole money from a homicide victim. Mr. McKay served as Vice Chair of a four-member Citizens Review Panel which, after a thorough investigation, made over twenty recommendations to improve the Seattle Police Department’s procedures and oversight. In 2008, Mr. McKay served on the Seattle Police Accountability Review Panel, which reviewed the 1999 model and made 29 recommendations, all of which were accepted by the mayor.

Articles in the National Law Review database by Michael D. McKay