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Brian Keeley - Employee Benefits and ERISA Attorney - Seattle, WA

Brian K. Keeley

Of Counsel

(206) 407-1540 Direct

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Professional Experience
Brian Keeley focuses his practice in the areas of employment, employee benefits and ERISA. He has defended employers against claims by employees before the EEOC, the Washington State Human Rights Commission, the United States Department of Labor, the Washington Department of Labor and Industry, and the Washington Employment Security Department.

Mr. Keeley handles litigation in state and federal court when employees bring claims of discrimination, harassment, failure to accommodate disabilities, wrongful termination, violation of wage and hour laws, and other areas of employment. He represents employers, insurers, and employee-benefit plans in employee-benefit claims. He also provides advice and training to employers to help prevent issues from arising with employees. He also has experience in the unique problems that arise in the crossover between employment and intellectual property when employees move from company to company.

Mr. Keeley has been recognized as a Washington Rising Star, which is an annual listing of the top up-and-coming attorneys in the state -- those who are 40 years old or younger, or who have been practicing for 10 years or less.

Professional & Community Activities
Mr. Keeley is active in several civic and professional organizations including:
• Defense Research Institute (DRI) – Employment Law Committee; Life, Health & Disability/ERISA Committee
• King County Bar Association – Labor and Employment Law Section
• Washington State Bar Association
• American Bar Association – Labor and Employment Law Section; Litigation Section
• Society for Human Resource Management
• Northwest Human Resources Management Association
• Lake Washington Human Resource Association
• King County Civil Service Commission – Commissioner
• Path With Art – Board member, past President, past Treasurer

• Guest Speaker, "Employee Benefits - Overview," Columbia College MBA Program Course on Human Resource Management (May 2012)
• Presenter, "Employment Issues Facing House Corporations," in conjunction with Greek Property Advisors (January 2012)
• Guest Speaker, "Compensation and Benefits," Trinity Lutheran College, Human Resources Management Course (December 2011)
• Speaker, "Avoiding Employee Lawsuit Liability," Southwest Washington Human Resources Management Association (SWHRMA) (August 2011)
• Speaker, "Wage and Hour Issues — Independent Contractors, Classifications, Volunteers and Other HR Hazards," Seattle SHRM (May 2011)
• Speaker, "Healthcare Coverage and Epilepsy," Epilepsy Foundation Northwest H.O.P.E. and Epilepsy Conference (November 2010)
• Speaker, "Leave Related to Military Service: State and Federal Requirements," Administering the Family and Medical Leave Act Under the Current Regulations (Lorman seminar, July 2010)
• Guest Speaker, "Employee Benefits Issues," Columbia College MBA Program Course on Human Resource Management (February 2010)
• Presenter, Bullivant Houser Bailey's Employment Law Boot Camp for Managers, Supervisors, HR Professionals, and Business Owners
• Presenter, Bullivant Houser Bailey's Seattle Employment Seminar Series

Appellate Decisions
Welsh v. MetLife:  The Ninth Circuit upheld summary judgment for MetLife as the plan administrator of an ERISA governed employee benefit plan.  The court affirmed the district court's holding that MetLife did not abuse its discretion in denying a claim by an accountant for disability benefits.  Welsh v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., No. 10-36150, 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 18343 (9th Cir. Aug. 30, 2011).

Ward-Davis v. Stonebridge Life Insurance Company:  Following oral argument, the Ninth Circuit upheld summary judgment for Stonebridge on an accidental-death policy.  The insured died from elevated levels of prescription drugs.  The court affirmed the district court's holding that that the medical-treatment exclusion in the policy excluded coverage.  Ward-Davis v. Stonebridge Life Ins. Co., 446 Fed. Appx. 52 (9th Cir. 2011).

Admitted to Practice
Washington State Courts
California State Courts
Alaska State Courts
United States Court of the Western District of Washington
United States Court of the Eastern District of Washington
United States Court of the Northern District of California
United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
United States Court of the Western District of Arkansas
United States Court of the Eastern District of Arkansas

• Author, "Montour v. Hartford: Ninth Circuit Hacks Away at Discretionary Standard of Review," DRI ERISA Report (December 2009)
• Co-author, Washington Chapter, "Misrepresentation in the Life, Health, and Disability Insurance Application Process: A National Survey," American Bar Association Tort Trial Insurance Section (2009)
• Co-author, "Ninth Circuit Expands FLSA to Tribes," King County Bar Association, Bar Bulletin (September 2009)

University of California, Davis School of Law, Juris Doctor degree (2000)
Colorado College, Bachelor of Arts degree, Economics (1995)

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