Ian Stephen Birk practices in Keller Rohrback L.L.P.’s section for plaintiff tort litigation. Mr. Birk’s practice emphasizes representation of policyholders and other insureds in a broad range of disputes with insurance carriers. He has experience in both first- and third-party coverages and insurance claim handling practices, and he regularly consults with other lawyers on insurance issues. Mr. Birk has represented people who have lost their home; lost their business; been diagnosed with debilitating diseases; or been the victim of physical injury.
In addition, Mr. Birk has represented individual and organizational clients in litigation and at trial in cases ranging from commercial disputes to automobile accidents to securities fraud. He has represented clients with severe brain injuries and clients who were defrauded of millions.
Mr. Birk serves as a volunteer attorney with the King County Bar Association Neighborhood Legal Clinic. He has served as Newsletter Editor of the American Association for Justice Insurance Section, Associate Editor for insurance law for the Trial News, the monthly publication of the Washington Association for Justice. He has been recognized by The National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 40 Under 40 in Washington and has received a 10.0/superb rating from Avvo.com. Before entering private practice, Mr. Birk clerked at the Washington Supreme Court.
Washington State Bar Association, Member
King County Bar Association, Member
Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association, Past Member
American Constitution Society, Puget Sound Chapter, Past Co-Chair
American Association for Justice, Member
Washington State Association for Justice, Member
Trial News, Associate Editor for insurance law
King County Bar Association Neighborhood Legal Clinics, Volunteer Attorney
Selected to the Top 40 Under 40 in Washington by The National Trial Lawyers, 2012
Named to Washington Super Lawyers list, 2005–2006, 2008–2019
Selected to Washington 2019 Super Lawyers Top 100 list, 2019
WSAJ’s 37th Annual Insurance Seminar, Class Actions in Insurance Cases and anti-SLAPP Update, Sea-Tac & Spokane, Washington, January 23 & 30, 2015.
The Cedell Presumption: Discovery of the Insurer’s Claim File in Insurance Bad Faith Litigation in Washington, 49 Gonz. L. Rev. 503 (2014).
Washington Civil Procedure Deskbook, Chapter 19 (3d. ed. 2014).
Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association, Tort Law Update, UIM Bad Faith Claims, Fircrest, Washington, October 17, 2014.
The Right of an Additional Insured to a Copy of the Insurance Policy, Trial News, vol. 48, n. 9, Washington State Association for Justice (May 2013).
WSAJ’s 35th Annual Insurance Seminar, Co-Chair, Spokane & Tacoma, Washington, January 24 & 25, 2013.
WSAJ’s 34th Annual Insurance Seminar, Reasonableness Hearings under RCW 4.22.060 and the Right to Jury Trial, Spokane & Tacoma, Washington, 2012.
Ian S. Birk, “Supreme Court accepts review in stipulated judgment case,” Trial News, vol. 47, n. 3, Washington State Association for Justice (November 2011).
WSAJ’s 1st Annual Winter Conference, Using Consumer Laws to Better Represent Your Injured Clients, Seattle, Washington, 2010.
Ian S. Birk and Lorraine Lewis Phillips, “Should Juries Be Informed of the Consequences of Their Apportionment Decisions?” Litigation News, Litigation Section of the Washington State Bar Association, vol. 21, n. 2 (Fall 2009).
Ian S. Birk, Review: “The Trial of the Templars looks at the use of torture in legal proceedings.” Trial News, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, vol. 43, n. 1 (September 2007).
Ian S. Birk, Review: “All Deliberate Speed: Carrying the Mandate of Brown v. Board of Education into the Future.” Trial News, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, vol. 40, n. 11 (July/August 2005).
Paul Chemnick and Ian S. Birk, “Defeating Allegations of Contributory Fault in Medical Negligence Cases,” Trial News, vol. 39, n. 11, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association (July/August 2004).
Merriman v. American Guarantee & Liability Ins. Co., 198 Wn. App. 594, 396 P.3d 351 (2017), recognition of claims against independent insurance adjusting firm.
Grove v. PeaceHealth, 182 Wn.2d 136, 341 P.3d 261 (2014), reinstatement of jury verdict for plaintiff in medical negligence case.
Representation of class of individuals whose property was damaged in warehouse fire in bad faith claims arising from insurer’s handling of claims. Recovery in excess of $5 million on behalf of class.
Representation of estate of deceased homeowner fatally injured at construction site. Recovery of $2.99 million with disputed insurance coverage.
Representation of estate of deceased nurse fatally injured by drunk driver on supervised probation at the time of accident. Recovery in excess of $1 million from driver and other parties.
Representation of estate of deceased public school teacher for wrongful denial of $150,000 life insurance benefit. Recovery of $400,000.
Derivative case brought pursuant to the entire fairness doctrine on behalf of local corporation and shareholders against directors and officers arising out of self-dealing bonus payments. Recovery in excess of $26 million.
Representation of health care professional after office was destroyed by fire and insurance company refused to extend applicable coverages.
Representation of family after fire damaged family home, insurer delayed loss investigation, contractor demolished structure, and subcontractors placed liens demolished property. Various parties were defended under a reservation of rights.
Representation of construction worker injured in 28-foot fall at construction site without fall protection in place.
Securities fraud case brought on behalf of local investors in start-up venture based on concealment of profits made on sale of start-up.
Representation of executive diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease after denial of long-term disability, disability insurance, and retirement benefits.
Representation of group of employees asserting pattern of discrimination and retaliation against common employer.
University of Washington
B.A., summa cum laude, 1997
University of Washington School of Law
2005, U.S. Supreme Court
2005, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
2005, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington
2005, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington
2011, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York