Contact Derek Chen

Before proceeding, please note: If you are not a current client of Keating, Bucklin & McCormack, Inc., P.S., please do not include any information in this e-mail that you or someone else considers to be confidential. Keating, Bucklin & McCormack, Inc., P.S. has no duty to keep confidential any of the information you provide via email or otherwise unless you are a client of the firm. You message will not be considered a request for legal advice or hiring a lawyer, and no attorney-client relationship with Keating, Bucklin & McCormack, Inc., P.S. or any lawyer at Keating, Bucklin & McCormack, Inc., P.S. will be established, unlessKeating, Bucklin & McCormack, Inc., P.S. agrees to such a relationship as reflected in an engagement letter or other written agreement.



Derek Chen


Derek is an associate attorney at Keating, Bucklin & McCormack, Inc. who joined the firm after working as a law clerk during his final year of law school at the University of Washington.  His practice includes municipal and insurance defense litigation, including employment and labor law, civil rights, road design, and personal injury matters.  Representative clients include the City of Edmonds, the University of Washington, the Seattle School District and SCORE.

Before joining KBM, Derek interned with Starbucks Corporate Counsel, the United States Navy JAG Corps, and the Washington State Attorney General’s Office (Torts Division).  While in law school, Derek earned a CALI award in Pre-Trial Practice and served on the executive board of the Washington International Law Journal as Director of Development.  In his free time, Derek enjoys playing soccer, crabbing, and fishing.

Representative Cases

Trial Verdicts

Graham v. South Correctional Entity (SCORE), et al.: Derek Chen and Stew Estes obtained a defense verdict on behalf of the South Correctional Entity (SCORE).  The plaintiff claimed corrections officers assaulted her during a pat-down search, causing her various physical and emotional injuries.  The jury returned a defense verdict in less than an hour.

Summary Judgment and Dispositive Motion Dismissals

Lewis, et al. v. Seattle School District (Affirmed by Court of Appeals), Fuller v. Seattle School District, Tahir v. Seattle School District: Derek Chen and Stew Estes obtained a full summary judgment dismissal on behalf of the Seattle School District and two individual employees who were named defendants.  The defendants were accused of violating the plaintiffs’ First Amendment rights, as well as multiple torts related to their removal from District property.  Two related lawsuits were also dismissed on dispositive motions.

Billings v. Town of Steilacoom (Affirmed by Court of Appeals): Derek Chen and Jayne Freeman obtained a full summary judgment dismissal on behalf of the Town of Steilacoom.  The plaintiff was a former employee who claimed he was discriminated and retaliated against based on his union activities and an alleged disability.

Amr v. Sharon Whittaker, et al.: Derek Chen obtained Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal of Plaintiff’s Due Process and other federal and state law claims on the basis of quasi-judicial immunity.

Seattle School District Protection Order Cases: Derek Chen has prevailed in four protective order hearings for the Seattle School District involving harassment and bullying complaints.

Inquest Practice

Successful representation of City of Kent and three individual officers in Coroner’s Inquest Jury Trial following fatal shooting of a suspect who pulled a gun on officers during service of a search warrant.

Successful representation of City of Kent and two individual officers in Coroner’s Inquest Jury Trial following fatal shooting of a suspect who attempted to run over a police officer with his vehicle.

Contract Work

Derek Chen also prepares and provides advice regarding liability releases for various organizations.



"Employment Law Update," presented at the Pacific Northwest Ski Areas Association's Spring Conference, Wenatchee, Washington 2019

Amicus Briefs

Derek co-authored an amicus curiae brief for the Washington State Supreme Court on behalf of the Washington State Association of Municipal Attorneys. (Wuthrich v. King County, No. 44019-9-II.)

Education, Recognition, and Honors

  • University of California, Irvine – B.A. Political Science, Minor in Spanish language, 2011 
  • University of Washington – J.D. Degree, 2015
  • Washington International Law Journal (Executive Board)
  • CALI Award in Pre-Trial Practice at the University of Washington School of Law
  • King County Bar Association Bar Scholarship Recipient


Derek was listed in Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch® for Litigation: Labor and Employment (2021).

Derek was selected from a group of several nominees by the Honorable Richard Jones, Karen Murray, and the planning committee to serve as the King County Bar Foundation’s Bar Scholar Speaker at the 2017 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Luncheon sponsored by the King County Bar Association.  Derek delivered a speech on diversity ahead of Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post to an audience of over 900 people.

Professional and Community Activities

  • Washington State Bar Association, since 2015
  • Washington Defense Trial Lawyers, since 2014
  • Asian Bar Association of Washington, since 2013 (Board of Directors, 2016-2018)
  • Association of Ski Defense Attorneys, since 2017

“KBM is a trial factory with attorneys who really know what they are doing in trial.”

U.S. District Court Judge, U.S. District Court