Gregory M. Miller (206) 607-4176 Assistant: Liz Fuhrmann (206) 607-4163
Appellate Advocacy  |  Health Care  |  Labor & Employment Law

Gregory Miller joined the firm to help form its Appellate Group in 2008.  Mr. Miller also maintains a substantial health law practice representing physicians and physician groups in contract negotiation and employment and practice issues.

Mr. Miller’s practice has been primarily appellate since 1996.  He has argued more than seventy cases before the Washington appellate courts and the Ninth Circuit in civil, constitutional, criminal, and family law.  Mr. Miller frequently files “friend of the court” (amicus curiae) briefs for parties on major policy issues, authoring 13 in the past four years.  In June, 2014, March, 2015, and September, 2015, Washington Supreme Court majorities cited his amicus brief or adopted its arguments in decisions upholding the position the brief supported.  He is a founding member of the Washington Appellate Lawyers Association, and chaired the WALA Appellate Judges CJE presentations in 2003 and 2006 and the KCBA Appellate Practice Section in 2006-07.

Mr. Miller clerked for Judge Ken Grosse at the Washington Court of Appeals from January 1985 to August 1986 and externed in U.S. District Court for Judge John C. Coughenour in 1983.  Before and after serving as staff counsel to the Washington State Senate Health and Long Term Care Committee for the 1990 legislative session, Mr. Miller was in private practice, engaged in class action litigation, health law, and municipal law.  He represented public school districts generally and in labor and employment matters (including grievance hearings, arbitrations, non-renewals, and collective bargaining), and cities and towns generally and in land use and criminal law as prosecutor.  Mr. Miller developed his appellate practice during the ten years he operated his sole practice.

In 1976-81, Mr. Miller helped Washington jails develop constitutionally adequate health services for inmates and the AMA develop national standards and an accreditation program for health services in jails.  The Okanogan, Whatcom, and Whitman county jails were among the first 16 accredited by the AMA in 1978 for meeting national standards. Mr. Miller coordinated and wrote the 1980 independent audit assessing the Washington Penitentiary’s health services required by Hoptowit v. Ray, No. 79-359 (E.D.Wash.1980), reversed in part, 682 F.2d 1237 (1982), and has testified as an expert on the adequacy of jail health services.

Mr. Miller’s thirty-two years of legal practice and prior practical experiences give him deep experience in appellate and general litigation from both plaintiff and defense perspectives, and health law from both the institutional and physician perspectives.

Honors and Recognitions

  • The American Lawyer, Corporate Counsel and The National Law Journal as one of the 2013 Top Rated Lawyers in Health Care
  • American Lawyer Media as a Top Rated Lawyer in Labor & Employment
  • Seattle Metropolitan Magazine as one of King County’s “Top Lawyers 2010”
  • Martindale-Hubbell® awarded Mr. Miller an “AV” Preeminent rating and also recognized him as a 2013 Top Rated Lawyer in Appellate Law.  The AV rating is given to attorneys who demonstrate the highest ethical standards and professional ability.


  • J.D., Northeastern University School of Law, 1984
  • A.B., Harvard University, 1976, cum laude

Bar and Court Admissions

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

Merits Appeals – Recent Cases of Note

  • Foss Maritime Co. v. Brandewiede, 190 Wn. App. 186, 359 P.3d 905 (Div. I, Sept. 14, 2015) (appellant). Reversed trial court’s order disqualifying defendant’s trial counsel on the eve of trial for alleged misconduct in review of documents provided by employer’s ex-employee containing allegedly privileged communications, after employer granted direct contact of ex-employee to counsel.  Obtained emergency stay of disqualification order and discretionary review to get case before the appellate court.
  • Akhavuz v. Moody et al, 178 Wn. App. 526, 315 P.3d 572 (Div. I, 2013) (appellant). Reversed vacation of default judgment in premises liability case to provide recovery for plaintiff, holding there is no such thing as an “innocent insured doctrine” that allows for vacation of a default judgment a year after it had been entered, where no defense was made and the defendant was promptly served with complaint, case schedule, and complete discovery requests.
  • Tatham v. Rogers, 170 Wn.App. 76, 283 P.3d 583 (Div. III., 2012) (appellant).  Reversed refusal to vacate property division in underlying committed intimate relationship for trial judge’s failure to disclose material information on the relationship between  the woman’s counsel and the trial judge, and where the lopsided property division called into question its fairness given the circumstances and the law as to such divisions, non-disclosure was not harmless.

Amicus Curiae Representation

Miller’s amicus curiae practice gives local and national groups input into major cases by presenting policy and legal arguments about how the court should address specific issues presented, providing input on the practical ramifications of the decision beyond the litigants. Recent briefs have addressed medical malpractice and general tort liability, health care regulation, the constitutionality of charter schools, parenting plans, and municipal antitrust liability.  In June 2014, March 2015, and September 2015, the Washington Supreme Court cited his brief or adopted its arguments in decisions upholding the position the brief supported.

  • Keck v. Collins, 184 Wn.2d 358, 357 P.3d 1080 (Sept. 24, 2015). Affirmed the requirement of experts to state specific facts supporting opinions at summary judgment in medical negligence cases, declining to overrule Guile v. Ballard Hospital, 70 Wn. App. 18 (1993). Adopted the amicus brief’s suggestion to require trial courts to use the test developed in Burnet v. Spokane Ambulance, 131 Wn.2d 484, 933 P.2d 1036 (1997) and its progeny when deciding to exclude late-filed evidence at summary judgment.
  • Fergen v. Sestero, 182 Wn.2d 794, 346 P.3d 708 (March 12, 2015). The Court upheld, 5-4, continued use of the “exercise of judgment” instruction in medical malpractice cases claiming a mis-diagnosis. The majority held the instruction may continue to be used in proper cases over a strong challenge to eliminate the instruction entirely, and a strong dissent from Justice Stephens.  The majority incorporated the amicus analysis that the instruction is a necessary “tool in the toolbox” for trial judges.
  • Anya-Gomez v. Sauerwein, 180 Wn.2d 610, 331 P.3d 19 (June 19, 2014). The Court held 5-4 that, in a misdiagnosis case, the informed
  • consent doctrine and statute do not allow a separate, independent claim against a physician who did not give the patient inconclusive, preliminary test results, which were still subject to verification. The amicus brief was cited three times in the majority opinion.
  • State Hospital Ass’n v. Wa. Dep’t. of Health, 183 Wn.2d 590, 353 P.3d 1285 (July 9, 2015). Held the Department of Health exceeded its authority under the certificate of need program regulating health care costs and expansion by attempting to control changes in ownership or control over hospitals through a rule change under the CON laws, consistent with the amicus position.
  • League of Women Voters of Wash., et al. v. State, et al., 184 Wn.2d 393, 355 P.3d 1131 (Sept. 4, 2015) (local counsel). Ruled that the Charter Schools Initiative, I-1240, violated Washington Constitution requirements related to the supervision and funding of common (public K-12) schools, and that the Initiative’s public funding scheme for charter schools was unconstitutional.
  • In re Marriage of Chandola, 180 Wn. 2d 632, 327 P.3d 644 (2014). In parenting plan appeal, amicus brief addressed the need for parenting plans to provide for quick, phased-in restoration of child-parent relationship when disrupted by unfounded allegations of abuse.
  • Washington Water Jet Workers Ass’n v. Yarbrough, 151 Wn.2d 470, 90 P.3d 42 (2004). Prisoner prevailing wage work-rehabilitation programs in state prisons held unconstitutional 5-4 on reconsideration of earlier 5-4 decision upholding the programs. 2 § 29 of the 1889 State Constitution prohibiting lease of inmate labor prohibited the existing state-supervised, rehabilitation-based programs.
  • Abbott v. CUNA Mutual Ins. Soc., 102 Wn. App. 519, 7 P.3d 852 (Div. II, 2000). Argued in favor of public policy ban on care-takers insuring the lives of their patients and disallowing life insurance recovery by quadriplegic’s caretaker.

Other Cases of Note

  • Keene v. Edie, 131 Wn.2d 822, 935 P2d 588 (1997). Overruled, 9-0, Brotton v. Langert, 1 Wash. 73, 23 Pac. 388 (1890), on the construction of community property statutes to permit tort victims to recover from the tort-feasor’s interest in community real property where other resources were exhausted or inadequate, while safeguarding the innocent spouse’s interests in the property.
  • Farmer v. Farmer, 172 Wn.2d 616, 259 P.3d 256 (2011). In marital dissolution context, affirmed trial court’s tort-based “make whole” measure of damages for employee stock options converted by soon-to-be-ex-spouse, based on stock value appreciation to date of potential exercise discounted to present value, where options were increasing in value and exercisable over many years.
  • Marriage of Katare, 125 Wn. App. 813, 105 P.3d 44 (Div. I., 2004), rev. den., 155 Wn.2d 1005 (2005). Vacated two-county travel restriction for visitations and remanded to clarify intent and rulings on international travel restrictions in relocation case.
  • Hargis v. Foster, et al, 312 F.3d 404 (9th Cir. 2002). Reversed dismissal of Idaho prisoner’s 1st Amendment claim and remanded to determine whether discipline of prisoner speech violated the constitution.
  • State v. King and Israel, 113 Wn. App. 243, 54 P.3d 1218 (Div. I, 2002), rev. den., 149 Wn.2d 1015 (2003). Reversed four convictions for instructional error on conspiracy charges, which had allowed finding of guilt for accomplice liability based on reasonable forseeability of acts, rather than on the knowledge of the specific substantive crimes charged.
  • Marriage of Possinger, 105 Wn. App. 326, 19 P.3d 1109 (Div. I, 2001), rev. den., 145 Wn. 2d 1003 (2002). Affirmed trial court’s retention of jurisdiction for later determination of permanent parenting plan when circumstances were inadequate or inappropriate to make a permanent plan at the time of the divorce.
  • Ackler, et al. v. Cowlitz County, 7 Fed. Appx. 543, 2001 WL 115019 (9th Cir. 2001). Reversed refusal to award third year of damages for willful violation of Fair Labor Standards Act for sheriffs’ deputies; reversed the denial of double damages; awarded attorney’s fees.
  • Hunter v. U.W, 101 Wn.App. 283, 2 P.3d 1022 (Div. I, 2000), rev. den., 142 Wn.2d 1021 (2001). Reversed denial of administrative appeal; mandated grant of tuition wavier to law student because the University of Washington was required to follow administrative rule-making in adopting policies; awarded fees under EAJA.
  • Estrada v. McNulty, 98 Wn. App. 717, 988 P.2d 492 (Div. I, 1999). Vacated award of pension death benefits to deceased’s ex-wife and awarded benefits to client because statute in effect at time of death did not require that the designated beneficiary have an insurable interest in the deceased; obtained appellate stay to preserve benefits during appeal.
  • State v. Hansen, 122 Wn.2d 712, 862 P.2d 117 (1993). Affirmed conviction of directing a threat toward a judge based on interpretation of RCW 9A.72.160’s language of “direct a threat to a judge” and the scope of the attorney-client privilege.

Speaking Engagements

  • “Appeals From the Inside & Out: Behind the Scenes and Behind the Podium at Division III,” Gonzaga University School of Law, Spokane, Washington, December 2, 2016.

Professional Associations

  • King County Bar Association, 1985 – present; trustee, 2001-2004.
  • Washington Appellate Lawyer’s Association, 2000- present. Founding member; chaired Appellate Judges CJE programs, 2003, 2006.
  • Appellate Law Section, King County Bar Association, 2005 – present; chair, 2006-2007.
  • Judicial Evaluation Committee, King County Bar Association, chair, 1999-2000.
  • Martin Luther King Luncheon Committee, King County Bar Association, 2004 – present.
  • Washington State Bar Association, 1984 – present.