Attorney Profiles


Jeffrey L. Needle


Jeffrey Needle graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1969, and from American University Law School in 1972. He was on the law review staff and an editor of the law journal.


Approximately 90 percent of his practice is now devoted to the litigation of civil rights cases, consisting of employment discrimination and the vindication of constitutional rights. The remainder of his practice constitutes personal injury. Mr. Needle represents plaintiffs exclusively.


Mr. Needle has litigated civil rights cases in both state and federal court and in the trial and appellate courts at all levels involving employment discrimination, wrongful discharge and constitutional violations, e.g ., Burnside v. Simpson Paper, 66 Wn.App. 510, 832 P.2d 537 aff'd , 123 Wn.2d 93 (1994)(age discrimination and implied contract); Lucas v. J.C. Penny, Western District of Washington, #C93-1804C (1996)(race harassment and negligent infliction of emotional distress); Redmon v. Air Industries Corporation, Western District of Washington, #C95-482WD (1997) (Whistleblower, wrongful discharge); Ude v. Diamond Parking, King County Cause No. 95-2-18888-5SEA (1998)(race discrimination - punitive damages); MacKay v. Acorn Custom Cabinetry , 127 Wn.2d 302, 898 P.2d 284 (1995)("substantial factor" standard established in state discrimination cases - Amicus for WELA); Griffin v. Eller , 130 Wn.2d 97 (1996)(eight or less jurisdictional limitation under state law- Amicus for WELA); Hill v. BCTI, Supreme Court No. 68783-8 (2000)(pretext plus - amicus for WELA); Ellis v. City of Seattle, Supreme Court No.68252-6 (2000)(public policy tort - reasonable belief standard - Amicus for WELA); Snyder v. Medical Services Corp., Supreme Court No. 69091-0 (2001)(Amicus for WELA - meaning of disability under state law); Brown v. Safeway, Supreme Court No. 69067-7 (2001) (Amicus for WELA - individual liability under state law against discrimination); Bulman v. Safeway , Supreme Court No. 68670-0 (2001) (Amicus for WELA - reliance on employer's policies);; State v. Barber, 118 Wn.2nd 335, 823 P.2d 335 (1992)(Amicus for ACLU - racial incongruity can not be considered in probable cause determination); Ermine v. City of Spokane, Supreme Court No. 69680-2 (2001) (Amicus for ACLU - reasonable attorney fees where nominal damages recovered); Reid v. Pierce County, 136 Wash.2d 195, 206, 961 P.2d 333 (1998) (Amicus for ACLU - common law privacy); Sedlacek v. Hillis, Supreme Cout No. 70254-3 (2002)(Amicus for WELA - Reliance on the ADA as a source of public policy); Hubbard v. Spokane County, Supreme Court No. No. 70975-1 (2002)( Amicus for WELA - Reliance on zoning ordinances as a source of public policy); Kilian v. Atkinson, 147 Wn.2d 16, 50 P.3d 638 (2002)(Whether the WLAD states a claim for independent contractors on the basis of age - Amicus for WELA); Ford v. Trendwest Resorts, Inc.,146 Wn.2d 146, 43 P.3d 1223 (2002)(availability of front pay under breach of contract); Blaney v. International Association of Machinists, 151 Wn.2d 203 (2004) (availability of upward adjustment under RCW 49.60 et seq to compensate for the adverse tax consequences associated with receiving a lump sum - amicus for WELA); Korslund v. DynCorp Tri-Cities Services, Inc., 121 Wn.App. 295, 88 P.3d 966 (2004)(scope of public policy tort - Amicus for WELA); Zuver v. Airtouch Communications, Inc., 2004 WL 3016484, at *3 (Wash. Dec. 23, 2004); Adler v. Fred Lind Manor,2004 WL 3016302, at *4 (Wash. Dec. 23, 2004).


Woods v. Graphic Communications Union, 925 F.2d 1195 (9th Cir. 1991)(racially hostile work environment, outrage, failure of duty of fair representation); McGinnis v. Kentucky Fried Chicken , 42 F.3rd 1273 (9th Cir. 1994)(handicap discrimination, punitive damages); Swinton v. U.S. Mat, WDW Cause No. C97-1399JT (1999)(racially hostile work environment - punitive damages); Collins v. Harker Heights , Tex., 503 U.S. 115, 112 S.Ct. 1061, 117 L.Ed.2d 261 (1992)(Amicus for ATLA - deliberate indifference under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983); Kolstad v. American Dental Association, 119 S.Ct. 2118 (1999)(Amicus for ATLA - Punitive damages under Title VII); United States v. Locke , 529 US 89 (2000)(preemption of state oil spill prevention regulations - Interventor for environmental groups); Desert Palace, Inc. v. Costa, 539 U.S. 90, 123 S.Ct. 2148, 2150-54, 156 L.Ed.2d 84 (2003)(Mixed motive instruction available based upon circumstantial evidence); Chavez v. Martinez, 538 U.S. 760, 123 S.Ct. 1994, 2008, 155 L.Ed.2d 984 (2003)(qualified immunity for coercing confession).


Mr. Needle was a member of the Board of Governors of the Association of Trial Lawyers of American (ATLA) from 1993 through 1996. He was Chair of the ATLA Employment Rights Section from 1999-2000 and the ATLA Civil Rights Section. He remains on the Executive Board of both sections. Mr. Needle was Chair of ATLA's Section Leaders' Council from 1996-97, and served on the Legal Affairs; Constitutional Litigation and Public Education Committees. He was also Chair of the Washington State Trial Lawyers Section (WSTLA) Civil Rights Section. Mr. Needle has been the Chair of the Washington Employment Lawyers' Association Amicus Committee and Board of Directors from 1998 until the present; member of the ATLA Amicus Committee, member of the ACLU of Washington Legal Committee, and member of the National Employment Lawyers Association Amicus Advisory Committee. He has been a speaker at numerous Continuing Legal Education Seminars and published numerous articles.


Mr. Needle is listed in Whos Who in American Law. Washington Law & Politics, recognized as "Super Lawyer" 2000-2005 (top one hundred 2001-2002).