Deborah M. Nelson

Deborah M. Nelson

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Personal Injury Attorney in Seattle, WA

Nelson Boyd, PLLC
 | 411 University Street, Suite 1200
Seattle, WA 98101
Phone: 206-971-7601
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2003 - 2019
Licensed Since: 1993
Practice Areas:
  • Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff (50%),
  • Insurance Coverage (30%),
  • Professional Liability: Plaintiff (20%)
Attorney Profile

Deborah M. Nelson, is an experienced trial lawyer who has practiced extensively in the federal system and in state trial and appellate courts, with a focus on complex insurance coverage and bad faith issues, traumatic brain injury, wage & hour claims, legal malpractice, and plaintiff's personal injury.  She is a Past President of the Washington State Trial Lawyers Association (now known as the Washington State Association for Justice) and a Past President of the Council of Presidents of the American Association for Justice. 

Deborah has spoken, taught, and written extensively on a wide range of legal topics including insurance coverage, insurance bad faith, traumatic brain injury, discovery, and litigation practice.  She was awarded the Alvin Anderson Award by the Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, was named the Woman of Distinction by Soroptimist International of Port Angeles, and was selected as "Best Attorney in Clallam County" two years in a row by a Peninsula Daily News readers' poll, and was named a Notable Alumni by Armstrong Atlantic State University.  She has been designated a SuperLawyer by Washington Law & Politics magazine every year since 2003. 

Deborah is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Law where she was inducted into the Order of Barristers.  She is also a Fellow in the Melvin Belli Society and sits on the Board of the Belli Society.  She is also a member of The National Trial Lawyers.  She is a partner in the Seattle law firm of Nelson Boyd, PLLC and a partner in Boyd Trial Consulting, PLLC.  She practices not only in the Seattle and Puget Sound area, but also has an active practice in Kitsap, Jefferson, and Clallam counties.

About Deborah Nelson

Admitted: 1993, Washington

Professional Webpage: http://www.nelsonboydlaw.com/who-we-are_deborah.php

Honors/Awards:

  • Best Lawyer in Clallam County, Peninsula Daily News readers' poll, 2004
  • Notable Alumni, Armstrong Atlantic State University, 2011
  • Woman of Distinction, Soroptimist International of Port Angeles, 2006
  • Distinguished Service Award, Clallam County Pro Bono Lawyers, 2005
  • President, Washington State Association for Justice, 2006
  • Best Lawyer in Clallam County, Peninsula Daily News readers' poll, 2005
  • Alvin Anderson Award, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, 2001
  • President, Washington State Association for Justice, 2007

Special Licenses/Certifications:

  • Admitted to U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Admitted to U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington
  • Admitted to Washington State Bar Association

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • Fellow, Melvin M. Belli Society
  • Member, Section Leaders Council, American Association for Justice
  • Co-Chair, WSTLA's Annual Law Day Dinner, Seattle, WA
  • Member, Convention Planning Committee, American Association for Justice
  • Chair-elect, Insurance Law Section, American Association for Justice
  • Faculty Member, National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA)
  • 2nd Vice President, Continuing Legal Education, WSAJ
  • 2nd Vice President, Legislative Steering, WSAJ
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Board Member, Melvin Belli Society
  • Board Member, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association (1996-Present)
  • Member, King County Bar Association
  • Chair, Clallam County Roundtable, WSAJ (1996-2006)
  • Member, Nominations Committee, WSAJ
  • Member, Washington State Bar Association
  • Member, Membership Task Force, American Association for Justice
  • Chair, WSTLA's Annual Law Day Dinner, Seattle, WA (2006)
  • Member, Exchange Advisory Committee, American Association for Justice
  • Vice Chair, Insurance Law Section, American Association for Justice
  • President-Elect, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association (2005-2006)
  • President, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association (now known as Washington State Association for Justice), 2006
  • Vice President, Continuing Legal Education, WSAJ
  • Member, American Association for Justice
  • Chair, Downtown Seattle Roundtable, WSAJ (2011-Present)
  • Board Member, Lawyers Association Trust (LAT)
  • Member, Jefferson County Bar Association
  • Vice President, Legislative Steering, WSAJ
  • Member, Executive Committee, WSAJ
  • Member, Washington State Association for Justice
  • Member, Executive Committee, American Association for Justice
  • Member, Washington Trial Attorney's Political Forum (PAC)
  • Member, Insurance Law Section, American Association for Justice
  • Member, State Affairs Committee, American Association for Justice
  • Co-Chair, WSTLA's Annual Convention, Skamania, WA (2004)
  • State Delegate, American Association for Justice
  • Chair, Insurance Law Section, American Association for Justice
  • Section Leaders Council, AAJ
  • Member, The National Trial Lawyers
  • Vice President, Finance, WSAJ
  • Vice President, Publications, WSAJ
  • Member, Clallam County Bar Association
  • Vice President, Development, WSAJ
  • Member, Awards Committee, WSAJ
  • Member, Public Justice
  • President, Council of Presidents, American Association for Justice
  • Member, Strategic Planning Committee, WSAJ

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

  • Speaker, Using Civil Rule 30(b)(6) Depositions to Bind the Insurer for the Adjuster’s Conduct, Deposing The Claims Adjuster Webinar, AAJ, 2015
  • Speaker, Timing & Strategy Considerations in Bad Faith Cases, Auto Cases Seminar, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, 2006
  • Speaker, Selecting and Prepping Your Client, Washington State Association for Justice, Seattle, WA, Winning With Witnesses Seminar, 2015
  • Speaker, Neuropsychology: Demystifying the Injuries, Experts Seminar, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, 2006
  • Speaker, Observations from the Catbird Seat: The Five Jurors I see in Every Focus Group, Portland, OR, Multnomah County Bar Association, 2015
  • Speaker, Hot Pursuit: Deposing the Adjuster, 25th Annual Insurance Law Seminar, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, 2003
  • Speaker, Observations from the Catbird Seat: The Five Jurors I see in Every Focus Group, Annual Conference, Sun Valley, ID , Idaho Trial Lawyers Association, 2015
  • Speaker, Legislative Update: What's Been Done To Us and For Us Lately, Tort Law Update Seminar, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, 2003
  • Speaker, Motion for Reasonableness of Medical Expenses and Necessity of Medical Treatment, Moving With Motions Seminar, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, 2002
  • Speaker, Observations from the Catbird Seat: The Five Jurors I see in Every Focus Group, Seminar, Montreal, Melvin M. Belli Society, 2015
  • Speaker, Bad Faith: What Is It, Where You'll Find It, What To Do About It; Avoiding Mistakes in the Underlying Case, Insurance Bad Faith Seminar, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, 2001
  • Speaker, Tips for Keeping the Medical Insurer from Mucking Up Your Liability Case, Summer Convention, Montreal, Quebec, AAJ, 2015
  • Speaker, Discovery in Bad Faith Cases, 19th Annual Insurance Law Seminar, Washington State Trial Lawyers Assocation, 2000
  • Speaker, The Power Balance: Taking Care of Yourself So You Can Take Care of Others, Western Trial Lawyers Association, Steamboat Springs, CO., Winter Conference, 2016
  • Speaker, Bad Faith Basics: Take A Quiz, Insurance Law Basics Seminar, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, 2000
  • Speaker, Case and Client Selection, Washington State Association for Justice, New Lawyers Seminar, Seattle, WA., 2016
  • Speaker, Bad Faith in Chiropractic Cases: Making the Insurer Honor Its Contract, Chiropractors & Lawyers Seminar, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, 1999
  • Speaker, Critical Thinking About PIP, Washington State Association for Justice, New Lawyers Seminar, Seattle, WA., 2016
  • Speaker, PIP Bad Faith: Making Them Pay, How to Hammer Allstate Seminar, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, 1999
  • Speaker, Multilayered Approach - Applying IFCA to Auto Cases, Washington State Association for Justice, Auto Cases Seminar, Seattle, WA., 2016
  • Speaker, Discovery Motions: If The Defendant Tries to Hide the Ball, What Do You Do? Making Sure You Get It All, Fisons Motions, Privilege Logs., How to Use the Rules for Better Results Seminar, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, 1999
  • Speaker, Using Focus Groups Effectively, American Association for Justice, Jury Bias - A Day At The Races Seminar, Louisville, KY., 2016
  • Speaker, Assessing the Damage: Understanding What Damages are Recoverable in PIP Bad Faith Litigation, PIP Claims Seminar, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, 1999
  • Speaker, Discovering and Utilizing Jurors’ Pre-Trial Beliefs, American Association for Justice, Annual Convention, Los Angeles, CA, 2016
  • Co-Speaker, UIM: Special Beast or Just Another Insurance Case?, Washington Association for Justice, Insurance Law Seminar, Seattle, WA, 2016
  • Speaker, Bad Faith Litigation Discovery: How To Prevent Work Product Defenses, Spring Training for Litigators, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, 1999
  • Speaker, View From the Catbird Seat: The 5 Jurors I see at Every Focus Group, Washington Trial Lawyers Association, Steamboat Springs, CO., Winter Conference, 2017
  • Speaker, Bifurcation and Discovery in Bad Faith Litigation, 20th Annual Insurance Law Seminar, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, 1998
  • Speaker, Identifying the Attitudes and Values, Opinions, and Beliefs of Post-Election Jurors, American Association for Justice, Austin, TX., Winter Convention, 2017
  • Speaker, Spotting Bad Faith & Handling PIP Claims: Making the Insurer Honor Its Contract, Auto Cases Seminar, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, 1998
  • Speaker, UIM Insurance Litigation for Fun & Profit, Annual Convention, American Association For Justice, 2010
  • Speaker, PIP Problems: What To Do When the Carrier Cuts Your Client Off, Insurance Law Basics Seminar, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, 1998
  • Speaker, Using Oral Medical Reports to Prove Injuries, Annual Convention, Mississippi Association For Justice, 2010
  • Speaker, Bad Faith Claims: What To Do When They Deny PIP Coverage, Auto Cases Seminar, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, 1997
  • Speaker, PIP Litigation - Getting the Bills Paid, Motor Vehicle Accident Deskbook Seminar, Washington State Association For Justice, 2010
  • Speaker, Oral Medical Reports: Circumventing Defense Depositions, Annual Seminar, Melvin Belli Society, 2009
  • Speaker, First Party Bad Faith Basics, Insurance Law Basics Seminar, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, 1997
  • Speaker, Utilizing the Insurance Fair Conduct Act, Kitsap County Roundtable, Washington State Association For Justice, 2009
  • Speaker, Insurance Coverage & Claims Disputes, Legislative Briefing, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, 1997
  • Speaker, A Motion A Day Keeps the Doctor Away, Motions Seminar, Washington State Association For Justice, 2009
  • Speaker, PIP Bad Faith: Anticipate, Plan & Prepare, Luvera Seminar, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, 1997
  • Speaker, Law Office Management, Winter Convention, American Association For Justice, 2009
  • Author, Broken Promises, a review of "Delay Deny Defend: Why Insurance Companies Don't Pay Claims and What You Can Do About It", Trial magazine, American Association For Justice, 2011
  • Speaker, Hot to Survive Subrogation in the Post-Sereboff Era, Annual Convention, Melvin Belli Society, 2008
  • Speaker, Identifying and Assessing Bad Faith Claims While Litigating the Coverage Case, Annual Convention, American Association For Justice, 2011
  • Speaker, The Importance of Lay Witnesses in Proving the Effect that Traumatic Brain Injuries Have on Your Client's Life, Winter Convention, American Association For Justice, 2008
  • Seminar Chair/Speaker, Speaker, Insurance Law Coverage, Law Review CLE, 2012
  • Speaker, ERISA Litigation re: Long Term Disability Insurance, Dissecting the US Supreme Court's Decision in Met Life v. Glenn, American Association For Justice, 2008
  • Speaker, Legal Malpractice: Don’t Be The Defendant, Winter Conference, Lake Tahoe, CA, Western Trial Lawyers, 2013
  • Speaker, Demonstration of a Closing Argument, Bringing Home the Winning Verdict Seminar, WSAJ, 2013
  • Speaker, Strategies for Negotiating Reimbursement Claims, ERISA Update Seminar, American Association For Justice, 2008
  • Speaker, Tips for Avoiding Legal Malpractice Claims, Summer Conference, Maui, HI, Western Trial Lawyers Association, 2013
  • Speaker, Long Term Disability Insurance - Important Tips for Attorneys and Policyholders, Ringler Radio podcast, Ringler & Associates, 2008
  • Speaker, Legal Malpractice: Don’t Be The Defendant, Annual Convention,San Francisco, CA, AAJ, 2013
  • Speaker, Tips for Successfully Working with Litigation Attorneys, Annual Convention, American Board Of Vocational Examiners, 2007
  • Speaker, Dealing with Treating Providers and Experts (yours and theirs) on Traumatic Brain Injury Cases, National Webinar, WSAJ, 2013
  • Speaker, Settlement by Insurance Conflict: The Influence of the Spectre of Bad Faith, Annual Insurance Law Seminar, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, 2007
  • Guest Speaker, Long Term Disability Insurance Denials: Pitfalls for the Unwary, Podcast, Ringler Radio, 2013
  • Speaker, Long Term Disability Insurance Denials, Annual Seminar, Melvin Belli Society, 2007
  • Speaker, Ethical Issues in Insurance, Annual Convention, Baltimore, MD, AAJ, 2014
  • Speaker, Insurance Bad Faith Tips, Thurston County Roundtable, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, 2007
  • Speaker, Tips for Winning Premises Liability Cases, Winter Conference, Lake Tahoe, CA, Western Trial Lawyers Association, 2014
  • Speaker, Working with your Experts: Tools to Maximize their Effectiveness, Traumatic Brain Injury Seminar, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, 2007
  • Speaker, Tips for Keeping the Medical Insurer from Mucking Up Your Liability Case, Western Trial Lawyers Association Winter Conference, Lake Tahoe, CA, 2015
  • Speaker, How to Survive Subrogation in the Post-Sereboff Era, Prague Seminar, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, 2007

Other Outstanding Achievements:

  • President, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association (now Washington State Association for Justice), 2006
  • Executive Committee, Melvin Belli Society
  • Board Member, Washington State Association for Justice
  • Executive Committee, American Association for Justice, 2007
  • Eagle member, Washington State Association for Justice
  • Vice Chair, Insurance Law Section, AAJ, 2011
  • President, Council of Presidents of the American Association for Justice (formerly Association of Trial Lawyers of America), 2007
  • Secretary, Insurance Law Section, American Association for Justice, 2010
  • Board Member, Lawyers Association Trust

Educational Background:

  • Armstrong Atlantic State University, Savannah, Georgia, Bachelor's Degree in History, magna cum laude, 1990
  • University of Cincinnati, College of Law, Juris Doctorate, 1993
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Office Location for Deborah M. Nelson

411 University Street
Suite 1200
Seattle, WA 98101

Deborah M. Nelson:

Last Updated: 1/25/2019

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