Inquests

The lawyers at Keating, Bucklin & McCormack have been involved in upwards of 100 coroner's inquests over the past 30 years. We often represent the employing agency, but have represented the involved officer and responded to the scene for our clients as well.


Listed below are just some of the inquest matters that various attorneys in our firm have successfully defended (Estes, Thorsrud, Bannon, Cooley and Jolley):

  • In-custody excited delirium death of 22 year old male subject
  • Officer involved shooting of 26 year old male under the influence of methamphetamine
  • Officer involved shooting of 32 year old mentally ill male subject with a machete
  • Officer involved shooting of 45 year old mentally ill and suicidal male at transit station
  • Pursuit related fatality of 20 year old mentally ill male subject
  • In custody restraint death of 28 year old male in psychotic state at mental health clinic
  • Officer involved shooting in multi-agency SWAT operation to include the Port of Seattle robot; armed suicidal male barricaded in attic after threats towards wife and family
  • Officer involved shooting involving a male mentally ill subject with a metal pipe that came after officer and a civilian ride-along in a dark carport growling, and refused commands to stop and put down the 3-foot metal pipe
  • Officer involved shooting involving a 30 year old male subject with drug issues that had assaulted his girlfriend and she called 911
  • Officer involved shooting involving a drug dealer riding with someone who sped through a speed trap; the driver pulled over and exited the vehicle. The passenger/drug dealer jumped into the driver's seat and tried to run over officers while trying to escape
  • Officer involved shooting of armed subject under the influence of methamphetamine
  • Officer involved shooting of armed and dangerous felon
  • Multi-Agency SWAT Team in shooting of barricaded armed subject
  • Jail suicide
  • Suicide by suspect in patrol car
  • Officer involved fatal shooting of intoxicated motorist who rammed other vehicles

In any civil proceedings that have resulted from these incidents, we have represented the agency and the involved officers (except in cases of apparent conflict). In Section 1983 litigation we have represented police officers from the cities of Tacoma, Spokane, Vancouver, Kirkland, Tukwila, Kent, Lakewood, Pierce County, Kitsap County, the Port of Seattle and many others.

Lawyers from our firm are additionally responsible for two of the leading officer involved shooting, federal law qualified immunity cases: Brosseau v. Haugen, 543 U.S. 194 (2004) (reversing Ninth Circuit's denial of summary judgment); and, Wilkinson v. Torres, 610 F. 3d 546 (9th Cir. 2010), cert. denied, 131 S. Ct. 1492 (2011) (reversing denial of summary judgment). Ms. Bannon is responsible for the frequently cited state law qualified immunity case for law enforcement officers: McKinney v. City of Tukwila, 103 Wn. App. 391, 13 P.3d 631 (2000).

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“KBM was great. They were incredibly driven, smart, and aggresive in handling our case. If you want to win, hire Keating, Bucklin and McCormack.”

JOHN SMITH,HARBORVIEW MEDICAL CENTER