What Matters to You Matters to Us

Marc C. Cote

Partner

Email: mcote@frankfreed.com

Legal Asst: Julie Larm-Bazzill
jlarm-bazzill@frankfreed.com

“Whether I am representing a high-level executive or a low-wage worker, I am fully committed to achieving the best possible results for each client. I take great pride in leveling the playing field for employees who have faced injustice in the workplace and achieving excellent results.”

Marc C. Cote

Marc Cote is a Seattle employment lawyer and mediator with a strong commitment to achieving excellent results for clients. Marc practices throughout Washington, representing a broad spectrum of clients—from Seattle tech workers, lawyers, and doctors to Yakima apple packers. For the last ten years, he has devoted most of his practice to protecting employee rights. During that time, he has successfully litigated several groundbreaking class actions on behalf of delivery drivers, restaurant workers, farm workers, construction workers, fruit packing workers, and catering servers. Marc has also successfully represented lawyers, doctors, tech professionals, and other professionals in severance negotiation and employment exit matters. He also advises small businesses on employment policies and employee discipline.

Marc is a trained mediator, having attended the “Mediating the Litigated Case” program through the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law. He is also a certified neutral on the ADR panel for the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington. He is available to serve as a neutral mediator for cases involving employment law, class actions, contract disputes, civil rights matters, and business disputes. Marc also speaks Spanish and can serve as a mediator for cases involving Spanish-speaking parties.

Marc prides himself on working on the cutting edge of employment law. In the past few years, he has served as lead counsel in several class action cases, achieving the following results:

  • A $10.5 million settlement for delivery drivers in a joint employer class action suit alleging overtime and break claims against FedEx Ground
  • A $3 million settlement for fruit packing workers in a wage and hour class action against Borton & Sons, Inc.
  • A $2.5 million settlement for piece-rate farm workers in a wage and hour class action against Auvil Fruit Company, Inc.
  • A $2.4 million settlement for restaurant workers in a service charge and rest and meal break class action against Tom Douglas Restaurants.
  • A $1.225 million settlement for farm workers in a wage and hour class action against Dovex Fruit Company.
  • A $1.2 million settlement for catering and suite workers in a service charge and rest and meal break class action on behalf of McCaw Hall and ShoWare Center catering and suite workers.
  • A settlement for over $1 million on behalf of restaurant workers in a class action suit alleging service charge and break claims against Huxley Wallace Collective.
  • Over $1 million in combined settlements and judgment for piece-rate farm workers in a wage and hour class action against Sakuma Brothers Farms, Inc.
  • A $1.1 million settlement for construction workers in a rest break class action against IMCO General Construction, Inc.
  • A $996,335.82 settlement for fruit-packing warehouse workers employed by Frosty Packing Co., LLC in a wage and hour class action involving alleged failure to pay for all hours worked and failure to provide proper rest and meal breaks.
  • A $900,000 settlement for Maggiano’s Little Italy restaurant workers in a class action involving alleged violations of Washington’s service charge disclosure statute and rest and meal break regulations.
  • A $600,000 settlement for dairy workers in a class action against DeRuyter Brothers Dairy, Inc. alleging failure to pay for all time worked and failure to provide proper rest and meal breaks.

Marc has also obtained several six-figure settlements in individual and multi-plaintiff cases with claims of disability discrimination, gender discrimination, age discrimination, race discrimination, religious discrimination, and wage and hour violations. He is skilled at negotiating favorable severance agreements for employees who are facing termination or who wish to exit their employment.

Through his written and oral advocacy, he has also helped develop case law and policy that improve the lives of workers. He has successfully briefed and argued appeals before the Washington Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. His appellate successes include the following published cases:

Lopez Demetrio v. Sakuma Bros. Farms, Inc., 183 Wn.2d 649, 355 P.3d 258 (2015).

Carranza v. Dovex Fruit Company, 190 Wn.2d 612, 416 P.3d 1205 (2018).

Hill v. Xerox Business Services, LLC, 868 F.3d 758 (9th Cir. 2017) (certified to Washington Supreme Court).

Becerra v. Expert Janitorial, LLC, 181 Wn.2d 186, 332 P.3d 415 (2014) (amicus curiae on behalf of Washington Employment Lawyers Association).

Brady v. Autozone Stores, Inc., 188 Wn.2d 576, 397 P.3d 120 (2017) (amicus curiae on behalf of Fair Work Center).

Marc is also experienced in advising professionals in a wide range of matters, including LLC and partnership disputes, employment discrimination, FMLA matters, and contract disputes. He also advises clients on issues arising from non-competition agreements. His clients in individual employment law matters include high-level executives, physicians, lawyers and other professionals.

Before entering private practice, Marc served as a law clerk to the Honorable Walter L. Carpeneti of the Alaska Supreme Court. He graduated second in his class at the University of Washington School of Law, where he served as Executive Articles Editor of the Washington Law Review. While in law school, he also served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Ricardo Martinez of the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington.

Marc speaks Spanish and enjoys representing Spanish-speaking clients.

Client Comments about Marc

“Marc has great patience and excellent listening skills which are hallmarks of an outstanding attorney. He helped resolve a very complex business partnership through [mediation]. At the conclusion, even the [mediator] commented on how excellent Marc was. I couldn’t agree more.”

-Legal industry client

Education

University of Washington School of Law – with high honors (2nd in class) – J.D.

  • Executive Articles Editor, Washington Law Review
  • Order of the Coif
  • Vivian Carkeek Award for Best Student Contribution to Washington Law Review (for comment on NLRA protection for employee blogs)

Seattle University – summa cum laude – B.A.

  • Sullivan Leadership Award
  • LeRoux Leadership Award

Bar Admissions

Washington

USDC for the Eastern District of WA
USDC for the Western District of WA
USDC for the Eastern District of CA
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Professional & Civic Involvement

Marc regularly speaks at continuing legal education seminars on employment law issues, with strong reviews. He is the co-author of the Wage and Hour Law chapter of the Washington Association for Justice Employment Law Deskbook, and he has served on the Planning Committee of the Pacific Coast Labor and Employment Law Conference. He currently serves on the Washington Employment Lawyers Association Legislative Committee and the King County Bar Association Judicial Evaluation Committee. Marc is a member of the Labor and Employment Law Sections of the Washington State Bar Association and King County Bar Association. He has been named a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers several times. He received the 2015 Columbia Legal Services Pro Bono Honoree for work on behalf of Washington farm workers and the 2017 CAIR-Washington Ally for Justice Award for his work fighting employment discrimination against Muslim employees.

Personal

When he’s not practicing law, Marc enjoys spending time with his wife and two young boys. He also plays basketball, roots for the Mariners, Seahawks, and Gonzaga Bulldogs, and follows local politics. Marc is a member of St. Joseph’s parish in Seattle.