Phil Katzen

Phil Katzen was a founding member of Kanji & Katzen, P.L.L.C. and served as the firm’s Managing Attorney until converting to Of-Counsel on June 1, 2016.  As of January 1, 2022, Phil has retired from the Washington State Bar Association and is no longer Of-Counsel. Phil continues to assist the firm in a confidential consultant capacity on administrative and other matters.

Education:  Phil received his A.B. degree in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley in 1970.  He earned his J.D. degree, also from the University of California at Berkeley (Boalt Hall) in 1977.  During law school he also served as a law clerk in the Oakland office of California Indian Legal Services.

Prior Experience:  Phil was a staff attorney with the Native American Project of Evergreen Legal Services (which became Columbia Legal Services) from 1978 through 1999; he was also the Project Director from 1986 to 1992.  His primary responsibility with the Native American Project was representation of up to 13 Indian tribes in United States v. Washington, the long-running treaty fishing rights case, where he frequently served as a lead or coordinating counsel for the plaintiff tribes, including a leading role in vindicating the tribes’ treaty rights to regulate salmon harvests, to a fair share of the salmon, to take a fair share of shellfish from public and private property, and to protect the habitat necessary to fulfill the tribes’ treaty rights to take fish.  He continued to represent many of the plaintiff tribes in the treaty fishing and shellfishing rights litigation when he left legal services and opened his own office in 1999, where he remained until founding Kanji & Katzen in 2000.

Community Service and Personal Interests: Phil serves as a justice on the Lower Elwha Klallam Court of Appeals, as well as on the boards of the non-profits Western Environmental Law Center (WELC) and the Center for Environmental Law and Policy (CELP).  He has also served as a guest lecturer at law schools and universities and as a speaker at continuing legal education seminars.  Phil plays pickleball as much as his aging body allows, and he likes long road trips with his wife in their camper van, hiking, camping, and reading, and he is a Seattle Seahawks fan, a long-suffering Seattle Mariners fan, and a fan of the new Seattle Kraken.

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