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Admitted to Practice

  • Washington, 2009
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Washington
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Washington

Joseph P. Hoag

Joe; Joey Joe; Joey HoagJoseph
Joseph Hoag represents and counsels clients in a variety of employment and benefits contexts. In his litigation practice, Joseph has experience at all levels of litigation, from prevailing in dispositive motions and defending those victories in state and federal courts of appeals, to successfully defending clients through bench or jury trials. Joseph also represents clients before administrative agencies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. Joseph is experienced in litigating employment issues, such as discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination, leave, and negligence cases, as well as complex ERISA matters involving breaches of fiduciary duties and Plan violations.

In his counseling practice, Joseph enjoys regularly advising clients regarding sensitive issues such as discrimination and retaliation, workplace safety, background checks, contract interpretation, and constitutional rights.

Joseph also has a passion for education issues. He is experienced in advising and litigating on behalf of education clients, with a focus in both the Washington public charter school sector and institutions of higher education, including in areas of discrimination, freedom of religion, and privacy.

Joseph is active in pro bono activities. He has represented, and continues to represent, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), low-income families seeking to adopt, and victims of domestic violence.

Representative Experience

Secured summary judgment in ERISA pending class action

Represented class representative, a "Traveler" worker who had portion of his pension contributions unjustly withheld by the local pension plan, without providing any benefit. Secured decision holding that Defendants breached their fiduciary duties in failing to transfer the withheld pension contributions to the Traveler’s Home Fund, as required by ERISA. Class certification is pending. Norris v. Mazzola, et al., No. 15-cv-04962-JSC, Federal District Court for the Northern District of California. (2017)

Successful defense of favorable summary judgment decision on appeal

Successfully defended summary judgment decision. Washington State Court of Appeals, Division 1, unanimously affirmed dismissal of multiple retaliation claims and their associated theories. Smith v. Sonitrol, No. 74265-5-1, Washington State Court of Appeals, Division 1. (2016)

Full defense verdict at discrimination, hostile work environment, and negligent supervision trial

Obtained full defense verdict at six day jury trial where plaintiff, an employee of nineteen years, alleged sexual orientation discrimination, harassment, and negligent supervision of employees. Smith v. Sonitrol, No. 14-2-02828-6, Snohomish County Superior Court. (2015)

Summary judgment dismissal in putative class action alleging unpaid bonuses

Prevailed on summary judgment motion against four defendants alleging wrongful withholding of contractually guaranteed bonus payments. Plaintiffs had brought a putative class action on behalf of all similarly situated managers in multiple production plants across Washington state. Case is currently on appeal. Sampson et al v. JELD-WEN, inc., No. 1:15-cv-03025-SAB, Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Washington. (2015)

Dismissal of all claims as a discovery sanction

Pursued and obtained dismissal of multiple claims, including disability discrimination, breach of contract, and wage/hour law violations, as a discovery sanction, which decision was upheld by the 9th Circuit. Wangari v. Integrated Living Services, No. 2:12-cv-1066-RAJ, Federal District Court for the Western District of Washington (2014), affirmed by Wangari v. Integrated Living Services, No. 15-35039, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. (2015)

Secured summary judgment in ERISA class action

Represented class of employees “Traveler” workers who had a portion of their pension contributions unjustly withheld by the local pension plan without providing any benefit. Secured order requiring pension plan to disburse all unlawfully retained withholdings, plus the earnings thereon, and received award of attorneys’ fees. Lehman v. Nelson, No. 2:13-cv-01835-RSM, Federal District Court for the Western District of Washington. (2014)

Dismissal of discrimination and retaliation claims

Secured judgment on the pleadings dismissing all claims stemming from alleged whistleblowing of workplace safety violations. Kelley v. Gray & Osborne, Inc., No. 13-2-15995-3, King County Superior Court. (2013)

Additional Qualifications

  • Extern, Hon. Ronald B. Leighton, Federal District Court for the Western District of Washington, Tacoma, Wash., 2010
  • Judicial Clerk, Justice James M. Johnson, Washington State Supreme Court, Olympia, Wash., 2009-2010
  • Extern, U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts, Criminal Division, Boston, 2007
  • Summer Intern, U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Office of Policy and Legislation, Washington, D.C., 2007

Professional & Community Activities

  • Board Member and Secretary, MS Helping Hands – The Donor Closet
  • Former Board Member, Excel Public Charter School
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