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Kayti Knudsen is an attorney at Ruiz & Smart Plaintiff Litigation located in Seattle. Kayti joined the Pacific ADR team as a mediator in 2019. Her litigation practice allows her to pursue her passion for justice, holding wrongdoers accountable, all while promoting fairness as a skilled mediator.


Kayti’s practice focuses primarily on policyholder insurance bad faith, serious injury, and representing victims of discrimination and harassment. She has experience representing insureds in cases ranging from single-family homeowner disputes to complex class action claims. Kayti’s tenacity and experience litigating against some of the largest corporations in America get results for her clients both in and out of the courtroom.

Kayti is a Pacific Northwest native. A second-generation attorney, Kayti became inspired by the law as a young girl watching her father from the back of wood-paneled court rooms. After studying civil rights and the criminal justice system as an undergraduate, Kayti knew law school was the next step to building a career advocating for those who need help navigating our justice system.

Away from the office, Kayti is active in the Seattle arts community and spends her free time with her family skiing, hiking, and enjoying the cultural diversity our area has to offer. Always up for a challenge, Kayti channels her competitive spirit as an annual participant in Whatcom County’s Ski-to-Sea race.

Notable Cases

  • Gamble v. State Farm (U.S. District Court underinsured motorist insurance, bad faith, verdict in favor of client)

  • Bagley v. Travelers (U.S. District Court first party property insurance bad faith)

  • Spaulding v. State Farm (U.S. District Court underinsured motorist insurance bad faith)

  • Kaiser v. CSL Plasma (King County discrimination against transgender customer)

  • Merriman v. American Guarantee (Yakima County first IFCA class action against insurer following fire at storage facility). 

  • Freeman v. Amtrak (U.S. District Court personal injury arising from Amtrak Derailment)

  • Wang v. Comcast (Employment arbitration, race discrimination)


Prior Employment

  • Keller Rohrback L.L.P., Associate Attorney

  • Halverson Northwest Law Group, Associate Attorney

  • Washington State Court of Appeals, Hon. David Armstrong, Judicial Law Clerk



  • University of Washington, B.A. Law, Societies, and Justice, 2004

  • Seattle University School of Law, Juris Doctor, cum laude, Lead Article Editor, Seattle University Law Review


  • Super Lawyers Rising Star, Washington, 2016 – 2021

  • Washington State Bar Association Supreme Court Pro Bono Publico Honor Roll, 2016

  • WSAJ Eagle Member


Professional & Civic Involvement

  • Washington State Bar Association, Member

  • King County Bar Association, Member

  • American Bar Association, The Woman Advocate Committee, Insurance Subcommittee Chair, 2020

  • Washington State Association for Justice, Co-Chair Insurance Committee, 2019-2020 & 2021-2022

  • ArtsFund, Associate Board Member, Visionaries Culture Council, 2014–present

  • Friends of CASA, Board of Directors, 2015             

  • Allied Arts of Yakima, Board of Directors Nominating Committee, 2012-2013


Publications and Presentations

  • Speaker, IFCA Update, Washington State Association for Justice Annual Convention (September 2021)

  • Speaker, Conflicts, Cash, and Coverage: Ethics in Insurance Litigation, Insurance Law Seminar, Washington State Association for Justice, Seattle, WA (May 2021)

  • Speaker, The Floor is Lava! Insurer Bad Faith in Residential Environmental Claims, Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee Seminar, American Bar Association (March 2021)

  • Kathryn M. Knudsen, How to Make the Most out of a Rule 30(b)(6) Deposition, The Woman Advocate Practice Points, American Bar Association (November 2020).

  • Speaker, Insurance Broker Liability, Insurance Law Seminar, Washington State Association for Justice, Seattle, WA (May 2020).

  • Kathryn M. Knudsen, Aggressive Discovery Produces Results in Employment Arbitration, Trial News, Washington State Association for Justice (2020).

  • Speaker, Blast From the Past: Lost Policies and Long-Tail Environmental/Asbestos Claims from the Pre-Absolute Exclusion Era, Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee Seminar, American Bar Association (Tucson, AZ 2020)

  • Author, Third-Party Adjuster Liability After Keodalah, Trial News, vol. 55, n. 3, Washington State Associate for Justice (November 2019).

  • Speaker, 10 Things We Can All do to Help Insurance Policyholders, Building Industry Association of Whatcom County (Bellingham, WA) 2019.

  • Speaker, Personal Injury from A to Z, National Business Institute (Seattle, WA 2018).

  • CLE Faculty, Effective Motion Practice in Civil Litigation, National Business Institute (Seattle, WA 2017).

  • Speaker, 10 Things Every Lawyer Needs to Know about Washington Insurance Law, Construction Defect & Dispute Conference (Seattle, WA 2016).

  • Author, Obtaining Benefits Under A Lapsed Life Insurance Policy, Trial News, vol. 52 n. 5, Washington State Association for Justice (January 2016).

  • Speaker, Insurance Discovery Privileges: Views from the Offensive and Defensive Lines, The Women of the Section of Litigation Conference Networking Roundtable Luncheon, American Bar Association (Chicago, IL 2015).

  • Author, The Dos and Don’ts of Beginning your Trial Practice, Trial News, vol. 50 n. 10, Washington State Association for Justice (June 2015).

  • Author, Hidden Risks in Insurance Appraisal Clauses, Trial News, vol. 50 n. 9, Washington State Association for Justice (May 2015).

  • Speaker, Duty or No Duty (Concerning the Duty to Defend in Liability Insurance Policies), Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee CLE Seminar, American Bar Association (Tucson, AZ 2015).

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