Distinguished Law Graduate, William Marler '87
William Marler '87 is the country's most prominent foodborne illness lawyer. He is the managing partner of Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, and has represented thousands of people in claims against food companies whose contaminated products have caused life-altering injury or death.
He was Seattle University School of Law’s Lawyer in Residence in 1998 and received Seattle University's 2011 Professional Achievement Award.
Marler began litigating foodborne illness cases in 1993, when he represented Brianne Kiner, the most seriously injured survivor of the historic Jack in the Box E. coli O157:H7 outbreak, in her landmark $15.6 million settlement with the company. For the last 20 years, he has represented victims of nearly every large foodborne illness outbreak in the United States.
In addition to his legal work, Marler advocates for a safer food supply, including petitioning the United States Department of Agriculture to better regulate pathogenic E. coli, working with nonprofit food safety and foodborne illness victims' organizations, and helping spur the passage of the 2010-2011 FDA Food Safety Modernization Act.
He received the 2010 NSF Food Safety Leadership Award for Education, and in 2008, he earned the Outstanding Lawyer Award from the King County Bar Association. He has also received the Public Justice Award from the Washington State Trial Lawyers Association.
Marler receives the Distinguished Law Graduate Award as part of our 40th anniversary celebration.