Steve Dietrich bio

Steve has practiced law since 1992 and has lived in the South Sound communities of Dupont and Olympia since 1996. He clerked for the Honorable Judge Joseph Thibodeau of the Snohomish County Superior Court before joining the Washington State Attorney General’s Office in 1993.

As an Assistant Attorney General Steve enjoyed a 23 year career representing a diverse group of state agencies and employees in many federal and state courts and administrative forums  (see highlights below).  He began his AGO career litigating child abuse and neglect cases in Kitsap and Pierce Counties.  Steve transferred to the Transportation and Public Construction Division, eventually forming and leading an attorney team that litigated eminent domain and inverse condemnation (takings) cases, highway-induced flooding cases, construction cases as well as cases involving tribal treaty and statutory rights.

In 2008, he became counsel to the Washington State Investment Board and the Office of Financial Management and advised them on legal issues ranging  from the complex to the mundane while maintaining a busy litigation practice.  In 2013 Steve moved to the AG’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit to investigate Medicaid fraud.  He initiated and litigated civil lawsuits against numerous alleged fraudsters in three years at MFCU.

Steve grew up in Ellensburg, Washington. He attended Whitman College before transferring to Washington State University. He graduated cum laude with a BS degree in Chemical Engineering from WSU in 1984.  For the next five years, Steve worked as a petroleum engineer in California before returning home to attend law school at the University of Washington. He graduated from UW Law School with high honors in law in the top 10% of the class of 1992.   Steve was a member of the editorial staff of the Washington Law Review and authored a published  law review comment about tribal sovereign immunity.

Since 1996, Steve has been happily married to Paige Dietrich, a senior managing attorney
at the AGO. They have two lovely daughters, Olivia and Chloe, both of whom attended
Chloe Clark Elementary, Centennial Elementary, Washington Middle School and Olympia High School.  Olivia is currently enrolled at WSU (Go Cougs!).

Sampling of Steve’s notable litigation (more links coming soon):

  • Negotiated pre-filing settlement of foreign exchange pricing claims against custodial bank for $11.7 million.
    • For a Reuters article on the ground breaking settlement click here.  Steve is quoted in another article on public pension fund lawsuits leading the fight against unfair foreign exchange pricing.
    • Click here for yet another article on problems in the fx trading industry.
  • Led Medicaid Fraud investigation resulting in shut down of major opioid pill mill operation.
    • For a Seattle Times series on the Seattle Pain Centers case click here.
  • Negotiated pre-filing settlement of Medicaid fraud claims against school district.
  • Filed state’s first intervention complaint under Medicaid Fraud Control Act.
  • Conviction in felony Medicaid fraud trial.  Click here for AGO press release.
  • Summary judgment over a pro se Tim Eyman in fiscal impact statement case.
    • For an amusing Olympian article opining that Eyman “pretty much lost his shorts” click here.
    • Additional coverage in the Spokesman Review.
  • Led defense of affirmative action program resulting in groundbreaking federal appellate decision.
    • Click here for 9th Circuit opinion.
    • Click here for Professor LaNoue’s 2017 law review article about the case.
  • From 2001 – 2008 lead counsel for Department of Transportation in federal litigation that eventually led to a ground breaking decision regarding treaty tribes’ right to restore salmon habitat damage by culverts under state highways.
  • Led successful defense of affirmative action program.
  • State Supreme Court victory in eminent domain attorney’s fee case.
  • State Supreme Court victory in prejudgment interest on arbitration award case.
  • State Supreme Court victory in constitutional challenge to trails appropriation.
  • State Court of Appeals victories in highway-induced flooding cases.
  • State Court of Appeals victories in highway access management cases.
  • Pre-trial settlement of tribal federal claims arising from DOT’s intrusion into Lower Elwha burial grounds of Tse-whit-zen.  Click here for an interesting wikipedia entry.
    • Click here for an article on the legal settlement.
  • State Court of Appeals victories in termination of parental rights cases.

Contact Steve: