Headshot of Daniel Montopoli

Practice Areas

School Law and Employment Law.


Juris Doctorate: University of Washington Law School Law, and worked as the Co-Managing Editor of the University of Washington Law Review

Undergraduate: New York University 


I have been at VJ&G since graduating from law school in 1996. Some of the noteworthy cases where I have served as counsel include Tunstall v. Bergeson, 141 Wn.2d 201, 5 P.3d 691 (2000); DeLacey v. Clover Park Sch. Dist., 117 Wn. App. 291, 69 P.3d 877 (2003); Vallandigham v. Clover Park School District, 154 Wn.2d 16, 109 P.3d 805 (2005); Nieshe v. Concrete Sch. Dist., 129 Wn. App. 632, 127 P.3d 713 (2005); Blair v. Bethel School District, 608 F.3d 540 (9th Cir. 2010); In re Recall Charges Against Lindquist, 172 Wn.2d 120, 258 P.3d 9 (2011); Riley-Hordyk v. Bethel School District, 187 Wn. App. 748, 350 P.3d 681 (2015); Freedom Found. ex rel. State v. Bethel Sch. Dist., 14 Wn. App. 2d 75, 469 P.3d 364 (2020).

Community Involvement

I am currently the President of the Tacoma Community Redevelopment Authority and have served on the TCRA Board since 2015; member of the Board of Directors, Xiao Pengyou Chinese Heritage Camp.

3 Things You Are Most Proud of Professionally

  • Being a shareholder in this firm
  • Teaching school law for 18 years
  • Representing school districts

3 Things A Client Wouldn’t Know About You

  • I have cleaned the inside of a garbage truck
  • The first case I worked on made international news
  • I won an Academy Award for Best Student Documentary

Why did you decide to become an attorney?

When I was a writer and filmmaker, I really enjoyed my conversations with my father-in-law, a prominent lawyer and legal scholar in New York City. His love for the law and learning was infectious and over time I started to think that maybe, just maybe, I could share this passion. In addition, I believe that my writing and communication skills would be valuable assets in the practice of law.

Why did you decide to practice this type of Law?

I think school law is the most challenging and complex area of law, with issues ranging from head lice in school children to constitutional issues that lie at the center of our society. Seemingly every day, there is a new issue to address or question to answer.

When you leave the profession what do you want to be known for?

I hope that I will be known for my integrity, for treating people with respect, and for my sense of humor.

As an attorney, what makes you stand out?

My writing and legal research skills.