Contact Tanya Nesbitt

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Sofia D. Mabee

Labor/Employment Attorney

315 Fifth Avenue S, Suite 1000
Seattle WA 98104

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Tanya Nesbitt

Litigation, Environmental

(206) 676-7110

Profile Introduction

With more than a decade of litigation experience, Tanya Nesbitt is a trial lawyer who maintains a diverse litigation practice before both federal and state courts, in private practice and as a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice and a Special Assistant Attorney with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C.  Recognized for her acumen and service ethic as the recipient of the Department of Justice Award for Outstanding Service, Tanya focuses her practice on environmental, antitrust and other business-related compliance and litigation cases.


Tanya honed her pre-trial and trial skills first by working as a litigation attorney at an AmLaw 100 firm where she worked on complex litigation and enforcement matters involving antitrust, money laundering and securities fraud cases.  In her work at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C., she first chaired 35 bench trials of violent crimes and narcotics cases.  At the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, Tanya refined her litigation skills as evidenced by her managing more than 12,000 claims over federal regulation of rights-of-way across the state of Utah; negotiating settlements related to Fifth Amendment “takings” cases; and counseling senior federal agency officials on all aspects of federal environmental law.


A natural leader, Tanya was captain of the Track and Field Team at Smith College where she received her undergraduate degree.  She still holds the indoor and outdoor 400-meter dash school records.  In addition, she was the recipient of the College’s NCAA Woman of the Year Award and twice recognized as the Athlete of the Year.




Representative Cases/Matters

  • Co-represented former executive of a government-sponsored enterprise in high-profile SEC investigation involving allegations of securities fraud and breach of fiduciary duties related to the subprime mortgage crisis.
  • Successfully advised plan beneficiaries on judicial standards required to prove trustee failed to diversify investment plan under ERISA.
  • Successfully co-defended preliminary injunction against the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service decisions implementing greater protections for the Nevada Greater Sage-Grouse species and their habitat.
  • Handled NEPA challenges in two lawsuits relating to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s rule governing an experimental population of Mexican wolves in Arizona and New Mexico.
  • Led Fifth Amendment takings litigation involving a $56 million-dollar partial settlement of just compensation claims involving the East Lake Sammamish Trail in Sammamish, Washington.
  • Obtained partially favorable ruling on summary judgment for Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service decisions creating a master development plan and well-pads for the exploration and development of oil and gas in the Colorado River Basin.
  • Successfully co-represented and co-defended media company seeking to close Tucson Citizen newspaper against DOJ civil antitrust investigation and Arizona State Attorney General TRO seeking to bar closure of the newspaper.
  • Successfully defended NEPA challenges to the National Marine Fisheries Service’s final environmental impact statement assessing the effect of proposed fishing regulations on a population of Steller sea lions in the Alaska region.
  • Negotiated settlement for the development of a comprehensive conservation plan for the National Bison Range complex in western Montana.
  • Successfully defended Bureau of Land Management decisions to remove populations of wild horses in Northwest Colorado against TRO and preliminary injunctions.  Prevailed in summary judgment briefing on the same.
  • Led internal media company investigation and grand jury subpoena response relating to U.S. Attorney of Maryland’s prosecution of an advertising customer.
  • Performed quarterly audits for television stations and newspapers for compliance with antitrust, consumer protection, and labor laws.
  • Defended two lawsuits bringing NEPA and FLMPA challenges regarding the Bureau of Land Management’s issuance of leases for the development of oil and gas in Southwest Colorado.

Publications & Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, “Bias &The Virus: Combating Institutional Discrimination & Disparity,” The Women in Law Summit Series, July 2020
  • The Environment and Maternal Health Outcomes, Environmental, Energy, and Public Utilities Law Section, National Bar Association - National Convention, New Orleans, Louisiana, July 2018.
  • “Digital Breadcrumbs in the Information Age,” (Behavioral Advertising), Communications Law Section, National Bar Association - National Convention, Las Vegas, Nevada, July 2012.
  • The Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division Releases Updated Policy Guide to Merger Remedies, Nixon Peabody Antitrust Newsletter, June 2011 (co-authored).


  • DOJ Award for Outstanding Service
  • Two-Time Smith College Athlete of the Year
  • Smith College NCAA Woman of the Year

Community Service

Provides pro bono representation to survivors of domestic violence in protection order cases through the King County Bar Association DV Lead Project.


  • George Washington University (J.D.); Research Fellow (Jacob Burns Law Library); Public Justice Clinic (provision of law services for the indigent)
  • Smith College (B.A., Government & Sociology); Barbara Jordan Law School Scholarship Recipient

Bar Admissions

  • Commonwealth of Virginia
  • District of Columbia
  • Washington