Ed Budge has practiced law for more than 29 years and has been representing clients in civil rights and high-end injury and death cases for the vast majority of his legal career. A veteran litigator, Ed has achieved some of the most impressive civil rights victories in the country.

In 2023, Ed was honored as the Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Washington Association for Justice, which is the oldest and largest civil justice advocacy organization in the Pacific Northwest.

Ed is a 1991 summa cum laude graduate of the University of Oregon. He graduated magna cum laude from Willamette University College of Law in 1994, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Willamette Law Review.

After law school, Ed became a member of the Washington bar and began working as a litigation associate attorney with a prominent Seattle law firm where he gained experience litigating a variety of complex civil cases. Ed started his own law practice in 1997. The following year Ed asked law school classmate Erik Heipt to join him, and the two of them formed the law firm of Budge & Heipt, dedicating their practice to the representation of families who have unjustly lost loved ones in jail and prison as well as victims of excessive force, jail abuse, neglect, or misconduct that causes serious injury or death.

Over nearly three decades, Ed has litigated multiple cases in state court and in federal courts around the country. He has won many favorable jury verdicts on behalf of plaintiffs in civil rights cases, including verdicts and settlements totaling more than $125 million. Ed has been selected as a Washington ‘Super Lawyer’ in the area of civil rights litigation and is an active Eagle Member of the Washington State Association for Justice. He has lectured and taught other attorneys and law students on subjects relating to jail death litigation and constitutional claims against police and jails, and has authored articles and publications on these topics for lawyers.

Known for his tenacity and courtroom skill, Ed is keenly interested in in-custody wrongful death cases against jails, prisons, and private “correctional healthcare” companies resulting from medical neglect, alcohol and drug withdrawal, and other forms of in-custody wrongful death and serious injury. He has litigated many jail death cases to successful conclusion and routinely works with corrections specialists, correctional medical experts, and other professionals.  Ed has tried many notable cases to verdict and has taken many hundreds of depositions in his career, including depositions of police officers, sheriffs and sheriff’s deputies, jail and prison personnel, correctional healthcare providers, experts, and others throughout the United States. Based in Seattle, Ed has litigated civil rights cases against jail personnel and police in the federal district courts for the Western and Eastern Districts of Washington, as well federal district courts in Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, Colorado, Texas, Wisconsin, Nevada, Ohio, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Indiana.

Ed also enjoys natural (steroid-free) bodybuilding, having won top prizes in recent contests in Washington, Northern California and Arizona.

Federal Courtroom Experience

  • Represented victims of civil rights violations for nearly three decades
  • Litigated in federal court in multiple states
  • Many high-profile civil rights jury trials
  • Experienced in wrongful death and traumatic brain injury cases
  • Won cases for victims of police brutality and jail/prison mistreatment
  • Defeated federal, state, county government agencies, and for-profit correctional companies

Litigation Focus

  • Wrongful death in jail or prison
  • Wrongful death by police
  • Traumatic brain injury in police or jail/prison cases
  • Police shootings
  • Drug and alcohol withdrawal death in jail or prison
  • Restraint asphyxia and suffocation

If you would like to discuss a case involving serious injury or wrongful death in prison or jail, please contact us today for a free consultation.