Professional Biography

Joseph P. Cutler Partner

  • Seattle

    D +1.206.359.6104

    F +1.206.359.7104


    1201 Third Avenue, Suite 4900

    Seattle, WA




Joe Cutler is a partner in the Litigation practice and Privacy & Security practices. Joe's litigation work focuses on combating cybercrime and enforcing website terms of use. In addition, Joe counsels clients in areas related to privacy and data security, consumer protection law and internet law. He has spent considerable time conducting privacy audits and helping clients develop and implement information governance programs. As an active core member of the Blockchain Technology & Digital Currency industry group, Joe advises clients dealing with bitcoin blockchain, and other cryptocurrency-related services to understand and comply with applicable regulatory obligations, and to develop and implement anti-money laundering programs and other internal governance.

Joe provides counsel on a number of regulatory issues related to financial services, including the Bank Secrecy Act, FinCEN regulations, Anti-Money Laundering (AML) requirements and state money transmission and financial services laws.

Leader in Blockchain Law

A leader in the blockchain space, Joe represented the State of Washington’s first licensed bitcoin company, CoinMe, and first cryptocurrency POS solution for the cannabis industry. He is currently working with a number of cryptocurrency exchanges to obtain their money transmitter licenses and to formalize the requisite internal governance to operate in the United States.

Joe is a key advisor to the Chamber of Digital Commerce, co-chairing its state working group. He also has experience advising the government, having counseled 15 U.S. House Representatives and Senators on ways to integrate blockchain technology into government functions to reduce bureaucracy. He testified before Washington State House and Senate legislative committees considering legislation related to blockchain and cryptocurrency. Joe has also represented clients under threat of enforcement by the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions.

Privacy and Data Threats and Regulatory Compliance

When security threats emerge, Joe manages a rapid response enforcement team to vigorously defend clients, such as Facebook, against illegal spamming, phishing, pretexting and other forms of malicious internet behavior. Actions to prosecute individuals whose behavior interferes with client websites or internet activity often include extensive internet forensic work, cease-and-desist actions and formal litigation.

Joe advises clients regarding compliance with state and federal privacy and data protection laws, including anti-spamming and anti-phishing statutes, computer intrusion laws, and state data protection and breach notification laws.

Joe provides consumer protection compliance advice to companies regarding their obligations under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and fair debt collections practices statutes. This practice focuses primarily on the protection and safeguarding of customer personal data.

International Counsel on Data Transfer and EU Privacy Shield

Joe has extensive experience in international data transfer laws, helping companies that want to transfer data across international boundaries to do so in compliance with transnational regulations. He also advises clients regarding operation of Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower programs in the EU, and conducting U.S.-based litigation discovery in the EU. He assists clients in joining the U.S. Department of Commerce's EU Privacy Shield certification program and counsels them with respect to compliance with European Union Directives on privacy, data protection, e-commerce and electronic communications services. He also provides advice to companies regarding compliance with United States sanctions programs (OFAC).

In past years, Joe defended Honeywell International Inc. against asbestos claims related to automotive friction products, managing depositions and pre-trial matters for approximately 20 cases each year.
Pro bono work is central to Joe's practice. He focuses on refugee/asylum law, representing asylum-seekers at all levels of the immigration process. He is currently branching out by representing an inmate from the King County Regional Justice Center in a challenge to its medical treatment policies and procedures.

Professional Recognition

  • Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI) Excellence Award in Professional Responsibility
  • Listed in Super Lawyers Magazine as a "Washington Rising Star," 2014 - 2016

Professional Leadership

Community Involvement

  • Help Africa Relief and Development Inc., Vice President 2002 - 2007

Related Employment

  • Georgetown Institute for the Study of International Migration, Washington, D.C., Researcher, 2004 - 2005
  • Perkins Coie LLP, Seattle, WA, Summer Associate, 2004
  • Human Rights Watch, Africa Division, New York, NY, Klatsky Legal Fellow,  2003