Jim McNeill

Jim McNeill

Jim's practice is focused on municipal law and finance with emphasis on serving as bond counsel to Washington school districts and other Washington municipalities. In addition, he has substantial experience in the practice of defending municipalities against challenges to the exercise of municipal authority.

Jim has more than 28 years of experience as a bond attorney for Washington school districts.  Since 2007, Jim has acted as bond attorney to Washington school districts on 363 issues with more than $5.93 billion in bonds.  He has served as a bond attorney on a variety of financings for Washington school districts, including voted and non-voted bonds (both tax-exempt and taxable), short-term notes, lines of credit, certificates of participation, leases and conditional sales contracts.  Additionally, Jim has served as special counsel in the preparation of levy election resolutions.  He also has drafted legislation enacted by the Washington Legislature affecting school districts and frequently speaks at WASA, WASBO and WSSDA conferences on school finance related subjects.

He currently serves as bond attorney for more than 160 school districts, including, among many others, Arlington, Battle Ground, Camas, Cashmere, Cheney, Clover Park, Davenport, Deer Park, Dieringer, Eastmont, East Valley (Spokane), East Valley (Yakima), Ellensburg, Ephrata, Franklin Pierce, Freeman, Granite Falls, Highline, Hockinson, Hoquiam, Kalama, Kelso, Kennewick, La Center, Lake Stevens, Medical Lake, Methow Valley, Moses Lake, Nine Mile Falls, North Franklin, Omak, Othello, Pasco, Port Angeles, Port Townsend, Prosser, Quillayute Valley, Quincy, Renton, Richland, Selah, Sequim, Shelton, Shoreline, Snohomish, Snoqualmie Valley, Spokane, Sumner, Tukwila, Wapato, Washougal, Wenatchee, White Pass, Yelm and Zillah.

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Washington Council of School Attorneys, Member, 1995-Present

Washington State Bar Association

  • Judicial Recommendation Committee, Co-chair, 1991-1995

Spokane County Bar Association, Member

  • Former Member: Judicial Evaluation Committee, Professionalism Committee, CLE Committee, Pro Bono Panel

National Association of Bond Lawyers, Member, 1991-Present 

Washington Council of School Attorneys, Member, 1995-Present 

Christian Legal Society, Member, 1990-Present 


EHB 2242 & School District Levy Propositions

Contributor, Foster Pepper PLLC White Paper, October, 2017

Facilities Funding

Author, CSG Works Newsletter, Spring 2015

Ballot Title Changes for School District Bonds and Levies

Author, Foster Pepper PLLC, Revised 2015

Washington School Bond Manual, Chapters 2, 4 and 8

Revised Second Edition, Washington State School Directors Association (WSSDA), 2009

School Law News

 Editor, Published Annually by Foster Pepper PLLC, 2000-2014

School Facilities Manual, Chapter 4 - Financing

Contributor, Revised Fourth Edition, Superintendent of Public Instruction, 2000

Washington Municipal Financing Deskbook

Contributor, Lawyers Cooperative Publishing, 1993

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75th Annual Washington Association of School Business Officials Conference

Speaker, Washington Association of School Business Officials, May 2019

  • Alternative Funding Source: Capital Levies
  • Building Schools: Financing and Property Acquisition
  • Election Season Dos and Don'ts
  • School District Resolution Writing

Keeping up with Property Taxes: How McCleary has Impacted Your Taxpayers and School District

Speaker, Washington State School Directors Association(WSSDA) Annual Conference, November, 2018

what you need to know...about what you can and cannot do during a ballot measure election

Speaker, Tri-Cities Municipal Government & Pulic Finance Seminar, July 2018

Washington Association of School Business Officials (WASBO) Annual Conference

Speaker, May 2018

  • Post Bond Issuance Compliance – Maintaining Bond Covenants
  • Property Taxes, Levy Certification and the Impacts of Current Legislation

EHB 2242 & School District Levy Ballot Propositions

Northeast Washington ESD 101 Superintendent Meeting, November, 2017

WASBO Annual Conference, Speaker, May 2017

  • “Post Bond Issuance Compliance – Maintaining Bond Covenants”
  • “The Confusing World of Property Taxes”

Post Bond Issuance Compliance For School Districts: Basic Training on Tax and Securities Responsibilities

Speaker, WASBO, 2017 Facilities Committee Webinar

Post Bond Issuance Compliance – Maintaining Bond Covenants

Speaker, WASBO Annual Conference, May 2016

Bonds and Bond Management

Speaker, WASBO Annual Conference, May 2016

What Do You Need to Know...About What You Can and Cannot Do During a Campaign

Speaker, 2015 School Election Conference, September 2015

Risk - The Game of Reduction of Professional Exposure, Loss Prevention and Bond Counsel Liability

Speaker, National Association of Bond Lawyers, 39th Bond Attorney's Workshop, September 2014

Writing Ballots Titles

Speaker, Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (WAPA) Summer Training Program, June 2014 

School Construction Contracting: How to Get Best Value in an Uncertain Economy

Co-Chair and Speaker, Foster Pepper Client Briefing, November 2013

What Do You Need To Know…About What You Can and Cannot Do During a Campaign?

Speaker, 2013 School Election Conference, October 2013

Risky Business – Ethical Considerations Related to Risk Reduction, Loss Prevention and Bond Counsel Liability

National Association of Bond Lawyers 38th Bond Attorneys Workshop, October 2013

Let's Get Ethical - Conflicts of Interest, Engagement Letters, and Bond Counsel Liability

Speaker, National Association of Bond Lawyers: 2012 Bond Attorneys' Workshop, October 2012 

ABC's of Tax Credit Bonds’ and ‘Bonds 101

Speaker, WASBO 67th Annual Conference, 2011

Current Legal Climate: Hot Legal Issues in School Finance

Speaker, School District Public Works Seminar, 2010

Qualified Zone Academy Bonds, Qualified School Construction Bonds and Building America Bonds, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Coordination Meeting

Speaker, Puget Sound Regional Council, 2009

M&O Levies: Some Things to Remember

Speaker, ESD 123 Levy Workshop, 2009

Recovery Act Bond Finance Conference

Speaker, Washington State Department of Community, Trade & Economic Development, 2009

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Municipal GovernmentPublic FinanceInfrastructureSchool Districts


Tel: 800.995.5902Fax: 206.749.2075


The Best Lawyers in America© Education Law, 2013-present

Spokane Top Lawyers, Spokane/Coeur d'Alene Living magazine, 2008-2009

Granite Falls School District, Partnership of the Year Award, 2008


J.D., Gonzaga University School of Law, 1985 

B.A., Washington State University, 1982

Bar Admissions

Washington, 1986

U.S. District Court

  • Eastern District of Washington, 1988
  • Western District of Washington, 1987

9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, 1988

U.S. Supreme Court, 1992


Foster Pepper PLLC

  • Member, 2005-Present
  • Of Counsel, 1998-2004

Perkins Coie LLP

  • Of Counsel, 1998
  • Associate, 1990-1997

Preston Thorgrimson Shidler Gates & Ellis, Associate, 1988-1990

U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Washington, Law Clerk, 1987-1988

Washington State Supreme Court, Law Clerk, 1986

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Kennewick School Board lays groundwork for $95M bond

Tri-City Herald, May 2014

Othello School Must Decide Fate of Remaining Money

The Othello Outlook, January 2011

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