Malaier graduated from Santa Clara University in 2000 with a degree in philosophy. He then received a JD from the University of Arizona in 2003. From there he returned ‘home’ to Washington.
After graduating from law school, Malaier worked as a public defender, gaining invaluable trial experience in front of both judge and jury cases. He is passionate about civil rights and criminal justice issues. In the summer of 2009, despite not knowing anything about bankruptcy, Dave Howe convinced Malaier to come work for him as a staff attorney. He learned a great deal from Trustee Howe who was a consummate gentleman, thoughtful guy, and above all else, prided himself in his staff and trusteeship. Malaier notes that Howe was a true friend and mentor and, as we all will, will miss him always.
Malaier was born and raised in the Seattle area and now calls Tacoma home. He married the love of his life, Jessica, in 2014. Together they are raising Jessica’s daughter, Katin, who is 12. Katin, it appears, has also stolen Malaier’s heart as he describes her as compassionate, articulate, and a math whiz, all while having a gentle spirit. Their household is made complete by a 14-year-old German shepherd mix named Bo and his pal, an 18 month old Cavalier, named Buddy.
Malaier is an avid reader (Graham Greene and Junot Diaz being among his favorite authors). He is also a news/politics junkie. He is a lifelong fan of the Mariners and Seahawks; loves to cook with his wife; explore new restaurants; and will eagerly try any new microbrew (fave right now being Green Flash IPA from San Diego). He is an outdoorsman and likes to stay active by playing softball, going to the beach, and generally enjoying the Pacific Northwest.
Interestingly, Malaier has an identical twin brother, Bill, who lives in Seattle, is an attorney, and also practices bankruptcy!
Malaier loves his job, staff, and the feeling of helping people through difficult times. “We do important work and I take much satisfaction in it.”