Government Defense

Defending cities and other public entities in litigation requires a strong understanding of the concerns unique to them and their officials, including policy matters, organizational constraints, and the transparency inherent in the public nature of their activities, brought most keenly to bear through the Public Records Act.  We have represented Washington cities, counties, and the State of Washington, as well as department heads and other public officials, in matters ranging from a class action challenging a major acquisition by the Port of Seattle to the defense of employment discrimination, inverse condemnation, and tort claims.  Typically we are retained to assist with complex matters that public entities deem best handled by outside counsel.  We also have been hired to represent public agencies, such as the State of Washington Executive Ethics Board and the City of Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission, in the conduct of investigations.

Representative Cases

Baerwaldt v. City of Seattle, et al.  Defended challenge under Initiative-91 to agreement among the City of Seattle, King County and Chris Hansen’s ArenaCo regarding public financing for a new NBA basketball arena in Seattle; prepared and argued motion to dismiss on behalf of all defendants and obtained dismissal of all claims on ripeness grounds.

Otrubova v. City of Seattle.  Defended City against tort and inverse condemnation claims alleging damages caused by stormwater outfall; obtained summary judgment on some claims and complete defense verdict at jury trial on remaining claims; argued all results on appeal, and prevailed in Court of Appeals.

Lane v. Port of Seattle, et al. Defended King County in class action alleging that acquisition of rail corridor for use in trail system exceeded governmental authority; obtained dismissal of all claims on summary judgment.

Pande Cameron v. Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority, et al.  Defended inverse condemnation and constitutional claims arising from City of Seattle’s participation in regional transit authority construction project; obtained summary judgment on all claims; defended judgment on appeal and prevailed in the Ninth Circuit.

Alki Condominium Association v. City of Seattle.  Defended City against multi-million dollar landslide damage claims; obtained complete defense verdict at jury trial.

In the Matter of Christine O. Gregoire et al.  Conducted investigation of claims of ethical violations asserted against Attorney General.

Correa v. City of Seattle.  Defended City against retaliation and employment discrimination claims; obtained dismissal of all claims by summary judgment.

Montano v. City of Seattle.  Defended tort and inverse condemnation claims brought by multiple property owners alleging damage resulting from City’s management of surface water and storm response.

Davis, et al. v. City of Seattle, et al.  Defended Superintendent of Seattle City Light against sex and gender discrimination claims under state law and equal protection claims under federal law; obtained dismissal of all claims by summary judgment.

In the Matter of Oertli.  Conducted investigation of claims of ethical violations asserted against Community College President.

Day v. State of Washington.  Defended sexual harassment and gender discrimination claims against State of Washington; obtained favorable settlement.