We congratulate four of our partners on their selection to the 2022 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America. David Bruce, Duncan Manville, James Savitt, and Stephen Willey have again been recognized for their litigation excellence in Bet-the-Company, Commercial, and Intellectual Property. David Bruce was also recognized for excellence in Municipal Law. James Savitt, in addition to being named to Best Lawyers ...


“First Thing We Do…”

There may never have been a moment in our nation’s history in which the lawyer’s approach to problems has been more important:  adherence to process, and the demand for and reliance upon evidence.  Every official who has actually made a decision, most of them lawyers, has done so. -- James P. Savitt


We are pleased to announce Tyler Peterson has joined SBW as Of Counsel. Tyler’s addition both broadens and deepens the firm’s expertise to serve our clients.  Tyler brings to SBW deep expertise in trade secret, trademark, patent, copyright and other intellectual property litigation, along with extensive experience in commercial, malpractice, products liability and consumer protection cases. Before joining SBW, Tyler was ...


In Washington, a party does not have to actually file a complaint in Superior Court to start a lawsuit and trigger the time period within which the defendant must respond.[1]  Instead, a party can commence a lawsuit by serving a complaint and summons on the defendant.[2]  This process is commonly called “pocket service.”  It is different ...


We are pleased to announce that Savitt Bruce & Willey LLP has again been recognized by U.S News & World Report as a “Best Law Firm” both nationally and regionally in multiple practice areas. The firm’s Intellectual Property Litigation practice was again ranked as a top firm nationally. And SBW was recognized once again as a “Tier 1” top firm ...


We are pleased to announce that James Herr has joined SBW as an associate. James brings his passion, creativity and significant trial experience to our firm and the representation of our clients.  Before joining Savitt Bruce & Willey, James handled civil rights litigation and criminal cases at the Mazzone Law firm and the Snohomish County Public Defenders, where he tried more ...


We are pleased to announce the promotion of Sarah Gohmann Bigelow and Brandi B. Balanda to Of Counsel with our firm. Sarah has been providing excellent service to our clients since 2011.  Her practice focuses on business tort, intellectual property, class action, and securities claims across multiple industries. Sarah has successfully represented technology startups and their founders in trade secret and ...


The core mission of Best Lawyers is to highlight top legal talent in America. Lawyers listed to The Best Lawyers in America are divided by geographic region and practice areas. Recognition is based entirely on peer review concerning professional expertise in particular areas, through a confidential evaluation and voting process. We congratulate five of our partners on their selection to the 2021 ...


As we discussed in Part One of this blog post, “force majeure” clauses are commonplace in business contracts, and virtually every force-majeure clause includes express provision for some or all natural disasters, along with civic, bureaucratic, and military disruptions.

But the pandemic has caused many disruptions that cannot be attributed to an act of government; as the nation reopens, it is likely that those disruptions will continue for some time.  One of a two common catch-all provisions in force-majeure clauses may extend to cover a pandemic.


In a prior post, this blog explored a range of defenses to contract claims brought in the wake of nonperformance caused by the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  This post examines one such defense in detail—the force majeure defense—and how the unique circumstances of the pandemic may impact attempts to assert or defeat such a defense.