Profile

Duncan has broad experience handling complex civil litigation matters.  He has achieved outstanding results for his clients through a combination of zealous advocacy and creative problem-solving and counseling.  He is well-versed in all phases of litigation, and has argued multiple cases before the Washington State Supreme Court.

Before joining Savitt Bruce & Willey, Duncan was a partner at Riddell Williams and a principal at Rafel Manville, both in Seattle.  He is a cooperating attorney with the ACLU, and has represented the Fremont Sunday Market and many other clients pro bono.  He is a Past President of the Board of Directors of On the Boards, a contemporary performing arts organization.  Duncan is a graduate, cum laude, of the University of Chicago Law School.

When not in the office, Duncan spends as much time he can with his wife (also a lawyer) and their two lovely little girls.  His other interests include cycling, hiking, and taking many, many photos, some of which are in focus.

Areas of Practice

Prior Professional Experience

  • Rafel Manville PLLC, Seattle WA, Principal, 2005-2007
  • Riddell Williams PS, Seattle WA, 2000-2005
    • Partner, 2005
    • Associate, 2000-2005
  • Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP, Chicago IL, 1999-2000
Representative Cases

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.

Stilwell Value Partners v. First Financial Northwest Inc., et al.  Defended claims against inspector of elections alleging improprieties in corporate election following proxy fight; obtained summary judgement dismissing key elements of claims, and then dismissal of all claims with prejudice as part of favorable settlement involving no concessions from client.

Sound Mind & Body, Inc. v. City of Seattle, et al.  Defended operators of Fremont Sunday Market against claims alleging that market had injured neighboring businesses; obtained summary judgment dismissing all claims, and appellate order affirming summary judgment.

Olympic Tower LLC v. Avstar Seattle LLC.  Defended claims of breach of contract and waste arising out of tenant’s termination of commercial lease and its modification of premises; developed expert testimony rebutting damage claims and then obtained favorable settlement.

Bradburn v. North Central Regional Library District. Constitutional free speech challenge to library district’s Internet filtering policy; argued case before Washington Supreme Court.

Skinner v. May.  Prosecuted claims to enforce right to convey real property obtained as part of settlement agreement; obtained summary judgment on all claims for full damages claimed plus prejudgment interest.

Crystal Mountain Inc. v. Pierce County Prosecuted property tax refund action regarding assessed value of ski area improvements; obtained favorable settlement reducing assessed values.

Criss v. Sandwich SC, LLC, et al.  Defended franchisee against employee claims alleging wrongful termination; developed potential counterclaims under anti-SLAPP statute and then obtained complete dismissal with prejudice of all claims.

SigmaTek v. Dixon.  Prosecuted trade secret and non-compete claims against former employee; obtained preliminary injunction following evidentiary hearing and then favorable settlement.

Hiatt v. Hanley, et al.  Defended developer in construction-defect lawsuit; obtained settlement dismissing all claims and recovery of attorneys’ fees incurred.

Recognition & Leadership

Professional Recognition & Honors

  • Selected to Best Lawyers in America, 2018-2020
  • Selected to Washington Super Lawyers, 2008-2020
  • Selected to Washington Super Lawyers Top 100 List, 2015
  • Selected to Washington Rising Stars, 2002-2008
  • AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell (4.9 out of possible 5.0 peer review rating)
  • 10.0 Rating on Avvo.com

Professional Associations & Leadership

  • American Civil Liberties Union of Washington
    • Cooperating Attorney, 2001-present
    • Member of Legal Committee, 2009-2016
  • Federal Bar Association of the Western District of Washington
    • Co-Chair, Website/Communications Committee, 2002-2008
    • Editor, FBA-WDWA News, 2001-2008
  • Washington State Bar Association

Civic & Community Leadership

  • On the Boards, Seattle, WA
    • Past President and member of Executive Committee, 2011-2015
    • President, 2007-2011
    • Vice-President, Chair of Board Development Committee, Member of Fundraising Committee, 2005-2007
    • Member of Board of Directors, 2004-present

Publications & Presentations

  • Landslide Litigation: Legal Theories and Strategies, Landslides in Washington CLE Conference, Law Seminars International, presenter, 2017
  • Landslides: The Science, Changing Regulations, Risk Assessment in Public Policy and Proof in Litigation, Law Seminars International, presenter, 2014
  • Libraries, Internet Filters, the First Amendment and the Law, Washington Library Association/Oregon Library Association Conference, presenter, 2013
  • Internet Filtering in Public Libraries: Bradburn, et al. v. North Central Regional Library District, Washington Library Association Conference, presenter, 2011
  • E-Discovery, Advanced E-Discovery Conference, presenter, 2009
  • Profile of Judge Richard A. Jones, Federal Bar Association of the Western District of Washington News, Fall 2008 (http://www.fba-wdwash.org/newsletters/FBAFall08.pdf)
  • Issues Relating to Condominium Development and the Management of Homeowners’ Associations, Legal Aspects of Condominium Development and Homeowners’ Associations, presenter, 2007
  • Unequal Network Access, ACLU Biennial Conference, presenter, 2007
  • Recently-enacted Construction Legislation, Mealey’s Pacific Northwest Construction Defect Conference, presenter, 2006
  • Issues Relating to the Establishment and Operation of Homeowners’ Associations, Establishing and Operating Homeowners’ Associations: Understanding the Legal Issues, presenter, 2006
  • Profile of Judge James P. Donohue, Federal Bar Association of the Western District of Washington News, Fall 2006 (http://www.fba-wdwash.org/newsletters/FBAFall06.pdf)
  • Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference Focuses on Human Rights, Race and Diversity, Federal Bar Association of the Western District of Washington News, Fall 2004 (co-authored with Kevin Swan) (http://www.fba-wdwash.org/newsletters/FBAFall04.pdf)
  • Federal Judiciary Faces Funding Crisis, Federal Bar Association of the Western District of Washington News, Fall 2004 (http://www.fba-wdwash.org/newsletters/FBAFall04.pdf)
  • U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Landmark Free-Exercise Case, Federal Bar Association of the Western District of Washington News, Fall 2003 (http://www.fba-wdwash.org/newsletters/FBAFall03.pdf)
  • Profile of Judge Ronald B. Leighton, Federal Bar Association of the Western District of Washington News, Summer 2003 (http://www.fba-wdwash.org/newsletters/FBASummer03.pdf)
  • The Consummate Judge: Best Wishes to U.S. Magistrate Judge John L. Weinberg on His Retirement, Federal Bar Association of the Western District of Washington News, Fall 2002 (http://www.fba-wdwash.org/newsletters/FBAFall02.pdf)
  • Profile of U.S. Attorney John McKay, Federal Bar Association of the Western District of Washington News, Spring 2002 (http://www.fba-wdwash.org/newsletters/FBASpring02.pdf)
  • Seattle’s New Federal Courthouse: Dignified, Accessible, Contemporary, Federal Bar Association of the Western District of Washington News, Fall 2001 (http://www.fba-wdwash.org/newsletters/FBAFall01.pdf)
  • Innovative Federal Program Brings New Courthouse to Seattle, Federal Bar Association of the Western District of Washington News, Spring 2001 (http://www.fba-wdwash.org/newsletters/FBASpring01.pdf)

Education

  • University of Chicago Law School, J.D. cum laude, 1999
  • Princeton University, A.B., Architecture, 1990

Bar Admissions

  • Washington
  • Illinois (inactive)
  • United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • United States District Court, Western District of Washington
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of Washington