Duncan E. Manville

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.

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


  • 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

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 and Leadership

Professional Recognition & Honors

  • Selected to Best Lawyers in America, 2018-2024
  • Selected to Washington Super Lawyers, 2008-2023
  • 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 and 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)