Williams Kastner homepage

Commercial Litigation

For nearly 75 years, Williams Kastner has successfully represented corporations, partnerships and individuals involved in business disputes. Williams Kastner litigators have a well-earned reputation for managing complex litigation in a cost-effective manner to a successful conclusion. The firm resolves a majority of these cases before trial, sometimes without even filing a lawsuit.

Williams Kastner litigators are licensed in several Northwest states and have extensive trial experience in federal and state courts. Williams Kastner has experience both as national coordinating counsel and as lead trial counsel, working with national, regional and local counsel.

Bottom line: Williams Kastner litigators have more jury trial experience in the Seattle area than any other firm. To view Washington Jury Verdicts in trials by firm, please see our Results page.

For more information on how we’ve successfully represented clients in various areas, see below:

Antitrust

Case in Point: Williams Kastner has represented numerous distributors where threatened termination allegedly violated state and federal unfair competition statutes. Cases settled favorably for clients. In another case, Williams Kastner represented statewide health care professional association on numerous anti-trust questions relating to health insurance and HMOs.

Breach of Fiduciary Duty

(including corporate governance and the administration of trusts and estates)

Case in Point: Williams Kastner litigators have handled cases involving interlocking corporate directors and the resolution of issues that arise when the relationships between the companies change. These contests can be especially critical when companies become competitors, raising issues involving breach of duties of loyalty, misappropriation of trade secrets, theft of corporate property and the use of confidential information. Many key employees are bound by covenants not to compete, which raises other complex corporate litigation issues

Breach of Warranty

Case in Point: Williams Kastner defended a heavy-equipment manufacturer in a lawsuit involving claims for breach of express and implied warranties. The trial court’s summary judgment dismissal of all claims as time barred was affirmed on appeal. The Court of Appeals found that repair and replace warranties do not fall within the future performance exception to the statute of limitations and that the statute was not tolled by unsuccessful repair efforts.

Collections

Case in Point: Williams Kastner’s representation of a title company in connection with the sale of real property involved an individual who was sued for allegedly executing fraudulent closing documents. At the outset, the firm obtained a prejudgment attachment lien on a piece of real property owned by this individual. The case proceeded to a jury trial, resulting in a judgment in favor of the title company. Because the title company’s prejudgment attachment lien related back to the earlier date it attached, the title company had priority over subsequent liens and encumbrances. The title company executed on its lien, and the property was sold. The title company bought the property at the sale and later resold it for a substantial profit.

Construction

(including lien laws, commercial construction disputes among owners, contractors, architects, and engineers, and construction defects)

Case in point: Williams Kastner represented a civil engineering developer on a successful malpractice claim in connection with an Eastside condominium development.

Corporate Governance

(including shareholder/partner disputes, claims against corporate officers and directors, claims arising from dissolution or failed combinations of business entities or professional associations)

Case in Point: Williams Kastner represented a Seattle contractor and a 50 percent shareholder of a closely-held construction company in suit for corporate dissolution and breach of fiduciary duty. The case was settled favorably for client, and dissolution avoided.

Employment

(including age/race/sex discrimination, breach of non-competition agreements, wrongful termination and claims involving compensation, trade secrets and invention rights)

Case in Point: Williams Kastner represented a CEO whose authority was eliminated by the Board of Directors. When the CEO announced his intention to resign and seek other employment, the Board sought to enforce his non-competition agreement. The firm took the position that the employer breached the employment contract, invalidating the non-compete.

Case in Point: Williams Kastner represented a company that had purchased an insurance company. After the purchase, the seller’s management left en masse and started a competing company with funding from a third party that had been unable to purchase the insurer — i.e., the jilted buyer. The firm sued for violation of the trade secrets act, tortious interference, breach of fiduciary duties and fraud.

Case in Point: Williams Kastner regularly represents employers facing wrongful termination claims from former employees involving charges of age, gender, race, national origin, religion and disability discrimination or hostile work environment.

Case in Point: Williams Kastner represented a high-tech company where a former female sales representative claimed the CEO sent her sexual emails and wrestled with her in the office, charging sexual harassment and discrimination.

Case in Point: Williams Kastner represented a mid-sized Washington municipality where a former officer claimed that he was fired because he was Hispanic and suffered a hostile work environment.

Environmental

Case in Point: Williams Kastner served as lead counsel in the defense of four Fortune 100 chemical companies in Superfund litigation brought in Federal Court. In addition, the firm regularly represents clients in defense of regulatory and administrative actions brought by Government.

Financial Institutions

Case in Point: Williams Kastner represented a financial institution in suit against borrower on a shopping center loan. The case resulted in a summary judgment in favor of our client for more than $2.4 million.

Franchise/Distributorship

Case in Point: In association with New York Counsel, Williams Kastner established the supremacy of the state alcoholic beverage statutes over conflicting provisions of the Federal Bankruptcy Code, that prevented a reorganizing debtor from rejecting distribution agreements and reselling client’s distribution rights.

Fraud/Misrepresentation

Case in Point: Williams Kastner defended a securities brokerage company against class action claims of vicarious liability for alleged fraud and misrepresentation committed by its representatives. The case involved the second largest Ponzi scheme to that date in the state of Washington with alleged losses of $26 million. Williams Kastner arranged a satisfactory settlement through mediation.

General Litigation

Case in Point: Williams Kastner represented plaintiffs who alleged that assets were wrongfully removed from an irrevocable trust. The case involved business and commercial litigation issues including breach of trust, legal and accounting issues, business valuation issues, environmental issues, management issues related to closely held corporations, and bankruptcy issues. In all, 17 separate legal issues were involved in this case, which went to argument before the Court of Appeals and settled with the defendant agreeing to pay a $1.9 million settlement.

Government Entities

(including land use, tax and violation of bidding statutes)

Case in Point: As appointed class counsel, Williams Kastner successfully obtained a $500,000 judgment against the City of Olympia for assessing unconstitutional impact fees on homebuilders. In other cases, obtained judgments of more than $2,000,000 and $3,200,000 against the State of Washington (DOT) for negligence in relation to the 520 Bridge and floods, respectively.

Insurance

(bad faith and coverage)

Case in Point: Williams Kastner represented a nationally-known insurer in multiple coverage lawsuits arising from construction defects that resulted in massive damage due to water intrusion in condominium developments in Seattle and Bellevue, Washington. Bad faith and other claims were made; defenses included “your work” exclusion, expected intended/known loss defenses and others. Obtained a summary judgment for insurer on known loss defect.

Intellectual Property

(including trademark, patent, Lanham Act, software piracy, theft of trade secrets, copyright infringement, publicity or personality rights)

Case in Point: Williams Kastner represented respondents of a consumer appliances corporation and its principal shareholders in arbitration over claimants’ $30 million claims for trademark and copyright infringement, violation of personality rights, and related claims. After hearings over a one year period, the firm obtained a successful defense verdict in favor of clients and an award against claimants for clients’ attorney fees and costs in the six-figures range.

Case in Point: Williams Kastner represented a medical device company in a patent infringement case; trail resulted in a finding of infringement and permanent injunction and judgment for client’s attorney fees and costs in the seven-figures range.

Case in Point: Williams Kastner represented a medical software company in arbitration and federal district court in a suit brought against software developers regarding disputes over copyright authorship and ownership, developers’ failure to deliver all source code, disputes over royalty formulas, and an attempted license termination by developers. After substantial arbitration hearings, the firm obtained an award that included, among other things, the recovery of source code from developers, a finding that a pertinent license remained in effect in favor of our client, a favorable finding on royalty formulas.

Probate and Trust Disputes

Case in Point: Williams Kastner represented a claimant in a dispute involving a testamentary trust whose assets were invested by the trustee in a dividend capture scheme. The scheme was concealed from the rest of the beneficiaries (one being our client) for almost 10 years before it was revealed in an accounting action imposed on the trustee through court proceedings. The firm prevailed at trial with an award of nearly $400,000 in damages and attorney fees on a breach of fiduciary duty claim. The case then went up on appeal on the statute of limitations and damage issues where the trial court determination was affirmed. It is now on a petition for review by the Washington Supreme Court.

Real Estate

(including adverse possession, boundary disputes, broker claims, quiet title, eminent domain, landlord/tenant disputes, foreclosures, commercial property land use disputes)

Case in Point: Williams Kastner favorably settled a class action and quiet title case over extent of property submitted to common ownership under Declaration of Unit Ownership of large destination condominium resort.

Case in Point: Williams Kastner represented numerous landowners involved in one of the largest condemnation cases in the United States involving 62,000 acres taken for expansion of the Yakima Training Center. The clients owned various sized parcels, including one contiguous ownership of more than 12,700 acres, which were condemned for the project. Following a successful jury trial in federal district court, in which one of the clients was awarded full compensation plus attorneys’ fees and costs, the condemning agency, the United States Army Corps of Engineers, settled the remaining clients’ cases for fair value.

RICO

Case in Point: Williams Kastner represented a government subcontractor with respect to RICO claims and counterclaims made between subcontractor and contractor for defense department work.

Securities Fraud

Case in Point: Williams Kastner defended individual stock brokers and brokerage firms against claims of breach of fiduciary duty and securities fraud alleged by customers whose investment account suffered losses.

Case in Point: Williams Kastner successfully recovered six-figure settlement on behalf of six Seattle businessmen who lost money in a private placement in Tuscany.

Tortious Interference

(with contract or business expectancy)

Case in Point: Williams Kastner represented former executives of a major Seattle area biotech firm on a claim for intentional interference with business expectancy. Case was settled favorably for client.

Case in Point: Williams Kastner represented a start-up medical device venture and its founders regarding claims of intentional interference with funding and related claims. Claims settled favorably for clients.

UCC

(including Article II and sales and secured transactions)

Case in Point: Williams Kastner successfully established at trial the lien priorities of agricultural lender in cattle, crops and equipment of large agricultural borrower.

Unfair Trade Practices/False Advertising/Lanham Act

Case in Point: Williams Kastner represented a corporation in suit against a competitor to enjoin national and regional broadcasts and airings of infomercials; prevailed in preliminary injunction hearing; subsequently, claims settled favorably for client.

Valuation Disputes

(including tax, corporate control disputes)

Case in Point: Williams Kastner represented shareholders in mediation over disposition of assets of parent corporation and related entities. The case was successfully settled in an amount more than $14 million greater than adverse parties’ valuations.

Case in Point: Williams Kastner represented a dissenting shareholder in valuation dispute arising from a forced merger-squeeze out of minority shareholders. The firm won a summary judgment that no marketability or minority interest discounts apply in dissenter rights cases.

Case in Point: Williams Kastner represented a Fortune 500 company in a condemnation action. After extensive discovery, the firm defeated summary judgment motion brought by the governmental entity on the necessity of the condemnation. This result led to a settlement that doubled the governmental entity’s valuation.