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Professional Liability

Williams Kastner is distinguished by its long history representing professionals in proceedings involving claims of breach of professional duty.

We represent engineers, architects, stockbrokers, members of the clergy, corporate officers and directors, land surveyors, lawyers, accountants, insurance agents and brokers, real estate agents and brokers, and physicians, psychologists, dentists, hospitals and other health care providers.

Our firm litigates in all areas of law related to professional claims, including the defense of allegations of negligence, breach of professional rules or ethics, professional membership rights, security law violations, RICO violations, fraud, misrepresentation, Consumer Protection Act violations, breach of contract, antitrust, defamation and other claims. We also defend professionals accused of crimes or misdemeanors.

Williams Kastner is particularly well-known for defending members of the health care profession.  We have litigated most of the significant medical malpractice cases in Washington during the last 40 years. Recently our medical negligence defense practice has expanded into the states of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Wyoming. Our firm has considerable experience in protecting physician rights. We defend physicians, psychologists, nurses and other allied professionals before their respective disciplinary board actions, during hospital privilege application and revocation proceedings, and similar actions.

Approximately 15 attorneys in the firm devote a majority of their time to defending professional liability cases. Many of our lawyers have developed special knowledge and skills in the defense of particular claims, e.g., in areas like obstetrical malpractice, professional disciplinary board actions, or insurance coverage disputes. The firm has lawyers admitted to practice in Alaska, California, Connecticut, Washington, D.C., Indiana, Massachusetts, Montana, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington.

We have tried more professional negligence cases to verdict than any other firm in the Northwest, and average approximately 30 jury trials per year. We have lawyers who are members of the American College of Trial Lawyers and several others who are members of the Defense Research Institute, including one who served as president.

The lawyers who founded this firm established a reputation for excellence in representing professionals. We take pride in continuing this tradition of legal service to our professional clients.

Professional Liability Investigation and Litigation—Our Experience Within the Last Five Years:

  • Williams Kastner is currently representing the FDIC in matters related to directors and officers (duty of care) in the failure of a bank.
  • Williams Kastner represented the trustee in possibly the largest bankruptcy ever filed in Washington State with over a half a billion dollars in claims.
  • 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.
  • Williams Kastner attorneys represented the Round Valley Indian Tribe in connection with breach of fiduciary duty and trust and trust accounting claims.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Williams Kastner represented lawyers insured by Lloyd’s of London.
  • Williams Kastner represented the Metropolitan Public Defender Services and the Juvenile Rights Project.