Frank S. Harrison
FRANK HARRISON is a Member in the Seattle office of Williams Kastner. Frank’s practice focuses on construction law and promoting and defending the legal interests of design professionals, including architects, engineers, geotechnical engineers, and land surveyors. Frank defends such clients in litigation and other dispute resolution proceedings, including defense of professional negligence claims in mediation and arbitration, drawing on an extensive commercial litigation background and trial experience. Frank also counsels clients concerning risk mitigation and contract formation, and he provides real-time advice for issues as they arise on projects.
Frank has previously handled complex commercial litigation, including bankruptcy matters, contract disputes, partnership disputes, health care litigation and real estate litigation, creditors’ rights and collection matters, and class actions.
- a/e ProNet (Associate Member)
- AIA Seattle (Allied Member)
- American Institute of Architects (National Allied Member)
- American Bar Association, Construction Law Section
- Federal Bar Association
- Hospice Volunteer (Kaiser Permanente)
- Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Volunteer
- Seattle Design Festival Volunteer
- New York University
School of Law, J.D., 2012
- University of South Florida
Presentations & Seminars
- CLE Panelist, “Engaging and Managing the Presentation and Preparation of Expert Witnesses in Bankruptcy and Federal Court,” Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association, May 10, 2016.
- Presenter, “E-Discovery: Case Law Applying 2015 F.R.C.P. Preservation & Proportionality Amendments,” Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney P.C., March 30, 2016.
- CLE Lecturer, “Oh no! What do I do now? A Primer on Litigation Issues for the Non-Bankruptcy Attorney Dragged Into Bankruptcy Court,” Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney P.C., January 13, 2016.
Articles & Publications
- Co-Author, Chapters V, VII: Surety Aspects of Bankruptcy Law and Practice, ABA, Tort Trial & Insurance Practice (Fidelity and Surety Law Committee) (2021)
- Author, “Potential Adverse Inference Instruction for Unintended Electronically Stored Information Spoliation May Suggest Limitations of Recently Amended Rule 37€,” The Federal Lawyer, May 2018.
- Author, “Chapter 7: Design-Bid-Build,” Construction Law Handbook, Third Edition, Wolters Kluwer, 2018.
- Author, “How Good Faith Affirmative Defenses Can Waive the Attorney-Client Privilege,” Law360.com, LexisNexis, June 2017.
- Author, “Banks Beware: DIP Loans May Prime Setoff Rights,” Real Estate Finance Journal, Thomson Reuters, Fall/Winter 2015.
- Author, “ABI Commission’s Proposed Changes to Code Affecting Real Estate,” American Bankruptcy Institute Monthly Newsletter, April 2015.
REPRESENTATIVE CONSTRUCTION LAW EXPERIENCE
- Advised architects, engineers, and other design professionals entering contracts with owners and design-build contracts with contractors, including potential issues related to scope, indemnity, assumption of uninsured risk beyond the standard of care, instruments of service, coordination of references across various contract documents, issues associated with conformed sets of drawings in a GC/CM context with multiple bidding phases, design professional teaming and employee-sharing agreements, flow-down clauses and other complications associated with allocation of liability among prime and subconsultants, contractual risks associated with assuming design role after construction, risk mitigation with respect to use of artificial intelligence (AI), and fee and schedule adjustment following suspension of project.
- Advised architects, engineers, and other design professionals on mitigating risk arising from the design process through final completion, including consent from owner as to risks associated with value engineering (VE) options, submittal review stamp language, electronic file transfer agreements for BIM, Revit models (etc.), documentation for construction contract administration (CA), site visit report language and appropriate disclaimers, avoiding assuming responsibilities for jobsite safety or contractor means and methods, scope disputes involving deferred design (e.g., bidder-designed items, OFOI), process and language associated with disputed change orders with clients, recording liens, lender and other financing consent and assignment forms.
- Advised architects, engineers, and other design professionals on various issues arising real-time on projects or prior to litigation, including working with other constituencies to de-escalate issues and resolve or avoid claims without the cost and expense of litigation, even when involving potentially contentious issues such as directions to an owner not to occupy a building, change order disputes, delays caused by alleged design deficiencies, joint defense agreements among design team members and/or owners in connection with claims by a contractor, inaccurate or incomplete information from owners (or upstream team members) relied upon by design professionals, responsibilities associated with design-build contracts versus traditional design-bid-build contracts, handling of sensitive information for government projects (FCI, CUI, SBU, etc.), and coordination of drawings and services.
- Represented architect sued by general contractor (involving no contract and only a negligence theory of liability) for construction defects; obtained agreed dismissal after moving for summary judgment.
- Represented geotechnical engineer in claim by owner of land adjacent to project site, including allegations of design error and failure to monitor; leveraged expert analysis to obtain favorable settlement.
- Represented uninsured engineer in lawsuit by homeowner alleging structural deficiencies with home; negotiated favorable settlement before discovery and litigation expenses were incurred.
- Represented land surveyor in lawsuit alleging survey error after initial retention as expert witness; negotiated favorable settlement without need for mediation or litigation expenses.
- Represented architect sued by individual alleging injury at stadium; negotiated favorable settlement and dismissal of architect early from case, before expenses and time associated with discovery and mediation.
- Represented architect sued by employee of owner alleging head injury at completed project site; obtained agreed dismissal after filing motion to dismiss, with claim resolved in less than a month.
- Represented engineer sued by motorcyclist injured on road permitted by engineer; obtained dismissal on summary judgment.
- Represented engineer sued for $30+ million of alleged construction defects; stipulated dismissal after filing motion for summary judgment.
- Represented engineer sued by developer/builder for complex construction defects; obtained favorable settlement early in case.
- Represented engineer sued by contractor alleging breach of design-build contract claim from alleged design deficiencies; obtained favorable settlement for client prior to escalation of costs in arbitration.
- Represented numerous architects and engineers in responding to subpoenas and requests for deposition.
- Represented surety clients in their investigation, determination, and litigation relating to hundreds of bonds issued as required by the state for licensed and registered contractors; obtained numerous dismissals and awards of attorneys’ fees for surety client.
- Represented specialized construction contractor client in dispute with terminated subcontractor; second-chaired a multi-phased arbitration over several months, prevailing on factual issues tried.
- Represented specialized construction contractor client in dispute with foreign company, successfully resolving multi-million dollar claim (on highly favorable settlement terms) after identifying spoliation of evidence issue and moving for summary judgment.
REPRESENTATIVE COMMERCIAL LITIGATION EXPERIENCE
- Represented second-largest company within highly regulated industry in complex, 30+ year partnership dispute over joint venture of $40+ million revenue operation; successfully first chaired six-day arbitration, resulting in purchase of partner 50% interest in joint venture on favorable terms.
- Represented international actuarial consultant client as a subpoenaed witness in disputes involving its own clients, including regularly defending corporate representative depositions and negotiating complicated discovery, including licensing and training of client software, HIPAA and other PHI/PII issues, and voluminous document productions.
- Represented plaintiff homeowners in complicated property law dispute with neighbors over community water system, obtained summary judgment in favor of client.
- Represented national department store chain in contract disputes with vendors, successfully resolving same via mediation.
- Successfully defended numerous class actions in state and federal courts, including classes sought to be certified for consumer protection claims, disrupted public utility service claims, false advertising claims, and balance billing claims.
- Represented assignee for the benefit of creditors of national vehicle manufacturer (and its owners) in multi-million dollar Washington Consumer Protection Act lawsuit by bankruptcy trustee for franchisee, successfully obtaining dismissal of all clients on summary judgment in federal court.
- Represented individual and entity clients investigated as witnesses by federal agencies, including the Securities Exchange Commission, U.S. Department of Labor, and Department of Justice.
- Represented debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing and distressed debt purchaser clients in six-year breach of contract litigation; successfully moved to withdraw reference to the bankruptcy court after three years, wrote motion for summary judgment dismissing 90% of damages (over $20 million) then third-chaired all parts of 8-day bench trial in federal court, including direct and cross of digital forensic experts resulting in factual finding in favor of client and finding of entitlement to $2.8 million in attorneys’ fees.
- Represented institutional banking client that had been defrauded by trustees of a trust for a 103-year-old woman, where trustees had opened account in trust’s name and then used trust assets (or borrowed against them) to fund their surgery center; after surgery center filed for bankruptcy, obtained dismissal of case and sued under fraudulent transfer theories of recovery, ultimately resulting in successful settlement including assignment of intangible assets of surgery center, including valuable licenses for same.
- Represented secured lender as second-chair in bankruptcy court trial against debtor/borrower hotel, resulting in dismissal of bankruptcy proceeding (and resumption of secured lender “lockbox” agreement and collection).
- Represented minority partner of marina in chapter 11 bankruptcy, resulting in successful confirmation of creditor’s plan whereby minority owner became sole owner exiting bankruptcy.
- Represented nationwide department store client in cost-efficiently resolving over 100 cases under consumer protection statutes (TCPA, FDCPA, FCRA, etc.); assisted digital marketing company client in resolving TCPA claims and negotiating language for contracts involving campaigns for leads.
- Represented judgment debtor in attempts by judgment creditors to collect on $40+ federal court judgment, resulting in multiple dismissals of attempts to collect on judgment.