JAMES BULTHUIS is a member of Williams Kastner Inland Northwest Practice Team. James’s practice is focused on the intersection of land and government. He helps landowners work with government agencies on matters such as eminent domain and environmental contamination.
James takes a pragmatic approach to meeting client needs, whether that be through an early resolution or prevailing at trial. James has represented both plaintiffs and defendants, which offers insight to advise his clients on the likelihood of achieving their goals. In addition, he has taken cases to jury trials and arbitrations and resolved hundreds of disputes at mediation. James works in both Seattle and Spokane, representing clients across the state.
Recognitions & Awards
Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2018-2021
J.D., magna cum laude, Willamette University School of Law, 2011
Editor, Willamette Law Review
B.A., cum laude, Willamette University, economics major, 2008
Eminent Domain/Condemnation Litigation
James has handled countless eminent domain matters and is currently helping landowners confront condemnation issues by Sound Transit in downtown Seattle, Bothell, Everett, and Federal Way. Similarly, James is helping landowners along Bigelow Gulch Road work with Spokane County and owners whose property is being condemned by WSDOT for numerous construction projects across the state. In addition, James has been advising clients regarding Sound Transit’s ST3 design proposals affecting Ballard and West Seattle and various irrigation districts’ plans for expanding their infrastructure throughout central and eastern Washington.
James was delighted to assist a small business owner in Federal Way litigate and settle with Sound Transit for its condemnation of the owner’s property. James also helped the owner with their relocation claim to secure financial assistance for the displacement of their business.
James was an integral part of a team representing a waterfront business and landowner in a condemnation action by WSDOT relating to the demolition of the SR 99 viaduct. The team secured what was, at the time, the highest price per square foot for commercial office space in the area.
James has taken one of the few cases to reach trial in recent years under Washington’s Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) and recovered a verdict fully in favor of his client.
Landowners and developers frequently consult with James to help them negotiate cleanup and allocation agreements to ensure that responsible parties pay their fair share – no more and no less – for cleaning up contamination sites.
Commercial and Business Litigation
James helped a local developer navigate a dispute between two cities over who was responsible for providing sewer service to a proposed development under a binding site plan. Through quick and aggressive action, including a LUPA appeal, James was able to help broker a resolution to everyone’s benefit that kept the project redevelopment on schedule.
James recently persuaded the Washington Court of Appeals to dismiss an action to delay and disrupt a receiver’s sale of property to James’s client, a Fortune 500 company.
In Timberland Bank v. Mesaros, 1 Wn. App. 2d 602, 406 P.3d 719 (Div. 2, 2017), a bank foreclosed on commercial property owned by James’s client. At the subsequent sheriff’s sale, the statutory procedures were not followed, resulting in a minimal bid. However, when the trial court refused to allow an upset hearing to ascertain the property’s true fair market value, James convinced the Court of Appeals to reverse the trial judge and void the entire foreclosure sale, ultimately saving the client from hundreds of thousands of dollars in judgment debt.