Commercial Litigation and Labor and Employment Attorney J. Derek Little Commercial Litigation and Labor and Employment Attorney J. Derek Little

J. Derek Little, Shareholder

DIRECT: 206-224-8043



Derek Little’s practice focuses on litigation with particular emphasis on commercial litigation, land use litigation, labor and employment law matters, including class action defense, defense of local governments and public entities, and appellate law.

He represents clients in both state and federal courts.

Representative Matters

  • Successful appeal of an adverse ruling in King County Superior Court denying motion to compel arbitration. Reversed and remanded for entry of an order compelling arbitration.
  • Ninth Circuit affirmed summary judgment dismissal of plaintiff’s claims for accelerated life insurance payment.
  • Represented an LLC member in a two-week arbitration arising from a punitive involuntary redemption of his membership interest. The arbitrator found for our client on claims of breach of the operating agreement, breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing, breach of fiduciary duty, wrongful termination, and willful deprivation of wages.  The arbitrator also awarded fees and costs, for a total award of more than $10.5 million.
  • Represented plaintiffs in dispute over $723,750 in billed charges for air ambulance services. Negotiated successful settlement of claims.
  • Represented Island County in homeowner class action and individual lawsuits arising from major landslide. Both cases successfully settled.
  • Obtained summary judgment in ERISA benefits case involving proton beam radiation therapy.
  • Represented co-founder of an internet startup business in an action to recover his share of the proceeds of the sale of the company. Obtained a $3 million cash settlement, plus his ownership interest in the acquiring company.  In a second action to enforce the settlement agreement, obtained summary judgment for the client, recovery of substantial attorney fees, and appointment of a receiver to liquidate defendants’ assets as required to satisfy judgment.

Presentations & Publications

Derek is a frequent speaker on new developments in employment law and other related issues. A few of his representative presentations include:
Speaker, “Washington’s New Non-compete Law,” KTC seminar (2020)
Speaker, “Arbitration and Washington’s New Right to Public Pursuit of Employment Discrimination Claims,” KTC seminar (2019)
Speaker, “Business Competition & Alternative Dispute Resolution in Employment Agreements,” KTC seminar (2018)

Awards & Unique Recognition

  • Selected a Washington State “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers


Outside of the office, Derek enjoys skiing, bicycling, and exploring local parks with his family.

  • J.D., University of Chicago
  • M.A., University of Washington
  • B.A., Reed College
    • Phi Beta Kappa

  • Washington Bar
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Washington
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

  • Washington State Bar Association
  • King County Bar Association, Appellate Section
  • Washington Defense Trials Lawyers Association