Hawaiian coffee farmers have alleged that Kroger has breached a settlement agreement to stop selling falsely labeled “Kona” coffee and urged a Washington federal judge to order the grocery chain to turn over sales records so the farmers can calculate the damages.
Our commercial litigation attorneys are well practiced at representing both plaintiffs and defendants in a broad range of business disputes. In fact, frequently, in business disagreements, whether a client ends up as a plaintiff or a defendant merely depends upon who is first to file a lawsuit.
Issues Dealt With in Litigation
- Contract disputes
- Shareholder, LLC member, and partnership disagreements
- Differences growing out of business acquisitions and dissolutions
- Misrepresentation and fraud claims
- Business and property valuation matters
- Trade secret, trademark, copyright, patent, and other intellectual property claims
- Accounting, legal, and other professional malpractice issues
- Disputes over non-compete agreements
- Real estate cases (involving leases, condemnation, contamination, liens, encroachment, adverse possession, and other property rights)
- Securities claims
- Tortious interference with contracts or business relationships, and other business tort claims
- Sale of goods and other Uniform Commercial Code disputes
- Lender liability and other debt collection matters
- Judicial and non-judicial foreclosure proceedings and lien rights enforcement actions
- Franchise disputes
- Civil RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization) actions
- Claims involving charges of breach of fiduciary duties
- Class actions
- Corporate derivative actions
Our litigation attorneys practice in state and federal courts throughout Washington State and are frequently retained to represent clients in other states, particularly Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska. We also are involved regularly in alternative dispute resolution processes, including mediations and commercial arbitrations before the American Arbitration Association and other services. Our attorneys have served as arbitrators and mediators through the courts, the American Arbitration Association, and other organizations.
Individual litigators practising in this area have been singled out as “Super Lawyers” and “Top Attorneys” by several publications, including Seattle magazine, Seattle Business Monthly, Washington CEO magazine, and Washington Law & Politics. Moreover, one of the firm’s commercial litigators coordinated the drafting of pattern jury instructions for the commercial litigation subcommittee and tortious interference with business relations subcommittees of the Washington Pattern Jury Instruction Committee, which is appointed by the Washington Supreme Court.
When a client comes to us with a business dispute, we make every effort to facilitate resolution of the matter as promptly and efficiently as possible. If litigation is necessary, our objective is to pursue the dispute vigorously in order to allow our clients to resolve their case from a position of strength, either through continued negotiations, mediation, or ultimately on the merits at trial or in arbitration.
Illustrative Cases Involving Our Commercial Litigation Attorneys
- The firm represented a franchisee of a national rental car company in federal district court, achieving a jury verdict of $8,705,000.00.
- Our attorneys represented an outboard marine manufacturer in an antitrust suit against a marine trade association regarding the allocation of space at a major regional boat show.
- In an antitrust investigation by the states of Washington and Oregon regarding wholesale pricing practices, the firm represented a large regional distributor.
- Our lawyers advised a national retailer of electronics and technology products in a contract dispute regarding business interruption losses.
- The firm represented a local construction-supply retailer in a dispute regarding alleged commercial disparagement and unfair trade practices.
- A regional contractor/gravel pit operator selected our firm to work with them in a contract dispute with an asphalt contractor involving significant potential monetary damages and other commercial considerations.
- The firm represented a local manufacturer of ultra-high-weight molecular polyethylene in a case involving product disparagement and unfair trade practices claims, which was brought in federal district court by its chief competitor, a Fortune 500 company. A full dismissal of all claims was achieved prior to trial, and all attorneys’ fees were recouped from the client’s insurers.
- In litigation and arbitration involving securities and related claims of $57,000,000.00, the firm defended an investment advisor client. We obtained dismissal of all claims and an award of approximately $1.5 million of attorney fees and costs against plaintiff after four-week American Arbitration Association commercial arbitration before a three-person panel.
- We successfully tried plaintiffs’ securities case in King County Superior Court and obtained judgment on all claims, including damages for negligent infliction of emotional distress.
- A member of the commercial litigation team represented defendants in a San Juan County Superior Court trial involving a partnership dispute and prevailed on all claims, including award of attorney fees and costs against plaintiff.
- A commercial litigation shareholder was retained by the board of directors of a publicly traded company to serve as special outside counsel to perform investigation and report back to the CEO and the Chair of the company’s audit committee regarding allegations of wrongdoing by senior management.
- In a case filed in federal court in Eastern Washington a senior commercial litigation shareholder defended an agricultural cooperative against claims asserted by a terminated grower/member. We obtained dismissal of all claims in the trial court, and the Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal and awarded attorney fees and costs.
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