Tom has practiced in the areas of real estate transactions, land use and business litigation since 1986. He assists real property owners, lenders, developers, title companies, homeowners associations, escrow agents and real estate professionals transact business, avoid problems, and resolve disputes. His experience includes real estate financing, leasing, purchase-and-sale transactions and disputes, title claims, foreclosures, landlord-tenant disputes, homeowners association and condominium matters, land use permitting, rezones, professional and lender liability claims and insurance coverage issues.
Tom has resolved numerous real estate and commercial disputes through summary judgment, arbitration and mediation. In addition, he has successfully tried jury and non-jury cases in federal and state courts; briefed, argued and won numerous appeals; and resolved many disputes as a professional mediator. Tom is committed to obtaining creative and common sense solutions for our clients. He seeks to understand the client’s goals, give sound advice, and get the best possible results efficiently and ethically.
Super Lawyers® magazine recognized Tom’s achievements by naming him to the Super Lawyer® list every year since 2002, a designation reserved for fewer than five percent of all lawyers in Washington State.
- Assisted scores of property owners and lenders clear up title defects in order to make their real property marketable or to enhance its value
- Represents numerous homeowners associations, advising on a wide-variety of management and property issues and in dispute resolution
- Represents major national insurance company in numerous sales of company properties located in western Washington
- Regularly reviews and revises standard loan documentation for national commercial lender to assure compliance with Washington state law
- Successfully represented a secured lender with a $4.2 million lien in a priority dispute with an Indian tribe over a failed multi-phase condominium
- Represented the borrower in a multi-million dollar refinance of a shopping center
- Successfully advocated for clarification and expansion of the law of equitable subrogation: Columbia Community Bank v. Newman Park, LLC, 177 Wn.2d 566, 349 P.3d 472 (2013)
- Obtained favorable decision upholding validity of access easement and resolving other issues in dispute between neighboring property owners: Maier v. Giske, 154 Wn. App. 6, 223 P.3d 1265 (2010)
- Prevailed at trial and on appeal in case allowing sale of church property on grounds that sale was permitted under charitable trust doctrines and that deed restriction violated state’s anti-discrimination statute: Niemann v. Vaughn Community Church, 154 Wn.2d 365, 113 P.3d 463 (2005)
- Appearing as amicus curiae, successfully urged the Washington Supreme Court to bar post-sale challenges to trustee’s sales by secured lenders: Plein v. Lackey, 149 Wn.2d 214, 67 P.3d 1061 (2003)
- Convinced Supreme Court to reinstate summary judgment that escrow agent client did not breach its duties to seller in a real estate transaction: Denaxas v. Sandstone Court of Bellevue, 148 Wn.2d 654, 63 P.3d 125 (2003)
Tom lives in Seattle with his wife and three children. He is active in his children’s school and after-school programs as well as in his church. He enjoys many outdoor activities, especially skiing.
University of Oregon School of Law, J.D.; Order of the Coif;
Articles Editor, Oregon Law Review
Yale University, B.A.
MEMBERSHIPS & RECOGNITION
Washington State Bar Association
King County Bar Association
Washington Land Title Association
American Land Title Association
Department of Commerce Approved Foreclosure Mediator
AV Preeminent rating, Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory
Super Lawyers® list (2002-2017)
Volunteer Mediator, Dispute Resolution Center of King County
King County Housing Justice Project, Volunteer Lawyer
St. Joseph Church, Lector and Former Pastoral Council Chair
Agros International, former JWAV Partner