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PRACTICE AREAS

OUR Litigation PROFESSIONALS:
Jeannette Adams Gorman
Adam R. Asher
Lori Lopez Guzzo
J. Blake Hilty
Jason C. Holloway
L. Paul Ohainle
Thomas F. Peterson
Eleanor H. Walstad

Litigation


When disputes arise, we seek to achieve the best possible results for our clients. Often, we implement strategies that enable the client to reach a resolution without the need for formal litigation. However, sometimes lawsuits cannot be avoided. In either case, we give our clients practical advice on strategy and creative, ethical advocacy. Our litigation attorneys have carried to successful conclusions many jury and non-jury trials in state and federal courts throughout Washington and won numerous appeals. We have also successfully resolved hundreds of cases through summary judgment, arbitration, and mediation.

Some of the litigation matters Socius attorneys have handled include the following:

  • Obtained dismissal of an appeal under the Land Use Petition Act (LUPA) using the doctrine of mootness. Kelly v. County of Chelan, 145 Wn. App. 166, 185 P.3d 1224 (2008).
  • Prevailed at trial and on appeal in a case allowing the sale of church property on the grounds that the sale was permitted under charitable trust doctrines and that the deed restriction violated the state’s anti-discrimination statute. Niemann v. Vaughn Community Church, 118 Wn. App. 824, 77 P.3d 1208 (2003), aff’d, No. 74782-2 (Wash. June 9, 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).
  • Assisted the development community in establishing the precedent that a planned unit development (PUD) has the same "vested rights" as a conventional subdivision. Assoc. of Rural Residents v. Kitsap County, 141 Wn.2d 185, 4 P.3d 115 (2000). [Amicus brief]
  • Established new, favorable case law for property owners dealing with off-site contamination caused by others. Dash Point Village Assoc. v. Exxon, 86 Wn. App. 596, 937 P.2d 1148 (1997), amended by 86 Wn. App. 596, 971 P.2d 57 (1998).
  • Established a precedent that municipalities are liable for their negligence in issuing building and development permits. J&B Development Co. v. King County, 100 Wn.2d 299, 669 P.2d 468 (1983), overruled by Taylor v. Stevens County, 111 Wn.2d 159, 759 P.2d 447 (1988) and Meany v. Dodd, 111 Wn.2d 174, 759 P.2d 455 (1988).
  • Obtained a summary judgment in favor of a commercial laundry being sued by a competitor for tortious interference with contractual relations, trade name infringement, misappropriation of trade secrets and related claims.
  • 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.

We represent a wide range of parties in litigation including real property owners, developers, condominium and homeowner associations, lenders, landlords and tenants, title insurance companies, escrow agents, real estate agents, medical professionals, business owners, employers, municipalities, partnerships, corporations, trusts and estates.

Litigation can be expensive and frustrating for the parties involved. In each case we seek to understand the client’s goals and work with the client to most effectively achieve the best result that can be achieved under the circumstances. Because parties must make critical decisions throughout the case, we actively involve our clients in the process so that they can better understand what has happened and where the case is headed. When it comes time to appear in court, judges and juries find that we are skilled and trustworthy advocates.


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