- What We Do
Clients choose Garvey Schubert Barer because of our experience across a diverse array of substantive areas and industries, our ability to efficiently staff and manage cases, our extensive real-world trial experience and a proven track record.
We provide commercial litigation services in most key legal areas. These include antitrust issues, bankruptcy, intellectual property, labor and employment, maritime law, real estate, taxation, securities, contracts, civil and administrative claims, white-collar criminal defense, as well as defense of corporate directors and officers, professionals and other fiduciaries. In addition, we serve — and are knowledgeable about — a wide range of industries. Those within which we have successfully defended cases include
- Communications and media
- Entertainment, arts and sports
- Environment and natural resources
- Financial services
- Health care
- Information technology
- Maritime companies and fisheries
- Real estate
- Technology and e-commerce
- Transportation and logistics
We well understand that litigation can be costly and disruptive. So we look for alternatives, such as a negotiated settlement, arbitration or some other form of alternative dispute resolution. But if litigation is unavoidable, our experienced trial lawyers will tenaciously represent you. In addition to jury and nonjury trials, we handle appeals, administrative proceedings, government agency investigations and transnational disputes.
As a mid-sized firm, we can respond more nimbly and cost-effectively to your needs than bigger firms. Yet our depth and breadth of experience and capacity equals far larger firms, and we are able to successfully litigate large, complex cases across multiple jurisdictions. No matter what type of commercial litigation we are providing, we will always seek the result you define as a success.
Co-counsel in defense of price fixing claims in the Bristol Bay sockeye salmon industry.
Successful class action challenge to constitutionality of felony public defense system.
Co-counsel for plaintiffs in successful class action challenging constitutionality of state foster care system. 150 Wn. 2d 689; 81 P.3d 851 (2003).
Successful prosecution of claims for insurance coverage of environmental cleanup at federal Superfund site.
Defense and successful resolution of putative class action claims for wages and benefits against insurance company.
Successful resolution of claims and counterclaims relating to construction site defect claims.
Defense or handling of actual or potential cost recovery claims against petroleum distribution company involving allegations under Alaska, or federal law concerning the cleanup of hazardous substances.
Successful defense of challenge to durable power of attorney at trial and on appeal. 114 Cal. App. 4th 635; 7 Cal. Rptr. 3d 722 (2003).
Successful defense of challenge to durable power of attorney on appeal and in ancillary proceedings. 138 Wash.App. 1062, 2007 WL 1589457 (Jun. 4, 2007).
Successful prosecution of multimillion-dollar claims for insurance coverage of environmental cleanup costs at federal and state Superfund sites.
Successful prosecution of insurance coverage claims for professional liability claims against engineering company; personal counsel to engineering company in defense of professional liability claims.
Recovery of years of hazard pay for 74 shipwrights. Opinion after trial on affirmative defenses at 75 Fed. Cl. 218 (2007).
Successful prosecution of multimillion-dollar claims for environmental insurance coverage after obtaining favorable Supreme Court ruling on coverage issues. 136 Wn.2d 567, 964 P.2d 1173 (1998).
Obtained injunction against federal agency’s effort to impose civil penalty on conscientious objector for exporting medicine and medical supplies to Iraq; affirmed on appeal. 466 F.3d 764 (9th Cir. 2006).
Successful suit to resolve deadlock between two equal shareholders by compelling sale of shares to client. 1.5-week trial; affirmed on appeal. 2005 Wash. App. LEXIS 2066 (Aug. 15, 2005).
Successful prosecution of claims for environmental cleanup against multiple defendants. Obtained contribution toward cleanup costs and attorney fee award against all but one defendant after six-week trial; affirmed on appeal. 135 Wn. App. 106 (2006).
Successful defense of a seller accused of fraud in $41 million sale of Lynnwood data center to ByteGrid, a national operator of data centers.
Defended out of state client in lawsuit and prevailed on a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction in federal court.
Successfully petitioned for mandamus review in Oregon Supreme Court on issue of first impression in Oregon concerning attorney-client privilege accorded to in-house counsel.
Drafted settlement agreements and implemented of complex securities class action settlement on behalf of regional law firm.
- Christensen v. 501 PBB Group I, LLC.
Drafted and argued successful motion to dismiss securities lawsuit in Oregon Circuit Court on behalf of North Carolina law firm.
Drafted agreements and managed resolution of complex class action settlement of companion litigation on behalf of national law firms.
- Spirit Partners, L.P. v. [Northwest Regional Law Firm].
In securities litigation, conducted depositions and drafted briefs in support of successful summary judgment motion in favor of defendant law firm before the trial court and in successful appeal.
- East Portland Imaging Center, et al. v. Providence Health System - Oregon, et al.
In healthcare antitrust litigation, drafted summary judgment motion on behalf of a physician group that helped persuade plaintiffs to voluntarily dismiss the physician group from the lawsuit. Then prepared claim against the physician group's insurer that resulted in reimbursement of nearly all litigation defense costs.
- Jordan v. [Group of Executive Defendants].
In telecommunication securities litigation, drafted and argued successful motion to dismiss claims against a group of defendants.
- [Injured Burn Victim] v. General Motors Corp.
In product liability C-K fuel tank litigation, drafted briefs in favor of plaintiff that successfully opposed manufacturer's motions to dismiss and summary judgment.
Obtained summary judgment for radio broadcast company sued for defamation for remarks made by callers to a radio talk show about an endorser of a local political candidate. This was affirmed on appeal by the Washington Court of Appeals. Brecht v. Fisher Communications, Inc., 160 Wn. App. 1040, 2011 WL 1120506, 39 Media L. Rep. (2011).
Represented a daily newspaper in successfully unsealing court records that allowed a major investigative piece to be published regarding securities fraud at a local high-tech firm. In a 9-0 opinion, the Washington State Supreme Court laid out a stringent test for sealing court records in civil cases, strongly affirming the Washington constitutional right of access to justice. Dreiling v. Jain, 151 Wn.2d 900, 93 P. 3d 861 (2004).
Obtained summary judgment in favor of a local alternative weekly newspaper sued for reporting on a sexual harassment lawsuit instituted by the plaintiff against Peter Nordstrom and Nordstrom, Inc. The newspaper quoted a company spokesperson as describing the lawsuit as baseless and nothing but "an attempt at extortion." The summary judgment was affirmed by the Washington Court of Appeals. Pinney v. Nordstrom, 124 Wn. App. 1019 (2004).
Obtained release of date of birth information with respect to municipal employees on behalf of a local television station withheld by the City of Tacoma. KIRO V. City of Tacoma, (Pierce County Cause No. 03-2-10567-3).
Obtained a waiver of a new WUTC line extension requirement for a major telephone company that would have required the company to provide service to potential customers in a remote area of eastern Washington at an estimated cost of $1.2 million. In the Matter of the Petition of Verizon Northwest, Inc. for Waiver of WAC 480-120-071 (2)(a), (WUTC Docket No. UT-011439).
Represented a major telephone company in challenging, pursuant to the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996, 47 U.S.C. 253, lengthy, over-burdensome telecommunications ordinances enacted by four Washington cities. The Ninth Circuit held that the ordinances in question were invalid because their combined effect might prohibit the provision of telecommunications services. City of Auburn v. Qwest, 260 F. 3d 1160 (9th Cir. 2001).
Represented a major telephone company in a full rate case, that was successfully settled in the first quarter of 2005, involving administrative discovery, motions, witness testimony preparation and a three-day evidentiary hearing on the company's request for interim rate relief. WUTC v. Verizon Northwest, Inc., (WUTC Docket No. 040788).
- Represented the phone unit of a national cable company in fully mitigating penalties assessed by the WUTC
Represented the phone unit of a national cable company in fully mitigating penalties assessed by the WUTC for failure to comply with a new service quality reporting rule. In the Matter of Comcast Phone of Washington, LLC, (WUTC Docket No. UT-031459).
Litigation claims: Discrimination and harassment on the basis of religion and national origin; constructive discharge; intentional infliction of emotional distress. Plaintiff was seaman who was Muslim and of Yemeni origin. Plaintiff alleged unlawful harassment and threats of violence by his direct supervisor. Plaintiff alleged that he complained to the ship’s captain, and that as a result he was forced to resign. Plaintiff demanded $120,000 in compensatory and emotional distress damages at mediation. Settlement at mediation for $19,500.00 with a non-specific letter of apology (proposed by client).
- Represented, along with colleagues, the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) in several arbitrations
He represented, along with colleagues, the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), an agency of the U.S. government, in several arbitrations involving major claims by U.S. corporations with respect to actions in foreign countries that the claimants alleged to have adversely affected private U.S. investments abroad.
Represent owners of demolition company accused of releasing asbestos during demolition of an abandoned food processing facility.
Represent developer/general contractor accused of violating state asbestos regulations during condo conversion project.
Lead trial counsel for transportation company on multiple legal matters arising from planned use of marine terminal to serve oil company, including SEPA and land use challenges. Prevailed in full after multiday hearing.
Lead counsel advising stock purchaser of $94 million company in prosecuting claims against sellers for purchase price adjustments, indemnity claims and related litigation.
Lead counsel defending lender from claims for fraud, criminal conspiracy, state and federal RICO. Plaintiff’s claims for over $9 million dismissed on summary judgment shortly before trial; judgment entered for lender for all loan balances and all attorneys’ fees expended; client recovered all amounts in full.
Lead counsel pursuing breach of fiduciary duty claims against client’s former corporate officers, director and attorneys who formed competing company.
Lead counsel in defense of breach of fiduciary duty claims in derivative shareholder litigation – closely held family company.
Lead counsel defending investment advisory firm in matters arising from investments in business alleged to be Ponzi scheme.
Lead counsel advising stock purchaser of minor league sports team against seller for adjustments under purchase and sale agreement.
Lead counsel in defense of employment discrimination claims made by former President of client.
Lead counsel in defense of employment discrimination claims made by former VP of Human Resources of client.
Defense counsel for foreign public company in antitrust lawsuit alleging seven year price-fixing conspiracy. Conducted discovery throughout Pacific Northwest and in Japan.
Lead counsel in multiple matters for major oil company; pursued claims for damages arising from tanker-dock allision and defective propulsion machinery.
Lead counsel in multiple matters involving claims by adjoining landowners of adverse possession, tree trespass, easements, and fence and boundary disputes.
Lead counsel for a Washington Indian Tribe in connection with litigation matters involving fisheries and related natural resource claims.
Lead counsel for vessel owner in oil spill matter in which primary claimant was an Indian Tribe seeking recovery of spiritual and cultural damages.
Lead counsel in numerous maritime matters, including dozens of personal injury cases, oil spills, P&I investigations, claims for damage to cargo and docks, insurance coverage, broker liability, demurrage, maintenance and cure, and vessel casualties.
Represented presidential campaign in litigation against party’s governing body, requesting fair and equitable treatment under contract administering voter file database.
- Represented lenders, borrowers, engineers, owners and contractors in litigation and pre-litigation negotiations
Represented lenders, borrowers, engineers, owners and contractors in litigation and pre-litigation negotiations related to financing and construction of biomass, geothermal and LNG facilities.
- Defended an international custom software developer against litigation brought by a disgruntled New York customer
Defended an international custom software developer against litigation brought by a disgruntled New York customer, seeking damages of nearly $2 million. By pinpointing critical path delays and scope of work enlargements caused by the customer, forced a settlement resulting in a payment by the customer to the developer.
- Defended NYSE-listed borrower against loan acceleration litigation brought by global investment bank
Defended NYSE-listed borrower against loan acceleration litigation brought by global investment bank, successfully avoiding foreclosure on client’s billion-dollar interest in unexplored natural gas reserves in Papua New Guinea.
Represented government contractor in price-fixing investigation and obtain civil settlement.
Represented federal grant recipient in a criminal fraud investigation and obtained decline of charges against the company.
Represented business owner accused of wire/mail fraud and obtained decline of charges.
Obtained dismissal of negligence claims against healthcare organization and psychiatrist arising from a juvenile patient’s stabbing of two classmates.
Obtained decline of criminal prosecution of pain management physician accused of sexual misconduct by female patient. Successfully defended same physician in civil lawsuit which was settled without a finding of fault.
Obtained decline of criminal prosecution of anesthesiologist accused of Indecent Liberties with a female patient by a co-worker.
Obtained decline of criminal prosecution of physician accused of assisting patient in defrauding Washington Department of Labor & Industries.
Obtained acquittal at trial of family physician accused of Medicaid fraud.
Obtained acquittal at trial of foreign healthcare provider accused of Indecent Liberties by having sexual contact with a female patient during a treatment session.
Obtained dismissal of criminal charges against demolition subcontractor accused of releasing of asbestos into a hospital maternity ward. Dismissal obtained after codefendant general contractor had pled guilty to the same offense.
- Winter 2016
Represented condo developer/general contractor in criminal investigation for violation asbestos disposal regulations. Defended same client in civil claims brought by former employees for alleged exposure to hazardous materials.
Represent metal fabricator/subcontractor accused of exposing employees to high levels of lead. Obtained resolution of investigation without imposition of administrative penalty or criminal charges and settled claims of lead exposed employees.
Represent steel erection company accused of criminal negligence in death of an employee fatally injured in a fall.
Represent well-drilling contractor accused of manslaughter based on a three-fatality motor vehicle accident involving one of the company’s mobile drilling rigs.
Secured favorable settlement for major beverages retailer in false advertising class action.
Assisted in winning summary judgment for international private equity firm in adversary proceeding in bankruptcy court.
Part of trial team representing pharmaceutical company in week-long licensing dispute trial, resulting in favorable settlement.
Currently represent major institution in federal false claims investigation.
- Framed a successful constitutional challenge under 28 U.S.C. 1983 to the reciprocal revocation of our client’s professional license
Framed a successful constitutional challenge under 28 U.S.C. 1983 to the reciprocal revocation of our client’s professional license, restoring operations and $15 million in annual revenue to client’s business. Our client’s license had been suspended in Canada before hearings had been held – a procedure that would not have been permissible in the United States. We successfully argued that granting reciprocal suspensions in the United States, based on a foreign process incompatible with domestic notions of due process, was unconstitutional.
Successfully defended a takeover attempt by a multi-national investment bank that had provided financing for a joint venture to explore natural resource discovery worth at least $2 billion. After defeating the bank’s early efforts to enforce a promissory note and seize control of the joint venture, we forced a favorable settlement in which our client bought the bank out of the joint venture for restricted shares valued at $16 million—more favorable to client than its pre-litigation cash offer—and subsequently sold the asset for in excess of $2 billion.
On behalf of a client who runs a display marketing business, defeated multi-million dollar breach of contract claim to acquire competitor’s business. We persuaded the trial judge that he had overlooked a critical nuance of the New York statute of frauds, resulting in reconsideration of his previous decision, and the dismissal of plaintiff’s claim on summary judgment.
- Obtained jury verdict and judgment on behalf of a client who had been personally defrauded out of nearly $4 million
Obtained jury verdict and judgment on behalf of a client who had been personally defrauded out of nearly $4 million in a sham real estate transaction in Manhattan.
Obtained summary judgment dismissal, affirmed by the Second Circuit, United States Court of Appeals, of $20 million breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract claims against corporate officers and directors in failed merger.
Defended cross-border claim of $18 million by major financial institution against directors on personal guarantees of debt of failed Canadian corporation, and settled for $120,000.
Successfully obtained rescission and refund under the federal securities laws of investment in limited partnership producing well-known Broadway show.
Served as off-panel counsel to obtain defense judgments in professional legal malpractice cases (including summary judgment, bench trials and jury verdicts), representing two major national law firms as regular outside counsel.
Obtained settlement in excess of $1 million in arbitration for independent movie producer for breach of international film distribution agreement.
Obtained defense award for major independent New York Stock Exchange broker-dealer on claim by former employee and minority shareholder in New York Stock Exchange Arbitration.
Obtained defense award in FINRA arbitration for investment banking firm on claim to share of investment banking fee.
- Represented sole owner of music brokerage firm in obtaining statute of frauds pre-answer motion dismissal
Represented sole owner of music brokerage firm in obtaining statute of frauds pre-answer motion dismissal on claim by a finder of potential transactions for equal ownership of the business.
Obtained summary judgment in the amount of $1,850,000 against a major banking institution for breach of contract after the bank failed to prevent the theft of client funds by the client's accountant/bookkeeper defeating among other things, bank’s alleged defenses under the Uniform Commercial Code and Statute of Limitations.
Obtained an Award after a three day arbitration before the American Arbitration Association directing that clients owned a 91% interest in a family limited partnership despite the fact that company tax returns showed a 0% ownership interest for the clients over the preceding ten years. Successfully confirmed the Award in Supreme Court, Nassau County, prevailed on the Appeal of the lower court judgment confirming the Award after oral argument in the Appellate Division, Second Department and successfully procured from both the Appellate Division, First Department and the New York Court of Appeals a denial of leave to appeal the affirmance of lower court judgment.
Obtained an Order vacating an arbitration award on, among other things, the grounds that one of the arbitrators did not fully disclose a financial relationship with one of the parties in the arbitration and, accordingly, the client did not provide his informed consent to arbitrate the dispute when he executed the arbitration agreement.
- Successfully defended a $38,000,000 claim filed by a national insurance carrier/bonding company against a client
Successfully defended a $38,000,000 claim filed by a national insurance carrier/bonding company against a client based on the client's personal guaranty of his company's debt.
- Obtained summary judgment in New York State Court for a full real estate brokerage commission owed to a commercial real estate broker
Obtained summary judgment in New York State Court for a full real estate brokerage commission owed to a commercial real estate broker after the landlord entered into a lease with a tenant introduced by the real estate broker client to the landlord during the term of the broker/client's exclusive representation, but after the exclusive term expired, successfully arguing that the extension clause in the exclusive brokerage agreement entitled the broker to its full commission.
- Obtained a jury verdict in New York State Court after a three day trial awarding a full real estate brokerage commission to a commercial real estate broker
Obtained a jury verdict in New York State Court after a three day trial awarding a full real estate brokerage commission to a commercial real estate broker notwithstanding the argument that, among other things, the tenant procured by the broker never paid rent and was shut down soon after possession was tendered for health code violations.
- Successfully represented two limited partners claiming breach of fiduciary duty against their general partner
Successfully represented two limited partners claiming breach of fiduciary duty against their general partner, a national real estate developer, resulting in a favorable settlement for the clients.
Successfully appealed and procured a reversal in the Appellate Division, First Department of an Order vacating an arbitration award resulting in the confirmation of the award and the entry of a judgment in the client’s favor in the amount of $17,381,547.36.
Defeated a motion to vacate a default judgment entered on behalf of a client in the amount of $856,000, procured an affirmance on Appeal after oral argument to the Appellate Division, First Department and successfully collected the full amount of the judgment with interest to through the date of collection after leave to appeal to the New York Court of Appeals was denied.
- Defeated a motion for a preliminary injunction brought by a laundry service provider attempting to enforce an automatic renewal clause
Defeated a motion for a preliminary injunction brought by a laundry service provider attempting to enforce an automatic renewal clause in an agreement between the laundry service provider and the owner of a residential multi-family building successfully arguing that the automatic renewal clause could not be invoked because the agreement was a license rather than a lease and the failure to provide a timely notice of the automatic renewal in accordance with General Obligation Law 5-903 negated the renewal.
Regularly counsel and troubleshoot for closely held and family-owned entities (i.e., litigation prevention) in connection with their day-to-day contractual issues and business law needs by, among other things, identifying contractual trouble spots and pitfalls and drafting the necessary language to protect the company and its owners and avoid litigation.
- Regularly counsel and troubleshoot for commercial real estate brokers and salesmen involved in the rental and sale of commercial real estate
Regularly counsel and troubleshoot for commercial real estate brokers and salesmen involved in the rental and sale of commercial real estate including, but not limited, the negotiation of exclusive agreements, landlord/owner brokerage agreements and landlord/leasing agent/outside broker co-brokerage agreements
Represented business at trial court level and Court of Appeals regarding dispute over property lines and wrongful interference with business relations; recovered full attorney fees in favor of business.
News & Events
- Garvey Schubert Barer Ranked Among Leading U.S. Firms in Chambers USA 2017 Guide; Four Practices and 12 Lawyers FeaturedGSB Newsroom, 5.26.17
- GSB Newsroom, 5.1.17
- Law360 (subscription required), 4.28.17
- Law360 (subscription required), 4.12.17
- GSB Newsroom, 2.16.17
- Portland Business Journal (subscription required), 2.10.17
- GSB Press Release, 9.29.16
- Speaking EngagementPortland, OR, 6.1.17
- "What You May Not Know About the Application of the Attorney-Client Privilege, Work Product Doctrine and Joint Defense Doctrine in Oregon," Oregon State Bar 2017 RELU Spring ForumSpeaking EngagementTigard, OR, 4.28.17
- "Private Land Use Regulation Through CC&Rs: The Tension Between Private Interest and Public Policy," Oregon State Bar 2017 RELU Spring ForumSpeaking EngagementTigard, OR, 4.28.17
- Panel DiscussionPortland, OR, 3.15.17
- The American College of Trial Lawyers Journal, Spring 2017
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