When Jeff Tilden was in second grade in North Alabama, he saw a picture on the front page of the newspaper of three men with briefcases leaving a courthouse. Shortly thereafter, the Army rolled through town and the local school system was integrated. Jeff, then seven, thought if you could make the United States Army come to town with your briefcase, you had a really good job. He wanted to be a lawyer from that day forward. Jeff never had a Plan B.
Jeff has tried more than 80 cases to verdict over the last 40 years. All but one of those cases have been civil, focused on commercial, securities, personal injury, and insurance recovery litigation. Jeff is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, and the past State Chair of both organizations. Jeff has been the ABOTA Trial Lawyer of the Year, the Washington Defense Trial Lawyer of the Year, and is a past President of the Washington Defense Trial Lawyers. Jeff is a Chambers’ Senior Statesman Litigation Lawyer.
Jeff established his reputation with a series of ground-breaking environmental insurance cases that yielded very large recoveries for plaintiffs, including The Boeing Company, Weyerhaeuser Company, and Puget Sound Energy. He has also been privileged to represent dozens of other public companies, prominent private businesses, many of the Northwest’s prominent law firms, and many, many wonderful people. Jeff graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in Philosophy in 1977 and the University of Virginia Law School in 1981.
- Montanaro v. McCaw, (derivative action resulting in repayment of $200 million by corporate insider)
- Manos v. Voelker, (derivative action resulting in repayment of $28 million by insider)
- Credit Suisse v. Simmonds, 132 S.Ct. 1414 (2012) (16b claim taken to United States Supreme Court)
- Enger v. Richards, (breach of fiduciary duty and securities claims against director and officer settled successfully at commencement of trial)
- Alexander Hutton Capital v. Richards, (breach of fiduciary duty and securities claims against director and officer, judgment in our favor after four-week trial)
- Drugstore.com, (successful defense of securities litigation on behalf of outside directors)
- Successful defense of many prominent northwest law firms in professional negligence cases
Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith
- The Boeing Company v. Aetna Casualty & Surety Company, (plaintiff’s verdict in major insurance coverage action relating to Superfund liabilities)
- Weyerhaeuser Company v. Commercial Union Insurance Company, (plaintiff’s verdicts in two major insurance coverage action relating to Superfund liabilities)
- Puget Sound Energy v. Various Insurers, (successful resolution of over 20 environmental insurance liability claims)
- Bird v. Best Plumbing (successful prosecution of bad faith claims at reasonableness hearing and in Washington Supreme Court)
- Gee West Seattle LLC v. Huling Buick, Inc. et al., (arbitration award arising from sale of auto dealerships)
- Rally Capital LLC v. Rice et al., (successful defense of securities and contract claims arising from telecom investment)
- Lacey Marketplace Associates II, LLC v. United Farmers of Alberta Cooperative Ltd., et al., (plaintiff’s verdict of $5.2 million in fraudulent transfer action arising from sale of 15 retail stores)
- Dussault v. City of Everett et al., (representation of plaintiff in road design case; settlement for $7 million)
- Fournier v. City of Seattle et al., (representation of plaintiff in road design case; settlement for $4 million)
Commercial and Business Litigation
- Talman Home Federal Savings & Loan Association v. Center Savings & Loan Association, (plaintiff’s verdict of $11 million against defaulting participants in a standby loan on a condominium)
- Douglass v. City of Seattle et al., (representation of plaintiff in road design case; settlement for $10 million)
- Benson v. Hall, (wrongful death claim arising from death of child; settlement for $2.8 million)
- Kelly v. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, (successful defense of church in sex abuse jury trial)
- E-Coli Litigation (defense of 100+ lawsuits arising from 1993 Jack-In-The-Box e. coli outbreak)
- Vaughn v. Shell Oil Co., (successful defense of engineering firm in catastrophic burn case)
- Puget Sound Energy (successful defense at trial in a dozen or more personal injury and property damages actions)
- Colonel Margarethe Cammermeyer v. Cheney, et al., (prosecution of constitutional claims on behalf of Col. Cammermeyer)
- Personally tried over 80 cases
PROFESSIONAL & CIVIC INVOLVEMENT
- Former Boy Scout / Explorer Leader
- Mercer Island Boys & Girls Club Board
PUBLICATIONS & PRESENTATIONS
- “Big Mama Rag: An Inquiry into Vagueness,” 67 University of Virginia Law Review 1543 (1981)
- Perhaps 100 speeches to industry and legislative bodies and continuing legal education presentations
- Justice Advocacy Africa: Has taught trial practice in Uganda, Kenya or Botswana on nine occasions
Over time I’ve learned that trial is an enterprise of the heart and stomach, as much as the mind.
Outside the office, I love being with my wife and, when they are around, two adult sons. I also like to ride my bicycles, keep bees, and collect old books about the history of the Northwest. I regularly travel to Africa, with the nonprofit Justice Advocacy Africa, to teach trial practice to young lawyers.