Experienced trial lawyers for complex business disputes
GTTC’s lawyers use their skill, hard-won experience, and, most of all, exceptional judgment to solve complex business disputes. We obtain excellent outcomes for clients in Washington and around the country, whether through strategic approaches to settlement or trial to verdict. Our practice includes providing representation for matters such as:
- Business ownership and governance disputes
- Commercial contract disputes
- Consumer and product liability class action lawsuits
- Disputes involving principals and employees who leave to join other companies
- Large-scale construction litigation
- Professional negligence claims and billing disputes
- Real estate litigation
- Shareholder derivative lawsuits and securities litigation
- Non-compete/trade secret TROs – the firm has handled numerous cases involving enforcement of non-competition agreements and/or agreements to safeguard company trade secrets often when time is of the essence and obtaining judicial remedies such as temporary restraining orders or injunctions are critical.
Unanimous Washington Supreme Court Victory in Property Boundary Dispute
Mark Wilner and John Cadagan obtained a unanimous victory before the Washington Supreme Court in 2021 in a property boundary dispute. The case came down to the proper interpretation of a deed and the type and amount of evidence needed to overcome a professional retracement survey. The Washington Supreme Court sided with GTTC’s clients in a first-impression decision that quickly led to a favorable settlement after remand.
$130 million trade-secret case settlement
Move, Inc. (which operates the website Realtor.com) and Zillow are major competitors in the online real estate market. When two senior executives left Move and went to work for Zillow, Move sued the two executives and Zillow for misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duty, and other claims. The lawsuit included allegations that the two executives had intentionally destroyed evidence. After two years of preparation, the case was scheduled to go to trial in June 2016. As co-counsel to Jenner & Block, GTTC lawyers Jeff Thomas, Michael Rosenberger, Mark Wilner, and Michael Brown obtained a $130 million settlement on behalf of Move and co-plaintiff the National Association of Realtors. The case settled on the morning of the first day of trial.
Expert witness evidence in EMF tort case ruled inadmissible
In order to meet growing demand, Puget Sound Energy decided to replace an existing 52-year-old substation in Kirkland with a new and considerably larger one, which went on line in 2010. A group of homeowners sued PSE in King County Superior Court, alleging that the electromagnetic fields emanating from the substation were a public and private nuisance. The court ordered plaintiffs to submit scientific evidence, which included expert testimony. With Jeff Thomas’ help, PSE moved to exclude the plaintiffs’ expert’s declaration. After a three-day evidentiary hearing, the court ruled that the homeowners’ expert was not scientifically reliable. The homeowners appealed. The Court of Appeals certified the case to the Washington Supreme Court for direct review. In 2012 the Supreme Court affirmed. A plaintiffs’ ruling on this case could have had broad implications, potentially affecting 150 million homes across the U.S.
Groundbreaking jury trial over Madoff-linked audits
This jury trial was the first successful lawsuit in the country against an auditor over losses tied to the largest Ponzi scheme in U.S. history. FutureSelect Portfolio Management Inc., located in Redmond, Washington, sued Ernst & Young over faulty audits of a Madoff-linked feeder fund. Jeff Thomas represented the plaintiff, as co-counsel with noted Los Angeles trial lawyers Thomas, Alexander, Forrester& Sorensen LLP. After a five-week trial, the jury sided with investors in this complicated case, finding that the accounting giant negligently signed off on audits of billions in assets that did not exist. The jury awarded $16 million in damages to FutureSelect. The award helped to recoup a portion of the many millions of dollars that FutureSelect had lost in its investment in a Madoff-linked feeder fund.
Successful shareholder derivative case challenging board self-dealing
Frank Cordell and his colleagues represented the shareholders of publicly traded technology company Infospace (now Blucora) in a derivative action against the company’s officers and directors. The action sought to invalidate a dividend plan that unfairly favored the directors who approved it. Frank was co-lead counsel and argued in opposition to the defendants’ key motion to dismiss. After the court denied that motion, the case settled, with the defendants and their insurers repaying $28 million to the company and agreeing to undertake a variety of corporate governance reforms.
$6.3 million contract claim defeated in arbitration
Michael Rosenberger represented a company founded by a high-net-worth individual to manage his investments. Years after three former private equity managers were dismissed, they sued and sought damages of $6.3 million based upon alleged breaches of a carry plan and an incentive compensation plan. The arbitrators unanimously found in favor of our client and awarded our client its attorneys’ fees and costs.
Successful Resolution of claims by minority member in real estate LLC
Michael Rosenberger and Michael Brown represented an individual who assembled multiple lots and secured entitlements to develop in Seattle land into a large, multifamily project. The client formed a single purpose LLC to develop the project with an individual who provided financing and thus had majority control. After the project was sold for a substantial profit, the majority member refused to distribute to the client his share of the profits, alleging that the client owed money on a separate project and that the LLC agreement gave the majority member discretion as to timing of distributions. After hard-fought litigation involving extensive motion practice, the case settled with the client getting all the money he sought at the outset.
$5.2 million jury verdict in commercial lease dispute
Jeff Tilden and Matthew Pierce successfully represented Lacey Marketplace Associates II, the owner and operator of a large commercial retail space in Lacey, Washington, in a week-long jury trial in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. Lacey Marketplace asserted claims for breach of contract, tortious interference with contract, and fraudulent transfer of assets. The jury returned a verdict on all counts in favor of Lacey Marketplace – in the amount of $5.2 million.