Athan’s practice focuses on construction litigation and contract law, real estate law, and complex commercial litigation. He advises public and private clients on various issues throughout the construction process, negotiates and drafts design and construction contracts, prepares procurement documents, and represents clients throughout the dispute resolution process in both trial and appellate courts. Athan also advises and represents clients through dispute resolution processes on various real estate and landlord-tenant disputes, and has served as a third-party neutral, assisting parties in resolving their disputes.

Prior to law school, Athan spent several years working in the construction industry.  Our clients benefit from the knowledge he gained as a construction project engineer for a general contractor and developer – he not only understands the entire construction lifecycle but speaks the same language as our clients.

Athan stays abreast of industry developments while training the next generation of leaders.  He teaches Construction Law for the University of Washington’s Construction Management program and is a frequent speaker and author on a variety of construction law related topics. Athan served as the Chair of the Washington State Bar Association’s Construction Law Section in 2012-2018 and has been the section Newsletter Editor since 2013.

Athan received a B.S. in Construction Management from University of Washington in 1994 and his J.D., summa cum laude, from Seattle University School of Law in 1999.

Practice Areas

Association Memberships

  • Washington State Bar Association: Construction Law Section Council, Chair (2012-2018) and Newsletter Editor (2013-Present)
  • King County Bar Association

Education

  • J.D., Seattle University School of Law, summa cum laude, 1999
  • B.S., University of Washington, Construction Management, 1994

Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, “Contractor Registration Issues, “Washington Statutes Affecting Construction, WSBA, June 9, 2017
  • Speaker, “Contractor and Developer Licensing and Registration,” Two States of Construction Law: Working in Both Washington and Oregon, WSBA and OSB, November 6, 2016
  • Speaker, “Understanding Issues in Contract Administration,” Construction Contract Workshop, HalfMoon Education Inc., Seattle, November 13, 2015
  • Speaker, “What Commissioners Need to Know About Contracting, “Washington Association of Sewer & Water Districts Commissioners' Workshop, January 31, 2015
  • Speaker, “Design and Construction of a Restoration Project,” Seminar for Tribal Leaders, Tribal Environmental Program Managers & In-house Counsel, Seattle, Washington, April 2014
  • Speaker, “Construction Bidding and Contracting Legal Issues,” Washington Association of Sewer & Water Districts Webinar, November 6, 2013
  • Speaker, “Biosolids Beneficial Use Options with Legal Case Update” regarding Department of Ecology v. Wahkiakum County, Washington Association of Sewer & Water Districts Fall Conference, September 18, 2014
  • Speaker, “Legal Issues for Purchasing Cooperatives,” 2011 WASBO Conference, Spokane, May 6, 2011
  • Speaker, “Construction and Improvement of Leased Premises: Mistakes to Avoid in Tenant Work Letters,” 2010 Commercial Real Estate Leases Conference, Seattle, 2010
  • Speaker, “Bid Piggybacking,” 2010 WASBO Conference, Tacoma, 2010
  • Speaker, “Managing Schedule Delays and Resolving Delay Claims,” Seattle 2008
  • Speaker, “Construction Law Year End: Selections from the Construction Law Midyear and Mike M. Johnson Decisions Programs,” Washington State Bar Association program, Spokane, 2007

Honors

  • Recognized as a Washington “Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyers Magazine, 2014-2018
  • Recognized as a Washington “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers Magazine, 2006-2012
  • Recipient of “Excellence in Teaching” Award, University of Washington Department of Construction Management, 2018

Representative Experience

  • American Safety Casualty Ins. Co. v. Olympia, 162 Wn.2d 762, 174 P.3d 54 (2007). Successful dismissal of a contractor's claims against a public owner of wastewater treatment facilities where the contractor failed to comply with contractual claims requirements.
  • Crest, Inc. v. Costco Wholesale Corp.,128 Wn. App. 760, 115 P.3d 349 (2005). Represented a general contractor and successfully defended claims by a subcontractor that was made to remove and replace defective work.
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