Paul brings a problem solving approach to complex civil cases. The subjects vary, including antitrust, consumer and employment class actions, environmental enforcement, unfair competition, and substantial contract disputes. In all cases, Paul brings judgment and analysis with complete focus on advancing the client’s interests. Sometimes this has involved lengthy trials or accelerated motions for injunctive relief. But in most cases, matters are resolved by identifying the key legal issues and obtaining the client’s goal through pretrial motions or settlement. While Paul is relentlessly interested in the legal issues, he is just as focused on counseling clients in a coordinated effort to resolve the problem presented.
Paul has litigated cases in state and federal court in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, California, Colorado, Kansas, and Arizona, and has represented clients in arbitrations before the International Chamber of Commerce, Judicial Dispute Resolutions, Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services, and American Arbitration Association. He has argued cases in the Washington Supreme Court, Washington Court of Appeals, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the Federal Circuit.
Publications and Presentations
- “Ethical Conflicts in Mass and Class Action Settlements: Ethical and Effective Mediation Techniques in Toxic Tort and Environmental Litigation,” ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section Newsletter, The Brief, Winter 2017
- Law Seminars International, Tribal Natural Resource Damages Assessments: Best Strategies and Tactics to Handle Complex Tribal NRD Cases, Seattle, Washington, December 2016
- American Bar Association, Environmental, Mass Torts & Products Liability Litigation Committees’ Joint CLE Seminar: CERCLA Litigation for the New Millennium: More Claims, and More Hurdles to Settling Them, Park City, Utah, January 2016
- Law Seminars International, Natural Resource Damages Conference: Tribal Views of Injury/Tribal Perspective of Loss of Cultural Services Arising From Injuries to Natural Resources, Santa Fe, New Mexico, July 2015
- American Bar Association, Environmental Section, 31st Annual Water Law Conference, Water Law at International Borders, Las Vegas, Nevada, June 2013
- WSBA 2013 Environmental and Land Use Law Midyear Conference, Co-speaker, Use of Summary Adjudication to Narrow Issues for Trial, May 2013
- American Bar Association, Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, 22nd Annual Spring CLE Meeting, Phoenix, Arizona, April 2013
- American Bar Association, Ethical & Effective Mediation Techniques in Toxic Tort and Environmental Litigation: Ethical Conflicts in Mass and Class Action Settlements, Seattle, Washington, February 2013
- Co-author, “Post-Sale Billing Error Class Actions After Schnall,” King County Bar Bulletin, 2012
- Co-author, “CERCLA’s Divisibility Defense: Summary Judgment Ruling in Pakootas v. Teck Cominco Elucidates “Harm” for Purposes of Divisibility / Apportionment” WSBA Environmental Law and Land Use Newsletter, May 2012
- Co-author, “Lingle Lingering: Seven Years after the United States Supreme Court’s Lingle v. Chevron U.S.A., Inc., Washington Courts Have Not Reformed the State’s Regulatory Takings Test” WSBA Environmental Law and Land Use Newsletter, May 2012
- American Bar Association 2011 Annual Meeting, “Enforcement of U.S. Environmental Law in Cases of Cross-Boundary Pollution: A Case Study,” Toronto, Ontario, Canada, August 2011
- Washington State Bar Association International Practice Section, Cleaning Up Cross Boundary Pollution: Implication of U.S. Court Decisions in Pakootas v. Teck Cominco, Seattle, Washington, February 2008
- Co-author “The State of Regulatory Takings in Washington: Reconsideration of the State’s Takings Formula under Lingle v. Chevron U.S.A., Inc.,” WSBA Environmental & Land Use Law Newsletter, 2007
- Co-author, “CERCLA and Transboundary Contamination in the Columbia River,” published in Natural Resources & Environment, Volume 21, Number 1, for the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, 2006
- Washington Bar Association, “Summary Judgment: Narrowing the Issues or Disposing of the Case,” Seattle, Washington, 2006
- Washington Bar Association, “Dealing with Confidentiality Concerns: Sealed Court Records in Civil Cases,” Seattle, Washington, 2006
- ALI-ABA International Environmental Litigation, Washington, D.C., 2005
- Hiking and climbing in the North Cascades
- Adventures in general
- Washington State Bar Association
- King County Bar Association
- J.D., University of California at Los Angeles, 1982
- B.A., Claremont McKenna College, cum laude, 1979
Professional and Community Activities
- Seattle Ethics & Elections Commission - Former chair and member for 8 years
- Recipient of multiple awards for success in obtaining a court order vacating conviction of death row inmate.
- Rated by Martindale-Hubbell® Peer review as AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5.*
- Recognized as a Washington "Super Lawyer" by Super Lawyers Magazine, 2003, 2005-2016, 2019.
- Avvo Rating of 10.
- Obtained jury verdict on claim regarding assignment of intellectual property with total judgment of approximately $5.9 million including substantial fee award.
- Counsel for defendant in the Price v. Price shareholder litigation. Paul's client prevailed after a three‑week bench trial and recovered his attorney's fees and costs.
- Counsel for plaintiff in Pakootas, et al. v. Teck Cominco Metals, Ltd. The case concerned waste discharge from a large smelter in Trail, British Columbia. In early proceedings in the case the federal district court and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found that United States environmental law applies to cross-boundary pollution resulting in disposal in the United States. In December 2012, after trial on remaining issues, the firm's client, together with the State of Washington, prevailed in proving the smelting company's liability under United States environmental law. In 2014, after trial, the District Court awarded the firm's client all fees and costs requested.
- Obtained dismissal of novel antitrust and dormant Commerce Clause claims on summary judgment. Our client contracted to be the exclusive provider of ambulance services for a county on the Oregon border near Portland. A competing ambulance company claimed the implementing ordinance violated the Sherman Act and the dormant Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. District Court disagreed, sustaining our client's position.
- Defended an international arbitration conducted in Vienna, Austria under Austrian substantive law and International Chamber of Commerce rules of procedure. In this case, which related to bedrock contract law principles, the three-person international tribunal agreed with our position regarding key legal requirements and our client substantially prevailed.
- Obtained summary judgment dismissal in our client's favor on business issues and avoided trial despite contested issues. The case involved suit on an unpaid promissory note issued in a business venture and the defendant argued various forms of modification or waiver. In Cornerstone Equipment Leasing, Inc. v. MacLeod, No. 64342-8-I, the Court of Appeals affirmed dismissal, rejecting arguments that the terms of a written debt instrument could be disregarded based on claimed oral agreements.
- Counsel for defendant in Weston v. Emerald City Pizza, LLC, which culminated in a Washington Court of Appeals case that reversed a class certification order and provided useful authority for employers seeking to avoid class certification in wage and hour litigation.
- Represented a client in a dispute over the provisions of a buy/sell agreement that led to parallel proceedings in Arizona and Washington. The matter was settled in the client's favor following trial.
- Defended a class action alleging contract and Consumer Protection Act claims based on claimed erroneous billing practices. After litigation over availability of contract relief in third-party billing context and suitability of class treatment of CPA claim, the case was settled.