Legal disputes don’t come neatly packaged. Fortunately, many can be settled before a lawsuit or other formal proceeding begins; others however, may require a trial for resolution.

When a client comes to us with a dispute, we listen carefully to all the details. We then evaluate our client’s position and make recommendations for a resolution consistent with the goals. We take a practical, common sense approach to such matters, and explore all avenues possible to assist and better protect our clients.

Experience Counts

Our Litigation attorneys form one of the firm’s largest and oldest practice groups. We are skilled in all areas of dispute resolution, including jury and non-jury trials in state and federal courts, regulatory proceedings, arbitration, mediation and appeals. Although much of our litigation work is in Washington State, we also represent clients in courts and before administrative agencies outside of Washington.

Over the years, our group has worked on disputes in a wide range of legal and business contexts, including:

Specific Experience


We focus on finding dispute-resolution options that protect rather than interfere with the business activities of our clients. We have represented clients across the full range of business/commercial disputes, including everything from contract and lease disputes to lawsuits involving product liability, anti-trust, non-compete arrangements, unfair business practices and intellectual property.

Click here for more information on our Business Practice.

Construction Defects

Ryan Swanson’s experience handling construction defect claims on behalf of community associations, property owners, declarants and contractors is substantial. The depth of our experience and success spans many forms of associations, project types, forms of defects, and the building systems and products involved. In addition, we are generally successful in negotiating a resolution to our cases without the need for full and formal litigation. However, we also have considerable success in all forums including arbitration, motion practice, trial, and taking matter through appeal, where necessary.

Click here for more information on our Construction Defect Litigation experience.


Most construction projects involve a complex web of rights and responsibilities among owners, architects, engineers, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and sureties. We represent these clients in residential and commercial projects at every phase of the construction process, including design and construction documents, bid protests, change orders, claim reviews, liens and bond claims. We also help clients with legal problems under federal and state environmental laws, including state and federal contribution lawsuits against responsible parties and disputes about insurance coverage.

Real Estate/Land Use

Real estate transactions, particularly large, complex ones, often breed disputes. We help developers, owners, landlords, lenders, buyers, sellers and condominium homeowners resolve disputes. We also represent clients in permitting and other land use disputes.

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Securities Litigation

Our lawyers have served as lead and local counsel on many significant and complex disputes involving federal and state securities laws and other statutes. These disputes include state and federal securities civil lawsuits and FINRA mediations and arbitrations.

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Investment Fraud

We represent investors and members of the investing community in analyzing brokerage and financial advisory accounts to determine whether investment professionals have failed to fulfill their fiduciary duties to their client. We also represent investment advisors who have been inappropriately blamed for investor losses by their supervisors and represent them in regulatory proceedings brought by Federal, State and industry organizations.

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Product Liability

We have significant product liability experience and success working on a variety of cases involving contract, tort and statutorily-based claims. We routinely represent clients in both defense and prosecution of claims across dozens of industries and product lines. Our extensive product liability experience has included individual and class action product liability lawsuits.

Ryan Swanson’s asbestos litigation attorneys are frequently engaged as counsel in Seattle and throughout the Northwest for asbestos or other toxic exposure or products liability defense. Our team’s 20-plus years of asbestos litigation experience encompass a variety of products and industries, from automotive friction products to electrical products and equipment. We represent a variety of clients, including manufacturers, suppliers, contractors, premises owners and employers of all sizes.

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Recognizing that the healthcare industry faces unique legal requirements and challenges, the Healthcare Group at Ryan Swanson offers concentrated proficiency in this area, staying up-to-date on all the industry regulations.

Our services include representing facilities in the following areas:

  • Appeals of Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement
  • Facility and professional staff licensure actions
  • Medicare/Medicaid certification, including representing facilities in de-certification actions and other types of sanctions such as civil fines
  • Certificate of Need applications and related issues
  • Drafting and negotiating contracts with managed care organizations
  • Reimbursement
  • Business formations
  • Transfers
  • Financing and refinancing, including HUD and convention loans
  • Healthcare facility-specific employment
  • Union-related issues

Click here for more information on our Healthcare Practice.


We represent title companies, insurance companies, self-insured employers and policyholders in everything from coverage disputes to regulatory proceedings before the Washington State Insurance Commissioner. For self-insured clients, we defend personal injury, property and employment-related claims. We also represent these clients in workers’ compensation matters before the Washington State Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals.

Intellectual Property

We represent clients in proceedings, both in court and administratively such as before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, to protect, defend and enforce their rights in intellectual property such as trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. We have litigated significant cases in state courts and in Federal Courts including ones in Utah, Washington, and Alaska.


Since the late 1960s, our Employment Rights and Labor Team has actively provided counseling and litigation services covering all aspects of the employer-employee relationship. Areas of focus include:

  • Discrimination
  • Wrongful Discharge/Public Policy
  • ADA/Disability Accommodation
  • Harassment
  • Non-Competition/Trade Secrets
  • Workers’ Compensation
  • Safety and Health
  • WISHA/OSHA Violation Challenges
  • Wage and Hour
  • Retaliation
  • National Labor Relations Matters

Our Team has represented clients in a countless number of lawsuits over employment issues. We are skillful, creative and efficient in our work, and always keep our eye on the ultimate goal to minimize exposure at the lowest cost.

We also draft policies, procedures and handbooks, provide ongoing advice as particular employment situations arise and assist our clients in creating win-win situations with their employees. In addition, we conduct an annual employment law update seminar for clients, furnish them with bulletins and update them as employment laws change.

We also counsel our clients in labor disputes (such as organizing campaigns and picketing) and represent them in labor arbitrations and matters before the National Labor Relations Board.

Because we work as a team, we are able to provide quick responses to questions or concerns, even if the primary contact lawyer is not available. Additionally, we pride ourselves on responding to phone calls and emails promptly, often within the same day. Also, should a particular question require extensive legal research, we have the ability and technology necessary to research the statutes and laws of all states, which can be especially helpful for clients with multi-state facilities.

Overall, our goal is to provide prompt, cost-efficient service, and focus not only on what the law requires, but on identifying and implementing the most practical and realistic solutions to problems at hand.

Community Associations

Ryan Swanson lawyers provide counsel to community associations in many areas, emphasizing complex litigation (including construction defect and covenant governed disputes) and general association representation. Our lawyers provide problem-solving, planning, litigation and dispute resolution advice to community associations on a variety of areas, including:

  • Construction defects
  • Contractor and developer disputes
  • Insurance issues
  • CC&R and Rule enforcement issues
  • Governance issues
  • General counsel
  • Mediation and arbitration

Click here for more information on our Community Associations Group.

Fiduciary Liability

Fiduciaries owe the highest standard of duty to the beneficiaries of an estate or trust. Consistent with this high duty, the role of a fiduciary is fraught with potential liability. We have years of experience counseling fiduciaries regarding their various duties, including the proper investment and management of assets under Washington’s Prudent Investor Act and the interpretation of trust instruments. If a question of trust interpretation arises that cannot be resolved by reference to the trust instrument or established fiduciary law, we represent our clients before the court to receive court approval or instruction as may be necessary to protect the fiduciary from liability.

Registered Investment Advisors

Registered Investment Advisors (“RIAs”) are often presented with many challenges when dealing with complex legal, regulatory and compliance issues. Ryan Swanson’s services for RIAs are focused on guiding you through these obstacles to solve problems that can impede your ability to service your clients effectively. The following list is a sampling of the dispute related services Ryan Swanson’s attorneys regularly provide for a wide variety of RIAs and their clients throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Securities Enforcement Defense

  • Defend RIAs in securities enforcement investigations and actions brought by the SEC and State of Washington DFI Securities Division
  • Counsel clients on regulatory/reporting issues
  • Work with compliance consultants on legal aspects of compliance issues


  • Defend RIAs in customer claims asserted privately or brought in court or arbitration
  • Negotiate/mediate resolutions of customer claims
  • Investigate and prosecute claims by RIAs against investment sponsors

Click here for more information on our Registered Investment Advisor practice.

Related Practice Areas

Legal Services for Businesses