You Have Questions

We Strive to Help You Find Answers

Stephen J. Kennedy

Bar Admissions

  • Washington State Supreme Court, 1986

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 1989

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, 2017

  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington, 1986

  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Washington, 1992



Education

  • JD - Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts

    • Cum laude, June 1986

  • BA - University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia

    • With high distinction, May 1982

Professional Experience

  • Law Office of Stephen J. Kennedy

    • Solo Practitioner, September 2014 to present

  • NewLAWu.s.

    • Affiliate Attorney, January 2015 to present

  • Ater Wynne, LLP, Seattle, Washington

    • Partner, January 1994 to 2014

    • Senior Associate, October 1990 to 1994

  • Garvey, Schubert & Barer, Seattle, Washington

    • Associate, September 1986 to October 1990

Practice Description

Practice focuses on complex civil litigation and dispute resolution in both state and federal courts, and appellate advocacy before the Washington Court of Appeals, the Washington Supreme Court, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Extensive experience as a litigator and trial lawyer in a wide variety of business contexts, including commercial contracts, director and officer liability, shareholder and partnership disputes, real estate, construction, employment, and environmental matters.

Representative Matters

  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation as Receiver for Frontier Bank v. Michael Clementz, et al., United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, Case No. C13-737 MJP: Represented the FDIC in an action seeking damages from former directors and officers of Frontier Bank for alleged breach of fiduciary duty and gross negligence.

  • Howell v. Alfoster Garrett, Jr. and NAACP, Superior Court of the State of Washington, for King County, Case No. 06-2-19445-4: Successfully defended the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in an action seeking damages for alleged legal malpractice (dismissal of all claims after trial).

  • Trimble v. Holmes Harbor Sewer District, Superior Court of the State of Washington, for Island County, Case No. 01-2-00751-8: Represented Bank of New York (BNY) Western Trust Company in its role as successor trustee in a class action case involving a fraudulent and illegal $20 million municipal bond transaction.

  • Pine Street Development, LLC v. Marshall Field Stores, et al., Superior Court of the State of Washington, for King County, Case No. 97-2-24745-4: Successfully defended Bank of America in a contribution action under Washington’s Model Toxics Control Act, relating to shopping mall in downtown Seattle; obtained dismissal of all claims before trial, and an award of the Bank’s attorneys’ fees.

  • United States v. 934 Pieces of Pre-Columbian Artifacts, United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, Case No. C97-1609R: On behalf of the Government of Mexico, recovered several hundred valuable artifacts that had been illegally smuggled into the United States.

  • Bill Sweet, et al. v. Maryanne Hinzmann, et al., United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, Case No. C08-844 JLR: Habeas Corpus action brought under the Indian Civil Rights Act, successfully challenging banishment of members of Indian tribe, for lack of due process.

  • Barker v. Advanced Silicon Materials, Superior Court of the State of Washington, for Grant County, Case No. 02-2-00262-1: Obtained a defense judgment, after trial, in favor of a large industrial plant in connection with a wrongful discharge claim brought by a former employee who had been fired after being accused of misconduct (affirmed on appeal).

  • Kemp Pacific Fisheries v. Kværner Eureka A/S, United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, Case No. C91-1650Z: Defeated a $160 million “loss of the company” claim asserted against a major Norwegian manufacturer.

  • Godoy v. Ryco, Inc., United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, Case No. C94-557C: Successfully defeated a $500,000 corporate successor and fraudulent transfer claim brought against a seafood equipment manufacturer.

  • Washington Independent Telephone Assoc. v. Telecommunications Ratepayers Assoc. for Cost-based and Equitable Rates, Washington State Court of Appeals, 75 Wn. App. 356 (1994): Successfully argued that the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission lacked statutory authority to implement a “community calling fund” program designed to benefit certain groups of telephone customers at the expense of others.

  • Garibay v. Advanced Silicon Materials, Superior Court of the State of Washington, for Grant County, Case No. 01-2-01085-5: Secured a summary judgment dismissal, before trial, of all wrongful death claims brought by relatives of a worker killed in a tragic chemical accident (affirmed on appeal).

  • Alyea v. ESE Corp. and Pedersen Oil, Inc., United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Washington, Adversary Proceeding No. A94-09497: Represented oil company in connection with environmental claim arising out of service station operations; obtained dismissal of all claims at close of plaintiff’s case during trial, and award of attorneys’ fees and costs incurred in defending the claim.

Honors & Awards

  • Peer Review Rated AV® – Preeminent, Martindale-Hubbell

  • Rated “Excellent” by avvo.com

  • Seattle’s Top Lawyers, Seattle Metropolitan Magazine, July 2010

  • NAACP Champion of Civil Rights Award, 2008

  • Service to Education Award, St. Joseph School, 2007

  • Ames Moot Court Competition Finalist, Harvard Law School, 1985

  • Phi Beta Kappa, University of Virginia, 1981

Publications

  • Significant Changes to Federal Rule 26 Will Protect Communications Between Counsel and Testifying Expert Witness, Northwest Business Litigation Blog, 2010

  • Conflicting Decisions in Washington Court of Appeals Regarding Fraudulent Transfer Liability, Northwest Business Litigation Blog, 2007

  • Washington Supreme Court Holds that Pregnancy is not a “Disability” Under Employment Discrimination Laws, Northwest Business Litigation Blog, 2007

  • On Your Own: Your Legal Rights (co-editor), The Legal Foundation of Washington, 1991

  • Senior Editor, Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, 1984-1986

Community Activities

  • Volunteers of America Western Washington. Board Member, April 2018 to present.

  • Vietnam Education Fund, a Washington non-profit corporation. Director and Vice-President, 2015 to present. The VEF provides scholarships to needy students in Vietnam.

  • Covington Crest Homeowners’ Association. Board Member, June 2016 to present.

  • Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Puget Sound. Volunteered five years as a Big Brother.

  • Junior Achievement. Volunteered three years as a facilitator of 7-8th Grade business and economics classes.