Sean James has experience in a number of litigation areas including complex commercial litigation, land use/real estate litigation, product liability litigation, and class action defense. He also has appellate experience in both state and federal court.

While attending law school, Sean gained valuable litigation experience as a law clerk in the Torts Division of the Washington State Office of the Attorney General. He also participated in the University of Washington School of Law’s Mediation Clinic where he successfully mediated assorted small claims and employment disputes.


University of Washington School of Law, J.D., 2017, with Honors; Mediation Clinic; CALI Excellence for the Future Awards in White Collar Crime and Advanced Constitutional Law

Oregon State University, B.S., 2011, cum laude; Psi Chi Honors Society




  • Assisted in defense of commercial real estate firm and its directors against claims of wrongful termination, RICO, civil conspiracy, and violations of Washington Securities Act.
  • Assisted in defense of privately held actuarial company in federal class action brought under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
  • Assisted in defense of international automotive manufacturer and its American subsidiary in wrongful death lawsuit.
  • Drafted appellate briefing and presented oral argument to Ninth Circuit resulting in published opinion reversing lower court’s dismissal of defamation action (Miller v. Sawant, 18 F.4th 328 (9th Cir. 2021)).
  • Obtained partial summary judgment against state university establishing liability for breach of semi-exclusive commercial license for patented fruit varietal.
  • Assisted in obtaining eight figure settlement in condemnation action for Fortune 500 food and beverage company (3x the condemning agency’s initial offer) through appeal of trial court’s order on public use and necessity. The settlement was reached shortly before the scheduled appeal hearing.
  • Obtained discretionary review of trial court’s order denying motion for injunctive relief, thereby temporarily halting non-judicial foreclosure of multi-million-dollar commercial real estate portfolio.
  • Assisted in successful defense of vineyard and winery’s Conditional Use Permit in revocation hearing before Kitsap County Hearing Examiner based on owner’s alleged violations of permit conditions.
  • Obtained dismissal of administrative appeal contesting municipal client’s permitting decision involving waterfront property before Washington Shorelines Hearings Board.


Insights & Presentations

  • Co-author, “Washington Supreme Court Ruling Could Bring Changes to the Construction Industry,” Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce, November 3, 2022
  • Presenter, “Violence In The Workplace: Avoidance And Employer Obligations,” Williams Kastner & Gibbs, PLLC Fall Labor & Employment Seminar, Seattle, WA, October 2018
  • “Oregon Federal Court Finds HOA Members Lack Standing to Bring Direct Action Against HOA’s Insurance Policy Because They Do Not Qualify as Intended Third-Party Beneficiaries,” Northwest Insurance Law Quarterly Newsletter, Winter 2018
  • “Washington Court Finds No Bad Faith Despite Prolonged Claim Reconciliation Period,” Northwest Insurance Law Quarterly Newsletter, Spring 2018
  • Co-author, “Washington Court Dismisses Bad Faith Claims for Insured’s Inadequate Disclosure of Damages,” Northwest Insurance Law Quarterly Newsletter, Summer 2016
  • Co-author, “Washington Court Refuses to Extend Coverage to Spouse of Named Insured,” Northwest Insurance Law Quarterly Newsletter, Summer 2016
  • Co-author, “Washington Court Allows Coverage Action Against Excess Insurer to Continue Despite No Exhaustion,” Northwest Insurance Law Quarterly Newsletter, Summer 2016
  • Co-author, “Montana Court Finds No Coverage for Stand Alone Claims By Heirs of Deceased Arising From Excluded Cause of Loss,” Northwest Insurance Law Quarterly Newsletter, Summer 2016
  • Co-author, “Washington Court Declines to Rule on Validity of Negligent Claims Handling Cause of Action Under Washington Law,” Northwest Insurance Law Quarterly Newsletter, Summer 2016


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