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Kristin draws on her broad experience as a prosecutor, law clerk for federal judge William L. Dwyer, pro tem judge, and litigator at Perkins Coie. She represents individuals, businesses, and governmental entities in all types of complex civil disputes at trial and on appeal.

Kristin excels at digging deep into the facts and the law to break down the issues and determine the most effective course of action to achieve the best result in each situation. Her goal is to earn the trust of the court, the juror, or the mediator by straightforwardly presenting the facts and the law and then to convince that person that her client’s position is right.

When not litigating, Kristin enjoys her “work” at her home away from home (Camp Huston), where she provides advice to the camp director as a member of the committee overseeing the camp. Kristin also volunteers as an official for U.S.A. Swimming. She is a graduate of Whitman College and the Columbia University School of Law.

 

Representative Cases

Hired from the beginning: Oso Landslide Litigation

Soon after the Oso Landslide killed 43 people, Snohomish County hired HLFT to defend it. Working closely with the deputy prosecuting attorney, Kristin, Tim Leyh, and Randall Thomsen outlined an approach that involved bringing a series of summary judgment motions to narrow the issues for trial. Their strategy worked: weeks before trial, the trial court dismissed the last remaining claims. The other defendants settled for $60 million after jury selection.

Hired to try case: $27 Million Lawsuit Against Seattle High-Tech Company

A Seattle technology company hired HLFT at the close of discovery to defend it at trial against a $27 million claim for breach of contract, fraud, and unfair business practices, as well as against the threat of future lawsuits by similarly-situated competitors. This meant that a clear and compelling presentation of the facts to the jury, in addition to the correctness of the client’s legal arguments, would lead to a successful outcome. And that was exactly the object of Kristin, Tim Leyh, and Tyler Farmer’s sustained focus: they spent many hours with the witnesses to understand the business and what motivated the decisions that were at issue. After a five-week trial, the jury found in the client’s favor on 5 of the 6 claims (including the client’s counterclaim) and found damages of only 0.267% of the amount sought. HLFT then prevailed on all post-trial motions, with the Court reversing the one adverse jury verdict and awarding awarded our client over $2 million in attorneys’ fees and costs.

Hired after adverse jury verdict: Intellectual Property Dispute

A tech company and its founders hired HLFT to take over their defense in post-verdict motion practice following a six-week trial in California state court. The case involved allegations that HLFT’s clients took intellectual property of their former employer and used it to build their successful start-up. Kristin and Tyler Farmer briefed and argued the plaintiff’s post-trial equitable relief motion in Ventura County Superior Court. In May, while that motion was pending and before judgment was entered, the case was resolved at mediation with Antonio Piazza.

Complex Civil Litigation

Upper Skagit Indian Tribe at the United States Supreme Court

Kristin represented the Tribe in Lundgren v. Upper Skagit Indian Tribe, argued March 2018 at the United States Supreme Court. The Tribe hired HLFT after the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that an adverse possession claim could proceed against the Tribe despite its assertion of sovereign immunity from suit. Working closely with the Tribe’s general counsel, Kristin, Art Harrigan, Tyler Farmer, and John Burzynski successfully petitioned the United States Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari, briefed the case on the merits, and prepared for oral argument. On May 21, in a 7-2 opinion authored by Justice Gorsuch, the Court reversed the state court, holding that the lower court had misinterpreted an earlier decision. The Court agreed with HLFT and the Tribe that the new argument advanced by the plaintiffs was untimely, and remanded to the state court to consider that issue.

$27 Million Lawsuit Against Seattle High-tech Company

A Seattle technology company hired HLFT at the close of discovery to defend it at trial against a $27 million claim for alleged breach of contract, fraud, and unfair business practices, as well as against the threat of future lawsuits by similarly-situated competitors. After a five-week trial, the jury found in the client’s favor on five of the six claims and found damages of only $72,915.

Oso Landslide Litigation

Soon after the Oso Landslide killed 43 people, Snohomish County hired HLFT to defend it against wrongful death, injury, and property claims. Working closely with the deputy prosecuting attorney, Kristin, Tim Leyh, and Randall Thomsen handled the case from inception until right before trial, when, after granting a series of summary judgment motions brought by the County, the trial court dismissed all claims against it. Plaintiffs have appealed the dismissals and the case currently is pending in the Washington Court of Appeals.

City of Mercer Island to Mitigate Impacts of Light Rail

Kristin was part of the HLFT team working with the City Attorney in the City of Mercer Island’s widely publicized fight to mitigate the impacts of the closure of the center express lanes of I-90, as part of Sound Transit’s expansion of light rail to Seattle’s Eastside. The case involved intense litigation in multiple forums, including the state trial court, the Growth Management Hearings Board, the Shorelines Hearings Board, and the State Supreme Court. After hearings on a diverse range of issues, and just ahead of a hearing on the City’s request for an injunction, the City Council accepted a settlement offer of $10.1 million in mitigation payments from Sound Transit.

Port of Seattle Rails to Trails Litigation

Kristin, Tim Leyh, and Randall Thomsen successfully defended the Port of Seattle against lawsuits in federal court challenging the Port’s use of a former rail corridor. A large group of landowners whose property is adjacent to the corridor sued the Port claiming the Port did not have authority to sell easements in the corridor to Sound Transit, Puget Sound Energy, and King County. Judge Coughenour granted our motions for summary judgment and the matter is currently on appeal before the Ninth Circuit.

Intellectual Property Dispute

A tech company and its founders hired HLFT to take over their defense in post-verdict motion practice following a six-week trial in California state court. The case involved allegations that HLFT’s clients took intellectual property of their former employer and used it to build their successful start-up. Kristin and Tyler Farmer briefed and argued the plaintiff’s post-trial equitable relief motion in Ventura County Superior Court. In May, while that motion was pending and before judgment was entered, the case was resolved at mediation with Antonio Piazza.

“Whale Wars” Litigation in the Ninth Circuit

Kristin assisted Tim Leyh, Michelle Buhler, and Chip Jordan defending Sea Shepherd Conservation Society founder Paul Watson, of “Whale Wars” fame, in a contempt proceeding before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals concerning Mr. Watson’s activities opposing Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean. Her work included drafting briefs in support of the findings made by the Ninth Circuit’s Commissioner and a petition for certiorari to the United States Supreme Court.

Tech & IP Litigation

$27 Million Lawsuit Against Seattle High-tech Company

A Seattle technology company hired HLFT at the close of discovery to defend it at trial against a $27 million claim of breach of contract, fraud, and unfair business practices, as well as against the threat of future lawsuits by similarly-situated competitors. After a five-week trial, the jury found in the client’s favor on five of the six claims and found damages of only $72,915.

Intellectual Property Dispute

A tech company and its founders hired HLFT to take over their defense in post-verdict motion practice following a six-week trial in California state court. The case involved allegations that HLFT’s clients took intellectual property of their former employer and used it to build their successful start-up. Kristin and Tyler Farmer briefed and argued the plaintiff’s post-trial equitable relief motion in Ventura County Superior Court. In May, while that motion was pending, the case was resolved at mediation with Antonio Piazza.

Corporate Disputes & Internal Investigations

Kristin represented a minority shareholder in a family-owned business against oppressive tactics by the majority owners. She successfully negotiated the resolution that her client sought.

Kristin has conducted internal investigations for the Seattle Public Schools.

Education
  • Columbia University School of Law
    • J.D. 1998, Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar
  • Whitman College
    • B.A. 1993, History
Experience
  • Harrigan Leyh Farmer & Thomsen LLP
    • 2013 – Present
  • Perkins Coie
    • 2003 – 2004, 1998 – 1999
  • King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office
    • 2001 – 2003
  • Law Clerk to the Honorable William L. Dwyer,
    U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington

    • 1999 – 2001
Admitted to Practice
  • Washington
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals
    • Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court
    • Western District of Washington

Kristin draws on her broad experience as a prosecutor, law clerk for federal judge William L. Dwyer, pro tem judge, and litigator at Perkins Coie. She represents individuals, businesses, and governmental entities in all types of complex civil disputes at trial and on appeal.

Kristin excels at digging deep into the facts and the law to break down the issues and determine the most effective course of action to achieve the best result in each situation. Her goal is to earn the trust of the court, the juror, or the mediator by straightforwardly presenting the facts and the law and then to convince that person that her client’s position is right.

When not litigating, Kristin enjoys her “work” at her home away from home (Camp Huston), where she provides advice to the camp director as a member of the committee overseeing the camp. Kristin also volunteers as an official for U.S.A. Swimming. She is a graduate of Whitman College and the Columbia University School of Law.

 

Representative Cases

Hired from the beginning: Oso Landslide Litigation

Soon after the Oso Landslide killed 43 people, Snohomish County hired HLFT to defend it. Working closely with the deputy prosecuting attorney, Kristin, Tim Leyh, and Randall Thomsen outlined an approach that involved bringing a series of summary judgment motions to narrow the issues for trial. Their strategy worked: weeks before trial, the trial court dismissed the last remaining claims. The other defendants settled for $60 million after jury selection.

Hired to try case: $27 Million Lawsuit Against Seattle High-Tech Company

A Seattle technology company hired HLFT at the close of discovery to defend it at trial against a $27 million claim for breach of contract, fraud, and unfair business practices, as well as against the threat of future lawsuits by similarly-situated competitors. This meant that a clear and compelling presentation of the facts to the jury, in addition to the correctness of the client’s legal arguments, would lead to a successful outcome. And that was exactly the object of Kristin, Tim Leyh, and Tyler Farmer’s sustained focus: they spent many hours with the witnesses to understand the business and what motivated the decisions that were at issue. After a five-week trial, the jury found in the client’s favor on 5 of the 6 claims (including the client’s counterclaim) and found damages of only 0.267% of the amount sought. HLFT then prevailed on all post-trial motions, with the Court reversing the one adverse jury verdict and awarding awarded our client over $2 million in attorneys’ fees and costs.

Hired after adverse jury verdict: Intellectual Property Dispute

A tech company and its founders hired HLFT to take over their defense in post-verdict motion practice following a six-week trial in California state court. The case involved allegations that HLFT’s clients took intellectual property of their former employer and used it to build their successful start-up. Kristin and Tyler Farmer briefed and argued the plaintiff’s post-trial equitable relief motion in Ventura County Superior Court. In May, while that motion was pending and before judgment was entered, the case was resolved at mediation with Antonio Piazza.

Complex Civil Litigation

Upper Skagit Indian Tribe at the United States Supreme Court

Kristin represented the Tribe in Lundgren v. Upper Skagit Indian Tribe, argued March 2018 at the United States Supreme Court. The Tribe hired HLFT after the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that an adverse possession claim could proceed against the Tribe despite its assertion of sovereign immunity from suit. Working closely with the Tribe’s general counsel, Kristin, Art Harrigan, Tyler Farmer, and John Burzynski successfully petitioned the United States Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari, briefed the case on the merits, and prepared for oral argument. On May 21, in a 7-2 opinion authored by Justice Gorsuch, the Court reversed the state court, holding that the lower court had misinterpreted an earlier decision. The Court agreed with HLFT and the Tribe that the new argument advanced by the plaintiffs was untimely, and remanded to the state court to consider that issue.

$27 Million Lawsuit Against Seattle High-tech Company

A Seattle technology company hired HLFT at the close of discovery to defend it at trial against a $27 million claim for alleged breach of contract, fraud, and unfair business practices, as well as against the threat of future lawsuits by similarly-situated competitors. After a five-week trial, the jury found in the client’s favor on five of the six claims and found damages of only $72,915. HLFT then prevailed on all post-trial motions, with the Court reversing the one adverse jury verdict and awarding awarded our client over $2 million in attorneys’ fees and costs.

Oso Landslide Litigation

Soon after the Oso Landslide killed 43 people, Snohomish County hired HLFT to defend it against wrongful death, injury, and property claims. Working closely with the deputy prosecuting attorney, Kristin, Tim Leyh, and Randall Thomsen handled the case from inception until right before trial, when, after granting a series of summary judgment motions brought by the County, the trial court dismissed all claims against it. Plaintiffs have appealed the dismissals and the case currently is pending in the Washington Court of Appeals.

City of Mercer Island to Mitigate Impacts of Light Rail

Kristin was part of the HLFT team working with the City Attorney in the City of Mercer Island’s widely publicized fight to mitigate the impacts of the closure of the center express lanes of I-90, as part of Sound Transit’s expansion of light rail to Seattle’s Eastside. The case involved intense litigation in multiple forums, including the state trial court, the Growth Management Hearings Board, the Shorelines Hearings Board, and the State Supreme Court. After hearings on a diverse range of issues, and just ahead of a hearing on the City’s request for an injunction, the City Council accepted a settlement offer of $10.1 million in mitigation payments from Sound Transit.

Port of Seattle Rails to Trails Litigation

Kristin, Tim Leyh, and Randall Thomsen successfully defended the Port of Seattle against lawsuits in federal court challenging the Port’s use of a former rail corridor. A large group of landowners whose property is adjacent to the corridor sued the Port claiming the Port did not have authority to sell easements in the corridor to Sound Transit, Puget Sound Energy, and King County. Judge Coughenour granted our motions for summary judgment and the matter is currently on appeal before the Ninth Circuit.

Intellectual Property Dispute

A tech company and its founders hired HLFT to take over their defense in post-verdict motion practice following a six-week trial in California state court. The case involved allegations that HLFT’s clients took intellectual property of their former employer and used it to build their successful start-up. Kristin and Tyler Farmer briefed and argued the plaintiff’s post-trial equitable relief motion in Ventura County Superior Court. In May, while that motion was pending and before judgment was entered, the case was resolved at mediation with Antonio Piazza.

“Whale Wars” Litigation in the Ninth Circuit

Kristin assisted Tim Leyh, Michelle Buhler, and Chip Jordan defending Sea Shepherd Conservation Society founder Paul Watson, of “Whale Wars” fame, in a contempt proceeding before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals concerning Mr. Watson’s activities opposing Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean. Her work included drafting briefs in support of the findings made by the Ninth Circuit’s Commissioner and a petition for certiorari to the United States Supreme Court.

Tech & IP Litigation

$27 Million Lawsuit Against Seattle High-tech Company

A Seattle technology company hired HLFT at the close of discovery to defend it at trial against a $27 million claim of breach of contract, fraud, and unfair business practices, as well as against the threat of future lawsuits by similarly-situated competitors. After a five-week trial, the jury found in the client’s favor on five of the six claims and found damages of only $72,915.

Intellectual Property Dispute

A tech company and its founders hired HLFT to take over their defense in post-verdict motion practice following a six-week trial in California state court. The case involved allegations that HLFT’s clients took intellectual property of their former employer and used it to build their successful start-up. Kristin and Tyler Farmer briefed and argued the plaintiff’s post-trial equitable relief motion in Ventura County Superior Court. In May, while that motion was pending, the case was resolved at mediation with Antonio Piazza.

Corporate Disputes & Internal Investigations

Kristin represented a minority shareholder in a family-owned business against oppressive tactics by the majority owners. She successfully negotiated the resolution that her client sought.

Kristin has conducted internal investigations for the Seattle Public Schools.

Harrigan Leyh Farmer & Thomsen LLP

999 Third Avenue, Suite 4400 | Seattle, Washington 98104

Tel: (206) 623-1700 | Fax: (206) 623-8717

info@hlftlaw.com

999 Third Avenue, Suite 4400
Seattle, Washington 98104

Tel: (206) 623-1700
Fax: (206) 623-8717

info@hlftlaw.com

Copyright © 2018
Harrigan Leyh Farmer & Thomsen LLP