Columbia University Law School
L.L.B. honors, Articles and Book Reviews Editor, Columbia Law Review
Shearman & Sterling
(Seattle, 1968 - 1971
Assistant District Legal Officer
13th Coast Guard
1971 - 1985
Co-founded Danielson Harrigan Leyh & Tollefson
Co-founded Calfo Harrigan Leyh & Eakes
Arthur W. Harrigan Jr.
Art Harrigan has been characterized in Chambers and Partners as the top commercial trial lawyer in Washington. He is regularly retained in high-stakes cases by individuals, businesses and governmental entities that seek high quality representation.
Art was a partner at Lane Powell from 1975-85 and chaired a commercial litigation group at that firm. In 1975 Art served as Senior Counsel to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, worked on an investigation of CIA intelligence activities related to Vietnam and headed the Committee's investigation of IRS intelligence operations.
In 1986 Art and other Lane Powell partners formed Danielson Harrigan.
Art is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.
The following is a small but representative list of Art's significant engagements. He would be happy to provide a complete list of significant cases.
Art has acted as trial counsel representing Microsoft in major patent litigation and recently argued a motion that resulted in an order by a Washington federal court restraining Motorola from enforcing any injunction it might obtain in German patent litigation with Microsoft.
Art defended one of Seattle's largest law firms and its 93 partners against a $51 million action by National Union Fire Ins. Co. arising out of the losses of Seafirst Bank in the Penn Square failure. He won a declaratory judgment action in federal court in 1989 and secured summary judgment dismissing the entire claim against all defendants in King County Superior Court in 1990. $155,000 in Rule 11 sanctions were awarded against National Union.
Art represented King County in stopping the Seattle Seahawks' attempt to move the team to Southern California. This case entailed securing a TRO, litigating simultaneously in two counties, filing an emergency appeal, making a State Supreme Court oral argument, and making a presentation to NFL owners on the seismic safety of the Kingdome, all in a three-month period. The case was resolved when Paul Allen acquired the team. Art also acted as lead counsel for the County in negotiating and drafting related amendments to the Kingdome lease.
Art had previously represented King County in its dispute with Mariners owner Jeff Smulyan over the value of the franchise. The issue involved interpretation of a provision of the Kingdome lease that would determine whether a local buyer with a right to purchase would have to pay a "national" price (i.e., the team could be moved from Seattle) or a "local" price. Briefs were submitted to a Big Eight accounting firm as appraiser with Smulyan represented by two New York-based national law firms. The appraiser ruled in favor of the County, making the price approximately $100 million vs. $135 million had the decision gone the other way. Shortly thereafter a local consortium purchased the Mariners.
Art represented the founder of InfoSpace, Naveen Jain, in defending a non-compete action brought by InfoSpace against Jain after his termination, seeking to shut down his new business, Intelius Inc. Following a four-day evidentiary hearing, the court rejected a request to enjoin Jain and awarded fees to our client. Following extensive discovery, the entire non-compete case was dismissed on summary judgment. Art is now on the Board of Intelius.
Art also represented Mr. Jain in a Section 16(b) securities case, taking over from another firm after summary judgment had been entered against the client on a $247 million claim, filing a series of post-judgment motions, and handling the Ninth Circuit appeal through the completion of all appellate briefs. The case was settled during the appeal with an individual contribution by the client of a fraction of the original judgment.
Art represented the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in defending an $18 million claim by a First Interstate Bank arising out of the acquisition of a mutual savings bank. The claim was based on thirty-four adjustments to a trial balance approved after audit by a major accounting firm. The FDIC prevailed after a three-week federal court trial in which the court ruled that the accounting firm had not acted independently, rejected the entire audit, and made independent findings on each proposed adjustment, nearly all of which were consistent with the FDIC's contentions. The court reduced the total of the audit adjustments from $18 to $1.5 million. The court's decision followed trial examination of seventeen CPA witnesses on the merits of the accounting adjustments and the exchange of over one hundred pages of proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law and briefing by the two sides. First Interstate Bank was represented by two partners from Covington & Burling of Washington, D.C.
Art was lead trial counsel for the Port of Seattle in airport noise litigation. The case was filed in federal court as a class action. Class certification was denied. The case was then refiled in behalf of 144 individuals. Art and Tim Leyh tried a test case involving twelve plaintiffs to a jury, resulting in a defense verdict on all claims. The balance of the claims were settled.
Other cases of note have included Sabey v. Howard Johnson, which established the principle that common law indemnity survived the Tort Reform Act; other real estate and business litigation for Dave Sabey, including an action against the sellers of Frederick & Nelson; acting as lead counsel in all civil litigation arising from the June 10, 1999, Olympic Pipe Line accident in Bellingham, Washington, involving nearly one billion dollars in claims; and acting as lead counsel in two of the largest dissolution cases ever filed in Washington, one of which involved in excess of one billion dollars in assets and the other a substantial Northwest real estate business.
Art has also tried or settled numerous major construction matters, including representing the design team in the Kingdome construction case, representing King County in litigation over construction of its new jail, representing the designers of the Seattle Convention Center, representing contractors who built a large housing complex on Adak Island and representing McCarthy Building Companies in litigation over the construction of the McGuire Building in downtown Seattle.
Art has also had a substantial business law practice. From 1997-2001 he worked on a part-time basis with Craig O. McCaw and his team at Eagle River Investments, LLC, on a series of business deals. While at Eagle River Art was the primary drafter of a fifty-page Memorandum of Agreement that led to the founding of Nextel Partners, which became a $7 billion NASDAQ company. Art later served as a director of Nextel Partners, was also formerly a director of the publicly-traded brokerage firm of Ragen MacKenzie, is currently a director of Intelius Inc., a leading provider of information services over the internet and is Chairman of Advanced Rail Energy Storage, which has developed a revolutionary grid-scale system of energy storage.