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Contact Mike

2801 Alaskan Way, Suite 300
Seattle, WA 98121
T: 206.777.7472

K. Michael Fandel

Partner

Mike is a commercial litigator whose practice focuses on complex business, and international litigation, including contract disputes, real estate, product and premises liability, trade secret and licensing litigation, cross-border disputes, and insurance coverage. He also has extensive experience in franchise and distribution, eminent domain, and class action litigation.

Mike has successfully represented petroleum product manufacturers, real estate brokers and agents, developers, management companies, franchisors, policyholders, software developers, patent licensors, seafood processors, and other companies and individuals before state and federal courts and in arbitrations throughout the Western United States and internationally. His achievements include jury trial defense verdicts in a multi-million dollar product and premises liability class action, a multi-family toxic exposure lawsuit, and numerous residential real estate non-disclosure actions, as well as successful prosecution of a licensing royalties claim before an International Chamber of Commerce arbitral tribunal in Tokyo, Japan. Mike has been a speaker and panelist on litigation topics relating to the real estate, product liability, petroleum industries, and legal ethics. Mike has been selected to the Super Lawyers list in Washington Super Lawyers magazine.

Representative Experience

  • Represented executive in a high-profile lawsuit brought by former employer, asserting claims that our client misappropriated trade secrets, violated fiduciary duties, and breached contractual obligations. Mike acted as lead counsel for our client in a six-day pretrial evidentiary hearing of the former employer's motion for terminating sanctions based on allegations that our client had knowingly destroyed relevant evidence.  The court rejected the allegations, finding that our client was a credible witness who did not violate a duty to preserve evidence, did not act in bad faith, and did not engage in conduct that prejudiced the former employer.  As trial approached, the court granted a number of summary judgment and evidentiary motions that significantly limited the scope and value of plaintiffs’ claims. On what would have been the first day of trial, the parties were able to reach an amicable resolution that terminated the case.
  • Represented defendant in a “whistleblower” lawsuit under the federal False Claims Act, alleging unlawful payment of referral fees to bankruptcy trustee who was also a real estate broker. Filed successful motion to dismiss on the grounds that plaintiffs’ claims were barred by the FCA’s public disclosure bar.
  • Represented the successor to a mining company in Idaho in a lawsuit to recover insurance benefits relating to the investigation of contamination at a former mining site. A federal court ruled in favor of our client on summary judgment, finding the insurer jointly and severally liable for all defense costs incurred from the date of first notice of claim.
  • Brought claims on behalf of U.S. client against Japanese manufacturer for unpaid royalties under a license agreement, in a week-long ICC arbitration in Tokyo. U.S. client prevailed in full, recovering $500,000 in past royalties, plus its arbitration fees and costs, and obtaining a decision adopting client’s method for calculating future royalties.
  • Tried to defense verdict before a jury a class action suit against petroleum manufacturer in product liability action alleging that defective home heating fuel caused accelerated corrosion in more than 12,000 fuel storage tanks.
  • Represented indigent defendant on a pro bono basis, appealing a trial court order striking the client’s defenses as a discovery sanction and imposing default judgment, as well as a broad permanent injunction limiting speech and an award of fees under CR 11. The Washington Court of Appeals reversed the default order and sanctions award, and vacated the injunction. The appellate court held that a party’s indigence does not support a finding of willful failure to pay monetary sanctions, that the trial court abused its discretion in awarding CR 11 sanctions, and provided the trial court with future guidance regarding what it described as “troublesome” aspects of the vacated injunction.
  • Represented real estate agents and brokers in various lawsuits, and before administrative agencies, arising out of residential real estate transactions. One recent trial alleged misrepresentation on the part of a real estate agent and seller relating to the purchase of a Pierce County home. Following a multi-week trial, the jury ruled in favor of our clients on all claims.
  • Represented property owners and manufacturers in numerous injury and wrongful death actions arising at industrial facilities, including injuries caused by alleged defects in premises and claims arising out of alleged exposure to asbestos and other toxins.
  • Tried to defense verdict before a jury a multi-party injury lawsuit alleging personal injuries arising from exposure to byproducts of defective fuel oil.
  • Represented a petroleum refinery in a suit brought by the employee of a subcontractor who was injured when he fell from his truck while loading at a refinery site. The Court agreed that our client owed no duty to the plaintiff because he was the employee of a contractor whose work was not controlled by our client, and dismissed all claims. The dismissal was affirmed on appeal.
  • Represented a major manufacturing company in an action brought by a former franchisee in Alaska. The plaintiff alleged that, despite having extended credit to the franchisee on multiple occasions over the course of their relationship, our client had put the plaintiff out of business by declining to extend additional credit. The case was resolved on favorable terms after mediation with a Federal District Court judge.
  • Represented condemnee owner of shipyard being condemned by the State Ferry System in jury trial resulting in $4.1 million verdict in favor of our client.
  • Represented local transit authority in successfully opposing motion by local arts organization to compel transit authority to pay the cost to acquire replacement facilities, rather than fair market value, in condemnation of property occupied by the arts organization.
  • Represented individual critically injured when car driven by his co-worker crashed while returning from a jobsite, in appeal of trial court's dismissal of his lawsuit against the driver.  The Court of Appeals reversed the trail court, finding that there was a material question whether the driver was acting in the course of his employment at the time of the crash.  The case was remanded, resulting in a favorable settlement for the client.