Douglas S. Dunham | Founding Partner
Mr. Dunham acts as the trusted advisor for many of his continuing clients in that his clients contact him first, regardless of the legal problem. Over the many years, Mr. Dunham has successfully practiced in broad areas of law required by interdisciplinary skills. He has tried first degree murder cases as a Deputy and Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney. He has argued cases in the State Supreme Court, and in all three divisions of the Court of Appeals. He has handled complex trust and real estate litigation, class actions, construction and business litigation as well as personal injury, probate and marital dissolution. He has studied in advanced courses in insurance law, civil procedure, economic regulations, and anti-trust at Harvard Law School, obtaining a Master in Law (LL.M.). Mr. Dunham’s clients trust him to handle their matters or trust him to refer to the appropriate respected legal specialist.
• Professional History: After four and a half years of trial experience, handling both criminal and civil matters, Mr. Dunham left the King County Prosecuting Attorney's office as a Senior Trial Deputy Attorney in 1973. He joined a mid-size firm practicing in downtown Seattle, where he did commercial litigation and insurance defense. In 1978, he was a co-founder of his present firm.
• Practice Areas: Since 1978, he has had substantial experience in personal injury and insurance defense, commercial and business litigation, real estate problems, family law and domestic relations, criminal matters, wills and trusts, contractor problems, and probate matters. He has represented businesses and professionals in Court and before the Department of Licensing, State Bar, and other licensing agencies. He has handled all of State Farm Fire & Casualty Company’s license and registration bond cases in the State of Washington for over 30 years. He has handled business and personal clients' real estate problems including lease negotiations, and has re-drafted real estate covenants and mutual easements for two large Seattle communities (Blue Ridge and Olympic Manor). He has represented business clients facing complex litigation and insurance coverage issues.
• Professional Organizations: He is a past chair of the Litigation Section of the Washington State Bar Association and served on the Washington State Bar Association's Court Rules Committee. He has drafted certain amendments to the Civil and Appellate Rules, which have been approved by the Supreme Court of Washington. He has been a Hearing Officer with the Washington State Bar Disciplinary Board. He is an Member of Washington Association for Justice and has been a member of the national Trial Lawyers for Public Justice. He was one of the original members of the Board of Advisors one of the first significant mediation programs in King County starting in 1999. He has been selected by attorneys on both sides of an issue as an arbitrator for the King County Superior Court, Mandatory Arbitration Program in over 100 cases. He has also served as a Judge Pro Tem. In 1999, he was appointed to the King County Settlement Guardian ad Litem Registry charged with the investigation, developing recommendations, and reporting to the Superior Court in cases involving the proposed settlements of injured minors. He has been assigned to over 40 cases.
• Family and Community: Mr. Dunham and his wife have raised three children in the Ballard area of Seattle, Washington. Consistent with the firm’s belief in commitment to the community, he has been very active in the children’s school where he has served on the Building Leadership Team for Ballard High School for over 8 years as well as on the Principal selection committee. He has also coached all three of his children in basketball and baseball and his daughter in softball through Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Ballard Boys and Girls Clubs. He was a proactive member of the NW Seattle Little League Board for over 10 years.
While serving as the legal advisor to his neighborhood community association board, he personally notarized over 500 signatures to remove unenforceable but morally objectionable racial restrictions from the community’s covenants. He helped organize the community to substantially remodel its swimming pool and related facilities through volunteer contributions.
Since 2001, Mr. Dunham has served on the Citizens & Oversight campaign. He also served on the City of Seattle Pro Parks Levy Oversight Committee (charged with oversight responsibilities regarding the recent $200, 000,000 Seattle Parks and Open Space Levy), then continued to serve on the following $145,000,000 Parks and Green Space Levy. He served as chair of both committees from 2007 to 2011. In 2010, he joined and continues to serve on the ARC (Association of Recreational Councils) Board of Directors, which is a non-profit that works in partnership with Seattle Parks and Recreation to provide programing at the community centers and throughout the parks system. Among other things, ARC provides before and after school car at the various community centers, runs summer day camps, provides programing for elders and special needs groups.
• Education: Mr. Dunham received his B.A. in Economics, at Willamette University in 1965, his J.D. from Willamette University Law School in 1969, where he graduated cum laude and was an Associate Editor of the Law Review. He also received a L.L.M. from Harvard in 1975, where he took courses in advanced civil and criminal procedure, insurance law, federal courts, and anti-trust.