Practice Areas

We generally limit our engagements to those matters that take full advantage of our knowledge and experience. Broadly defined, these matters fall into three fields: land use, environmental, and real estate law; litigation; and appeals.


The regulation of real property grows more complex every day in the state of Washington. We have extensive experience helping clients with the myriad of land use, environmental, and other issues that bear upon the transfer, use, and development of real estate. Our work includes:

  • Advising clients concerning the application of federal, state, and local laws that govern real estate development, including the national and state environmental policy acts, the Clean Water Act, the Shorelines Management Act, the Growth Management Act, federal Indian law, and local zoning and development codes.

  • Drafting easements, covenants, deeds, leases, purchase and sale agreements, and other written instruments.

  • Helping clients obtain all manner of development permits and other governmental approvals, including building permits, master use permits, shoreline substantial development permits, variances, critical area approvals, and other entitlements.  


Filing a lawsuit is rarely anyone’s preferred method of resolving a dispute. Sometimes, however, it’s unavoidable. When that’s the case, we steadfastly defend our clients’ rights before local governments, administrative agencies, and state and federal courts. At the same time, we recognize that we do not litigate for the sake of litigating. Rather, we litigate to accomplish our clients’ objectives, and we constantly assess whether the courtroom is the best forum to accomplish those objectives.

We focus our attention on a select range of matters, including:

  • Challenges to unlawful denials of development permits and other governmental land use approvals.

  • Money damages claims arising from such denials and real property damage inflicted by others.

  • Challenges to unlawful or excessive taxes and fees, particularly as applied to real estate and real estate development.

  • Civil rights claims fighting governmental infringements on constitutionally protected liberty and property rights, including takings, exactions, and illegal or excessive taxes and fees.

  • Disputes over boundaries, easements, covenants, deeds, leases, purchase and sale agreements, and other related issues.


Effective appellate advocacy requires a special blend of skills and experience. Knowing the special rules that apply on appeal; knowing which issues are likely to interest the court (and, perhaps more importantly, those that won’t); and knowing how to efficiently process a trial court record and articulate clear, persuasive arguments based on that record are all critically important to winning on appeal.

We have years of experience honing these skills on both sides of the bench, working on dozens of appeals both on behalf of clients and behind the scenes for the courts. We offer a full range of appellate services, including:

  • Handling all or part of the appeal, including record review, brief writing, and oral argument.

  • Assisting trial counsel via association, consultation, or case evaluation.

  • Drafting amicus curiae briefs for individuals or groups wishing to provide additional perspective to the court in appeals involving other parties.