Richard Yarmuth’s practice consists primarily of complex commercial litigation, dispute resolution and contract negotiation. He has represented clients in a wide variety of litigation and business matters, including securities litigation, contract actions, antitrust cases, real estate transactions, public project negotiations, fraud claims and shareholder and partnership disputes.
Richard was named one of Seattle’s 10 best “Bet-the-Company” litigators and best in “Commercial Litigation” in the 2015-16 edition of Seattle’s Best Lawyers, as well as in the 2017 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.
In addition, he serves as legal advisor and counsel to several major businesses and executives.
Richard has litigated and tried major cases, involving a broad range of subjects, in various state and federal courts. His activities include:
- General Litigation. Cases include the defense of fraud claims in the sale of Kentucky Derby winner Real Quiet; representation of Howard Schultz and former owners of NBA Seattle Sonics in litigation over sale of team to Oklahoma owners; arbitration judgment of more than $20 million against Vulcan, Inc., Paul Allen’s private equity group; defense of charitable foundation in challenge to donor’s testamentary capacity; representation of Cornish College of the Arts in real estate litigation; representation of King County in litigation against the Seattle Mariners to prevent removal of the team to San Diego; representation of Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Company in several protracted lawsuits involving its development at Snoqualmie Ridge; defense of several Seattle law firms as their counsel in cases where they were sued.
- Motion Picture Association of America. Representing the motion picture industry (Warner Bros., Paramount, Dreamworks, Columbia, Sony and other major film companies) as litigation counsel since 1973 in numerous contract, distribution, copyright and antitrust matters.
- Securities Litigation. Was chief trial counsel for the Washington Public Power Supply System (“WPPSS”) in protracted litigation involving the termination of two nuclear power plants and the enforceability of $2.5 billion in bonds; Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle in litigation against Goldman Sachs and other investment banks regarding the sale of mortgage backed securities; defended Michael Milken and other Drexel principals in cases brought by the Washington State Investment Board; represented Wedbush Morgan Securities, Inc. in bondholder litigation under the Washington State Securities Act.
- Antitrust. Has litigated antitrust suits, both as counsel for plaintiffs and defendants, involving the motion picture industry, timber industry (including a successful 6-month trial in federal court), cattle industry, mint industry and others.
- Projects. Has represented the City of Seattle, Snohomish County and other local governments in contracts and litigation involving water and solid waste issues (including negotiating Seattle’s $700 million long-haul waste disposal contract with Waste Management, Inc.); represented Ted Turner and Turner Broadcasting as co-counsel for the Goodwill Games, 1986, Moscow and 1990, Seattle.
Richard is a member of the Board of Directors of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (Hutchinson Cancer Research Center appointee) and has been a member of the Board of the Capital Hill Housing Improvement Program (CHHIP); Councilmember, Pike Place Market Public Development Authority; Chairman of the Advisory Board of City Year/Seattle-King County; Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Northwest Architectural League (ARCADE); and served as the Mayor’s representative to the Sarkowsky Commission (Major League Baseball in Seattle).