Robert J. Curran

Robert J. Curran

Senior Counsel

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Bob’s litigation practice focuses on commercial disputes that involve business torts, construction defects, real estate transactions, and insurance coverage issues. He has tried numerous cases in state and federal court and has successfully handled appeals before state appellate courts and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He is the past head of the firm’s Litigation Practice Group, and recently served as the firm’s Managing Director and as a member of the Executive Committee.

Representative Experience
  • Park Avenue Owners Assoc. v. Buchan, King County Superior Court, Washington. One of the first cases tried under the new Washington Condominium Act. The case involved novel issues of law, was considered to be highly defensible by the other side, and resulted in a multi-million dollar jury verdict for our clients.
  • Somerset Condominium Owners Assoc. v. Quadrant, Snohomish County Superior Court, Washington. Represented a condominium owners association prosecuting claims against subcontractors assigned by a developer. Although these claims are more difficult to prove than condominium act claims, the jury returned a multi-million dollar verdict.
  • Carlile v. Harbour Homes. This case involved 36 single family homeowners who banded together to prosecute construction defect and Consumer Protection Act claims against a developer. It was tried in Snohomish County and in arbitration. There were also appeals to the Washington Court of Appeals and the Washington Supreme Court. The result was an arbitration award for our clients and an eventual settlement of $2.4 Million.
  • Yugen Gaisha Koho v. Tanaka, et al., King County Superior Court, Washington, and In Re Tanaka, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Washington. Obtained judgments for $3.2 Million and $5.0 Million on behalf of two Japanese corporations that invested in a major golf course development in Lacey, Washington. The defendant misappropriated the funds our clients had invested and developed the golf course under a separate corporation which he owned. In the middle of a month-long trial, the defendant transferred substantially all of his assets to a complex web of interrelated trusts, corporations and limited partnerships. We successfully traced and documented the transfers through more than 60 bank accounts and to more than 20 transferees. When the defendant filed for bankruptcy protection, we were able to obtain rulings holding that the judgments were non-dischargeable. The defendant’s law firm later paid $2.5 Million in settlement of claims arising from the transfer of its client’s assets to our clients and to the bankruptcy trustee.
  • In Re Calozza, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. This class action suit arose from the fraudulent activities of an insurance agent who sold $8.3 Million in bogus securities to 150 clients. We defended the agent’s supervisor, who was named as a defendant in the suit, along with the agent and the company’s officers and directors. The litigation involved over 100,000 documents, more than 200 potential witnesses and unique issues of law. The suit was successfully settled at mediation.
  • Grey-Bean Corporation v. Gibson, et al., U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho. Represented a participant in a large real estate development in Sun Valley, Idaho in a fraud case. The case involved allegations that the proposed construction project had been mismanaged and required that approximately $6.0 Million in invested funds be traced. The case was eventually resolved by agreement after our client successfully regained control of the project and established sole ownership of project assets, including the real property.
  • Lamonts Apparel, Inc. v. Hickel Investment Co., U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska. Successfully represented a large retailer in a lease dispute with its landlord in an Anchorage, Alaska shopping center. After a three-week trial in Alaska, our client was awarded judgment of approximately $2.0 Million for common area maintenance overcharges it had paid over a ten-year period. The judgment was affirmed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Honors & Awards
  • Martindale Hubbell AV® Preeminent 5.0 out of 5

Background

Bob grew up in the Seattle area and attended Western Washington University and WSU. After obtaining degrees in History and Broadcast Journalism, he produced documentary films and public affairs programming independently and for public television. He obtained his J.D. from what is now Seattle University School of Law, and served as Note and Comment Editor on the Law Review. He joined Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland after graduation in 1984.

Bob’s journalism background has continued to be useful throughout his legal career. “A journalist must establish the facts, ascertain their importance, craft them into a compelling story, and explain why people should care. A trial lawyer goes through a similar process representing his or her client. The key is to make the judge or jury understand your client, and to care about what happens to them.”

Bob specializes in handling complex litigation matters. Over his career, he has successfully tried or resolved a series of fraud cases, securities claims, construction defect claims, commercial real estate disputes, consumer protection claims, large estate claims and products liability claims. In an increasingly specialized world, Bob enjoys the variety that each case brings and the opportunity to represent and learn about his clients.