Ryan Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC
401 Union Street, Suite 1500
Seattle, WA 98101-2668
Ryan Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC
401 Union Street, Suite 1500
Seattle, WA 98101-2668

Ryan Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC
401 Union Street, Suite 1500
Seattle, WA 98101-2668

Bryan C. Graff

Bryan serves as Ryan Swanson’s Managing Director and is a detailed advocate and trial lawyer. Bryan’s litigation experience is broad, and includes insurance coverage and regulatory matters, employment and partnership disputes, real estate, franchise, class action, complex commercial, and intellectual property cases, and various other business disputes.

Representative Experience – General Commercial Litigation
  • Lead trial lawyer in three-week jury trial successfully tried to verdict in King County Superior Court, enforcing employer’s restrictive covenants and obtaining seven figure judgment for client.
  • Lead trial lawyer in real estate lawsuit, prevailing on easement, and trespass claims. Bryan has successfully litigated multiple real estate cases, including cases involving land use disputes, claims of adverse possession and prescriptive rights, as well as easement, and trespass issues.
  • Represented design and digital agency in complex action involving multiple contract claims arising out of website redesign and development projects.
  • Prevailed in arbitration in commission dispute between commercial brokers, following litigation in trial and appellate courts to enforce arbitration provision.
  • Represented Seattle-based technology company in action involving claims of breach of contract, conversion, tortious interference, unjust enrichment, trade secret misappropriation, Consumer Protection Act (CPA), and patent and trademark infringement in connection with a terminated intellectual property licensing agreement. Helped to achieve a favorable settlement following discovery and motion practice.
  • Represented manufacturer of medical equipment in multiple suits, including intellectual property case in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah involving claims of copyright and trademark infringement, trade secret misappropriation, predatory hiring and unfair competition. Experts had calculated damages to exceed seventy million dollars. Through extensive discovery efforts, motion practice, and witness examination at evidentiary hearing, helped to expose and persuasively present egregious acts of spoliation of electronic evidence and contempt of court. Dedicated work and advocacy obtained “terminating sanction” orders from the federal district court, which struck the defendant’s answer, dismissed its counterclaims, imposed monetary sanctions, and entered default judgment as to liability in favor of the clients.
  • Represented prominent medical device manufacturer in prosecution of a trade secret case which involved issues concerning the liability of corporate officers and directors. After motions and limited discovery, a multi-party mediation led to successful settlement and immediate payment for the client.
  • Defended leading telecommunications company defending against claims of fraud, breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and CPA violations, among other claims, arising out of a terminated distributor agreement. Persuaded the trial court to enter summary judgment in favor of the client on all claims, as well as to impose CR 11 sanctions.
  • Defended a major medical equipment manufacturer and service provider in litigation involving allegations of fraud and tortious interference. Bryan worked to obtain a dismissal of the claims against his clients prior to trial.
  • Defended title insurance underwriters and title insurance companies in both administrative and state court actions against claims of negligence, misrepresentation, breach of contract, and CPA claims, in addition to alleged regulatory violations.
  • Represented commercial real estate development company and guarantors in a dispute involving a multi-million-dollar construction loan. Helped to successfully resolve the case prior to trial.
  • Represented a real estate development company in a case involving claims of breach of contract, breach of good faith and fair dealing, and intentional misrepresentation. Bryan convinced the Court of Appeals to reverse a trial court order dismissing the claims of breach of contract and the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.
  • Successfully defended a major title insurance underwriter in a lawsuit involving right of access issues. Bryan convinced the trial court to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims on summary judgment prior to trial.
Representative Experience – Insurance
  • Represented insurers, as well as directors and officers, businesses, condominium owners’ associations and commercial and residential landowners in arbitration and insurance coverage litigation in state and federal courts, including failure to defend, indemnity, bad faith, CPA and Insurance Fair Conduct Act (IFCA) claims arising under Property, Commercial General Liability (CGL), Directors & Officers (D&O) liability, and other policies.
  • Successfully represented major legal services company in administrative action challenging threatened enforcement action by the Office of the Insurance Commissioner, obtaining summary judgment in client’s favor.
  • Represented multiple clients in regulatory enforcement actions.
Representative Experience – Employment Litigation
  • Lead trial lawyer for Class I railroad in eight-day jury trial tried to verdict in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.
  • Obtained summary judgment dismissal of all of plaintiffs’ claims in a multi-plaintiff action alleging retaliation and wrongful termination.
  • Defended multiple suits alleging retaliation and/or wrongful termination.
  • Handled multiple disputes concerning non-competition, non-solicitation, confidentiality, and trade secret issues.
Representative Experience – Class Action Litigation
  • Defended providers of mortgage modification and debt adjustment services in regulatory enforcement and putative class actions alleging violations of the CPA, Mortgage Broker Practices Act (MBPA), Consumer Loan Act (CLA), and Mortgage Lending and Homeownership Act (MLHA).
  • Defended title insurance companies in a putative class action lawsuit alleging violations of consumer protection laws and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). Worked to achieve a dismissal of the plaintiffs’ claims by the federal district court and a successful resolution for the clients.
Representative Experience – Franchise Litigation
  • Successfully defended franchisor in federal court action alleging statutory and tort claims, obtaining summary judgment dismissal of all of plaintiff’s claims.
  • Successfully defended franchisor in litigation including claims of breach of contract, misrepresentation and violation of the Washington Franchise Investment Protection Act, and involving complex issues of agency law.
  • Represented franchisee in arbitration proceedings, resulting in favorable settlement and independence for the client.


  • Strong Majority of Decisions Now Hold the Insurance Fair Conduct Act Applies to First-Party and Third-Party Claims (2018)
  • An Erroneous Judicial Narrowing of Washington’s Insurance Fair Conduct Act (2015)
  • Be Prepared for Claims of Retaliation Under the Federal Railroad Safety Act (2014)
  • Co-Author, Chapter in Washington Civil Practice Deskbook (2014)
  • Washington Supreme Court Holds Title Insurance Underwriter Liable for Regulatory Violations by Appointed Agent, Notwithstanding the Underwriter’s Lack of a Right to Control (2013)
  • Ninth Circuit Says Even Generally Applicable Contract Defenses are Displaced by the FAA if they have a Disproportionate Effect on Arbitration (2013)
  • Google’s Use of Trademarked Keywords Not Immunized by Functionality Says Fourth Circuit (2012)
  • Executing Juvenile Offenders: A Reexamination of Stanford v. Kentucky in Light of Atkins v. Virginia, 20 Ga. St. Univ. L. Rev.485 (2003)
  • Peach Sheet, 20 Ga. St. Univ. L. Rev. 61 (2003)

Honors & Awards

  • Named to Washington Rising Star® list six times

Professional & Community Activities

  • Member, Ryan Swanson’s Executive Committee (2016-2019)
  • Chair, Ryan Swanson’s Charitable Giving Committee (2012-2016)
  • Member, Defense Research Institute
  • Member, National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel

Professional Activities

  • Board of Trustees, King County Bar Foundation


  • Georgia State University College of Law
    (J.D., magna cum laude, 2004)
  • Member & Legislation Co-Editor, Law Review
  • The Colorado College
    (B.A., Sociology, with distinction, 1999)
Admitted to Practice
  • Washington (2007)
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Washington
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • Georgia
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia
  • United States District Courts for Alaska, Utah and the Southern District of New York

Hobbies & Interests

Bryan’s childhood was split between a Kansas farm and the mountains of Montana. Bryan joined Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland in 2006, relocating from Atlanta, Georgia where he attended law school and began his practice.

In his free time, you will find Bryan running, playing basketball, spending time with two fascinating children, or sharing a laugh with friends and family.