Phil Cutler’s Full CV

Philip Cutler

Cutler Nylander & Hayton PS
1191 Second Avenue, Suite 1800
Seattle, WA 98101
Telephone: 206-340-4600
Facsimile: 206-464-0125


Over 38 years experience in litigation and counseling in business, corporate and commercial law, business-government relations, licensing, trade secret, intellectual property and business torts law, antitrust and trade regulation matters; arbitration, mediation and other forms of dispute resolution; appellate practice.


Cutler Nylander & Hayton (and predecessor firms) 1990 – Present
Seattle, Washington
Shareholder, Director and President

Sax and MacIver/Karr Tuttle Campbell 1979 – 1989
Seattle, Washington
Partner/Shareholder (Firms merged their practices in January 1986)

Perkins Coie 1973 – 1979
Seattle, Washington


Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois 1970 – 1973

School of Law: J.D. with Honors, June 1973. Staff Member (1971-72) and Editor-in-Chief (1972-73) of Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology. Published: Comment, The Evidentiary Value of Spectrographic Voice Identification, 63 J. Crim. L.C. & P.S. 343 (1972).

Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. 1966 – 1970

College of Arts & Sciences: A.B. (History), June 1970. Active in student government; member of Admissions Committee. Summer and school year employment as Special Assistant to U.S. Sen. Charles Percy (Illinois).


Admitted to the Bar: Washington State (1973). U.S. District Courts – Western District of Washington (1973); Eastern District of Washington (1979); Northern District of California (1985, pro hac vice); Middle District of Alabama (2008, pro hac vice); Eastern District of Pennsylvania (2011, pro hac vice). U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (1991). U.S. Claims Court (1976). U.S. Supreme Court (2006).


Complex Litigation

Administrative Law

Represented fireworks industry in suit successfully challenging administrative regulations adopted by Washington State Patrol (1997).

Special counsel to private, proprietary post-secondary educational institution in accreditation negotiations and licensing litigation with Washington state agency and federal Department of Education; architect of successful litigation strategy resulting in potential savings to client of over $1.5 million in dispute with federal Department of Education (1991-93).


Retained as chief trial counsel by Northern Idaho developer on eve of Idaho state court jury trial of complex commercial and antitrust lawsuit against ski area developer and private utility operator. Settlement achieved after 3 weeks of trial (1992).

Trial and appellate counsel for milk cooperative in five-week antitrust jury trial. Adverse jury verdict unanimously reversed by Washington Supreme Court. Bar-T Ranch Dairy v. Consolidated Dairy Products, 97 Wn.2d 167 (1982).

Principal responsibility for defense of beef packer in civil antitrust litigation 1977-80 and related federal grand jury investigation. No indictment returned; civil suit settled on favorable terms. See Golob & Sons v. Schaake Packing Co., 93 Wn.2d 257 (1980).

Arbitration Practice and Procedure

Retained (2011) by California-based owner of assisted living facilities to advise it and its attorneys on arbitration practice and procedure in arbitration with manager over client’s termination of manager’s services. Cases settled (before hearing) summer 2011.

Retained by major national provider of ADR services to prepare amicus curiae brief to Washington Supreme Court in case involving the scope of judicial review of arbitration awards. Court unanimously decided case favorably to client’s position; 4-Justice concurring opinion adopted the legal arguments made in amicus brief. Boyd v. Davis, 127 Wn.2d 256 (1995).

Attorney Discipline

Special disciplinary counsel for Washington State Bar Association in case against lawyer for trust account violations. After a 3-day hearing (2000), Hearing Officer suspended the lawyer for one year. WSBA Disciplinary Committee reduced punishment to 6 months suspension. Washington Supreme Court affirmed. In re McKean, 148 Wn.2d 849 (2003).


Retained (1997) by major national mortgage lender to defend class action lawsuit challenging “document preparation fees” as unauthorized practice of law and unfair and deceptive practice under Washington’s Consumer Protection Act. Case settled (1999) for nominal amount.

Selected by major Washington bank to defend it in $1 million loan guaranty suit by Japanese trading company. Architect of successful litigation/negotiation strategy leading to de minimis settlement (1987).

Advised and represented banks, trustees in bankruptcy and other creditors in loan workouts, liquidations, reorganizations, receiverships, and related business litigation (1980-2000).

Complex Commercial/Business

Retained (2007) by Seattle-area entrepreneur and two of his companies to defend lawsuit by Alabama-based plaintiff for breach of non-disclosure agreement and trade secret, unfair competition and federal trademark infringement claims arising from unsuccessful negotiation of a business buy-out agreement and client’s commencement of similar business; action successfully removed to Montgomery AL federal court. Bench trial conducted October 2008; judgment in clients’ favor dismissing all claims entered September 2009.

Succeeded in obtaining vacatur of $23 million default judgment (2007 state-court fraud case) for Washington resident based on no direct service and faulty substitute service. Case settled prior to trial.

Arbitration counsel (2005-2006) for claimant in breach of contract/fiduciary duty/good faith-fair dealing case involving corporate respondent’s refusal to remit commission splits under written contract and corporate respondent’s disbursement of commission revenues to individual owner and his associates. After 3-day hearing, arbitrator entered $601,000 award in client’s favor, including pre-award interest, all costs and 95% of attorneys’ fees. Assisted (2007-2009) judgment enforcement counsel in fraudulent conveyance case against individual corporate owner personally, leading to judgment against him of $895,000.

Retained (2003) to represent minority owner plaintiffs in federal and state court appraisal/breach of fiduciary duty suits against majority owners of cellular telephone partnerships. Cases dismissed on summary judgment. Trial court in state-court case affirmed by Washington Court of Appeals Division I (133 Wn.App. 1023 (2006)) and in federal court case by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (215 Fed. Appx 616 (2006) and 508 F.3d 1177 (2007)).

Retained by hops cooperative to negotiate global settlement of brewers’ and dealers’ claims for 7-figure UCC cover damages following loss at trial of 3 cases. Developed strategy that resulted in settlement of all cases/claims on terms favorable to client, permitting client to distribute greater amount of assets to members in liquidation.


Represented prison-based water-jet cutting company in constitutional, antitrust and public disclosure claims by competitors arising from the client’s participation in the Washington Prison Industries Program. Public disclosure claims resolved in client’s favor (1999 and 2004); antitrust claims voluntarily dismissed (2000). Constitutional claims dismissed on summary judgment by the trial court. Washington Supreme Court affirmed (Washington Water Jet Workers Assn v. Yarbrough, 148 Wn.2d 403 (2003)), then reversed on reconsideration (151 Wn.2d 470 (2004)). Plaintiffs’ antitrust, consumer protection and tortious interference claims against State co-defendant under fourth amended complaint dismissed on summary judgment; dismissal affirmed by Washington Court of Appeals Division I (2008); petition for review to Washington Supreme Court denied (2009).


Retained (1999) to prosecute claims of 6 dealers against manufacturer for wrongful termination, Washington Franchise Act violations, federal antitrust (tying) claims. After 10 day arbitration, Panel issued mid 6-figure award (2001) in favor of clients for wrongful termination and Washington Franchise Act violations.

Fraudulent Transfer

Retained (2006) by Washington resident to defend Texas plaintiff’s enforcement of 8-figure Texas federal court judgment and same plaintiff’s Washington federal court fraudulent conveyance action (filed spring 2008) against client, his family, and his business associates. Fraudulent conveyance case and judgment enforcement matters settled March 2011.


Retained (1999) to defend class action lawsuit against major national automobile insurer claiming attorneys’ fees for insured’s recovery of Personal Injury Protection payments for benefit of insurer. Case settled (1999) on terms favorable to client. Retained (2000) as local counsel for same insurer in class action lawsuit seeking diminution-in-value damages under UIM portion of policy.

Intellectual Property & Business Torts

Retained (2011) by individual and business defendants in cybersquatting/trademark infringement and related unfair competition litigation in E.D. Pennsylvania lawsuit brought by trademark owner. De minimis settlement 2012 prior to formal discovery or setting of trial date.

Retained (2001 – 2008) by national securities brokerage firm to represent new broker-employees in breach of contract/trade secret misappropriation actions brought by former employers. Defeated most former employers’ attempts to obtain TROs from NASD (FINRA)/court.

Retained (2003) to represent Russian joint stock company plaintiff in federal court trademark infringement lawsuit against U.S. company. Claims settled within 3 months.

Retained (2002) to represent Hawaiian videographer in federal copyright infringement action. Jury awarded client $170,000+ in statutory damages after 7-day trial (April 2003). Thereafter, court awarded client $240,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs. Case settled on appeal.

Arbitration counsel for joint venture partner in arbitration (2002) over buy-sell provisions of LLC agreement, alleged trade secret misappropriation, and tortious interference. Claims of other joint venture partner rejected.

Retained (2002) to represent clients in reciprocal cybersquatting/metatagging federal trademark infringement case. Case settled (May 2003) after mediation and resolution of dispositive motions.

Retained (2000) to represent interests of U.S. company and its employees and Chinese parent corporation in misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit brought by former employer of employees. Case settled within a month.

Represented (1997-98) defendants and their former counsel in Federal Trade Commission’s contempt of court claim following settlement of FTC pyramid-scheme case by Consent Decree. Defeated FTC’s claim for criminal contempt against defendants and for civil contempt against their counsel; civil contempt against defendants forestalled for 8 months.

Trial counsel for former employee of publishing company in damages phase of lawsuit brought by former employer for tortious interference with former employer’s business arising from client’s departure and establishment of competing business. After 7 day trial (1993), court rejected former employer’s claim for 7-figure damages and awarded $1 nominal damages only; obtained $16,000 in discovery abuse sanctions against former employer.

Represented major insurance company in successful 7 day trial (1990) of suit against former agent for trade secret misappropriation and enforcement of confidentiality agreement and non-compete covenant. Obtained high 5-figure judgment for attorneys’ fees.

Represented trademark and copyright owners in infringement and licensing litigation; principal counsel for plaintiff in license termination litigation, resulting in negotiation of new license, pre-paid royalty (1985-90).

Major pre-trial and trial responsibility for defense of seller of glass business in technology/trade secret misappropriation litigation. Motion for directed verdict granted after seven weeks of trial, upheld on appeal to Washington Supreme Court. Boeing Co. v. Sierracin Corp., 108 Wn.2d 38 (1987).

Land Use

Trial and appellate counsel to landowner in state court zoning/environmental challenge to thoroughbred race track. Washington Supreme Court dismissed citizen group’s appeal. CAPOW v. Northwest Racing, 126 Wn.2d 356 (1995). Related federal court environmental challenge voluntarily dismissed following plaintiff’s failure to obtain preliminary injunction.

Represented landowners in protracted inverse condemnation action; negotiated settlement with municipality resulting in municipality’s acquisition of clients’ properties at favorable price and terms (1995).


Counsel for the receiver (retired Washington Supreme Court justice) in special receivership (2010-2011) involving debtor’s real property. Efforts to sell property frustrated by debtor, who declared bankruptcy while receivership pending.

Special litigation counsel (2003-2006) to receiver (retired Washington Supreme Court justice) of defunct securities company in suits to recover fraudulent transfers and on promissory notes. State court granted receiver summary judgment in fraudulent transfer case (2003); one suit on promissory notes settled in mid-six figures (2004); obtained 6-figure default judgment in another case (2004); summary judgment granted client on borrower’s claims that note and deed of trust was void (2004) and recovered mid-6-figures in deed of trust foreclosure (2005).

Business and Government Relations Advice & Counsel

Antitrust/Product Distribution

Principal outside general counsel to major Redmond-based national consumer electronics manufacturer and supervised law firms’ work for client (1982-90). Prepared and annually reviewed all domestic and international product distribution contract documents for client; advised client regarding significant domestic and international marketing and pricing decisions and programs.

Corporate Structure and Intra-Business Relations

Outside general counsel (1992-2000) to seller of specialized computer software and hardware packages. Advice and counsel to client in restructure of corporation; preparation of corporate documents, shareholder buy-sell agreement; assistance to client in securing bank and investor financing; negotiated pre-litigation settlement with principals’ former employer over business tort/trade secret misappropriate claims.

Government Relations

Outside general counsel to start-up “brew-on-premises” business (1994-98). Represented client in negotiations with state Liquor Control Board and federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms over licensing of client’s business, leading to first-ever U-Brew license awarded by state; advice and counsel to client in corporate, business, and licensing matters.

Represented (1997) landowner in sale of large tract to large local municipality for park purposes; developed and implemented zoning-change and complex trust transfer strategies that resulted in favorable sale price and tax-advantaged terms for client.

Assistance to fireworks industry in amicus letter to State Attorney General concerning municipal responsibilities under 1995 revisions to state fireworks code resulting in favorable Attorney General Opinion (1995); continuing advice and counsel with respect to state and local legislative matters involving fireworks.

Obtained agency rules change benefitting private, proprietary post-secondary educational institution and accrediting commission (1991-93).

Represented Fortune 500 telecommunications company in successful contract negotiations and resolution of related dispute with large city government (1991).

Municipal Governments

Outside general counsel to 16,000-customer South King County public water district (1990-92, 1994-96). Advised District and Board of Commissioners on all important matters, including preparation of non-standard resolutions, preparation of contracts, interface with Washington State Auditor, compliance with state law concerning conduct of public meetings, involvement of District and staff in political matters.

Alternative Dispute Resolution – Neutral Services


Member of:

  • American Arbitration Association Commercial Panel since 1992, Large Complex Commercial Disputes Panel since 1999. Service as sole arbitrator or member/chair of 3-arbitrator panel in over 100 cases. Member of AAA arbitrator training faculty since 1998.
  • FINRA (formerly NASD) Public Arbitrator Panel since 1996. Service as sole arbitrator or member/chair of 3-arbitrator panel in over 50 cases.
  • King County Superior Court Arbitration Department register of arbitrators for statutory mandatory arbitration cases since 1982. Service in over 100 cases.

Numerous private arbitration appointments in commercial cases.

Representative arbitration assignments:

9-figure case involving agricultural industry joint venturers in complex case involving contract, misrepresentation and trademark claims; 6-, 7- and 8 -figure customer/broker securities disputes; 7-figure employment termination dispute between senior executive and public-company employer (award confirmed/motion to vacate denied, 2011); 8-figure breach of contract dispute between aircraft owner and VIP aircraft interior modifying company (award confirmed/motion to vacate denied, 2011); 8-figure securities dispute between Indian tribe and financial advisors; 7-figure international franchise encroachment and wrongful termination dispute; 6- and 7-figure franchise disputes involving state-law franchise investment protection claims; 6-figure breach of contract dispute involving interior outfitting of yacht; 8-figure dispute between aircraft parts manufacturer and distributor; 7-figure dispute over professional fees; 6-figure construction disputes (residential and commercial); 7-figure agricultural equipment breach of warranty dispute; athletes’ challenges of U.S. Olympic Committee rulings under Ted Stevens Olympics & Amateur Sports Act; 6-figure dispute between agricultural cooperative and joint venture partner over interpretation of commodity purchase contract and LLC agreement; 6- and 7-figure disputes involving the communications industry (wireless and broadcast media).

Mediation & Negotiation

Member of:

  • U.S. District Court/Western District of Washington register of mediators/arbitrators since 1982.
  • American Arbitration Association’s Northwest Mediation Panel since 1997.

Numerous private mediation appointments.

Service as mediator in over 300 cases.

Representative mediation and negotiation assignments:

Five- to 8-figure disputes involving unfair business practices, commercial leasing, contracts, construction (residential and commercial), corporate, partnership and LLC reorganization and dissolution, business strategic alliances, distributor termination, employment termination and discrimination, professional fees (legal, architecture), fishing rights, patents, copyrights and trademarks, labor/collective bargaining, real estate, securities (customer/broker and broker-dealer/broker-dealer), and software counterfeiting/piracy.

Special Master and Specialized ADR Assignments

Appointed arbitrator for Bering Sea and Alaska Crab Processors Arbitration Organizations (2010 – 2012 seasons).

Appointed (January 2009) Arbitrator/Special Master by the Court to resolve disputes between claimants and defendants over the settlement offered under the court-approved class action settlement agreement (Pelletz and Jamruk v. Advanced Environmental Recycling Technologies et al., W.D. Washington). Engagement ran through 2011.

Appointed (May 2001) Special Discovery Master by King County (WA) Superior Court in complex multi-party securities case (Kirlan Venture Capital, Inc. v. Regis).

Appointed (December 2000) Special Master by San Francisco County (CA) Superior Court to oversee implementation and administration of class action settlement in Weyerhaeuser Hardboard Siding Class Action litigation. Filing period for settlement claims ended December 2009. Final report to the court filed spring 2011.

Mediator/arbitrator (1999-2000) for Prudential Life Insurance Co. Class Action Remediation Plan (AAA-administered).

Mediator/arbitrator (1997-1999) for claim arbitrations under class action settlement agreement in Louisiana-Pacific Inner Seal Siding Litigation (by appointment of U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon).


Author: “Reclaiming the Promise of Arbitration” (King County Bar Bulletin, July 2011); “I am Your Arbitrator…,” (private, 2002-2012) (also available on; “Representing Clients in Mediation: A Mediator’s Perspective,” Dispute Resolution Magazine (ABA Dispute Resolution Section) (Spring 2003); “Who Owns the Expirations?” The Broker, 55/3:16 (July-August 1992); numerous publications in connection with Continuing Legal Education programs sponsored by the American Bar Association, Federal Bar Association of the Western District of Washington, University of Washington Law School, Washington State Bar Association, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association. See also for other ADR-related materials.

Contributing author: “Intra-Tribunal Relations” chapter in Guide to Best Practices in Commercial Arbitration (3rd ed., College of Commercial Arbitrators, to be published fall 2013); ADR Deskbook (1998 Supp.) (WSBA, 1998); Doing Business in Washington (WSBA International Law Section, 5th Ed. (2010); also 3rd Ed. (1997) and Supp. 2003)); Washington Pattern Jury Instructions – Misappropriation of Trade Secrets/Tortious Interference with Economic Relations (6A Washington Practice, Washington Supreme Court Committee on Jury Instructions (West 1997)); Antitrust Evidence Handbook (ABA Section of Antitrust Law, 1991); Washington Antitrust Law Developments (WSBA Section of Antitrust Law, 1985); Washington Consumer Protection, Antitrust and Unfair Business Practices Law Developments (2nd) (WSBA Section of Consumer Protection, Antitrust, and Unfair Business Practices, 1988) and 1993 Supplement (same, 1993).


Long-standing continuing membership in American Bar Association (Antitrust (active in Civil Practice & Procedure Committee, 1980-90), Dispute Resolution (Chair of Membership Committee, 2002-2008; member of Section Council, 2005-2008) and Litigation Sections; Washington State Bar Association (Consumer Protection, Antitrust and Unfair Business Practices Section; Litigation Section; Dispute Resolution Section (Chair, 1998-99; Mandatory ADR Court Rule Task Force (principal drafter of Task Force Report, submitted 1997)); ADR Committee, 1999-2006; Special Disciplinary Counsel, 2003); Federal Bar Association of the Western District of Washington (Trustee 1998-2000; Court Congestion/ADR Committee (chair, 1985-95, co-chair 1996-1998); member of FBA ADR Task Force, 1994-95)); and King County Bar Association (Trustee of ADR Section, 1997-2007, Chair, 2002-2003; numerous committees and special projects).

Northwest Dispute Resolution Conference, Planning Committee, Co-Chair and/or Fundraising Chair, 1995-present. ABA Dispute Resolution Section Annual Conference, Planning Committee, Co-Chair and/or Fundraising Chair 2001-2008.

Member, Washington Supreme Court Pattern Jury Instruction Subcommittee on Commercial/Business Litigation (1994-1997); U.S.D.C., Western District of Washington Civil Justice Reform Act Advisory Group (1998-2003); 9th Circuit Standing Committee on ADR, Ninth Circuit Judicial Council (1997-2010).

Member, CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution (2003-2006); American Arbitration Association Commercial Arbitration Panel (1992-present), AAA Mediation Panel (1997-present), Large Complex Commercial Case Panel (1999-present); FINRA/NASD Public Arbitrator and Chairperson Panels (1996-present); King County Superior Court Arbitration Department Register of Arbitrators for Mandatory Arbitration Cases, 1982-present. Court-approved Arbitrator (1992-present) and Mediator (1982-present), U.S. District Court/Western District of Washington. Judge Pro Tem, King County Superior Court (1993-1995).

Member, ADR Roundtable, informal association of select Seattle lawyers and law teachers practicing ADR (1997-present; vice-chair, 1999-2000; chair, 2000-present) (more information available on Co-chair, Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER) Dispute Facilitation Service Project (2000-2002).

Fellow, College of Commercial Arbitrators (see

Lecturer at and/or program chair for numerous continuing legal education programs sponsored by the American Bar Association Section of Antitrust Law/Civil Practice & Procedure Committee (summary judgment; evidence); University of Washington CLE Department (trade secrets and non-competition agreements in the insurance industry; ADR); Washington State Bar Association (Sections on Antitrust (antitrust; product distribution), International Law (product distribution; negotiating and structuring the international transaction), and ADR (negotiation; mediation; arbitration); King County Bar Association (various, principally ADR); Federal Bar Association of the Western District of Washington (federal practice and procedure; ADR); U.S. Department of Justice Office of Legal Education (mediation). Guest lecturer on alternative dispute resolution and business law at Seattle University Law School and University of Washington; negotiations at San Diego State University EMBA program.


ADR All Star, WSBA Dispute Resolution Section (1998-2002); Fellow, College of Commercial Arbitrators (since 2006); Super Lawyer, Washington Law & Politics (1999-2011); Who’s Who in America; Who’s Who in American Law. Rated “AV” by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory.


Co-founder (1974) of Country Doctor Community Legal Clinic, the first free volunteer neighborhood legal clinic in Seattle. Originally sponsored jointly by the King County Bar Association and CHOICE churches, the program spawned numerous other neighborhood clinics and the network of 13 clinics is now jointly sponsored by KCBA’s Committee on Neighborhood Legal Information & Referral Clinics and the City of Seattle.

Active in the affairs of St. Patrick Parish, Seattle (1974-82) and St. Joseph Parish, Seattle (1982-present). Service to the Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle on matters pertaining to governance and education (1979-92). Active in Cursillo Movement (1975-85).

Service to St. Joseph School, Seattle, as Co-President of the Parents Club (1984-86) and as a member of the School Advisory Board (1985-88). Director, St. Joseph Endowment Fund, 1986-2001; St. Joseph Parish School Fund, 1990-2001; President of combined Funds (approximately $1.5 million endowment at 12/31/01), 1993-2001.

Director, St. George School (Seattle) Endowment Foundation (approximately $225,000 endowment at 12/31/01), 1994-2002; Secretary, 1996-2002.

Service to Bishop Blanchet High School, Seattle, as a member of the School Advisory Board, 1991-2000. Member of the Development Committee since 1992; active in Blanchet’s “Brave Future In Focus” $4.1 million capital campaign (1995-98) and follow-up $4 million capital campaign (2002-present).

Active in the YMCA “Indian Guides/Indian Princesses” program for young boys and girls and their fathers, 1980-84; service as Chief of the Husky Nation, 1982-84.

President of the Georgetown Club of Washington, 1980-86; member of the Club’s Executive Committee, 1986-2000. Service to Georgetown Alumni Association as member of Board of Directors, 1977-80; alumni Senator since 1980. Chair, Georgetown Alumni Admissions Interviewing Program (Western/Central Washington), 1975-2000; member, AAP Board of Advisors, 1997-2000.

Service to St. Thomas More Society of Seattle, 1992-1999; President, 1993-1995.

Active in S.Y.S.A./Emerald City F.C. Premier League “select” youth soccer programs (1987-1999). Traveled to Kobe and Tokyo, Japan with Boys U-13 team (Emerald City Wings, Asst Mgr) for “International Soccer Tournament for Boys” (August 1989), 8-nation tournament (5th place); traveled to St-Egreve (Grenoble), France with Boys U-15 team (AFC Seattle, Mgr) for 7th “Tournei St-Egreve” (May 1993), 6-nation tournament (1st place).

Phil Cutler – Full CV – PDF Version

Revised June 2012

Philip E. Cutler

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