Peter Ehrlichman
PEOPLE

Peter Ehrlichman

Partner
ehrlichman.peter@dorsey.com

Overview

PETER APPLIES HIS 40 YEARS OF TRIAL EXPERIENCE IN HELPING TO RESOLVE COMPLEX FINANCIAL, COMMERCIAL AND BUSINESS PROBLEMS. PETER SERVES AS THE LAW FIRM'S CO-CHAIR OF ITS NATIONAL BANK INDUSTRY GROUP, ASSISTING IN ORGANIZING OVER 250 ATTORNEYS FIRM-WIDE TO BETTER PROVIDE SUPERIOR LEGAL SERVICES TO THE NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL BANKING COMMUNITY.

Peter is a partner and senior member of the Seattle Trial practice and serves as co-chair of the Banking Industry Group. His practice is focused on complex litigation, including in the areas of securities, financial services, real estate, general commercial and trusts and estates. Peter has substantial experience defending class actions. In addition to working with companies and individuals from Washington and Oregon, Peter has represented clients throughout the United States. He serves as the relationship partner for Porch.com, Inc.

Peter has extensive trial and arbitration experience during his 40 years as a trial attorney, including having successfully defended a four-week securities fraud jury trial in federal court brought by the Securities & Exchange Commission, and a 17 day arbitration involving multimillion dollar breach of contract and tort claims. In the financial services area, Peter has defended banks in multiple suits, including involving corporate trust and fraud claims.

Peter served as chair of the Dorsey & Whitney Seattle Trial group, and has served in a variety of bar leadership positions, including as a member of the state bar association's board of governors, member of the ABA House of Delegates, state co-chair of the American Bar Foundation Fellows (receiving the 2011 Outstanding State Chair award), and as an elected trustee of the King County Bar Association Board of Trustees. He is recognized for litigation in Chambers USA, in The Best Lawyers In America in several litigation categories (securities, general commercial, employment, IP and real estate), as “AV Preeminent®” rated by Martindale-Hubbell and has been recognized as a “Super Lawyer” by Washington Law & Politics since inception (including Top 10, and Top 100 rankings).

Peter was appointed in 2012 as Deputy Monitor of the Seattle Police Department of the Consent Decree entered into by the City of Seattle and the Department of Justice (U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, Cause No. 2:12-cv-01282-JLR).

Education & Admissions

Stanford Law School (J.D., 1975)

Stanford University (B.A., 1972)

Admissions

  • Washington
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Courts

Experience

Representative Litigation

Peter has tried numerous significant cases to verdict or decision, including a recent four-week federal securities fraud trial, a 17-day trial in Oregon (settled before judgment), as well as a 14-day contested arbitration.

Representative cases include the following:

Financial and Securities Litigation

  • SEC v. Path America, LLC, et al, and Lobsang Dargey.  Defend Dargey and related entities involving EB-5 related 10(b)(5) and 17(a) securities claims. (W.D. Washington, 2016) (Pending.) 
  • Chi Chen et al v. U.S. Bank National Association, Quartzburg Gold L.P., et al. Defend U.S. Bank in two EB-5 related suits asserting securities and other claims.  (USDC Utah, 2015) (Pending.)
  • SEC v. Fuhlendorf. Defended CFO in 10b-5 suit, tried before jury during a four week trial, resulting in a hung jury. Favorably settled (no money involved) before retrial. Also settled related class action. (W.D. Washington, 2011)
  • Norton v. U.S. Bank et al. Currently defending bank against multi-million dollar fraud claims arising out of alleged ponzi scheme involving real estate in Peru. (King County Superior Court, WA, 2012)
  • Defended large financial institution in FINRA arbitration involving auction rate securities (Settled.)
  • U.S. Bank v. Eel River Investment Company.  Successfully commenced recovery action against Eel River entities in U.S. District Court (W.D. Washington, 2009) 
  • Merton McGrew v. Northwestern Trust, et al.  Defended U.S. Bank in a class action involving Partners Mortgage bankruptcy.  Settled on favorable terms. (King County Superior Court, 2005)
  • In re Charter Communications Inc. Securities Class Action.  These securities cases were consolidated in the U.S. District Court of the E.D. Missouri.  We were co-counsel for Paul Allen, chairman of the Board of Charter.  (USDC E.D. Mo.)
  • Hill v. BDO Seidman LLP, et. al.  Represented national accounting firm in securities case arising out of bankruptcy of its audit client. (USDC W.D. Wash.)
  • Midcom Communications Inc. Securities Litigation.  One of the first class actions brought locally under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, alleging misrepresentations in a recent IPO and interim reports, and involving 1933 and 1934 securities acts and state law claims. We obtained a dismissal order in favor of all defendants, and the case ultimately settled on favorable terms. (USDC W.D. Wash.)
Health Law and Litigation
  • Providence and Swedish Medical Center. Certificate of Need litigation involving acute care bed application for Seattle provider. (2014)
  • Swedish Medical Center.  Certificate of Need litigation involving the Washington Department of Health's denial of CON for Issaquah Hospital and other facilities.  Obtained reversal of Health Law Judge's decision denying certificate of need (Judge Bruce Hilyer, King County Superior Court, 2007); obtain Dept. of Health and Health Law approval of hospital after judge's additional adjudicative proceedings and appeals. (2008)
  • Swedish Medical Center. adv. University of Washington Medical Center Certificate of Need litigation involving Liver Transplant CN. Obtain 9-0 decision from the Washington State Supreme Court affirming Health Law Judge's decision to grant Certificate of Need and reversing Thurston County Superior Court decision. (June, 2008)
  • MultiCare Health Systems, Inc.  Involved in a variety of Certificate of Need proceedings, including Gig Harbor ASC. 
  • UnitedHealth Group. Involved in a variety of representations including in U.S. District Court for Oregon.

Complex Corporate, Commercial and Intellectual Property Litigation

  • Bern Unlimited v. Smith Sport Optics (USDC, Mass., 2015) Trade dress case involving snow/bike helmets. (Dismissed claims against client on summary judgment)
  • Smith Sport Optics v. Oakley (USDC, Idaho, 2012) Design and utility patent claims involving sunglasses and helmets. (Settled following mediation)
  • Mike Kent and Mark Zehner v. FirstService Real Estate Advisors, Inc. et al. Commercial Litigation. Plaintiffs sued Colliers seeking a substantial percentage of ownership interest in the company. We obtained a summary judgment dismissal order of all claims and recovered all attorneys fees and costs for our client.
  • Midbrook Flowerbulb Holland B.V. v. Holland America Bulb Farms, Inc. Foreign Judgment Collection Case. We successfully obtained Federal Court recognition of a multimillion dollar Dutch judgment obtained by client Midbrook Flowerbulb Holland B.V. under the Uniform Foreign-County Money Judgments Recognition Act. We obtained a summary judgment order recognizing the judgment in a contested proceeding, including the principal amount owed, plus all applicable interest. Collection efforts are under way. (USDC W.D. Wash, 2014)
  • Hartman v. Comcast Business Communications. (USDC, W.D. Washington) Defended class action involving alleged violations of TCPA and state ADAD statutes. (Settled)
  • Baron v. Direct Capital Corp. (USDC WD WA 2009) Defend class action involving alleged violations of ADAD and TCPA/“Robo Call” federal and state statutes. (Settled)
  • B-Line Holdings, L.L.C., et al. v. William S. Weinstein, et al. (Multnomah County Circuit Court, Oregon, 2009). Represented one of the leading purchasers and servicers of consumer bankruptcy accounts in a complex, multi-million dollar, multi-party lawsuit involving corporate control, contractual drag-along rights, legal malpractice, and breach of fiduciary duty claims. (Settled on favorable terms)
  • CMN, Inc. dba Colliers International v. Colliers Property Consultants, Inc. Delaware Chancery Court. (2007)  Suit against board for breach of fiduciary duties resulting in favorable corporate governance reorganization.
  • SSI v. Matsuda.  A case brought by one Japanese company against our Japanese client Sourcenext, dismissed on forum non conveniens grounds, and affirmed by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Pacific Market International v. The Thermos Company.  Tried a 7-day jury trial to verdict in a Lanham Act action. 
  • Simpson Manufacturing Co. v. Commins Manufacturing Co.  Representing the defendant in trade secret and contract claims including rights to patented construction (tie-down) device.  Settled on favorable terms.  (USDC N.D. Calif.)
  • Ferguson, et. al. v. Riverside School District Number 416, JELD-WEN, Inc., et. al.  This case was filed as a putative class action against the window manufacturer. It involved claims arising out of the construction of a new wing of classrooms at the Spokane area high school, including toxic mold tort claims.  The motion to certify the class was defeated, and the case (along with a companion state court action) ultimately settled following several mediation sessions on very favorable terms in 2003. (USDC E.D. Wash.)
  • In Re Flat Glass Antitrust Litigation.  Represented a national window manufacturing company as plaintiff against national glass manufacturers in price-fixing antitrust action. (USDC W.D. Penn.)
  • Regional Disposal Company v. The County of King. We defended the County regarding a public procurement process in which King County contracted with RDC (Rabanco) to receive CDL. RDC received substantial amounts of CDL, but sought millions of dollars from the County in “lost profits.”  The case was successfully settled in mediation for an amount substantially less than originally authorized by the King County Council. (King County Superior Court)
  • In Re Residential Doors Antitrust Litigation.  A MDL antitrust/price fixing class action brought against a large national door manufacturing company and other national door manufacturers following a Department of Justice investigation in the door industry. Following intense two years of litigation, the case settled on extremely favorable terms. (USDC E.D.Penn.)
  • ATL Ultrasound v. General Electric Co.  A nondisclosure case brought against GE Medical Systems attempting to preclude officer in sales from working at GEMS; injunction avoided. (King County Superior Court)
  • Fuddruckers v. Flakey Jakes.  Suit for infringement of trade dress and Lahnam Act claims (successfully defended). (USDC E.D. Wash.) 
  • In re Sea Galley Stores, Inc. and Flakey Jakes, Inc.  Defended franchisor in series of suits involving franchisees' claims involving unsuccessful development of national chain of Flakey Jakes restaurants. (King County Superior Court)

Trust and Estate Litigation

  • In his trust litigation and estate litigation practice, Peter has represented parties in cases involving will contests, lost wills, and disputes over trust accountings; trustees and successor trustees in defending claims for breaches of fiduciary duties and failure to account; successor trustees in prosecuting claims for breaches of fiduciary duty and imprudent investments; and personal representatives and heirs in probate litigation, including defending against the removal of personal representative.

News & Resources

Articles

Co-Author, “How defendants can combat the 'reptile strategy' (and its ilk),” Inside Counsel
SEC to Require Admissions of Fault to Settle Certain Cases
Law and Litigation: Shadow Juries Increasingly Guide Complex Cases
"The Dangers of Interstate Telemarketing," Phone + Magazine

News & Press Mentions

Benchmark Litigation Recognizes 16 Dorsey Lawyers
13 Dorsey Lawyers in Seattle Selected for Inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2018
Super Lawyers Recognizes 18 Dorsey Lawyers in Seattle
Chambers USA 2017 Recognizes Dorsey Lawyers and Practice Groups in Seattle
Chambers USA 2017 Recognizes Dorsey Lawyers and Practices
Benchmark Litigation Recognizes 17 Dorsey Lawyers
11 Dorsey Lawyers in Seattle Selected for Inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2017
Benchmark Litigation Recognizes 15 Dorsey Lawyers
Super Lawyers Recognizes 14 Dorsey Lawyers in Seattle
Chambers USA 2016 Recognizes Dorsey Lawyers and Practice Groups in Seattle
Chambers USA 2016 Ranks Dorsey Lawyers and Practices
Dorsey Partner Peter Ehrlichman Comments on EB5 Suit
Dorsey Partner Peter Ehrlichman Comments on EB-5 Suit
Benchmark Litigation Recognizes 15 Dorsey Lawyers
9 Dorsey Lawyers in Seattle Selected for Inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2016
Super Lawyers Recognizes 13 Dorsey Lawyers in Seattle
Chambers USA 2015 Recognizes Dorsey Lawyers and Practice Groups in Seattle
Dorsey & Whitney Represents Porch.com, Inc. in Preferred Stock Offering
Benchmark Litigation Recognizes 17 Dorsey Lawyers
11 Dorsey Seattle Lawyers Selected for The Best Lawyers in America® 2015 and Best Lawyers of the Year
Super Lawyers Recognizes 20 Dorsey Lawyers in Seattle
Chambers USA 2014 Recognizes Dorsey Lawyers and Practice Groups in Seattle
Chambers USA 2014 Ranks Dorsey Lawyers and Practices
“Q&A with Merrick Bobb: SPOG Chats with Federal Consent Decree Monitor,” The Guardian (a publication of the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild), August 2013
12 lawyers in the Firm’s Seattle office named Super Lawyers™ and six named Rising Stars by Washington Super Lawyers

Select Presentations

Speaker at Continuing Legal Education seminars, industry group seminars and radio on securities, litigation, intellectual property and employment issues, including:

  • Speaker, University of Washington School of Law, “Important Issues in Trade Secret Litigation,” January 2016
  • Speaker at Investment Advisors: Best Practices in Securities Enforcement and Litigation (The Seminar Group), speaking on the topic: “Litigating with the SEC,” May 23, 2013
  • Speaker at “Real Estate Mortgage Market Litigation,- Ethical Considerations for Lawyers Practicing in the Real Estate Mortgage Market” Seattle, WA, February 2010 (The Seminar Group CLE)
  • WSBA - "High Profile Cases: Experience the Cases with the Lawyers Who Tried Them Seminar," Seattle, WA, December 2008
  • KIRO News Radio 710, Dori Monson Show. Commentary on Sonics Litigation. May, 2008
  • Chair and speaker at "Rules of Evidence," Seattle, WA, May 2008 (Lorman CLE)
  • WSBA – "The New Rules for Business Litigators," Seattle, WA, November 2007
  • King County Bar Association (KCBA) Ethics Workout: "Overview of Committee Mandate and Work Product: The Initial Assignment," King County Bar Association, Seattle, WA, December 2006
  • Organized and chaired the all-day CLE sponsored by the Washington Bar Association (WSBA) generally entitled "50 Ways to Lose your Client: Pitfalls Every Business Lawyer Should Avoid,"  October 2006
  • The New Rules of Professional Conduct, WSBA, Sept. 18, 2006 speaking about "Information Relating to Representation."
  • WSBA - "Ethics with Ease: Ethics for Business Lawyers," Seattle, WA, December 2004
  • WSBA - "Ethics in the Courtroom," Young Lawyers Division, Seattle, WA, November 2004
  • King County Bench Bar Conference: "Practicing in a World of Change (Early Mediation)," KCBA, Seattle, WA, November 2004
  • WSBA - 24th Annual Northwest Securities Institute - "Ethics, Reporting Up and Other Developments," February 2004.
  • "WSBA - Ethics 2004 Committee," General Counsel Forum, November 2003 
  • "Ethics in the Courtroom," Washington Young Lawyers Division Trial Advocacy Program, November, 2003
  • "Selected Topics on Securities Enforcement From a Trial Lawyer's Perspective," PWC Roundtable, October 2003
  • "Protecting Trade Secrets," 6th Annual Intellectual Property Institute, March 2001

Industries & Practices

Securities & Financial Services Litigation & Enforcement
  • Banking
  • Class Action Litigation
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Corporate Trust Services
  • FinTech
  • Health Care
  • Health Litigation
  • Intellectual Property Litigation
  • Products Liability
  • Real Estate & Land Use
  • Securities & Financial Services Litigation & Enforcement
  • Telephone Consumer Protection Act
  • Trusts & Estates Litigation

Professional & Civic

Professional Achievements

  • American Bar Association
      • Delegate to the House of Delegates, 2006 – 2010
      • ABF, Life Fellow; Co-Chair for Washington State, Fellows of the American Bar Foundation, 2006 – 2013
      • ABA, Member, Litigation & Intellectual Property Sections; Member, Securities Litigation Committee
      • ABA Forum on Franchising, Member, 2007 – present
  • Washington State Bar Association
      • Board of Governors, 1994–1997
      • Chair, Board of Governors Discipline Committee, 1995–1997
      • Chair, Board of Governors Ad-Hoc Litigation Committee, 1995–1997
      • Chair, Ad-Hoc Discipline Oversight Committee, 1997
      • Member, Committee for the Evaluation of the Rules of Professional Conduct - 2003–2004
      • Member, Blue Ribbon Committee to Define the Practice of Law, 1999–2001
  • King County Bar Association
      • Trustee of the Board, 2009-2012
      • Representative to ABA House of Delegates, 2006-2010
      • King County Bar Foundation, Trustee 2002-2009; Past Chair, Breakfast with Champions; Executive Committee
  • Washington State
      • Governor-Attorney General Risk Management Task Force; Member, 2001–2002
      • Washington Attorney General’s Committee to Review Tort Division, Member, 2002–2003
  • Federal Bar Association (W.D. Washington)
  • Washington State Society of Healthcare Attorneys
  • Arts Fund, Board Member, 2009–2014

Accolades

Ranked in USA Chambers 2017 Leading Individual  Ranked In - USA Chambers and Partners 2016 - Leading Individual   Ranked in Chambers USA 2015 - Leading Individual 

  • Named one of “America’s Leading Business Lawyers” by Chambers USA (Litigation: General Commercial), 2014-2017

  • Recognized as a "Local Litigation Star – Washington" (General Commercial, Real Estate, and Securities) by Benchmark Litigation, 2013-2018   
  • Named as a "Highest Possible Rating in Both Legal Ability & Ethical Standards" by Martindale-Hubbell®, 2018 
  • Rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell®
  • Included in Best Lawyers in America© for Commercial Litigation, Litigation - Intellectual Property, Litigation - Labor & Employment, Litigation- Real Estate, and Litigation - Securities, 2007-2018
  • Listed as a Washington Super Lawyer, 2000-Present; including "Top 10" and "Top 100 Super Lawyers" ratings 
  • Who’s Who in American Law, 1994-Present
  • National Registry of Who’s Who, 2000-Present
Peter Ehrlichman