Kristin Ballinger

Kristin Ballinger

Partner

Phone: (206) 623-1700
Fax: (206) 623-8717
Email: kristinb@harriganleyh.com
Assistant: Florine Fujita

Kristin Ballinger represents individuals, businesses, and governmental entities in a wide variety of complex civil disputes at trial and on appeal. Prior to joining the firm, Kristin served as a law clerk to United States District Judge William L. Dwyer in the Western District of Washington and as a pro tem judge, tried dozens of cases as a criminal prosecutor, and litigated matters small and large at a national commercial law firm.

Kristin graduated from Columbia University School of Law and Whitman College, and now serves on the advisory board of the Huston Camp and Conference Center and is an official with U.S.A. Swimming.

The following is a representative list of Kristin’s recent engagements. Together with her clients and others at the firm, Kristin represented:

  • a Seattle technology company in a five-week jury trial successfully defending against a variety of contract, tort, and statutory claims.

  • Snohomish County from wrongful death, personal injury and property damage claims arising from the March 2014 Oso Landslide in which 43 people were killed. In the trial court, all claims by all plaintiffs against the County were dismissed. Plaintiffs appealed the dismissals and we continue to represent the County at the Washington Court of Appeals.

  • the Upper Skagit Indian Tribe in Lundgren v. Upper Skagit Indian Tribe, argued March 2018 at the United States Supreme Court.  The Tribe hired HLFT after the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that an adverse possession claim could proceed against the Tribe despite its assertion of sovereign immunity from suit.  Working closely with the Tribe’s general counsel, we successfully petitioned the United States Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari, briefed the case on the merits, and prepared for oral argument.

  • the City of Mercer Island in its widely publicized fight to mitigate the impacts of the closure of the center express lanes of I-90, as part of Sound Transit’s expansion of light rail to Seattle’s east side.  The case involved intense litigation in multiple forums, including the state trial court, the Growth Management Hearings Board, the Shorelines Hearings Board, and the State Supreme Court.  After hearings on a diverse range of issues, and just ahead of a hearing on the City's request for an injunction, the City Council accepted a settlement offer of $10.1 million in mitigation payments from Sound Transit.

  • the Port of Seattle in its successful defense of a lawsuit litigated in federal court arising from the Port’s $81 million acquisition of a former rail corridor.  A large group of landowners whose property is adjacent to the corridor sued the Port claiming the Port did not have authority to sell easements in the corridor to Sound Transit, Puget Sound Energy, and King County.  The district court judge granted our motions for summary judgment and the matter is currently on appeal before the Ninth Circuit.

Education

Columbia University School of Law
J.D. 1998, Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar

Whitman College
B.A. 1993, History



Experience

Law Clerk to the Honorable
William L. Dwyer, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington

Litigation Associate, Perkins Coie

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, King and Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney's Offices

Harrigan Leyh Farmer & Thomsen LLP
2013 – Present

Harrigan Leyh Farmer & Thomsen LLP

Since 1986 our firm has provided trusted counsel to a wide range of businesses, public entities, and individuals.