Randall T. Thomsen

Randall T. Thomsen

Partner

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

Randall Thomsen has a well-deserved reputation as a creative litigator, handling complex cases in state and federal courts. He has successfully litigated cases on a wide-variety of topics, including business and shareholder disputes, claims against governmental entities, breach of contract actions, class action suits, claims involving real property, personal injury actions (including claims for wrongful death), antitrust actions, and employment disputes.  Randall represents both plaintiffs and defendants.

Washington Law and Politics magazine has selected Randall as a “Super Lawyer” annually since 2012. Benchmark Litigation also has identified him as a top Washington lawyer describing him as a “local litigation star.”  Randall is a fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America.

He previously served on the Washington State Bar Association's Judicial Review Committee and was a member of the Lewis Powell Chapter of the Inns of the Court. He is a graduate of Gonzaga University, where he received his undergraduate and law degrees. While at Gonzaga he was member of Gonzaga's national debate team and, during law school, received the prestigious Thomas More Scholarship granted to those with outstanding academic achievement and displaying a commitment to public service. Randall also has a Master's Degree in Public Administration from the University of Washington's School of Public Affairs. Randall joined the firm in 1997 after serving as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Dennis J. Sweeney of the Washington State Court of Appeals. 

The following is a small but representative list of Randall's recent engagements. He would be happy to provide a complete list of significant cases.

Randall, along with other firm’s lawyers, represented 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.  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.

Randall, along with other firm’s lawyers, is currently defending Snohomish County in six consolidated lawsuits arising from the March 2014 Oso Landslide in which 43 people were killed.  The lawsuits involve over forty plaintiffs that assert claims against the County for wrongful death, personal injury and property damage.  In the first consolidated lawsuit, the trial court dismissed all claims by all plaintiffs against the County. Plaintiffs have appealed the dismissals and the case currently is pending in the Washington State Court of Appeals.  The second consolidated lawsuit is stayed pending the outcome of the appeal.

Randall successfully represented the State of Washington in a class action lawsuit involving over 100,000 class members and $7 billion in claims.  Class members alleged that the Legislature’s repeal of a cost-of-living adjustment for State employees under the State’s pension system was an unconstitutional impairment of contracts.  The superior court granted summary judgment in favor of the class members, and the State successfully obtained direct review of the superior court’s decision.  In an unanimous 9-0 opinion, the Supreme Court reversed the superior court’s decision and held that the Legislature’s repeal of the cost-of-living adjustment was constitutional.

Randall defended King County against $250 million in claims by regional water and sewer districts relating to the operation and funding of the County's Wastewater Treatment Division. After a six-week trial in Pierce County Superior Court, the Court ruled in favor of King County. The Washington Supreme Court affirmed the decision in King County's favor in a unanimous opinion.

Randall defended the Port of Seattle against claims by taxpayers seeking to invalidate the Port's $81 million purchase of the Eastside Rail Corridor in 2009. Plaintiffs alleged that the purchase was outside the Port's authority and a misuse of public funds. After extensive discovery, the trial court denied class certification. The trial court then dismissed all of the plaintiffs' substantive claims on summary judgment. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's decision in a unanimous opinion.

Randall defended an owner of one of the region's largest data centers against claims asserted by a Fortune 500 company for fraud and breach of contract in a claim in excess of $200 million. After considerable discovery and motion practice, the case was successfully resolved with plaintiff dismissing the claims and agreeing to abide by the terms of the lease agreement.

Randall defended an Internet entrepreneur against a $460 million business fraud claim. The case was resolved by a nominal settlement during trial, following a series of successful summary judgment motions that dismissed virtually all of the plaintiff's claims.

Randall defended an owner of a large regional shopping mall in Spokane County against claims brought by a national Real Estate Investment Trust alleging fraud and negligent misrepresentations in the sale of the shopping mall in a $120 million transaction. The claims were successfully dismissed by way of summary judgment before trial.

Randall represented the State of Washington in two companion lawsuits brought by a sitting Washington State Supreme Court justice. One action involved a claim under Washington's Public Disclosure Act and the second sought indemnification for attorneys fees incurred by the justice in defending against a disciplinary proceeding. The State prevailed by summary judgment in both actions at the trial court. At both the Court of Appeals and the Washington Supreme Court, the appellate courts affirmed the superior courts' decisions in all material respects.

Randall also has been involved in a number of precedent-setting published decisions, including cases at the Washington State Supreme Court, Washington Court of Appeals, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

A few of Randall's published decisions include Washington Educ. Ass’n v. Dept. of Ret. Sys., 181 Wn.2d 212, 332 P.3d 428 (2014) (unanimous Supreme Court opinion holding legislature’s repeal of cost-of-living adjustment not an unconstitutional impairment of contract rights); Cedar River Water & Sewer District v. King County, 178 Wn.2d 763, 315 P.3d 859 (2013) (unanimous decision dismissing claims in excess of $250 million against provider of regional wastewater services); Lane v. Port of Seattle, 178 Wn. App. 110, 316 P.3d 1070 (2013) (affirming summary judgment dismissal of claims against Port district related to acquisition of railroad corridor); Gorlick Distribution Centers, LLC v. Car Sound Exhaust, LLC, 723 F.3d 1019 (9th Cir. 2013) (dismissing antitrust claims against auto parts distributor based on allegation of distributors receipt of favorable prices from exhaust manufacturer); Honorable Richard Sanders v. State of Washington, 169 Wn.2d 827, 240 P.3d 120 (2010) (affirming trial court's dismissal of Public Records Act claims asserted by Supreme Court justice against Washington State Attorney General's office); Honorable Richard Sanders v. State of Washington,166 Wn.2d 164, 207 P.3d 1245 (2009) (finding no entitlement to indemnification for attorneys fees incurred by Supreme Court justice charged with ethical violations involving acts outside the scope of a judge's official duties); Strain v. West Travel, Inc.,117 Wn. App. 251, 70 P.3d 158 (2003) (holding that the federal 'Fair Labor Standards Act' preempted Washington's 'Minimum Wage Act' in class action lawsuit by cruise employees for overtime wages); Professional Marine Co. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyds,118 Wn. App. 694, 77 P.3d 658 (2003) (holding that assignee of default judgment was entitled to maintain claim against Lloyd's of London for policy benefits provided to insured); Fluke Corp. v. Hartford Accident & Indem. Co., 145 Wn.2d 137, 34 P.3d 809 (2001) (holding that Washington's public policy against awarding punitive damages does not bar insurability of punitive damages awarded in California lawsuit against manufacturer); and Sabey v. Howard Johnson & Co., 101 Wn. App. 575, 5P.3d 730 (2000) (holding that common law right of indemnity existed for individual incurring liability to Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation because of actions of actuary).

Randall also is the author of "Tort Claims and Judgments as Debts for 'Willful and Malicious Injury' Nondischargeable Under Section 523(a)(6) of the Bankruptcy Code," 100 Commercial Law Journal 498 (1995) and "Washington State Property Tax Foreclosures," 32 Gonzaga Law Review 123 (1996/97).

Education

Gonzaga University
J.D., magna cum laude, Thomas More Scholar, Member of Law Review, Winner of Linden Cup, 1995

University of Washington
M.A. Public Administration, 1992

Gonzaga University
B.A. Political Science; B.A. Speech Communication, Member of National Debate Team, cum laude, 1990



Experience

Clerk for Chief Judge Dennis J. Sweeney
Wash State Court of Appeals, 1995 – 1997

Harrigan Leyh Farmer and Thomsen LLP
1997 – Present

Harrigan Leyh Farmer & Thomsen LLP

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