Tyler L. Farmer

Tyler L. Farmer


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

Tyler is regularly identified among the top commercial trial lawyers in the state.

Benchmark Litigation has observed that:

"On the younger end of the generational spectrum, Tyler Farmer is recognized as 'one of the strongest up-and-coming trial lawyers.  Unlike many lawyers of his vintage, he is actually the lead counsel on many cases he's involved in.  Farmer, along with Harrigan, recently tried, and won, a two-week case involving a 40-acre property near downtown Bellevue."

Thus far in 2018, Tyler’s litigation practice has included the following matters:

In January and February 2018, Tyler, together with Tim Leyh and Kristin Ballinger, tried a complex contract claim on behalf of a Seattle technology company. After a five week trial, the jury found in favor of HLFT's client on five of six claims and rejected Plaintiff's claim for over $27 million in damages.  Tyler handled all of the expert witness work in the case and successfully argued against three dispositive motions during trial.

In March 2018, Tyler, together with Art Harrigan, Kristin Ballinger, and John Burzynski, represented the Upper Skagit Indian Tribe in an appeal before the United States Supreme Court.  On May 21, 2018, the Supreme Court ruled in the Tribe’s favor, reversing the Washington State Supreme Court’s ruling against the Tribe.  Additional information about the case is available here

In March – May 2018, Tyler led a team of HLFT attorneys hired to take over the defense of a tech company in post-verdict motion practice following a six week trial in California state court.  The case involved allegations that the firm’s clients took intellectual property of their former employer and used it to build their successful start-up.  In April, Tyler handled a two hour argument in Ventura County Superior Court.  In May, while the plaintiff’s equitable relief motion was pending, the case was resolved at mediation before Antonio Piazza.

Tyler has been identified as a top Washington lawyer by Best Lawyers in America (2018), Benchmark Litigation, and Super Lawyers. Tyler is AV® Preeminent™ rated by Martindale-Hubbell and is an associate fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America.

In the past two years, Tyler has worked with a wide variety of clients to obtain favorable outcomes whether through pre-suit negotiations, full litigation through trial, or appeal. For example, some of his most recent matters include:

In 2017, on behalf of an international consulting firm, Tyler settled a complex breach of contract case after extensive negotiations with the opposing party.  By demonstrating the opposing party’s liability, the firm obtained a full recovery of the fees due under the consulting agreement without incurring the expense and delay of full litigation.

In 2017, on behalf of a private equity firm, Tyler recovered insurance coverage for claims for which the insurer initially had not provided coverage. The recovery was obtained without filing a complaint.

In 2017, Tyler obtained a seven-figure recovery for property damage to commercial real estate harmed by dewatering operations performed in connection with a public works project.  Through pre-suit negotiations and exchanges of expert analysis, the case was settled at mediation before a single deposition without incurring the business distraction and expenses of normal litigation.

In 2016, Tyler tried, and won, a complex case involving fiduciary duty and employment disputes, between co-founders of a tech firm.  The trial victory prevented the opposing party from ousting his co-owner and forcing a buy-out of his shares.

In 2016, Tyler represented a start-up and venture capital firm in a complex eight-figure dispute against one of the largest telecommunications carriers in the country.  Tyler handled 12 of the 13 depositions, which included executives, network engineers, and financial damages experts.  The case was successfully resolved at mediation in San Francisco shortly before trial.

In 2016, Tyler defended a private equity firm against claims for constructive eviction arising from a construction project.  The claims were successfully resolved by demonstrating the absence of any legal basis for asserting the claims through pre-suit negotiations.

In 2016, Tyler represented a Fortune 100 energy company in lawsuit against municipal entities and contractors to recover for property damage caused by construction activities; successfully resolved at mediation, including recovery of majority of attorneys’ fees.

In 2016, Tyler represented a Taiwan-based technology company in a complex patent dispute with a Seattle-based technology firm. The dispute was resolved on favorable terms. 

In 2015 – 2016, Tyler has served as lead counsel in cases throughout the country, including California (class action, trade practices, cybersquatting), Colorado (real estate investment dispute), Georgia (class action), Illinois (class action), Minnesota (class action), Mississippi (Fair Credit Reporting Act), New Jersey (Internet content), Nevada (representing creditor in bankruptcy proceedings), Oklahoma (Communications Decency Act), South Carolina (Fair Credit Reporting Act), Virginia (class action), and Washington.

Tyler handles contract negotiation covering a broad range of matters.  He also counsels clients on data security and privacy issues, including responses to government investigations and inquiries relating to data security.  His regulatory investigation experience includes multiple Federal Trade Commission matters.  Tyler has presented internal investigation results before the Securities and Exchange Commission, the FTC, and boards of directors.

Tyler is regularly retained by technology companies, real estate investors, and entrepreneurs to protect their interests in litigation and complex negotiations.

The following is a representative list of some of Tyler's recent engagements organized by Complex Litigation, Corporate Governance (including shareholder disputes), and Internal Investigations.

Complex Litigation / Negotiations, including technology, real estate, and class action defense

Since 2013, Tyler has represented property owners throughout the Puget Sound region on a range of issues, including condemnation proceedings, construction impact litigation, insurance coverage disputes, tenant disputes, and joint ventures.

In 2014 -16, Tyler represented a Taiwan based technology company in a patent licensing / IP development dispute.  The matter was settled on favorable terms following mediations in San Francisco and Seattle.

In 2014-15, Tyler represented the owner of a Bellevue high rise in a multimillion dollar dispute arising from an elevator modernization contract.  The matter was resolved on favorable terms, including recovery of attorneys' fees, without filing a lawsuit.

In 2013 - 2014, Tyler was lead counsel in defense of a putative nationwide class action alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA") against a Seattle area technology company.  After obtaining dismissal of half of the plaintiff's claims on a motion to dismiss, we resolved the case at mediation while the parties' cross motions for summary judgment were pending.

In 2013 - 2014, Tyler represented Epson against antitrust claims alleging a price fixing conspiracy involving LCD products. Successfully settled before trial.

In 2013 - 2014, Tyler represented an individual defendant executive in a putative class action alleging violation of Washington State's wage and hour laws; the claims were dismissed after defeating class certification.

Since 2008, Tyler has represented property owners throughout western Washington in litigation or negotiations incident to condemnation proceedings for large capital works projects.

From 2009 - 2014, Tyler represented Internet companies as lead counsel in state and federal courts throughout the country, successfully defending against individual lawsuits and putative class action claims.

Tyler regularly represents issuers, officers and directors in securities litigation and derivative lawsuits.  Most recently, Tyler obtained a trial court’s ruling that stayed plaintiff’s derivative claims pending the outcome of an internal investigation.  In response, plaintiff voluntarily dismissed the lawsuit.

Together with Tim Leyh, Tyler represented a venture capital firm and early stage telecom company prosecuting claims against former officers and directors for breach of fiduciary duty and fraud. Following a two-week arbitration, the arbitrator found in favor of the company and awarded joint and several damages against the former officers and directors. Tyler handled the closing argument.

In 2011 - 2012, Tyler defended a technology company against a putative nationwide class action regarding apps from the iPhone App Store and Android Market. The trial court dismissed plaintiff's claims without leave to amend.

As lead counsel, Tyler obtained dismissal of a putative state wide class action based on plaintiff’s allegation that an Internet company’s sale of information violated Missouri law.

As lead counsel, Tyler obtained dismissal of a putative nationwide class action alleging that an Internet company’s sale of database information violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).  The case was resolved for a nominal amount while the appeal was pending.

Together with Art Harrigan, Tyler defended against a putative class action concerning an Internet website's marketing practices. Following focused discovery on the authenticity of the underlying webpages, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia dismissed the plaintiff's claims with prejudice.

Together with Art Harrigan, Tyler defended an Internet company against securities fraud and breach of contract claims brought by the former majority shareholder of an acquired company.  After extensive discovery and motion practice, the claims were settled on a favorable basis at mediation.

Tyler defended a Japan based technology joint venture against tort and breach of contract claims seeking $5 million in business interruption damages arising from the attempted repair of a step-up energy transformer. The case was successfully resolved at mediation following extensive oral argument on the defendant's motion for judgment on the pleadings.

Together with Tim Leyh and Randall Thomsen, Tyler represented King County in connection with substantial losses during the financial crisis to its Investment Pool, which holds funds for various local governments and agencies. The firm advised the County's Investment Advisory Board and the County Council on a series of code and policy changes to respond to the crisis.

As lead counsel, Tyler obtained dismissal of defamation, privacy, and related claims against an Internet client in a case in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed the trial court's ruling.

As lead counsel, Tyler successfully resolved a putative nationwide class action against a technology company.  Tyler obtained dismissal of half of the plaintiff’s claims on a motion to dismiss and resolved the suit following extensive discovery while summary judgment motions were pending.

Together with Art Harrigan, Tyler obtained an order requiring partition by sale of a 40-acre parcel near downtown Bellevue.  The case included a two-week trial with several expert witnesses and extensive proceedings before a panel of court-appointed referees.  The trial court’s ruling was reversed on appeal. 

Tyler has handled a broad range of real estate litigation, including representing property owners in complex condemnation proceedings, commercial lease disputes, and disputes arising from purchase and sale agreements.

Corporate Governance Matters and Shareholder Disputes

Represented majority shareholder in breach of fiduciary duty claims based on the discovery extensive self-dealing and corporate waste by the founding (selling) officers and directors of the company. After a two-week arbitration, we prevailed on fiduciary duty claims and reached settlements that included return of cash and shares to our client.

Represented co-founder and shareholder in lawsuit arising from attempted ouster from closely held company; after four-day trial, we obtained a ruling reversing the purported termination of our client’s employment and affirming the authority of the Board of Directors in management of the Company’s affairs.

Represented 50% owner of Seattle area media and advertising firm in negotiations with fellow 50% shareholder regarding management and corporate governance disputes. Represented company in breach of fiduciary case involving claims arising from self-dealing by 49%-unit holder in connection with client’s supplier in Asia.

Represented minority shareholder in negotiations relating to majority shareholders’ efforts to terminate minority shareholder’s employment at a biotech firm. Negotiated business separation and compensation for client without filing suit.

Represented officer and minority shareholder in negotiations relating to majority shareholder’s competing business and recapitalization event.

Represented individual officer and director defendants in alleged breach of fiduciary duty case arising from allegations regarding Company's assets and business practices in China.

Internal Investigations

Represented individual in connection with state and federal investigations regarding allegedly problematic practices at a health care provider.

Advised committee of board in connection with potential conflict of interest transactions involving affiliate companies controlled by officers of the client.

Advised audit committee of publicly traded company in connection with revenue recognition issues and restatement of quarterly financials arising from software licensing activities at client’s Asia sales office.

Represented Internet business in connection with Federal Trade Commission inquiry into data collection, sales, handling, including proceedings in Washington, D.C.

Represented Internet company in connection with state attorneys’ general investigation of Internet marketing practices.

Represented consumer reporting agency in response to Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) Civil Investigative Demand regarding data collection practices and compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Represented website operator in connection with Federal Trade Commission enforcement action out of the Commission's San Francisco office.

Represented a technology company in investigation of potential unauthorized access to medical records.

Represented a medical provider in an investigation of unauthorized access to medical records.

Before moving to Seattle, Tyler was an associate in the Washington D.C. and Silicon Valley offices of Jones Day where he handled complex litigation and corporate investigations and was on the firm's initial eDiscovery committee.



University of Notre Dame Law School
J.D. cum laude 2000, Notre Dame Scholar, Scholarship Recipient 1997 - 2000

University of Notre Dame
B.A. Government & International Relations 1995.

Fr. Andrew Morrissey Award, 1994.


U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Foreign Litigation, 1998

Jones Day
2000 – 2007

Harrigan Leyh Farmer & Thomsen LLP 
2008 – Present



Harrigan Leyh Farmer & Thomsen LLP

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