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Judge Jeffrey M. Ramsdell

Judge Jeffrey M. Ramsdell (Ret.)

Latest Insights
Upcoming Events
General Biography
Practice Areas
Business Commercial
Class Action & Mass Tort
Construction Defect
Employment Law
Environmental Law
Governmental & Public Agency
Maritime Admiralty
Personal Injury
Professional Liability
Real Property
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
Background and Education

Judge Jeffrey Ramsdell (Ret.) comes to JAMS following a 21-year judicial career on the King County Superior Court.

While on the King County Superior Court, Judge Ramsdell handled cases ranging from class action lawsuits to the intra-family dispute about the legacy of the late Jimi Hendrix. Judge Ramsdell is known for his patience, compassion and sincere desire to achieve a just result, which has earned him the respect of lawyers on both sides of the bar.

Judge Ramsdell brings to JAMS experience that will assist in resolving even the most difficult of cases. His comfort with high-profile and high-conflict cases enables him to be an effective and sympathetic listener while keeping the parties on task to reach resolution. Judge Ramsdell has a reputation of being compassionate when he should be, “no nonsense” when he has to be, and always respectful, which will serve him well as a JAMS neutral.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Conducted mandatory settlement conferences in multiple categories of civil litigation for over 20 years as a judge on the King County
  • Experience as an attorney for the Court of Appeals: Division I and the King County prosecutor’s office
  • Presided over multiple class action lawsuits regarding wrongful discharge, breach of contract, tortious interference, defamation, retaliation, failure to accommodate, whistleblower complaints and covenants not to compete

Representative Matters

  • Business Commercial
      • Heard matters regarding breach of fiduciary duties/class action and breach of contract regarding the issuance of fishing rights shares 
      • Fraudulent transfer, breach of contract, borrower/bank disputes and commercial leases
      • Handled matters regarding the Consumer Protection Act and fraudulent concealment and failure to disclose on Form 17
      • Presided over contract cases regarding legal representation, employment, international shipping and construction and subcontractor services, including claims for outrage and negligent infliction of emotional distress
      • Smith v. Sea Ventures, 96-2-27667-7, 93 Wn.App. 613 (1999): Recovery of corporate assets that were distributed to former shareholders upon dissolution
      • Svensen v. Stock and John L. Scott Realty, 96-2-10174-5, 143 Wn.2d. 546 (2001): Real estate agency’s liability for Form 17 violation when seller failed to disclose water infiltration issue on realtor’s advice
      • Matia Contractors v. City of Bellingham, 07-2-15702-6, 144 Wn.App 445 (2008): Whether the claim filing statute, RCW 4.96.010, applies to all claims for money damages or just those that sound in tort
      • Miller v. One Lincoln Tower, LLC, 04-2-34678-9, unpublished 58030-2-I: Provision limiting buyer’s remedies in real estate purchase contract 
  • Class Action & Mass Tort
      • Presided over class actions regarding wage and hour, working conditions, title insurance and breach of fiduciary duties
      • Handled cases regarding wrongful discharge, breach of contract, tortious interference, defamation, retaliation, failure to accommodate, whistleblower complaints and covenants not to compete
      • Heard matters regarding fraudulent concealment and failure to disclose on Form 17
      • Pugh v. Evergreen Hospital, 10-2-33125-5: Claims for compensation brought by registered nurses for missed rest and meal breaks
      • Howard v. McKinstry Co., 07-2-37189-3: HVAC installers’ claims for overtime and uncompensated travel time
      • Frechin v. King County Dept. of Transportation, 13-2-23545-5: Bus drivers’ claims for uncompensated missed meal periods
  • Construction Defect
      • Handled cases regarding the Washington Condominium Act, breach of warranty of habitability and contract, condos and other building projects
      • Polygon N.W. Co. v. Village II, LLC, 03241367-4: Condominium construction defects and lack of prelitigation notice under chapter 64.50 RCW
      • Kim v. Bayley Construction, Inc., 03-2-27111-0, unpublished 55034-9-I: Application of the “completion and acceptance doctrine”
      • Mill Street Homeowners’ Assoc. v. 510-3, LLC. 05-2-24718-5: Condominium construction defects
      • Tribeca Residential Owners’ Assoc. v. Milliken South Slope, LLC, 08-2-02613-2: Condominium construction defects
  • Employment Law
      • Heard employment security cases dealing with characterization of employees vs. independent contractors and timeliness of filing for benefits
      • Magee v. Rite Aid, 06-2-25454-6, 144 Wn.App. 1 (2008): Former employee’s filing of anti-harassment petition against store manager as notice to employer of industrial insurance claim
      • Network Communication v. Employment Security Dept., 06231920-9, unpublished 60212-8-I: Application of “newsboy” exception under RCW 50.04.240 to employer’s duty to pay unemployment benefits
      • Ngo v. Hearst Corp., 96-2-20107-2, unpublished 42456-4-1: Liability of newspaper company for injuries incurred by plaintiff when he was assaulted while delivering newspapers
      • Lavarias v. Department of Employment Security, 00-2-20986-0, unpublished 48353-6-I: Employee denied unemployment benefits because she was deemed not available for work
  • Environmental Law
      • Handled environmental matters regarding the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) and Condemnation and Land Use Partition Act (LUPA) 
      • Pacific Sound Resources v. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Corp., 02-2-27778-I, 130 Wn.App. 926 (2005): Ruling on the meaning of the phrase “remedial action confirms cleanup standards are met” under MTCA
      • In re the Petition of the Seattle Popular monorail v. HTK Management LLC, 04-2-10035-6, 155 Wn.2d 612 (2005): Monorail condemnation action involving “Sinking Ship” parking garage
  • Estate/Probate/Family Law
      • Presided over undue influence matters
      • Handled family law matters regarding characterization and valuation of parties’ property, distribution of assets and liabilities, parenting plans, child support orders, non-parental custody, relocation and application of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA)
      • In re the Estate of James Allen Hendrix, 02-4-02569-0, unpublished 55711-4-I: Family dispute regarding the estate of Jimi Hendrix’s father and control of the Hendrix music legacy
      • Cohanim v. Cohen 11-3-02353-6, unpublished 68010-2-I: Application of Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) when children were taken from Guatemala and relocated to Seattle
      • Wade v. Wade, 96-3-06251-4: Dissolution with children
      • Hensrude v. Hensrude, 16-3-04689-8: Dissolution involving tracing of assets and the valuation of millions of dollars of assets, including real property, commercial entities and marijuana businesses
      • Kendall v. Kendall, 05-3-01063-4, unpublished 668358-8-I: Modification of child support
  • Governmental & Public Agency
      • Presided over liability of government cases for DUI offenders and violent offenders while on supervision, mental health workers under RCW 71.05.120 and placement of pedestrian road crossing signals
      • Schulte v. Mullen and City of Seattle, 13-2-35695-3, unpublished 72821-1-I: Liability of City for vehicular deaths and injuries caused by City DUI probationer
      • Garcia v. State of Washington Dept. Of Transportation, 03-2-41742-4, unpublished 63689-8-I: Department’s failure to install crosswalk technology as proximate cause of pedestrian’s death
      • Mock v. Dept. of Corrections, 15-2-05471-6, 200 Wn.App 667 (2017). Ruling on whether the Department of Corrections has common law duty to inform sentencing court of offender’s previous community custody violations 
  • Insurance
      • Washington Insurance Fair Conduct Act, bad faith, breach of contract, violation of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA), loss of consortium and scope of health care coverage 
      • S&K Motors Inc. v. Harco National Insurance Co., 08-2-08837-5, 151 Wn.App. 633 (2009): Insurer’s receipt of benefit from third-party recovery prior to insured being fully compensated for loss
      • Kiribati Seafood Co., LLC v. International Specialty Inc., 03-2-20808-6:Claim for wages and costs related to repatriation of stranded crew members
      • Carr v. Blue Cross of Washington and Alaska, 97-2-29620-0, 93 Wn.App. 941 (1999):Plaintiff’s reconstructive surgery following the removal of ruptured silicone breast implant properly classified as covered mastectomy
      • Humphrey v. Swedish Medical Center, 12-2-25691-8: Allegation that uninsured patients were charged excessive fees for emergency room care through contract of adhesion
  • Maritime Admiralty
      • Presided over cases involving Jones Act negligence and unseaworthiness claims
      • Zielinski v. Time Bandit, 15-2-00747-5: Liability for crewman’s hand injury sustained from firework explosion on episode of  the TV show “Deadliest Catch”
      • Townsend v. Foss Maritime Co., 12-2-26697-2: Plaintiff establish negligence per se under the Jones Act by working more than 12 hours in a consecutive 24-hour period
  • Personal Injury
      • Presided over personal Injury and negligence cases regarding construction site injuries and damage, car accidents, slip and fall and wrongful death
      • Heard matters regarding products liability, specifically, airbags, airplane carburetors and helicopter rotors
      • Vargas v. Inland Group, P.S., LLC, 13-2-32219-6: Multiple issues related to control of jobsite where subcontractor sustained severe head injury due to whipping of concrete pouring hose
      • Collins v. Ketchikan, 05-2-15866-2: Painting contractor’s death caused by ignition of paint fumes in confined interior space
      • Carter Robinson Helicopter, 02-2-14957-0: Allegations that tail rotor design contributed to helicopter crash
      • Becker v. Forward Technologies Industries, Inc., 10-2-26593-7: Allegations that faulty carburetor contributed to plane crash  
  • Professional Liability
      • Experience with professional liability cases regarding medical malpractice, specifically thoracic surgery, obstetrics, orthopedics and other health care providers
      • Presided over legal malpractice cases regarding trial practice, representation and billing
      • Marchiaro v. University of Washington, 96-2-27054-7: Claim against UW for medical malpractice in the post–heart surgery death of its former chief of thoracic surgery
      • Lucky Break Wishbone v. Gould, 15-2-14568-1: Bench trial of numerous allegations of malpractice regarding preparation and trial strategy in patent/trademark trial
      • Davis v. Davis, Wright, Tremaine, 97-2-22603-1, 103 Wn.App. 638 (2000): Application of six-year statute of limitations for written contract to legal malpractice claim
  • Real Property
      • Handled easements, restrictive covenants, boundary disputes and adverse possession cases
      • Curtis v. Chinn, 97-2-18025-2, unpublished 44408-5-I: Mother-in-law apartment constructed above garage violated restrictive covenants
      • Bright v. McGrath, 96-2-251119, unpublished 41349-0-I: Application of restrictive covenants provision to a boat slip assignment that encroached on neighbor’s shorelands

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS.

  • President, Washington State Superior Court Judges’ Association (SCJA), 2013–2016
  • Trustee, Superior Court Judges’ Association, 1997–2000
  • Chair, Best Practices Committee, SCJA, 2001–2002
  • Member Bench, Bar Press Committee, 2002–2017
  • Executive Committee, King County Superior Court
  • President, West Point Parents’ Club of Washington State, 2015–2016
  • Member, Washington State Field Force for the West Point Admissions Office, 2017–Present

Background and Education

  • Judge, King County Superior Court, 1997–2018
  • Chief Criminal Judge, King County Superior Court, 2001–2004
  • Chief Judge, Regional Justice Center, King County Superior Court, 2006
  • Judge Pro Tem, Seattle Municipal Court, 1994–1996
  • Staff Attorney, Division I Court of Appeals, 1989–1996
  • Legal Writing Instructor, University of Puget Sound College of Law, 1990–1992
  • Criminal Trial Prosecutor, King County, 1986–1989
  • Law Clerk, Honorable Solie Ringold, 1985–1986
  • J.D., University of Toledo College of Law, magna cum laude, 1985
  • B.A., Gettysburg College, cum laude, 1979


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