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Lish Whitson

Lish Whitson

General Biography
Practice Areas
Business Commercial
Class Action & Mass Tort
Employment Law
Estate Probate Trusts
Governmental & Public Agency
Intellectual Property
Personal Injury
Professional Liability
Real Property
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
Background and Education

Lish Whitson joins JAMS after a 45-year career as a civil trial lawyer, where he represented both plaintiffs and defendants, including individuals, small businesses, corporations, government entities and unions. Mr. Whitson litigated cases involving contract disputes, including business dissolution, condominium and commercial construction disputes; employment disputes; consumer class actions; all types of tort cases, including medical malpractice, motor vehicle accidents, plane crashes, construction accidents and product liability; and insurance disputes regarding general liability coverage as well as medical, disability and commercial coverage. He has also litigated matters involving intellectual property, administrative, antitrust, criminal, defamation, environmental and real property law. 

In addition, Mr. Whitson has served as a mediator and arbitrator for more than 30 years. He has also been asked to serve as arbitrator by agreement of litigants and has served as a court-appointed special master and as a pro tem judge. He is widely respected as a consummate professional, listening to the parties and lawyers on both sides of every matter and fairly and efficiently following the facts.

As an arbitrator, Mr. Whitson calls upon his depth of legal experience and knowledge to reach a reasoned decision based on the law and the facts. As a mediator, he is known for his thorough preparation prior to mediation and for working diligently with the parties to reach a mutually agreeable settlement.

The King County Bar Association awarded Mr. Whitson its 2000 Outstanding Lawyer Award for his work representing women seeking insurance coverage for breast cancer treatment. He has also received its Pro Bono Award in 1993.

All matters below were handled by Mr. Whitson as an attorney.

Representative Matters

  • Business Commercial
      • Breach of contract
      • Ownership disputes
      • Unfair competition
      • Partnership disputes
      • Purchase and sale of businesses
      • Business dissolution/valuation
      • Consumer protection
      • Breach of fiduciary duties of loyalty and care
      • Fraud
  • Class Action & Mass Tort
      • Personally identifiable Information (PII) sold to data-mining companies
      • Video Privacy Protection Act
      • California Customer Records Act
      • California Unfair Competition Law
      • Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act
      • Unauthorized credit card charges for online subscribers
  • Employment Law
      • Wrongful termination and retaliation
      • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and discrimination
      • Failure to accommodate
      • Sexual harassment
      • Sex, race and age-based wage discrimination
  • Estate Probate Trusts
      • Dispute over assets and capacity to execute estate documents
  • Governmental & Public Agency
      • City police and fire departments
      • Washington State Department of Labor & Industries
      • City negligence
  • Insurance
      • UIM and PIP coverage
      • Long-term care insurance policies
      • Life insurance policies
      • Bad faith
      • Health insurer denial of coverage
      • Self-insured health benefit plans
  • Intellectual Property
      • Trademark
      • Trade secrets
      • Copyright infringement
      • Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a)
      • Washington's Consumer Protection Act
      • Trade dress and trade name protection
  • Personal Injury
      • Auto, pedestrian, bus, bicycle, motorcycle, golf cart and boat liability
      • Premises liability
      • Negligence
      • Product liability: consumer products, elevators
      • Construction accidents
      • Dram shop
  • Professional Liability
      • Dental and medical negligence and malpractice
      • Lack of informed consent
  • Real Property
      • Trespass
      • Boundary disputes
      • Easements

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

Professional Memberships

  • Board Member and Past President, Western Trial Lawyers Association
  • Current Member, American Bar Foundation and King County Bar Foundation
  • Alumnus, William Dwyer Inn of Court in Seattle
  • Past Board Member and Chair, University of Washington School of Law Alumni Association
  • Past Member, ABA Commission on Women in the Profession (helped found the breast cancer initiatives that are now part of the Health Law Section)
  • Past Member and Chair, ABA Standing Committee on Medical Professional Liability
  • National board Member and Co-Chair, Constitution and Bylaws Committee and the Editorial Board, American Board of Trial Advocates
  • Member, Washington Chapter Executive Committee; Past President, Washington Chapter
  • Member, American College of Trial Lawyers; Member, Sandra Day O’Connor (judicial courage) Committee
  • Member and Past Chair, Alternative Dispute Resolution Section, Washington State Bar; Member, Planning Committee, Northwest Dispute Resolution Conference

Community Involvement

  • Past Board Member and President, Allied Arts of Seattle; Member and Past President, Allied Arts Foundation
  • Past Board Member and President, Downtown Emergency Service Center Board (the largest shelter and advocacy organization for the homeless in the Northwest)
  • Past Board Member, Seattle Youth Symphony; Past Chair, Marrowstone Music Festival
  • Past Member and President, Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center Board (a center devoted to serving disabled children through horseback riding); Member, Little Bit Advisory Board

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Multiple continuing education seminars in Washington state and nationally, as well as in Germany and China
  • Lectured and written extensively on trial practice, evidence, ethics and professionalism, and alternative dispute resolution
  • Faculty of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA) Northwest regional programs in Trial Advocacy and Deposition Practice; past national faculty at the NITA Education Center in Colorado
  • Adjunct faculty in trial advocacy at the University of Washington School of Law

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Outstanding Lawyer of the Year, King County Bar Association, 2000
  • Pro Bono Award, King County Bar Association, 1993
  • Service Recognition Award, University of Washington School of Law Alumni Association
  • Washington Super Lawyers, 2000–present
  • AV Rating, Martindale-Hubbell, 2002–present
  • Marquis Who’s Who, 1985–present
  • American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Litigation Counsel of America
  • American Board of Trial Advocates

Background and Education


  • J.D., University of Washington School of Law
  • B.A., Philosophy, Pennsylvania State University

Work History

  • Lish Whitson, PLLC
  • Stokes Lawrence, P.S.
  • Badgley Mullins Law Group
  • Helsell, Fetterman, Martin, Todd & Hokanson
  • Staff Attorney, Public Defender Association, Seattle
  • United States Peace Corps (serving in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan)


This page is for general information purposes.  JAMS makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness.  Interested persons should conduct their own research regarding information on this website before deciding to use JAMS, including investigation and research of JAMS neutrals. See More

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