Roger Townsend is a respected complex litigation attorney who has practiced in Seattle since 1995. Mr. Townsend has represented individuals and businesses in a wide variety of matters, including partnership, breach of contract, intellectual property, privacy rights, commercial disputes, professional malpractice, shareholder oppression, employment, non-compete, trade secret, and related matters. Mr. Townsend is frequently engaged as local counsel in federal and state courts.
Mr. Townsend is active in public service. He is a past President of the Federal Bar Association for the Western District of Washington and has been appointed to represent the Western District of Washington as a Ninth Circuit Lawyer Representative. Mr. Townsend has served as a city councilmember, volunteers for a free civil rights legal clinic, founded a program introducing students to Constitutional principles, and regularly moderates and coordinates panels for continuing legal education and emerging issues in the legal profession.
Protecting the Whistleblower
Making a decision to be a whistleblower can put your financial well-being and career at odds with what is morally right.
I made a moral choice to report my government employer for illegal activity and it quickly cost me my career. I was fortunate to get help from Roger and Cindy at BJT legal. They represented me aggressively and brought the full weight of their legal team to bear on my former employer. Without their help and guidance a positive outcome would have been difficult. I recommend BJT in the strongest terms if you have been wrongfully terminated.
One of the Good Guys
Roger Townsend took over our case after it was already under way. Our situation was a fairly complicated mess of poorly written contracts and drama. Roger got up to speed quickly and got things under control. Opposing counsel was aggressive to put it mildly, but Roger stayed positive and in good humor, helping us not to be provoked. We were probably more involved than the typical client, but Roger was good at keeping us in the loop and letting us help where possible without shooting ourselves in the foot. Ultimately, we came to a satisfactory settlement in mediation. Roger was a savvy negotiator and led the way to this result. Legal action can drain the life blood out of you, and we hope not to go through it again. If legal action is necessary, you want to get the best experience and humanity. Roger was great on both counts.
Mr. Townsend has represented a variety of businesses in commercial disputes, frequently involving intellectual property and technology issues. He has represented companies and individuals in earnout litigation, trademark disputes, arbitration disputes, copyright infringement matters, and breach of contract cases. Mr. Townsend was co-lead counsel in breach of contract litigation against the bitcoin exchange, Mt.Gox. He is experienced in state and federal courts as well as private arbitration.
Mr. Townsend represents employees at all levels in claims for discrimination, harassment, disability accommodation, wrongful termination, retaliation, wage theft, commission payment, and severance negotiations. He has represented employees who have been discriminated against for their disabilities, denied payment of wages due, failure to pay rest and meal breaks, and retaliated against for whistleblowing. Mr. Townsend has represented employees who have been unlawfully harassed based on their sex, race, or other protected class.
Executive Representation and Partnership Rights
Mr. Townsend represents founders, CEOs, company presidents, and other “C” level executives, partners, investors, and members in negotiations. He has represented multiple senior executives in the establishment and disentanglement of their employment relationship with their companies. Cases include litigation for minority shareholder oppression, injunctive relief to implement corporate rights, non-compete litigation, transition management, and partnership disputes.
Noncompete and Trade Secret Litigation
Mr. Townsend represents employees and companies in litigation related to alleged breaches of noncompete agreements, violations of trade secret laws, and confidentiality agreements. Under Washington law, noncompete agreements are enforceable under certain circumstances. Mr. Townsend has represented employees and companies in a wide array of industries, including intellectual property based industries where confidentiality and ideas are paramount.
Securities and Class Action Litigation
Mr. Townsend serves as lead and local counsel in securities and class action litigation in state and federal court. Recent and ongoing cases include:
Thomas v. AFNI, Inc., King County Superior Court. Represent plaintiff in putative class action for consumer protection act claims arising out of subrogation and collection practices.
Johnston et al v. Fathom Events JV, LLC et al, United States District Court, Western District of Washington. Represent plaintiffs in putative class action alleging violation of the ADA and other accommodation laws related to theater events.
Pisano v. Zulily, Inc., United States District Court, Western District of Washington. Represent plaintiffs in class action alleging breach of fiduciary duty and other derivative claims.
McGlothin v. CTI BioPharma Corp, United States District Court, Western District of Washington. Represent plaintiffs in class action alleging violation of securities laws.
Recent Speaking Engagements and Conferences
Moderator, Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference; Panel, Blockchain how an anonymous invention could change the world, July 2018
Co-Chair, Federal Bar Association, Western District of Washington 2017 CLE Program. Topics included: (i) The Supreme Court’s Personal Jurisdiction Revolution: What It Means and Where It’s Heading; (ii) A Discussion on the Intersection between Public Accommodation Law and Constitutional Rights in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission; and (iii) Strategizing from the Trial Court to the Appellate Court, with Examples from Washington v. Trump.
Co-Chair, Federal Bar Association, 2017 Western District of Washington District Meeting. Topic: The Japanese American Incarceration: Civil Liberties and Upholding the Rule of Law, Then and Now
Co-Chair, Federal Bar Association, Western District of Washington 2016 CLE Program. Topics included: (i) The New Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, One Year In; (ii) Seattle Police Reform and the Consent Decree; and (iii) The Supreme Court in the Wake of the 2016 Election.
Coordinator and Scribner for Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Listening Sessions seeking input from former law clerks to support the Ninth Circuit Committee on Workplace Environment, 2018.
Professional Honors and Affiliations
President, Federal Bar Association, Western District of Washington, 2016-2017
Ninth Circuit Lawyer Representative, Co-Chair Lawyers Coordinating Committee
Named “Super Lawyer” by Washington Law & Politics, 2008 to present
“AV” rated by Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review (highest rating)
AVVO rating: 10.0 (highest rating)
Member, Bainbridge Island City Council, 20132017
Founding Director, Constitution Day, an educational program in the classroom and courtroom teaching students regarding constitutional principles
Volunteer, Federal Civil Rights Clinic, 2006 to present
Law Clerk to the Honorable William L. Dwyer, United States District Judge, Western District of Washington, 19961997
Law Clerk to the Honorable Robert R. Beezer, United States Circuit Judge, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, 19971998
Admissions & Courts
United States Supreme Court
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
United States District Court, W.Dist.Wa.
United States District Court, E.Dist.Wa.
Washington State Courts
Northwestern University School of Law
Wesleyan University B.A., Economics