Kelly Corr | Corr Cronin Michelson Baumgardner Fogg & Moore LLP
Kelly Corr
kcorr@corrcronin.com
(206) 621-1461

 

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Practice Overview

Mr. Corr was a trial lawyer with more than 40 years of jury trial experience.  His practice was broad ranging, focusing on class actions, products liability and personal injury, professional malpractice, complex commercial litigation, employment litigation, and intellectual property disputes.  He has lectured and written on evidence, depositions, sanctions, injunctions, cross-examining experts, alternative dispute resolution, closing arguments, punitive damages and a variety of other topics in ten states and two countries to thousands of trial lawyers and in-house counsel.

Mr. Corr has been selected a “Super Lawyer” seventeen times by Washington Law & Politics.  Twelve times his peers have voted him among the top ten lawyers in the state in any field of practice.  Four times Washington Law & Politics rated Mr. Corr among the top three lawyers in the state.  In 2011, Mr. Corr was voted as one of the top two lawyers in the state.  In 2015 he was the cover photo and the subject of a feature article.  Click here for the cover and article

Since 1999, he has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America for both business litigation and personal injury.  He has also been named every year in the category of "Bet the Company" litigation.  In 2013, he was selected as Seattle's "Lawyer of the Year" for "Bet the Company" litigation.

For 2014 - 2015, Lawdragon selected Mr. Corr as one of the 500 Leading Lawyers in America.

Chambers USA, 2003-2004, picked Mr. Corr as one of the top three commercial litigators in Washington and wrote “Peers commend Kelly Corr for his ability to obtain favorable results in large, complex court cases.”  In the 2004 Second Edition, Chambers USA again selected Corr as one of the top litigators statewide, stating: “Corr is an outstanding trial lawyer who possesses the demonstrated skill and cases to show for it, acknowledged sources.”  In 2005, Chambers wrote that Mr. Corr is a "bulldog who fights the fight" and is "comfortable handling tough cases."  In 2006 Chambers noted that Mr. Corr is "one of the best attorneys you could go to" and particularly commended him for "conducting a very tight case."  In 2007 Chambers stated that Mr. Corr "has a very pleasant outward demeanor and is easy to get along with.  When you scratch the surface you find an individual who has both a superb trial instinct and a tough courtroom personality.  He is a first-class lawyer through and through."  In 2009, Chambers wrote, "Everything he touches turns to gold."  In 2010, Chambers noted he is "a simply fabulous trial attorney."

In 2003, Seattle Weekly wrote Corr is “known as a tough litigator in complex cases.”  In 2005 and 2006, he was one of only three lawyers in Washington State selected for inclusion in the Guide to the Leading U.S. Litigation Lawyers.  In March 2006, Washington CEO magazine picked Mr. Corr as one of the top ten civil trial lawyers in the state.

Since 2008, Benchmark, in America's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys, has picked Mr. Corr as one of the state's "Local Litigation Stars."  Benchmark wrote Mr. Corr is a "savvy trial attorney" who is "very much a street fighter when he needs to be," and a particular asset in "cases that have a public aspect."

Mr. Corr was named by Seattle Magazine as one of the top five business litigators in Seattle on multiple occasions.

Since 1996, he has been a Fellow of The American College of Trial Lawyers, an invitation-only organization limited to the top one percent of all trial lawyers.  He was the 1995-1996 Chairman of The Network of Trial Law Firms, an international organization of twenty-six trial firms with more than 3,500 attorney members with offices in ninety cities.  Mr. Corr also taught Trial Advocacy at the University of Washington School of Law from 1987 to 1992.

Mr. Corr has been featured on the cover of Washington Law & Politics and the 2015 edition of Washington State Super Lawyers.  Seattle Magazine, Seattle Business Monthly, Washington Super Lawyers 2015  and Washington Journal   have each profiled Mr. Corr.  His cases have been featured in and he has been quoted in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, People magazine, The Seattle Post Intelligencer, The Seattle Times, numerous trade publications and in three books.

Education / Background

  • J.D. with honors, Columbia University School of Law, 1974
  • B.A., cum laude, with honors in economics, Williams College, 1970
  • Assistant United States Attorney (W.D. Wn.), 1974-1976
  • Bogle & Gates, 1976-1999, Co-Chair Litigation Department, 1994-1999

Representative Cases

  • Class Action Jury Trial – Lead defense counsel in a 5-week class action jury trial.  Defense verdict returned for our client.
  • Metropolitan Bankruptcy – Representation of C. Paul Sandifer, former CEO and Chairman of Metropolitan Mortgage.  Metropolitan went bankrupt; more than 10,000 people claim $450 million in losses in SEC action and securities class action.
  • Braam, et al. v. State of Washington – Involved 13 individual plaintiffs seeking to certify a statewide class involving more than 10,000 foster children allegedly “shuttled” among foster homes and denied mental health care.  Damages in excess of $9 million were sought as well as statewide injunctive relief.  Corr Cronin was hired by Washington State’s Attorney General’s office after a competitive interview process.  Co-Counsel in a seven-week class-action jury trial.  Trial court injunction was reversed by the State Supreme Court.  Case recently settled.
  • Legal Malpractice Case – In 2011, successfully defended a Seattle law firm against $5.5 million in claims.  Despite the testimony of two experts that our law firm client had acted negligently and unethically, summary judgment was granted dismissing all such claims with prejudice.
  • Chrysler Dealer Arbitration – Lead counsel for Chrysler in arbitration where a terminated dealer sought renewal.  Dealer's last demand was $1.5 million.  Chrysler totally prevailed at the arbitration trial in 2010.
  • Chapman v. Alaska Airlines, Inc. – Nationally known plaintiff’s counsel brought a class action involving 3.9 million plaintiffs and claims dating back to 1996.  Plaintiff, a frequent flyer, claimed that Alaska Airlines had breached its contract and acted unfairly when it “retroactively devalued” accrued mileage by increasing award levels for free travel in its frequent flyer plan.  After extensive briefing and oral argument, the entire case was dismissed with prejudice.  Lead counsel.
  • Robinson, et al. v. Alamo and National Car Rental Company, et al. – Lead counsel for Alamo and National.  Plaintiffs sought a class action involving thousands of consumers who over a three year period had paid an “airport concession recoupment fee” when renting a car at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.  Instead of granting plaintiffs’ motion for class certification based on Consumer Protection Act violations, the trial court granted defendants' motions for summary judgment and dismissed the entire case.  The Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed the result and the State Supreme Court denied review.
  • Lynn v. Labor Ready, Inc. – Labor Ready hired Mr. Corr to replace one of Seattle's largest firms in defending Labor Ready against a $25 million wrongful death suit brought by the family of a murdered single mother.  The plaintiff alleged that Labor Ready negligently placed the murderer, a level three sex offender, at a YWCA shelter for homeless women, enabling him to meet his victim.  Corr Cronin obtained summary judgment after convincing the judge that no proximate cause existed between Labor Ready's alleged negligence and the mother's death.  Plaintiff's $25 million claim was dismissed in its entirety and that result was affirmed on appeal.
  • Lam Research v. Deshmukh – Lam sued a former PhD engineer who quit and went to Applied Materials.  The case involved dielectric etch in semiconductor chips.  Lam obtained a preliminary injunction in federal court based on the “inevitable disclosure” of trade secrets doctrine.  After the injunction issued, Mr. Corr was hired, appealed to the Ninth Circuit and convinced the Court of Appeals to dissolve the injunction and dismiss the entire case based on choice of law principles.
  • Bradford v. Alaska Airlines – Lead counsel for Alaska Airlines in a case brought by twenty-six flight attendants claiming numerous illnesses due to the alleged systematic release of neuro-toxic organo-phosphates on MD-80 airplanes.
  • Anderson v. Cedar Grove Composting – Co-lead counsel for a putative class action involving twenty-two named plaintiffs and potentially hundreds of other neighbors suing the state’s largest compost facility for personal injuries and property damages.  Class certification was denied and the case later settled for the cost of defense going forward.
  • MarkAir v. Alaska Airlines – Lead counsel for Alaska Airlines.  MarkAir, a competitor of Alaska Airlines, went bankrupt and was liquidated after Alaska Airlines terminated its frequent flyer and code share contracts with MarkAir.  At its zenith, MarkAir had more than 61 planes, flew to more than 145 cities, had more than 2,000 employees, and its annual revenues exceeded $250 million before it went out of business.  MarkAir claimed damages that exceeded $150 million.  The case settled for $16.5 million two days before the start of a multi-month jury trial in Anchorage.
  • Merritt Brothers Lumber – A large Portland law firm hired Mr. Corr to defend it over a potential legal malpractice claim.  After a three-day evidentiary hearing, the court entered an order completely vindicating Corr Cronin's client.  Sole trial counsel.
  • Behr Litigation – Hired by another law firm to defend alleged malpractice claims in a case where a consumer class action resulted in a multi-million dollar judgment.  After successful motions to dismiss were filed, plaintiff voluntarily dismissed Corr Cronin’s client.  Lead counsel.
  • Schwendeman v. USAA Ins. Co. – In a case modeled after the $2 billion State Farm case in Illinois, Steve Berman, a nationally known plaintiffs’ class action lawyer, sued USAA in Washington claiming that the use of non-OEM parts to repair cars involved in accidents violated Washington State’s Consumer Protection Act as well as each insurance contract held by the purported plaintiff class.  Berman sought to certify a class of 100,000 insureds involving tens of millions of dollars in alleged damages.  Class certification was defeated in its entirety and the result was unanimously affirmed on appeal.  Co-Counsel.
  • Far East Maritime Services (“FEMS”) v. Sunmar Shipping and Pacific Trawlers – Lead counsel for defendants.  Plaintiff had previously managed the operations of eleven factory super trawlers that caught 55 percent of all the white fish in the world.  The vessels generated about $150 million in annual revenue.  When FEMS lost its management contract to the defendants, litigation resulted in England, Russia, the Cayman Islands and Seattle.  After FEMS lost a number of pre-trial motions, the case settled and defendants retained management control of the vessels.
  • Racial Profiling – Lead counsel for two different retailers charged with racial profiling in false arrest cases.  In one of the cases, the alleged shoplifter died during the arrest.  Both cases were extensively covered by print and broadcast media.
  • Harris BWA v. Caly Networks – This case involved the Uniform Trade Secrets Act and the doctrine of inevitable disclosure.  A direct competitor hired a team of engineers who had previously invented, designed and helped produce what is believed to be the first broadband millimeter wave time division duplex radio used to carry Internet and other data signals.  Co-Counsel.
  • Tobacco Litigation – One of the trial counsel selected by Brown & Williamson to defend it in the Washington State Attorney General’s recent medical cost recovery lawsuit.  Claims in excess of $3 billion were asserted.
  • In Re SkyPix – Lead trial counsel for 16 petitioning creditors who filed a $45 million involuntary bankruptcy Chapter XI petition.  After a three-week trial, Judge Glover placed the company in bankruptcy and stripped the owners/managers of all control.  The case was extensively covered in local media and national trade press.
  • In Re Psychiatric Malpractice – Lead trial counsel for approximately 30 psychiatrists who have been successfully defended in recent years in a variety of cases involving suicides, Tarasoff situations, undue familiarity and tardive dyskinesia.  In a number of these cases, summary judgment was obtained and thereafter affirmed on appeal (e.g. 56 Wn. App. 575 (1990); 61 Wn. App. 830, 812 P.2d 872 (1991)).  In others, the cases were successfully tried to verdict and affirmed on appeal.  70 Wn. App. 1053 (1993); 123 Wn.2d 1007 (1994).
  • Seattle Computer Products (“SCP”) v. Microsoft (“MS”) – Lead trial counsel when SCP sued MS over a royalty-free, perpetual license for all “updates, enhancements and versions” of the predecessor to MS-DOS, the standard operating system for microcomputers.  After a jury trial of two and a half weeks, SCP settled for $925,000.  The case was reported in and followed by the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, most computer-related trade journals, the local media and was also described in two books about Bill Gates and Microsoft.  Microsoft v. VCCP, 671 F. Supp. 1250 (N.D. Cal. 1987) was a computer software case involving alleged “piracy” issues.
  • In Re Asbestos Litigation – As lead trial counsel, twelve weeks of jury trials in King, Pierce, and federal courts.  Supervised approximately 550 cases in many different courts staffed by numerous lawyers, legal assistants, and document clerks.  On an expedited appeal reversed Judge Tanner by mandamus and established defendants’ right to jury trial in these cases.   Owens-Illinois v. U.S. District Court, 698 F.2d 967 (9th Cir. 1983).  Lead counsel for defendant on first asbestos property damage case tried west of the Alleghenies.
  • Northwest Enviro v. Paccar – As sole trial counsel, successfully tried a ten-day construction arbitration involving a contaminated Superfund site and “hot spot” soils.
  • University Village Litigation – As lead trial counsel, successfully defeated preliminary injunction sought by Texaco in a case involving a prescriptive easement claim.  In two other cases as lead counsel after two-week trials, successfully obtained injunctions against a major department store involving breaches of a "use" clause in a shopping center lease.
  • Haag, et al. v. Eastman Kodak, et al. – Lead trial counsel in four-week jury trial.  Multiple plaintiffs sought large damages for sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and other causes of action.  A defense verdict was obtained in favor of our client.
  • West v. Skyway Luggage – West sued Skyway, claiming she was the victim of discriminatory discharge and sexual harassment.  After a week-long trial, a defense verdict was obtained for our client.  Lead trial counsel.
  • Marsh & McLennan v. Corroon & Black/Dawson Co. – Eight key employees simultaneously left Marsh and went to the same competitor; substantial money damages resulted.  Seven-day preliminary injunction hearing based on unfair competition and trade secrets.  Lead trial counsel.
  • Talley, et al. v. MacMillan Bloedel – Thirteen plaintiffs sued for lost wages and other damages under promissory estoppel and other theories when an airplane purchase option was not exercised.  After a three-week trial, a defense verdict was returned in favor of our client.  Lead trial counsel.
  • Can Base v. “Heart” – Multi-million dollar entertainment law case when famous rock and roll band quit its recording company.  Three emergency appeals to Ninth Circuit and at least ten different hearings on a wide variety of legal issues, including T.R.O.s, contempt, replevin, etc.
  • Tacoma Boat v. Delta – Trial counsel in a three week unconscionability trial involving defective tuna boats, numerous parties and millions of dollars.
  • Erickson v. Upjohn – Successful defense of a suicide by a 56 year old mother and wife.  Plaintiffs blamed the death on Halcion and sought millions in damages.  The case was dismissed on summary judgment and the Ninth Circuit affirmed.
  • Walden v. Pier 67, Inc. – Suit to enjoin corporate stock-voting procedure.  Plaintiff claimed that classification of shares impaired its cumulative voting rights.  Summary judgment for our client; affirmed on appeal. 29 Wn. App. 28 (1981).  Lead counsel.
  • Hawkins v. Sanders, et al. – Defense of a million dollar plus legal malpractice claim based on a novel theory; i.e., that a criminal defense lawyer should have voluntarily disclosed his client’s mental problems at a bail hearing.  Summary judgment for our client; affirmed on appeal.  24 Wn. App. 338 (1979).  Analyzed in 21 Tort & Ins. L.J. 355 (1986).  Lead counsel.
  • Persitz v. Cannon, et al. – Defense of a case after entry of a $3 million default judgment.  Complaint based on breach of contract, securities and patent claims.  Judgment vacated; summary judgment for our client; affirmed on appeal.  22 Wn. App. 1013 (1979).  Lead counsel.
  • Don Wright v. Pier 67, et al. – Successful defense of a $2 million derivative action involving a takeover of the Edgewater Hotel.  Summary judgment entered in favor of our client and counterclaims for conversion settled for substantial sum just before trial.  Lead counsel.
  • Fiester v. Turner – Multi-million dollar “palimony”-type claim over ownership of Weight Loss Clinics of America.  Summary judgment in our client’s favor was affirmed on appeal.  783 F.2d 1474 (9th Cir. 1986).  Lead counsel.
  • Corr v. Willamette Industries – Suit by injured employee against his employer under the successor liability theory.  105 Wn.2d 217 (1986).  Lead counsel.
  • Wesley Gardens v. Port of Seattle – Million dollar inverse condemnation suit brought by 50-acre retirement-nursing home near airport.  Settled just before trial for substantial sum.  Co-lead counsel.
  • Stocker v. Shell v. PM – Two men died in a refinery fire.  On behalf of Shell, settled with the widows and sued the valve manufacturing and maintenance company.  Total damages exceeded $2,000,000.  Lead counsel.
  • Divorce Litigation – A number of major cases have been successfully handled.  In one case, succeeded in voiding a pre-nuptial agreement.  In another case, represented a director of the State’s largest bank and traced the funding for and appraised tens of millions of dollars in assets where the spouse claimed co-mingling of separate property.

Criminal Case Experience

  • In Re Northwest Enviro Services Inc. – In a case that was repeatedly front-page news, the U.S. Attorney and the E.P.A. vigorously pursued this company for almost five years claiming numerous improper discharges and multiple records falsification.  After the results of an intensive defense investigation were presented to the government, no criminal charges were brought.  Lead counsel.
  • U.S. v. Washington Boat Center – 57-count indictment charging false statements to the government and violation of the Clean Water Act.  Sole trial counsel where a judgment of acquittal was entered after the prosecution rested.  Two years later, the government brought a successive prosecution but it was dismissed after oral argument.
  • In Re U.S. Marshal – The U.S. Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section and Office of Professional Responsibility investigated the sitting U.S. Marshal.  After two years the matter was dropped.  No charges were ever brought and no administrative sanctions ever imposed.  Co-lead counsel.
  • U.S. v. Reidel Environmental – Criminal prosecution brought under the Clean Water Act.  Citizens videotaped illegal plant discharges.  After a lengthy defense investigation, the company pled guilty to a single misdemeanor charge.  Lead counsel.
  • In Re Criminal Defense Attorney – Criminal defense attorney called before Grand Jury to testify about conversations with another defense attorney after his client waived “all privileges.”  Two-day evidentiary hearing re:  attorney-client privilege and waiver, work product doctrine and “common defense” rule.  Government motion to compel our client to testify was denied.  Lead counsel.

Presentations / Publications

  • "High Profile Cases: Litigation Tactics and Media Themes," The Network of Trial Law Firms, 2005
  • "Winning and Beating Injunctions,” Washington Attorney General’s Seminar, 2004
  • “Punitive Damages,” AEGIS Claims Conference, 2004
  • “Seattle’s Newspaper Wars,” The Network of Trial Law Firms, 2003
  • “Trial Tactics for Notorious Cases,” The Network of Trial Law Firms, 2002
  • “How to Beat a Class Action,” Cutting Edge Litigation, The Network of Trial Law Firms, 2000
  • “Ten Keys to Success for In-House Counsel,” How to Maximize Your Results From Outside Trial Counsel, The Network of Trial Law Firms, 1999
  • “How Not to Get Hometowned,” American College of Trial Lawyers’ Greatest Hits, University of Washington Law School Foundation CLE, 1997
  • “Examining Experts,” In-House Counsel At The Cutting Edge, The Network of Trial Law Firms, 1995
  • “Litigation Alternatives,” Claims and Litigation Management, Business Strategy Network, 1995 - San Francisco
  • “Computers Don’t Try Cases, Lawyers Do, or ‘Kissing’ the Jury,” Third Millennium Litigation, The Network of Trial Law Firms, 1994
  • “Avoiding Trial   ADR as a Settlement Tool,” Complex Litigation   A Survival Manual, The Network of Trial Law Firms, 1994
  • “High-Tech Cases and Their Special Problems” Practicing Law Institute’s Fifth Annual Litigation Management Supercourse, 1994 - New York City
  • “Making ADR Cost Effective:  Simple Tips to Make ADR Work for You,” Practicing Law Institute’s Dispute Resolution Alternative Supercourse, 1993 - New York City
  • “Civil Penalties & Criminal Enforcement of Environmental Laws,” CLE International Seminar, 1991
  • “Demonstration of Closing Argument,” SKCBA Annual Trial Practice Seminar, 1990
  • “Preparing Witnesses for their Deposition,” PESI Seminar, 1989
  • "Limits on Discovery Advocacy: Rule 11 Sanctions," WSBA Annual Convention, 1987
  • “Instructing a Witness Not to Answer;  When To Do It and When Not To Do It," WSBA Seminar ,1985
  • “The Best of CLEs,” WSBA Seminar, 1985
  • Chairman: “Media and the Law,” WSBA and SKCBA Seminar, 1985
  • Chairman, Speaker and Author: Defense of a Criminal Case: Winning Through Governmental Misconduct, 1980
  • Chairman and Author: “Washington’s New Evidence Rules,” WSBA Convention, 1979
  • “Enforcing Injunctions,” WSBA Annual Convention, 1978
  • “Goodbye, Rambo, Hello, Mr. Rogers?” For the Defense, Defense Research Institute, December 1995; Co-Author “Don’t Answer That Question,” For the Defense, Defense Research Institute, March 1995; Co-Author “Making ADR Cost Effective,” Law Department Management Adviser, December 1994; Co-Author Co-Editor Washington Civil Procedure Deskbook, 1991-1992

Professional Memberships

  • Washington State Bar Association
  • Executive Committee:  Trial Practice Section, 1979-1982
  • Chairperson:  Young Lawyers Section, 1980-1981
  • Member:  Judicial Recommendation Committee, 1985-1988
  • Chairman:  Task Force on AIDS, 1988
  • Winner:  President’s Award 1989
  • King County Bar Association Trustee, 1982-1985
  • Chairman:  Public Defense Task Force, 1987
  • Member, Washington State Bar; Western District of Washington; Eastern District of Washington; Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals; Pro Hac Vice admissions (Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska)
  • Member, Irish Legal 100