John Bender

1015 Second Avenue, Floor 10
Seattle, WA 98104-1001
Telephone: (206) 625-8600
Direct Line: (206) 652-8659
Facsimile: (206) 625-0900

John Bender

John’s practice focuses on high-stakes commercial and complex litigation and investigations. Named a perennial “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers® Magazine, John’s background as a litigator includes representing public and private companies in cases involving exposure in the hundreds of millions of dollars as well as a host of complex cases on behalf of businesses and individuals.

John’s diverse practice includes cases involving allegations of fraud, securities, corporate governance, partnership and shareholder disputes, technology, trade secrets, crypto and digital assets, privacy, defamation, unfair competition, as well as matters involving government entities and complex torts.

John was named to Best Lawyers in America’s “Ones to Watch” List from 2021 to 2023. He has been named a Rising Star by Washington Super Lawyers in Business Litigation every year since 2017. He received the American Bar Association’s Forum on Franchising’s Edward Wood Dunham Award for outstanding scholarship (2017).

John has a proven track record of leadership in pro bono service to state and federal bar associations. He is a past volunteer and speaker for the City of Seattle’s New Citizen Campaign. He is a former chair of the Washington State Bar Association’s Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Board, during which he helped advance the Board’s first mandatory anti-bias, anti-discrimination, and technology continuing legal education proposal to the state supreme court. John has also served on the local rule committees for both King County and the Western District of Washington.

John received a B.A. from Seattle University, a J.D. from University of Washington, and an LL.M. from UC Berkeley.

Featured Cases

Featured Cases

Ponderay Newsprint Company v. Pub. Util. Dist. No. 1 of Pend Oreille – Member of team that defended multiple publicly traded media-holding and publishing companies in multi-party breach of contract case brought by public entity claiming over $200 million in damages.

Armon et al. v. WSU – Plaintiff’s counsel in data breach class action against Washington State University, successfully obtained class settlement on behalf of over one million victims providing over $17.5 million to the class in aggregate cash reimbursement and credit-monitoring benefits.

Cryptocurrency and Securities Litigation  Represented investors in securities and common law fraud actions against failed cryptocurrency and blockchain project, recovered nearly $4 million in investment funds for investors.

Fraud Investigation and Litigation – Represented public agency in connection with investigation and recovery of embezzled assets in one of the largest public misappropriation cases of record in Washington state.

Trade Secret Litigation – Member of defense team that obtained voluntary dismissal order in misappropriation of trade secret and corporate raiding suit involving the wireless and cell-tower services industry.

Real Estate & Environmental Litigation – Member of trial team that successfully prosecuted multi-million-dollar MTCA lawsuit on behalf of real-estate holding company. Delivered highly favorable settlement agreement on eve of trial.

Corporate Governance Litigation – Member of defense team that prosecuted successful defense of substantial Washington nonprofit and executives against claims of waste, mismanagement, and breach of fiduciary duty.

Class Action Defense Member of defense team for closely-held Seattle company that defeated class certified and obtained highly favorable resolution of various individual and putative class claims including defamation and tortious interference with business expectancy.

Presentations and Publications

State Crypto Regulation: Competing Priorities Shaping Different Outcomes, 12 Seattle J. of Tech. Envtl. & Innov. L. 165 (2022).

Faculty, Likely to go viral: How COVID-19 will encourage Securities Act claims, CLE Presentation, King County Bar Association (2020).

Contributing Author, American Bar Association’s Franchise Deskbook: Selected State Laws, Commentary, and Annotations, Third Edition (2019).

Washington Supreme Court Review: The Securities Act of Washington Protects the Public, Rely On It, King County Bar Bulletin (December 2019).

Delaware Court Makes it Easier for Duped Shareholders to Sue, Today’s General Counsel Magazine (2016).

Reexamination of Direct-Derivative Distinction Under Tooley for Common Law ‘Holder Claims,’ American Bar Association, Section of Litigation, Commercial and Business Litigation Committee Newsletter (2016).

The NLRB’s Joint Employer Standard and the Case for Preserving the Formalities of Business Format Franchising, 35 Franchise L.J. 209 (2015).

Blurred Lines in Small Business; Disagreements to Legal Disputes, Partnership and Shareholder Disputes from Start to Finish, National Business Institute (2014).

Education / Background

UC Berkeley School of Law, LL.M.

University of Washington School of Law, J.D.

Seattle University, B.A.

Professional Associations

Washington State Bar Association, Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Board, 2017-2019 (Chair, 2018-19)

King County Bar Association, Judiciary and Litigation Committee, 2018-present

Federal Bar Association Western District of Washington, 2019-present

1015 Second Avenue, Floor 10
Seattle, WA 98104-1001

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