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

Named a perennial “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers Magazine, John Bender’s practice is devoted to representing clients in high-stakes commercial and complex litigation and investigations.

Having represented public and private companies in cases involving exposure in the hundreds of millions of dollars and prosecuted and defended numerous cases on behalf of businesses and individuals across a range of areas and industries, John is a go-to attorney for his clients and colleagues.

John frequently handles matters involving securities, breach of contract, partnership and shareholder disputes, corporate governance, claims of fraud and embezzlement, trade secrets, intellectual property infringement and disputed rights to technology, FinTech, blockchain, cryptocurrency and other digital assets, as well as a variety of complex torts and matters involving reputational harm. John also handles matters involving various regulatory agencies including DFI, SEC, and state attorneys general.

John has been named to Best Lawyers in America’s “Ones to Watch” List every year since 2021. He has been named a Rising Star by Washington Super Lawyers in Business Litigation every year since 2017. In 2017, he received the American Bar Association’s Edward Wood Dunham Award for outstanding scholarship. John has a substantial record of leadership and pro bono service to state and federal bar associations. He was a 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; in this role he helped advance the Board’s first mandatory anti-bias, anti-discrimination, and technology legal education proposal to the state’s supreme court.

John is a member of the Steering Committee for the Washington Technology Industry Association’s Cascadia Blockchain Council.

John received a bachelor’s degree from Seattle University, a J.D. from University of Washington, and a LL.M. from University of California at Berkeley.

Featured Cases

Featured Cases

Ponderay Newsprint Company v. Pub. Util. Dist. No. 1 of Pend Oreille – Represented publicly traded media-holding and publishing companies in high profile multi-party breach of contract matter brought by public entity in Washington claiming over $200 million in damages.

Armon et al. v. WSU – Represented plaintiffs in high profile data breach class action against Washington State University, 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.

Pierce County Housing Authority v. Campbell – 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 – Represented defendant in misappropriation of trade secret and corporate raiding suit involving the wireless and cell-tower services industry, part of team that helped obtain a voluntary dismissal of claims.

Trade Secret Litigation – Represented plaintiff in high profile misappropriation of trade secret matter against departing employees who were alleged to have diverted clients to a competitor.

Trade Secret Litigation – Defended publicly traded company against allegations of tortious interference and misappropriation of trade secrets in complex, multi-year litigation involving the real estate brokerage industry.

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.

SEC Investigation of Blockchain Project – Represented high profile blockchain project and creators in response to civil investigation initiated by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

DFI Enforcement ActionRepresented private investment fund in enforcement action brought by Washington’s Department of Financial Institutions.

IP Enforcement – Represented renowned New York art foundation in multiple trademark actions to enforce foundation’s trademarks.

IP Enforcement – Defended Local Coffee Spot in high profile trademark infringement action brought by Space Needle.

FinTech – Represented leading FinTech company in action brought to enforce its vendor agreements with operator of Bitcoin ATM.

FinTech – Represented early-stage stable coin company in matter to enforce breach of technology services and API agreement against financial services company.

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

Washington Technology Industry Association, Cascadia Blockchain Council Steering Committee

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

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