kcorr@corrcronin.com
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Kelly Corr

—Emeritus—
Kelly is a retired founding partner of the firm, well deserving the title “emeritus.” Before retiring, he 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.

Kelly was selected a “Super Lawyer” list seventeen times.  Twelve times his peers have voted him among the top ten lawyers in the state in any field of practice.  Since 2008, Benchmark, in America’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys, has picked Kelly as one of the state’s “Local Litigation Stars.”  Benchmark wrote that Kelly 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.”  In 2013, he was selected as Seattle’s “Lawyer of the Year” for “Bet the Company” litigation. Kelly has been featured on the cover of Washington Law & Politics and the 2015 edition of Washington State Super Lawyers.  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.

Seattle Magazine, Seattle Business Monthly, Washington Super Lawyers 2015 and Washington Journal have each profiled Kelly.  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 three books.

Featured Cases

Auditing Malpractice Case – Lead counsel defending claims by 600-plus plaintiffs asserting losses of over $150 million.

Puget Sound Business Journal: Bankruptcy Judge to Berg Case Trustee: Tell it to (Another) Judge

Puget Sound Business Journal: Moss Adams: Trustee Filed ‘Flimsy Case’ in Berg Litigation

Puget Sound Business Journal: Moss Adams Denies $25M Berg Audit Settlement Offer

Puget Sound Business Journal: Trustee in Darren Berg Ponzi Case Ordered to Pay Moss Adams $74K in Legal Fees

The Hearst Corporation & Seattle Post-Intelligencer v. The Seattle Times – The Hearst Corporation retained Corr Cronin to help save the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, one of Seattle’s two daily newspapers.  In a lawsuit being followed by The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and other national media, Hearst sued The Seattle Times to block an attempt by The Seattle Times to dissolve a 20-year old joint newspaper operating arrangement (“JOA”) between The Seattle Times and Hearst.  The Seattle Times claimed that it incurred three consecutive years of financial losses under the JOA, allowing it to terminate joint publication of the two newspapers.  After four years of litigation, the case settled.  The Seattle Times agreed to pay Hearst $24 million and continue the JOA for at least nine more years.

Seattle Times: “Times’ Finances May Not Be as Dire as Pictured”

Seattle Times: “Judge Hears Arguments Over Seattle Times’ Loss”

Seattle PI: “P-I Wins in Court”

Seattle PI: “Times, P-I Battle Still Not Settled”

Seattle Weekly: “A Choice Ruling”

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Seattle Newspapers’ Fight to Enter Critical Stage

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: “P-I, Times Settle JOA Litigation”

Courtney Love v. Nirvana, et al. – Nirvana L.L.C. and the remaining band members hired the firm to release additional Nirvana music over the objection of Courtney Love and to have her declared incompetent and removed as the representative to the L.L.C. of Kurt Cobain’s estate. There was extensive media coverage of the case. Case settled; music was released.

New York Times: “Smells Like Mean Spirits”

Seattle PI: “No Love Lost in Court Case Against Nirvana Song”

Seattle PI: “Mental Exam Asked for Courtney Love”

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.

More Representative Cases

Aviation Law

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.

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.

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.

Business Litigation

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.

The Hearst Corporation & Seattle Post-Intelligencer v. The Seattle Times – The Hearst Corporation retained Corr Cronin to help save the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, one of Seattle’s two daily newspapers. In a lawsuit being followed by The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and other national media, Hearst sued The Seattle Times to block an attempt by The Seattle Times to dissolve a 20-year old joint newspaper operating arrangement (“JOA”) between The Seattle Times and Hearst. The Seattle Times claimed that it incurred three consecutive years of financial losses under the JOA, allowing it to terminate joint publication of the two newspapers. After four years of litigation, the case settled. The Seattle Times agreed to pay Hearst $24 million and continue the JOA for at least nine more years.

Seattle Times: “Times’ finances may not be as dire as pictured”

Seattle Times: “Judge hears arguments over Seattle Times’ loss”

Seattle PI: “P-I wins in court”

Seattle PI: “Times, P-I battle still not settled”

Seattle Weekly: “A Choice Ruling”

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Seattle newspapers’ fight to enter critical stage

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: “P-I, Times settle JOA litigation”

Courtney Love v. Nirvana, et al. – Nirvana L.L.C. and the remaining band members hired Mr. Corr to release additional Nirvana music over the objection of Courtney Love and to have her declared incompetent and removed as the representative to the L.L.C. of Kurt Cobain’s estate. There was extensive media coverage of the case. Case settled; music was released.

New York Times: “Smells Like Mean Spirits”

Seattle PI: “No Love lost in court case against Nirvana song”

Seattle PI: “Mental exam asked for Courtney Love”

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.

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.

Class Action/Mass Tort

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.

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.

Auditing Malpractice Case – Lead counsel defending claims by 600-plus plaintiffs asserting losses of over $150 million.

Puget Sound Business Journal: Bankruptcy judge to Berg case trustee: Tell it to (another) judge

Puget Sound Business Journal: Moss Adams: Trustee filed ‘flimsy case’ in Berg litigation

Puget Sound Business Journal: Moss Adams denies $25M Berg audit settlement offer

Puget Sound Business Journal: Trustee in Darren Berg Ponzi case ordered to pay Moss Adams $74K in legal fees

Class Action Jury Trial – Lead defense counsel in a 4-week class action jury trial. Defense verdict returned for our client.

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.

Seattle PI: “Foster-care system put on trial”

Seattle PI: “Verdict in DSHS case opens door for reforms”

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.

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.

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.

Employment Law

Class Action Jury Trial – Lead defense counsel in a 4-week class action jury trial. Defense verdict returned for our client.

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.

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.

Intellectual Property

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.

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.

Courtney Love v. Nirvana, et al. – Nirvana L.L.C. and the remaining band members hired Mr. Corr to release additional Nirvana music over the objection of Courtney Love and to have her declared incompetent and removed as the representative to the L.L.C. of Kurt Cobain’s estate. There was extensive media coverage of the case. Case settled; music was released.

New York Times: “Smells Like Mean Spirits”

Seattle PI: “No Love lost in court case against Nirvana song”

Seattle PI: “Mental exam asked for Courtney Love”

Personal Injury

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.

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.

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.

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.

Products Liability

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.

Professional Liability

Auditing Malpractice Case – Lead counsel defending claims by 600-plus plaintiffs asserting losses of over $150 million.

Puget Sound Business Journal: Bankruptcy judge to Berg case trustee: Tell it to (another) judge

Puget Sound Business Journal: Moss Adams: Trustee filed ‘flimsy case’ in Berg litigation

Puget Sound Business Journal: Moss Adams denies $25M Berg audit settlement offer

Puget Sound Business Journal: Trustee in Darren Berg Ponzi case ordered to pay Moss Adams $74K in legal fees

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).

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.

Real Estate/Environmental

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.

Northwest Enviro v. Paccar – As sole trial counsel, successfully tried a ten-day construction arbitration involving a contaminated Superfund site and “hot spot” soils.

Oregon LNG v. Port of Astoria – Lead counsel for Oregon LNG in a multi-million lease dispute. Summary judgment entered in favor of Oregon LNG and injunction issued directing the Port of Astoria to renew a lease for 30 years.

Trial.com: “Corr Cronin Victory for Oregon LNG”

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.

Other

Entertainment

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.

Tort

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.

Unfair Competition

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.

Presentations and 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

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

Professional Associations

Washington State Bar Association

King County Bar Association Trustee, 1982-1985

Chairman:  Public Defense Task Force, 1987

Member, Irish Legal 100

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