James E. Breitenbucher,





Jim has a broad-ranging civil trial practice that focuses on complex commercial and real estate disputes. Jim also litigates non-compete, trade secret, product liability and wildfire lawsuits, and takes particular pride in handling cases that involve complex technical issues. Beyond the Pacific Northwest’s courtrooms, Jim’s first two decades of practice have found him successfully defending a $500 million shareholder derivative action during a four-week trial in New York City; challenging fines and civil penalties issued by the Department of Financial Institutions before an administrative law judge in Olympia, Washington; and pursing a commercial claim before an arbitration panel in Milan, Italy. Jim’s primary objective, however, is to resolve cases before trial, and he has obtained summary judgment while representing clients as both plaintiffs and defendants in state and federal courts in Washington and throughout the United States.

Jim originally joined Riddell Williams in 1999, after serving a two-year clerkship for the Honorable Faye C. Kennedy of the Washington Court of Appeals. He practiced with Schulte Roth & Zabel in New York City from 2003 until rejoining Riddell Williams in 2007.

Representative Matters

Defended private equity fund and its principals during four-week trial that resulted in a defense verdict that was upheld on appeal.

Represented Puget Sound Energy as co-lead plaintiff counsel in a multi-plaintiff lawsuit against the State of Washington and two contractors for property damages arising out of the Taylor Bridge Fire.  The plaintiffs collectively settled the lawsuit for $59.75 million.

Obtained summary judgment as lead defense counsel for Fortune 100 company in breach of contract case.  The court dismissed the plaintiff’s claims and entered judgment in client’s favor on counterclaims for cover damages.

Represented national mortgage lender as lead defense counsel in non-compete litigation.

Represented Puget Sound Energy as lead defense counsel in validating its utility easements through a former railroad corridor that had been “railbanked” under the federal Rails-to-Trails Act.

Represented client in pursuing a breach of contract claim before an arbitration panel in Milan, Italy that resulted in post-hearing settlement.

Defended global manufacturer in product liability and breach of warranty claims in lawsuits throughout the United States and Canada.

Represented consumer lender as lead counsel in administrative hearing over charges brought by the Washington Department of Financial Institutions.  The hearing resulted in DFI withdrawing certain charges before the matter was settled.

Represented international paper manufacturer as co-lead counsel in breach of contract case in multi-million dollar dispute over construction of a boiler for a biomass co-gen power generation plant.

Represented national mortgage lender as lead defense counsel in lawsuit alleging fraud and CPA violations.

Co-Author of New Rules Allowing Online Disclosure of Consumer Warranties, Riddell Williams Litigation Newsletter (November 2016).

Jim received the King County Bar Association’s Outstanding Young Lawyer Award for 2002. He has also been named a Washington Super Lawyer®, and a Rising Star® by Washington Law & Politics magazine.


  • National Products, Inc. v. Arkon Resources, Inc., No. C15-1553 RSL, 2016 WL 7212533 (W.D. Wash. Dec. 13, 2016.
  • Kaseburg v. Port of Seattle, No. C14-0784 JCC, 2016 WL 1046092, at *1 (W.D. Wash. Mar. 16, 2016).
  • Ioppolo v. Port of Seattle, No. C15-0358-JCC, 2015 WL 5315936 (W.D. Wash. Sept. 11, 2015).
  • Filo Foods, LLC v. City of Seatac, No. 89723-9, 2015 WL 4943967 (Wash. Aug. 20, 2015).
  • Bridgemans Servs. Ltd. v. George Hancock, Inc., No. C14-1714JLR, 2015 WL 4724567, at *1 (W.D. Wash. Aug. 7, 2015).
  • Factory Sales & Eng’g, Inc. v. Nippon Paper Industries USA Co., No. 3:14-CV-05899, 2015 WL 4094447 (W.D. Wash. July 7, 2015).
  • Kaseburg v. Port of Seattle, No. C14-0784-JCC, 2014 WL 6901760, at *1 (W.D. Wash. Dec. 5, 2014).
  • People v. Superior Court, 224 Cal. App. 4th 33, 168 Cal. Rptr. 3d 286 (2014), reh’g denied (Mar. 17, 2014), review denied (June 18, 2014).
  • National City Bank v. Prime Lending, Inc., 737 F. Supp. 2d 1257 (E.D. Wash. 2010).
  • A.O. Smith Corp. v. Emerson Elec. Co., No. 4:11CV1117 TIA, 2012 WL 5308049 (E.D. Mo. Oct. 26, 2012).
  • Robertshaw Controls Co. v. Therm-O-Disc, Inc., 2009 WL 4043083 (N.D. Ill. Nov. 20, 2009).
  • Broquet v. Microsoft Corp., 2008 WL 2965074 (S.D. Tex. July 30, 2008).
  • Syndicated Communication Venture Partners IV v. BayStar Capital, 51 A.D.3d 546, 859 N.Y.S.2d 125 (N.Y. App. Div. 2008).
  • In re Manhattan Investment Fund Ltd., 397 B.R. 1 (S.D.N.Y. 2007).
  • In re Bayou Hedge Fund Litigation, 534 F. Supp. 2d 405 (S.D.N.Y. July 31, 2007).
  • In re Bayou Hedge Fund Investment Litigation, 472 F. Supp. 2d 534 (S.D.N.Y. Jan 19, 2007).
  • Panatrol Corp. v. Emerson Electric Co., 163 S.W.3d 182 (Tex. App. 2005).
  • World Skating Federation v. International Skating Union, 357 F. Supp. 2d 661 (S.D.N.Y. 2005).
  • Cipriani Fifth Avenue, LLC v. RCPI Landmark Properties, 782 N.Y.S.2d 522 (N.Y. Sup. 2004).
  • Panatrol Corp. v. Emerson Elec. Co., 147 S.W.3d 518 (Tex. App. 2004).
    State Farm Fire & Cas. Co. v. White-Rodgers Corp., 77 P.3d 729 (Alaska 2003).
  • Solar Systems and Peripherals, Inc. v. Solarcom Holdings, 44 Fed. Appx. 186 (9th Cir. 2002).

Jim received his J.D., Order of the Coif, from Washington University School of Law, where he was a Scholar in Law, received the Honor Scholar Award and served as an editor on law review.  Jim has a B.A. in Economics from the University of Washington.


New Rules Allowing Online Disclosure of Consumer Warranties

The Federal Trade Commission recently amended its rules governing the disclosure of warranties on consumer products.  Under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975, manufacturers are required to make … read more

Riddell Williams Attorneys Named Super Lawyers, Rising Stars, Top Women Attorneys, and Top 100

Riddell Williams congratulates the following individuals who have been designated 2016 Super Lawyers, Rising Stars, Top Women Attorneys and Top 100 Super Lawyers: 2016 Super Lawyers Bruce J. … read more

Washington Supreme Court Case Alert: Enforceability of Arbitration and Attorney Fee Provisions in Consumer Contracts

The Washington Supreme Court recently issued a unanimous opinion that touches on three of the topics covered last year in our Ten Common Contracting Mistakes (or Unintended Consequences) … read more

Ten Common Contracting Mistakes or Unintended Consequences

Many businesses enter into contracts day after day, and often rely upon forms and so-called “boilerplate” provisions. And while a contract may be limited in scope, it may … read more

Washington Supreme Court Muddies Economic Loss Rule

The Washington Supreme Court recently issued two decisions that inject substantial uncertainty into how courts interpret contractual obligations-and duties that may arise outside of the boundaries of a … read more