James Savitt
Name: James Savitt
Firm Name: Savitt Bruce & Willey LLP
Jurisdiction: USA - Washington
Practice Area: Commercial Litigation Law


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Professional Biography:

Jim specializes in the trial and creative resolution of substantial disputes for a diverse client base, including Fortune 500 companies and major e-commerce firms.  While much of his practice has focused on intellectual property, corporate, and commercial matters, Jim believes that knowing how to win a case–developing and executing a strategy to prevail by motion if possible and by trial if not–is the most important skill of a lawyer handling complex litigation.

Jim teamed with David Bruce to establish Savitt Bruce & Willey in 1999, after a nine-year tenure as a partner at Perkins Coie.  Jim began his career with Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in New York City before finding his way to the Great Northwest.  He is a graduate, magna cum laude, of the Georgetown University Law Center.

Outside of the office, Jim recently completed service as the Chairperson of the Pike Place Market Preservation & Development Authority (which owns and operates Seattle’s famed Pike Place Market) and is a past President of the Federal Bar Association of the Western District of Washington.  Jim enjoys skiing in winter, playing infield on the firm’s softball team in summer (when we can field one with enough young guns to do serious harm), his morning workout, reading novels that his partner Steve Willey sneers at and, not least, time with his family, including two teenage sons who, depending on the day, are either keeping him young or making him old.

AREAS OF PRACTICE

PRIOR PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

  • Perkins Coie LLP, Seattle WA, 1987-1999
    • Partner, 1991-1999
    • Associate, 1987-1990
  • Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP, New York City NY, 1983-1986

EDUCATION

  • Georgetown University Law Center, J.D. magna cum laude, 1983
    • The Georgetown Law Journal, 1981-1983
  • Cornell University, College of Arts and Sciences, B.A., 1980

BAR ADMISSIONS

  • Washington
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • United States District Court, Western District of Washington
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of Washington
  • United States District Court, Southern District of New York
  • United States Court of Federal Claims

FIRM DESCRIPTION

We’re litigators and trial counsel.  We know that cases are won and lost on their “story”: who is right and who is wrong in the eyes of the judge and jury.  Our expertise is in developing and telling that story by drawing out the key facts, players, and themes, defining the legal framework in which they operate, and weaving them into a compelling narrative.  While our SUBJECT-MATTER EXPERTISE is both deep and broad, our RECORD OF SUCCESS demonstrates our skill in crafting and presenting a winning argument.

Our skill as litigators informs every step along the way.  Understanding the facts requires not only an eye for detail but a strategy that identifies the right detail, combined with the tenacity to obtain and marshal complex facts and develop a record that completes the picture.  Defining the legal framework means not merely understanding what the law “is” but a creative process of identifying and describing the legal principles and authorities that—when applied to the facts of a particular case—lead to the just result for our clients.  Weaving these elements together effectively requires more than just proficiency with legal subject matter: it requires articulating clearly to a judge, arbitrator, or jury, who may have no familiarity with the subject matter or even the law, not only that our client should win but why.

We believe in the power of what can be achieved in the courtroom, but one size does not fit all.  Our successes demonstrate the ability to develop winning strategies that meet the unique needs of each case.  We know when a major investment of people and time will yield results and when it just means a big bill, and we’re committed to identifying cost-effective solutions to our clients’ problems.  If there is a way to resolve a dispute successfully short of trial, we find it.

Our skill as legal writers gives our clients a unique advantage in litigation.  Increasingly, cases are decided on written motions.  For a client, winning on a motion is the best possible result—it avoids both the cost of trial and the compromise of settlement.  Even if a motion does not decide a case, it may resolve a key issue so as to tip the scales decidedly in a client’s favor at trial or drive a favorable settlement.  This places a premium on lawyers who can synthesize complex facts and legal issues and distill them into an easy-to-follow explanation as to why their clients should win.

When trial is necessary, success requires not only the skills of the courtroom—examinations of witnesses and arguments to jury and judge—but also the use of those skills in the presentation of a winning story developed strategically from the outset. That is what we do.

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