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John C. Bjorkman

Partner
+1.206.370.8311
Fax +1.206.623.7022
John Bjorkman focuses his practice on civil litigation and arbitration, and has tried a wide range of cases in the environmental, hazardous waste, commercial and business-to-business, technology, and public education fields. His recent cases include the successful resolution of a municipal government’s liability for over $40 million in past and future environmental cleanup claims for PCBs in marine sediments arising out of airport operations and stormwater discharges at two related sites, a constitutional challenge to Washington State's annual shortfall in special education funding for public school districts, and litigation in Texas state and Bankruptcy court with a national tax shelter promoter. John has successfully arbitrated cases under commercial and international arbitration rules, and prosecuted and defended appeals in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and in all Washington state courts.

Professional Background

Before joining the firm, John was a law clerk to the Hon. Walter T. McGovern, Chief U.S. District Court Judge for the Western District of Washington in Seattle (1983-85).

Achievements

  • Maintains an A/V rating with Martindale-Hubbell
  • Selected to the Washington Super Lawyers List (2006-2010)
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America since 2013
Environmental
  • Represented Fortune 500 transportation and manufacturing companies, municipal and regional governments, and regional businesses in CERCLA (Superfund), RCRA, Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act negotiations and litigation.
  • Represented clients as both plaintiff and defendant in numerous Federal and state environmental cleanup, cost recovery, and contribution claims for and against potentially responsible parties. Successfully recovered on multi–million dollar claims for past cleanup costs, attorneys fees, property damage, and contribution to future remediation costs.
  • Defended property damage claims arising from historic pollution activities.
  • Represented a Canadian mine owner in litigation in the United States seeking recovery of cleanup costs under the British Columbia Waste Management Act.
  • Defended toxic tort claims involving pesticides, industrial fumes, and radiation exposure at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
  • Prosecuted environmental insurance claims, negotiated defense and indemnity settlements, and negotiated pollution legal liability and cost-cap insurance.
  • Defended and prosecuted environmental citizen suits under the Clean Water Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.
  • Represented corporations under grand jury investigation for environmental criminal matters under RCRA.
  • Clean Air Act PSD/NSR enforcement action litigation in the wood products industry.

Commercial Litigation and Arbitration
  • Successful defense of multi–million dollar claims for breach of contract for the construction of spent nuclear fuel containers.
  • Successfully tried and defended appeal of a claim for breach of contract for the sale of the BIMA, the world's largest bucket–line mining dredge.
  • Class action defense of toxic tort claims involving radiation exposure and RICO conspiracies.
  • Successfully defended an aerospace manufacturer in multi–million dollar breach of contract and fraud case involving subcontracting for a commercial satellite launch vehicle program.
  • Settled multi–million dollar international arbitration involving sale of a printing and CD ROM replication business.
  • Resolved complex litigation with tax shelter promoter in Texas state court and Bankruptcy Court. Janet Novak, Leaky Shelters, in Forbes (April 11, 2005)
  • Through award and settlement, successfully recovered on a multi-million arbitration claim arising out of the sale of a branded food products company.
  • Successfully tried and settled appeal on a claim for breach of contract in the sale of a multi–million dollar real estate development.

Education Litigation
  • Represented Alliance of public school districts in constitutional challenge to special education underfunding in Washington State.
  • Represented a coalition of public school districts as intervenor defendants in a challenge to the Washington Department of Natural Resources Forest Resource Plan.