Ralph Palumbo

Ralph Palumbo


About Ralph

Ralph’s practice includes a unique depth of experience in complex commercial litigation, environmental matters, and corporate and business law. He has tried cases in state and federal courts involving a broad spectrum of complex issues, including: antitrust and trade regulation; patent law and licensing; environmental law (hazardous and toxic substances, clean air, clean water, and natural resource damages); commercial disputes; trade secrets/non-competition/confidentiality issues; products liability; class-action litigation; fraud, misrepresentation and consumer protection act violations; employment agreements; and real property taxation.

Ralph takes pride in partnering with his clients, learning their business and strategizing with them on the best path for success for their legal matter. He thinks beyond legal confines and recognizes that many complicated and challenging issues have both legal implications and real-world practicalities. He works alongside his clients in meeting these challenges in the most efficient and cost-effective way. In short, Ralph creates long-lasting relationships with clients where he is the first person they call when an issue arises.

Outside of his professional life, Ralph loves skiing, running, boating, road biking, and spending time with his family, whether that be here in Seattle, Washington or Vail, Colorado.

Other Practice Areas: Class Action Litigation | Products Liability

More about Ralph

  • University of Washington (B.A., magna cum laude, 1969)
  • Stanford University School of Law (J.D., cum laude 1972)
  • Stanford Law Review, Notes Editor

  • Board of Directors and Vice Chair, Seattle Symphony Orchestra
  • Co-Chair, Benaroya Hall Capital Campaign, Seattle Symphony Orchestra
  • Board Member, University of Washington College of Arts & Sciences
  • Board Member, All Star Orchestra
  • Co-Chair, Seattle University School of Law, 35th Anniversary Committee.
  • President, Northwest Burn Foundation
  • Member, Senior Advisory Board, 1990 Goodwill Games
  • Pacific Northwest 2002 “Award of Excellence” for Outstanding Contributions to the Community
Speaking Engagements
  • Will Chevron Deference Survive? An Examination of the Viability of Chevron Deference, American Bar Association, Environmental & Energy, Mass Torts, and Products Liability Litigation Committee’s Joint CLE Seminar, Whister, British Columbia, January 26, 2018
  • Issues for Defense Counsel in Multi-District Litigation, Federal Bar Association CLE, November 29, 2016
  • Federal Court Limits Application of RCRA Citizen Suit Bar and Expands RCRA Definition of “Solid Waste.” Law Seminars International, Second Annual Legal and Technical Seminar on Hydrology and the Law, Seattle, August 2, 2015
  • Practical Tips – Jury Instructions, American College of Trial Lawyers Litigation Seminar at University of Washington School of Law, September 24-25, 2010
  • Practical Tips – Jury Instructions, American College of Trial Lawyers Litigation Seminar at University of Washington School of Law, September 24-25, 2010
  • Panelist: Live From the Moot Courtroom: Federal Superfund Preemption of State Claims – How Far Does It Go? American Bar Association 2009 Section of Litigation Annual Conference, Washington D.C., April 30, 2009
  • Overview of Stormwater Laws and Current Trends in Litigation, Current Issues in Stormwater Regulation, Seattle, November 21, 2008
  • Panel Discussion: Ethical Dilemmas Presented in Gordon Campbell’s Best Selling Novel, Missing Witness, Brigham Young University/ J. Reuben Law School Annual Ethics Program, Salt Lake City, August 27, 2008
  • Products Liability, Innovative Strategies for Litigating Class Actions, Seattle, May 8-9, 2008
  • Structuring and Negotiating Non-Traditional Pricing Fee Arrangements – American Conference Institute’s Corporate Counsel Forum on Reducing Legal Costs, Chicago, March 31-April 2, 2008
  • Innovative Strategies and Recent Developments in Product Liability Class Action Litigation – Litigating Class Action Suits, Los Angeles, November 12-13, 2007
  • High Profile Cases: Litigation Strategies from the Lawyers Who Tried Them, Washington State Bar Association, Seattle, October 16, 2007
  • Product Liability, International Gamer Technology Law, Seattle, October 4-5, 2007
  • Antitrust Compliance Programs, Seattle, July 17, 2007
  • Strategies for Early Merits Determinations in Class Actions, Innovative Strategies for Litigating Class Actions, Los Angeles, May 11-12, 2007
  • New Tools and Strategies for Today’s Law Department Reality, Law Department Consortium Seminar, Chicago, March 6, 2007
  • Business Essentials: Contracts and Negotiation, Washington State Bar Association, Seattle, October 27, 2006
  • Strategies for Early Merits Determinations in Class Actions, Innovative Strategies for Litigating Class Actions, Seattle, May 11-12, 2006
  • Getting out of the Contract, Contract Litigation From A-Z, Seattle, November. 2, 2005
  • Yarmuth LLP, 2015-2020
  • Summit Law Group, Founding Member, 1997-2015
  • Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe, Litigation Partner (Seattle), 1985-1997
  • Lane Powell, Litigation Partner (Seattle), 1972-1985

Awards & Recognition
  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • International Corporate Counsel Guide, “125 Best Litigation Lawyers in the United States.”
  • BTI Consulting Group: “Client Service All Star Team – Top 115 lawyers in America for Delivering Truly Outstanding and Superior Client Service.”
  • The International Who’s Who of Environmental Lawyers: “Pre-eminent Environmental Lawyers.”
  • Washington Law & Politics, “Top 100 Washington Super Lawyers.”
  • Washington Law & Politics, “Top 25 Trial Lawyers.”
  • Corporate Counsel Magazine. “Best Environmental Lawyers in America.”
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Environmental and Commercial Litigation
  • Chambers USA, “Top Litigation Lawyers.”
  • Chambers USA, “Top Environmental Lawyers.”
  • Chambers USA: “America's Leading Lawyers for Business.”
  • International Finance Magazine, “Leading Lawyer Award, 2012.”
  • Seattle Business Magazine, “Top Lawyers.”
  • U.S. News & World Reports, "Best Lawyers 2011-2012”
  • American Registry, "American's Most Honored Professionals."
  • The Madison Who’s Who of Executives and Professionals
  • Continental Who's Who of National Business Leaders
  • Expert Guide to the World's Leading Litigation Lawyers

Representative Matters

  • Microsoft Corporation v. Motorola: Co-counsel in multiple patent and breach of contract actions.
  • BP Pipelines, et al v. State of Alaska, et al: Lead trial counsel for BP, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, ChevronTexaco and Koch in trials involving the multi-billion dollar valuation of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System.
  • Alakayak v. All Alaskan Seafoods: Lead counsel for largest seafood processor defendant in $1.2 billion antitrust class action. Successfully obtained unanimous jury verdict for defendants after four-month trial.
  • RealNetworks v. Microsoft: Co-counsel for plaintiff in antitrust action. Successfully settled for $760 million.
  • Caldera v. Microsoft: Co-lead trial counsel for plaintiff in billion dollar antitrust action. Successfully negotiated multi-hundred million dollar settlement.
  • KVC v. Regis, et al.: Lead trial counsel for one of two defendants. Obtained summary judgment dismissing plaintiff’s claims; obtained $20 million judgment for defendants at trial. After second trial on defendants’ Civil Rule 11 sanctions motion, obtained one of the largest sanction awards in the United States.
  • U.S. v. Trident Seafoods: Lead trial counsel to defendant in Clean Air Act enforcement case. Successfully obtained defense judgment at trial.
  • Antitrust Litigation: Ralph has handled significant antitrust litigation, including multi-district and class action litigation in the high technology, brewing, meat packing, agricultural and forest products industries. Ralph has also been trial counsel in cases involving dealer terminations and franchising, and he provides antitrust compliance advice to corporations and industry associations.
  • Products Liability Litigation: Ralph has been national trial counsel in products liability cases in the agricultural chemicals, electronics, heavy machinery and consumer products industries. Ralph also provides advice to clients on product liability compliance and litigation management programs.
  • Superfund Litigation: Ralph has been lead counsel to defendants in more than 40 State and federal Superfund actions throughout the United States. In that capacity he has litigated Superfund cases, managed remedial investigation, feasibility study and cleanup action negotiations with State and federal agencies on behalf of individual PRPs and PRP groups, and he has litigated allocation cases among PRPs.
  • RCRA/TSCA Litigation and Regulatory Actions: Ralph was lead trial counsel in the first RCRA "imminent and substantial endangerment" action, obtaining a defense verdict on behalf of his client. Since that time, Ralph has been lead trial counsel in more than 30 State and federal RCRA actions. In addition, Ralph provides advice to corporations on RCRA compliance, permitting, and regulatory actions.
  • Clean Water Act and Clean Air Actions: Ralph participated in litigating the first cases brought under the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts. Since that time, he has represented companies in more than 25 Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act enforcement cases; he has negotiated regulatory compliance issues with State and federal environmental agencies.
  • Natural Resource Damage Actions: Ralph led the team of experts representing Alyeska with respect to the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Since that time, he has been lead trial counsel to defendants in more than 15 natural resource damage actions, and he has advised corporations and industry trade associations with respect to strategic issues involving natural resource damages. Ralph applies his expertise in economic issues to both his antitrust practice and in understanding the complex economic issues involved in natural resource damage assessments.
  • Environmental Acquisitions and Management: Ralph has represented clients in connection with more than 50 real estate transaction and corporate acquisitions involving environmental issues. He is an expert on environmental compliance and management systems and he advises Fortune 500 companies on state-of-the art practices with respect to strategic environmental management. He also provides advice to industry associations and trade groups on environmental issues.