Harrigan Leyh Farmer & Thomsen LLP
Randall Thomsen has a well-deserved reputation as a creative litigator, handling complex cases in state and federal courts. He has successfully litigated cases on a wide-variety of topics, including business and shareholder disputes, lawsuits against governmental entities, class actions, breach of contract cases, real property disputes, personal injury claims, wrongful death and mass casualty cases, antitrust actions, and employment disputes. Randall represents both plaintiffs and defendants.
Washington Law and Politics has selected Randall as a Super Lawyer annually since 2012. Benchmark Litigation also has identified him as a top Washington lawyer and a Local Litigation Star.
He previously served on the Washington State Bar Association’s Judicial Review Committee and was a member of the Lewis Powell Chapter of the Inns of the Court. He is a graduate of Gonzaga University. While at Gonzaga he was a member of Gonzaga’s national debate team and, during law school, received the prestigious Thomas More Scholarship granted to those with outstanding academic achievement and a commitment to public service. Randall also has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Washington’s School of Public Affairs. Randall joined the firm in 1997 after serving as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Dennis J. Sweeney of the Washington State Court of Appeals.
Represented, along with other firm’s lawyers, Snohomish County in six consolidated lawsuits arising from the March 2014 Oso Landslide in which 43 people were killed. The lawsuits involved over forty plaintiffs who asserted claims against the County for wrongful death, personal injury and property damage. In the first consolidated lawsuit, the trial court dismissed all claims by all plaintiffs against the County. The Washington Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal and the Washington Supreme Court denied review. The second case was dismissed by plaintiffs as a result of the outcome in the first case. See Regelbrugge, et al. v. Snohomish County, et al., 7 Wn. App. 2d 29, 432 P.3d 859 (2018).
Successfully represented the State of Washington in a class action lawsuit involving over 100,000 class members and $7 billion in claims. Class members alleged that the Legislature’s repeal of a cost-of-living adjustment for State employees under the State’s pension system was an unconstitutional impairment of contracts. The superior court granted summary judgment in favor of the class members, and the State successfully obtained direct review of the superior court’s decision. In a unanimous 9-0 opinion, the Supreme Court reversed the superior court’s decision and held that the Legislature’s repeal of the cost-of-living adjustment was constitutional. See Washington Educ. Ass’n v. Dept. of Ret. Sys., 181 Wn.2d 212, 332 P.3d 428 (2014).
Defended the Port of Seattle in two lawsuits brought by a prominent national law firm on behalf of 141 property owners that claimed that the Port had improperly converted plaintiffs’ property by purchasing the East Side Rail Corridor and transferring the corridor to King County. The plaintiffs sued to prevent the Port and other local government entities from using the corridor for utilities and passenger rail. They claimed that the Rails to Trails Act extinguished the railroad easements in the corridor. The district court granted a series of summary judgments in favor of the Port that resulted in a dismissal of the cases. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held in an unanimous opinion that the Rails to Trails Act preserved the prior railroad easements and that the corridor could be used for utilities and passenger rail, in addition to its use as a trail. The United States Supreme Court also denied plaintiffs’ request for review. See Kaseburg, et al. v. Port of Seattle, 744 Fed. Appx. 356 (9th Cir. 2018).
Represented, along with other firm’s lawyers, the City of Mercer Island in its widely publicized fight to mitigate the impacts of the closure of the center express lanes of I-90, as part of Sound Transit’s expansion of light rail to Seattle’s Eastside. The case involved intense litigation in multiple forums. Just ahead of a hearing on the City’s request for an injunction, the City Council accepted a settlement offer of $10.1 million in mitigation payments from Sound Transit.
Defended King County against $250 million in claims by a regional water and sewer districts related to the operation and funding of the County’s Wastewater Treatment Division. After a six-week trial in Pierce County Superior Court, the Court ruled in favor of King County. The Washington Supreme Court affirmed the decision in King County’s favor in a unanimous opinion. See Cedar River Water & Sewer District v. King County, 178 Wn.2d 763, 315 P.3d 859 (2013).
Defended the Port of Seattle against claims by taxpayers seeking to invalidate the Port’s $81 million purchase of the Eastside Rail Corridor in 2009. Plaintiffs alleged that the purchase was outside the Port’s authority and a misuse of public funds. After extensive discovery, the trial court denied class certification. The trial court then dismissed all of the plaintiffs’ substantive claims on summary judgment. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s decision in a unanimous opinion. See Lane v. Port of Seattle, 178 Wn. App. 110, 316 P.3d 1070 (2013).
Defended an owner of one of the region’s largest data centers against claims asserted by a Fortune 500 company for fraud and breach of contract in a claim in excess of $200 million. After considerable discovery and motion practice, the case was successfully resolved with plaintiff dismissing the claims and agreeing to abide by the terms of the lease agreement.
Defended an Internet entrepreneur against a $460 million business fraud claim. The case was resolved by a nominal settlement during trial, following a series of successful summary judgment motions that dismissed virtually all of the plaintiff’s claims.
Defended an owner of a large regional shopping mall in Spokane County against claims brought by a national Real Estate Investment Trust alleging fraud and negligent misrepresentations in the sale of the shopping mall in a $120 million transaction. The claims were successfully dismissed by way of summary judgment before trial.
Represented the State of Washington in two companion lawsuits brought by a sitting Washington State Supreme Court justice. One action involved a claim under Washington’s Public Disclosure Act and the second sought indemnification for attorneys fees incurred by the justice in defending against a disciplinary proceeding. The State prevailed by summary judgment in both actions at the trial court. At both the Court of Appeals and the Washington Supreme Court, the appellate courts affirmed the superior courts’ decisions in all material respects. See Honorable Richard Sanders v. State of Washington, 169 Wn.2d 827, 240 P.3d 120 (2010) (affirming trial court’s dismissal of Public Records Act claims asserted by Supreme Court justice against Washington State Attorney General’s office); Honorable Richard Sanders v. State of Washington,166 Wn.2d 164, 207 P.3d 1245 (2009) (finding no entitlement to indemnification for attorneys fees incurred by Supreme Court justice charged with ethical violations involving acts outside the scope of a judge’s official duties).