THOMAS F. PETERSON

LEGAL EXPERIENCE

Tom has practiced in the areas of real estate transactions, land use and business litigation since 1986. He assists real property owners, lenders, developers, title companies, homeowners associations, escrow agents and real estate professionals transact business, avoid problems, and resolve disputes. His experience includes real estate financing, leasing, purchase-and-sale transactions and disputes, title claims, foreclosures, landlord-tenant disputes, homeowners association and condominium matters, land use permitting, rezones, professional and lender liability claims and insurance coverage issues.

Tom has resolved numerous real estate and commercial disputes through summary judgment, arbitration and mediation. In addition, he has successfully tried jury and non-jury cases in federal and state courts; briefed, argued and won numerous appeals; and resolved many disputes as a professional mediator. Tom is committed to obtaining creative and common sense solutions for his clients. He seeks to understand the client’s goals, give sound advice, and get the best possible results efficiently and ethically.

Super Lawyers® magazine recognized Tom’s achievements by naming him to the Super Lawyer® list every year since 2002, a designation reserved for fewer than five percent of all lawyers in Washington State. Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory has adknowledged Tom with its AV Preeminent® rating.

Prior to commencing his law practice, Tom served as a legal intern for the U.S. Attorney for Western Washington and Law Clerk to 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Thomas Tang in Phoenix, Arizona.

 

REPRESENTATIVE MATTERS

  • Assisted scores of property owners and lenders clear up title defects in order to make their real property marketable or to enhance its value
  • Represents numerous homeowners associations, advising on a wide-variety of management and property issues and in dispute resolution
  • Represents major national insurance company in numerous sales of company properties located in western Washington
  • Regularly reviews and revises standard loan documentation for national commercial lender to assure compliance with Washington state law
  • Successfully represented a secured lender with a $4.2 million lien in a priority dispute with an Indian tribe over a failed multi-phase condominium
  • Represented the borrower in a multi-million dollar refinance of a shopping center
  • Assisted commercial landlord obtain favorable interpretation of lease in dispute over responsibility for parking charges: Pacific Market International, LLC v. TCAM Core Property Fund Operating LP, No. 71707-3-I (Wn. Ct. App. 2015)
  • Successfully advocated for clarification and expansion of the law of equitable subrogation: Columbia Community Bank v. Newman Park, LLC, 177 Wn.2d 566, 349 P.3d 472 (2013)
  • Obtained favorable decision upholding validity of access easement and resolving other issues in dispute between neighboring property owners: Maier v. Giske, 154 Wn. App. 6, 223 P.3d 1265 (2010)
  • Prevailed at trial and on appeal in case allowing sale of church property on grounds that sale was permitted under charitable trust doctrines and that deed restriction violated state’s anti-discrimination statute: Niemann v. Vaughn Community Church, 154 Wn.2d 365, 113 P.3d 463 (2005)
  • Appearing as amicus curiae, successfully urged the Washington Supreme Court to bar post-sale challenges to trustee’s sales by secured lenders: Plein v. Lackey, 149 Wn.2d 214, 67 P.3d 1061 (2003)
  • Convinced Supreme Court to reinstate summary judgment that escrow agent client did not breach its duties to seller in a real estate transaction: Denaxas v. Sandstone Court of Bellevue, 148 Wn.2d 654, 63 P.3d 125 (2003)

PERSONAL

Tom lives in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle. He and his wife have three adult sons. Tom enjoys many outdoor activities, especially skiing and fishing.

EDUCATION

  • University of Oregon School of Law, J.D.; Order of the Coif;
  • Articles Editor, Oregon Law Review
  • Yale University, B.A.

MEMBERSHIPS & RECOGNITION

  • Washington State Bar Association
  • King County Bar Association
  • Washington Land Title Association
  • American Land Title Association
  • Department of Commerce Approved Foreclosure Mediator
  • AV Preeminent® rating, Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory
  • Super Lawyers® list, 2002 through 2018

COMMUNITY SERVICE

  • State of Washington Limited Practice Board Member
  • Dispute Resolution Center of King County, Volunteer Mediator
  • King County Housing Justice Project, Volunteer Lawyer
  • St. Joseph Church, Lector and Former Pastoral Council Chair