Bruce litigates a wide range of commercial disputes but focuses his practice principally on trusts and estates, intellectual property, antitrust and banking litigation. He was lead trial and appellate counsel In re Estate of Lint, the seminal modern Washington Supreme Court holding on undue influence and fraud, and has since litigated a host of trust and estate matters for a wide variety of clients. Within the intellectual property field, he has litigated many claims of patent, trademark, copyright and trade dress infringement. Bruce has litigated antitrust issues in cases involving claims that a high-technology company abused its patent rights in an attempt to be a monopoly and conspired with a competitor to boycott a supplier; allegations that a ski manufacturer's termination of a dealer violated the antitrust laws; and affirmative defenses that anticompetitive conduct by a copyright holder barred software infringement claims. He has also recently represented the FDIC in cases against officers and directors for mismanagement associated with bank failures in Washington and Oregon.
In connection with his practice, Bruce has argued numerous cases on the appellate level, before the Federal Circuit Court in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit and the Washington State Court of Appeals and Supreme Court.
- American Bar Association, Patent, Trademark and Copyright Section, Member
- American Business Trial Lawyers Association, Member
- Washington State Bar Association, Real Property and Estates Section, Member
- Senior trial counsel in 9 week trial in King County Superior Court, direct appeal taken by Supreme Court
In Re Estate of Lint: Senior trial counsel in 9 week trial in King County Superior Court, direct appeal taken by Supreme Court. 9-0 win. Supreme Court’s last major word on undue influence, fraud in Washington. Made new law, establishing a common law right, in cases involving “fraud of the grossest kind”, for those not a party to a marriage, to challenge it after the death of one of the spouses (statute otherwise controlling statute limits challengers to either spouse, while both alive)
In Re Estate of J. Thomas Bernard: Lead Appellate counsel in case decided by First Division of Washington Court of Appeals, affirming use of a so-called TEDRA Agreement regarding changes to a testator’s testamentary scheme to modify a previous TEDRA Agreement, even where first agreement specified a specific procedure not followed by the testator in the second agreement, on grounds that testamentary right is “fundamental”, and should not be unduly restricted by technical requirements beyond those related to execution. Made new law, establishing that a PR may appeal a decision overturning a testamentary scheme, even if such appeal runs contrary to the interests of the new beneficiaries.
News & Insights
- "The Art of the Deposition: How to Prepare Yourself When Your Estate Planning Documents are Being Challenged," Advising Estate Planning and Probate Clients, Washington State Bar Association Real Property, Probate and Trust SectionSpeaking EngagementSeattle, WA, 11.18.09
- SeminarGarvey Schubert Barer, Seattle, WA, 11.4.09
- Washington, 1989
- Oregon, 2011
- California, 1984
- U.S. District Court, Central District of California, 1985
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Washington, 2011
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington, 1990
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, 2001
- J.D., University of Chicago Law School, 1984
- B.A., Amherst College, Philosophy, 1981