Experience List
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Admitted to Practice

  • Washington, 1980
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1985
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1983
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit, 2008
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Washington, 1980
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Washington, 1986

Stephen M. Rummage

Steve Rummage represents clients in complex litigation and appeals, with an emphasis on class action defense. In more than 30 years of practice, he has defended a wide variety of matters, including consumer class actions, securities fraud claims, right of publicity actions, complex contract disputes, and construction matters. His work has included leading roles in some of the region’s most significant litigation, ranging from the Washington Public Power Supply System bond default in the 1980s, the Exxon Valdez oil spill litigation in the 1990s, and the Washington Mutual Securities Litigation in the most recent decade.

Steve represents clients from a variety of industries, including software, financial services, telecommunications, digital media, leisure travel, and major league sports. In addition to his trial practice, Steve has argued dozens of appeals in state and federal courts, including high profile cases that established Washington law on issues ranging from class actions to securities to land use. He is widely regarded as one of the region’s most effective oral advocates.

Representative Experience

Consumer Class Action Experience

Cousineau v. Microsoft Corporation

Represent Microsoft in putative nationwide class action litigation alleging violation of Electronic Communications Privacy Act and other statutes arising from collection of location information through Windows Phone mobile operating system. (W.D. Wash. Ongoing)

Minnick v. Clearwire LLC

Defending proposed class litigation alleging misrepresentation of the quality of internet services, inferior service, and improper early termination fees.  District court dismissed all claims. See 635 F. Supp. 2d 1179.  On appeal, Ninth Circuit certified issue to Washington Supreme Court, where the case awaits decision. (Wash. Ongoing)

Smith v. Microsoft Corporation

Represented Microsoft in putative California class action litigation alleging violations of California’s “Shine-the-Light” law, requiring disclosures with respect to sharing consumers’ personal information for marketing purposes.  (C.D. Cal. 2012)

Tavenner v. The Talon Group

Represent mortgage escrow company in putative class action in federal court alleging company charged fees for closing home loan in violation of the Washington Consumer Protection Act and other state law. (W. D. Wash. Ongoing)

Bower/Stoican v. Verizon Wireless

Obtained orders compelling arbitration and enforcing class action waivers on behalf of national wireless carrier. On appeal to Ninth Circuit. (W.D. Wash./C.D. Cal. 2011)

Johnson v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc.

Represented Countrywide and Bank of America in Washington-only putative class action alleging various fees violated the Washington Consumer Loan Act.  After district court dismissed with leave to re-plead, succeeded in obtaining an order dismissing the case with prejudice.  Ninth Circuit affirmed dismissal.  (W.D. Wash. 2011)

Kelley v. Microsoft Corporation

Defended Microsoft in litigation challenging “Windows Vista Capable” marketing program, which preceded release of the Microsoft Windows Vista operating system in early 2007. Nationwide class certified, then decertified after the close of e-discovery in February 2009.  After partial reversal and remand by the Ninth Circuit, class certification again denied. (W.D. Wash. 2011)

Tyler v. ABC Alarm

Defended national bank in proposed California-only class action alleging violation of state Home Solicitation Sales Act and Unfair Competition Law.  Resolved matter after tentative ruling enforcing arbitration clause with class action waiver. (Sacramento Cnty. (Cal.) Super. Ct. 2011)

Fee claims against national wireless carrier

Represented wireless carrier in putative nationwide and California-only class actions in Washington and California, alleging carrier breached contracts and violated consumer protection statutes when it passed-through federal fees that subsidize phone service for underserved areas. Courts dismissed each proposed class action with prejudice, and 9th Circuit affirmed. (W.D. Wash., N.D. Cal. 2010)

In re Park West Galleries Marketing & Sales Practices Litigation

Defended two international cruise lines in multidistrict class litigation concerning marketing and sales practices for on-board art auctions. Successfully moved to dismiss all claims based on contractual limitations periods in cruise contracts. (W.D. Wash. 2010)

In re Xbox 360 Scratched Disc Litigation

Represented Microsoft in putative nationwide products liability class action alleging defects in the Xbox 360 console. Court denied class certification in October 2009, and the Ninth Circuit denied review. See 2009 WL 481325. (W.D. Wash. 2010)

Sypolt v. The Talon Group, LLC

Represented escrow company against putative class claims of breach of contract, breach of duties as fiduciary and agent, Consumer Protection violation, and unjust enrichment. Court granted summary judgment on all claims. (W.D. Wash. 2009)

Blaylock v. First American Title Company

Represented the nation's largest title insurer in a putative consumer class action alleging title insurers violated state and federal law by giving 'inducements' to referral sources to secure title insurance business. Court dismissed all claims for plaintiffs' lack of standing. 2008 WL 8741396 (W.D. Wash. 2008)

Estate of Robert S. Felts v. Genworth Life Ins. Co.

Defeated motion for certification of a nationwide class in lawsuit alleging multiple state law claims arising out of the sale of life-only fixed annuities. 250 F.R.D. 512 (W.D. Wash. 2008) Read more

Molosky v. Washington Mutual

Represented nation's largest savings and loan in putative class litigation in Michigan alleging improper collection of mortgage release fees and payoff statement fees. Motion to dismiss granted based on federal preemption and failure to state a claim under Michigan law. Appeal pending in the 6th Circuit when the FDIC assumed control of the savings and loan, resulting in a stay of the appeal. (6th Cir. 2008)

Selected Securities Litigation Experience

FutureSelect Portfolio Management, Inc. v. Tremont Group Holdings, Inc.

Defending international accounting firm against claims of alleged negligent misrepresentation and breach of the Washington State Securities Act arising from investments in Madoff feeder funds.  Obtained complete dismissal of claims with prejudice. Case pending on appeal. (King Cnty. (Wash.) Super. Ct. Ongoing)

In re SonoSite Shareholder Litigation

Represented acquirer in defending class claims brought by shareholders seeking to enjoin acquisition of SonoSite by FujiFilm Holdings Corp. Case resolved on the basis of enhanced disclosures in proxy statement. (King Cnty. (Wash.) Super. Ct. 2012)

In re Washington Mutual Securities, Derivative and ERISA Litigation

Represented former Washington Mutual officers in multidistrict class action litigation and tag-along cases pending in federal district court in the Western District of Washington involving securities claims arising from collapse of housing market and FDIC seizure of WAMU assets. Appointed by court as sole liaison counsel for all defendants. Case settled after four years of litigation. (W.D. Wash. 2011)

In re Zymogenetics Shareholder Litigation

Represented acquirer in defending class claims brought by shareholders seeking to enjoin acquisition of Zymogenetics by Bristol-Myers-Squibb.  Case resolved on the basis of enhanced disclosures in proxy statement. (King Cnty. (Wash.) Super. Ct. 2011)

South Ferry LP, No. 2 v. Killinger

Defended officers of Washington Mutual against claims arising from alleged flaws in hedging strategies. Case resolved through settlement after five years of litigation, substantial motion practice and proceedings in Ninth Circuit. (W.D. Wash. 2011)

In re Loudeye Corporation Securities Litigation

Represented Nokia, Inc., in PSLRA securities class action. Briefed and argued successful motion to dismiss on the pleadings. (W.D. Wash. 2007)

Lopez v. Klein

Represented Getty Images and directors in derivative claims arising out of acquisition of Getty Images by Hellman & Friedman LLC. Settled on the basis of enhanced disclosures in proxy statement. (King Cnty. (Wash.) Super. Ct. 2007)

Staer v. Shurgard Storage Centers, Inc.

Represented Shurgard and its directors with respect to derivative claims arising out of acquisition of Shurgard by Public Storage. Settled on the basis of enhanced disclosures in proxy statement. (King Cnty. (Wash.) Super. Ct. 2006)

Selected Appellate Experience

Schnall v. AT&T Wireless Services, Inc.

Filed amicus curiae briefs (one for U.S. Chamber of Commerce, another for Microsoft Corporation, T-Mobile USA, Inc., Amazon.com, Holland America Line, and Clearwire) before the Washington Supreme Court in appeal from class certification order in a case alleging failure to disclose fees.  In reversing and remanding certification order, the Court adopted several arguments raised in amicus curiae brief. 171 Wash.2d 260, 259 P.3d 129 (2011)

Balen v. Holland America Line

Argued and won leading Ninth Circuit case involving arbitrability of claims under Seaman's Wage Act, as Ninth Circuit affirmed dismissal of putative class action based on contract requiring arbitration in the Philippines, seaman's home country. 583 F.3d 647 (9th Cir. 2009)

Washington State Major League Baseball Public Facilities District v. Huber, Hunt & Nichols-Kiewit Constr. Co.

Represented Safeco Field’s owner and tenant, the Seattle Mariners, in challenging dismissal of claims against contractor for latent defects in fireproofing coatings. Persuaded Supreme Court that statute of limitations did not apply, as the action had been brought for the benefit of the State. 165 Wash.2d 679,202 P.3d 924 (2009)

Hallam v. Holland America Line

Prevailed before the Alaska Supreme Court on novel class action claim concerning the so-called 'pyramiding' method of computing overtime for hours worked in excess of eight hours in a day or 40 hours in a week. 180 P.3d 955 (Alas. 2008)

Hearst Communications v. The Seattle Times Company

Argued and won a unanimous Washington Supreme Court decision on threshold issue of contract interpretation in litigation filed by the Hearst Corporation regarding the Joint Operating Agreement under which the Seattle Times Company published both The Seattle Times and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 154 Wash.2d 493, 115 P.3d 262 (2005)

Pickett v. Holland America Line - Westours Inc.

Argued and won seminal case in Washington Supreme Court, upholding approval of class action settlement and establishing Washington law on class action settlement standards. 145 Wash.2d 178, 35 P.3d 351 (2001)

Wenatchee Sportsmen Assn. v. Chelan County

Handled appeal from adverse decision holding that development near Mission Ridge ski resort violated Washington Growth Management Act. Succeeded in obtaining direct review from Supreme Court, which reversed in 8-1 decision. 141 Wash.2d 169, 4. P.3d 123 (2000) 

Cazzanigi v. GE Capital Corporation

Argued and won unanimous decision by the Washington Supreme Court rejecting core claims in state court class action challenging finance charges and other terms of private label credit card programs under Washington Retail Installment Sales Act and Consumer Protection Act.  132 Wash.2d 433, 938 P.2d 819 (1997)

Organization to Preserve Agricultural Lands v. Adams County

Defended solid waste disposal company in series of highly publicized challenges to development of controversial Eastern Washington regional landfill. Prevailed in unanimous opinion by Washington Supreme Court in leading case on "appearance of fairness" doctrine. 128 Wash.2d 869, 913 P.2d 793 (1996) Read more

Professional Recognition

  • Named one of "America's Leading Lawyers for Business" in Litigation: General Commercial (Washington) by Chambers USA, 2004-2013; Received "Band 1" ranking, 2012, 2013
  • Named one of the "Best Lawyers in America" by Best Lawyers in Commercial Litigation, 2007-present; in Business Litigation, 2003-2006; in Bet-the-Company Litigation, 2010-present 
  • Selected to "Top 100 Washington Super Lawyers," Thomson Reuters, 2005-2013
  • Named as one of the "Top Business Lawyers" by Seattle Business Monthly, 2008
  • Named as one of the "Top Lawyers" by Seattle Magazine and Seattle Business Monthly, 2007 (featured on cover of Seattle Business Monthly)