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Jeffrey P. Downer, Lee Smart, P.S., Inc., Seattle, WA, is a senior shareholder at his firm. He was graduated from the University of Washington School of Law in 1982 and admitted to the Washington State Bar that year. He joined Lee Smart, P.S., Inc. as an intern in 1980 and as a lawyer in 1982. He became a shareholder in the firm in 1987. In 1994 the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory gave Mr. Downer its “AV” rating. He has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America for the past five years and in Washington Super Lawyers magazine for10 of the past 11 years. Mr. Downer’s diverse litigation practice includes professional-liability defense, especially for lawyers and real estate brokers; insurance-coverage and bad-faith claims; appellate practice; premises liability; and product liability. Mr. Downer is Costco Wholesale Corporation’s national coordinating counsel in defense of claims across North America arising from allegations of E. coli O157:H7 infection and other claims of food-borne illness or food contamination. He has served as arbitrator in numerous lawsuits involving personal injuries and commercial disputes and as an expert witness in legal-malpractice cases, insurance bad-faith actions, and other cases. He has spoken at continuing legal education seminars regarding claims of food-borne illness, professional liability, and many other aspects of defense litigation. A cum laude graduate of the University of Washington with a degree in editorial journalism, Mr. Downer is the editor of The Lee Smart Quarterly, a newsletter regarding litigation and the insurance-defense practice. 

Significant cases Mr. Downer has handled include several multi-million-dollar environmental-coverage matters; class-action insurance litigation; and bad-faith claims against insurers. He has defended E. coli O157:H7 claims; a $40 million Superfund proceeding; the product-liability actions of Tuttle v. The Stroh Brewery Co. and Zamora v. Mobil Oil Corp.; Boggs v. Whitaker Lipp & Helea, an insurance-coverage action involving approximately 300 claimants and $65 million in claims; and numerous appellate cases.

Mr. Downer has argued appeals to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Washington Supreme Court, and the three divisions of the Washington State Court of Appeals.


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