Bert W. Markovich
Bert Markovich focuses his practice on maritime law, the defense of complex and high-stakes litigation (including class action and mass tort), and product liability litigation. He represents several marine, pharmaceutical, and manufacturing companies in complicated and high-profile cases. A practiced and keen trial attorney with more than 30 years of experience, Bert has the savvy to know which litigation strategy is in his clients’ best interest, whether it be to negotiate a settlement, arbitrate, or go to trial—all in the pursuit of the optimal outcome for each client he represents.
A force in the courtroom
Bert has defended his clients in more than 100 trials through verdict, obtaining favorable results in over 90% of them. He guides his clients through the intricacies of crafting a strategic defense. He believes fervently that every client, whether they are a large corporation, vessel owner, or individual, can get justice in a courtroom. Over the expanse of his career, Bert has been involved in many of the most complex trials in the region, including serving as lead trial counsel in high-stakes maritime and pharmaceutical cases.
In recent years, Bert’s cases have involved difficult commercial disputes, wrongful death, and catastrophic personal injury. Helping maritime and manufacturing clients resolve thorny disputes is the aspect of his practice that he finds most intriguing. A varsity football player in college, Bert enjoys competition, and his trial practice allows him to continue competing in the defense of his clients.
- Accomplished Pacific Northwest maritime defense lawyer with a wealth of jury trial experience in major cases.
- Represented the defense in an admiralty case in which the seaman claimed he sustained a severe organic brain injury. The federal judge in Seattle ruled that the plaintiff's problems were not the result of the incident in question. Kilic v. Mattsen Fisheries.
- Represented an international corporation in the trial of a complex Class Action case in which the jury rendered a verdict in favor of our client.
- Successfully represented several maritime clients in trials in which brain injuries have been asserted.
- Won a defense verdict in an admiralty case filed in federal court in Tacoma, Washington. Johns v. F/V MISTY BLUE.
- Achieved a defense verdict against class representatives in a lengthy class action trial involving the manufacturer of power tools. Boos v. Chicago Pneumatic.
- Represented Bayer in a product liability case involving the anti-cholesterol drug Baycol where the plaintiff sought millions of dollars in actual and punitive damages. The case settled for a very favorable amount one week before trial; if it had gone to trial, it would have been the third case tried in the Baycol litigation. Jennings v. Bayer, Corp.
- Achieved a defense verdict in a case involving the double amputation of a young child’s fingers. Wiest v. Toys "R" Us.
- Represented Wal-Mart in a four-week trial in which the plaintiff alleged she sustained complex regional pain syndrome and requested $2.4 million in damages. The jury awarded her $6,000. Hicock-Knight v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
- Defended Fred Meyer in an alleged discrimination case. The plaintiff was dismissed with prejudice after three days of trial. Lee v. Fred Meyer, Inc.
- Won a defense verdict in a case involving a claim of reflex sympathetic dystrophy where the plaintiff asked the jury for $1-2 million. Sanford v. Kroger, Co.
- Achieved a defense verdict in a tort case in which a store employee dropped a large case of merchandise on the plaintiff. Benfield v. Fred Meyer, Inc.
- Won a defense verdict despite the fact that liability was admitted; the jury found no proximate cause. Buholm v. Loomis Fargo & Co.
- Achieved a defense verdict in which the plaintiff claimed a loss of eyesight as a result of a consumer product. Earle v. Toys "R" Us.
- Represented Sound Diagnostics in a case involving ultrasound equipment and a child who was born with one defective arm and no legs. Our client paid nothing while a co-defendant paid $2,000,000. Wheeler v. Sound Diagnostics.
- Represented Hyster in a case in which a near amputee claimed a product was defective; the plaintiff non-suited the case after one week of trial. O'Neal v. Hyster.
- Represented the defense in a product liability case involving a child who sustained severe burns over much of his body with over $500,000 in specials; settled for $575,000. Thrasher v. Division Sales.
- Represented the defense in a product liability case in which the plaintiff sustained burns over 80% of her body and had medical expenses over $400,000; case settled for $100,000. Dawley v. K-Mart.
Memberships & Awards
- Maritime Law Association of the United States
- Washington State Bar Association
- Oregon State Bar Association
- King County Bar Association
- International Association of Defense Counsel
- Defense Research Institute, Drug and Medical Device Section
- Washington Defense Trial Lawyers Association
- Washington Super Lawyers (2006-2022)
- AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated with Martindale-Hubbell® (2000-present)
Resources & Ideas
- Super Lawyers, July 2017
Seminars & Speaking Engagements
- January 28, 2021
- Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt 1420 5th Ave., Suite 3400 Seattle, WA 98101, January 27, 2017
- CHOICES Education Group, Board of Directors
- University of Oregon School of LawJuris Doctor degree
- Montana State UniversityMaster of Arts degree and Bachelor of Arts degree
Oregon State Courts
Washington State Courts
United States District Court, District of Oregon
United States District Court, Western District of Washington
United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
Outside The Office
- Cycling, hiking, skiing, golfing, traveling, and reading—and starting each day with a cardio/weight lifting workout.