Dennis J. Dunphy
Dennis Dunphy helps business owners threatened by the adverse impacts of eminent domain (condemnation) by government agencies.
Focus on eminent domain
Property owners facing the unwelcome forced acquisition of their property through eminent domain call on Dennis for experienced counsel and creative solutions. For over 25 years, Dennis has focused on representing the needs of private property owners. His clients include national real estate investment trusts, national and local retailers, large and small real estate investors, and business owners who own or rent their locations.
Dennis’s deep knowledge, experience and successful track record have made him one of the leading lawyers in his field. He is the sole Washington State representative of Owners’ Counsel of America, an organization of experienced eminent domain lawyers selected by peer review.
An experienced litigator plus leverage for a successful pretrial resolution
Before focusing on eminent domain matters, Dennis honed his real estate litigation skills representing developers, construction contractors and other business owners. His overall litigation skills, coupled with his experience trying eminent domain cases, enable him to quickly assess cases and bargain with the government from a position of strength.
- Represented an airport parking lot business whose lots were condemned by a transit agency for a light-rail station and park-and-ride facility. Settlement exceeded first offer by more than $4 million.
- Won jury trial for homeowners in a small waterfront community against a state highway agency that used eminent domain powers to acquire two homesites and install stormwater facilities in violation of neighborhood restrictive covenants. Trial judge determined that homeowners were entitled to damages despite the absence of Washington appellate precedent. The jury awarded substantial damages and the judge added attorney and expert fee award to homeowners.
- Negotiated financial compensation and protective indemnities for an owner of a large mixed-use apartment and retail development in downtown Seattle in connection with subsurface condemnation for a highway tunnel by a state transportation agency.
- Represented a national retail drugstore/pharmacy in connection with condemnation of an expanded high-voltage power line facility affecting its suburban shopping center. Resolved through mediation that defined and limited the scope of the acquisition, as well as payment of substantial damages.
Memberships & Awards
- Washington Super Lawyer, Eminent Domain (2009-2018)
- Martindale-Hubbell “A/V” rating award for expertise and ethics
Resources & Ideas
- Super LawyersJune 21, 2018
- 12 of Schwabe’s Washington attorneys recognized as being in the top 5 percent of their fieldJune 12, 2017
- 14 of Schwabe’s Washington attorneys recognized as being in the top 5 percent of their fieldJune 16, 2016
- August 25, 2017
- Puget Sound Business Journal, June 23, 2017
- Georgetown UniversityBachelor of Arts degree (1974)
- Georgetown University Law CenterJuris Doctor degree (1978)
Washington State Courts
United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
United States Court of Federal Claims
United States District Court, Western District of Washington
United States District Court, Eastern District of Washington
United States District Court, District of Montana
Outside The Office
- Dennis enjoys hiking and, especially, mountain biking.