William E. Fitzharris, Jr.

Of Counsel, Seattle

William E. Fitzharris, Jr. Profile Picture

Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rated

Professional Experience

Bill Fitzharris became Of Counsel to Preg, O'Donnell & Gillett PLLC in November 2007.  Bill has practiced law in the Seattle community since 1976, most recently as a partner for 12 years with Kingman, Peabody, Fitzharris & Ringer. Bill and his wife Marsha have lived in Seattle since 1976, where they have raised two daughters.

Bill's practice concentrates on liability defense litigation, and he has tried, arbitrated, and mediated hundreds of cases, both complex and simple, throughout his career.

Bill exemplifies Preg O'Donnell & Gillett’s belief in the importance of balance in our attorney’s personal and professional lives, in their family lives, and in the pursuit of personal interests that bring growth, fulfillment, and happiness, thereby allowing our lawyers to be more effective in their practice. Through coaching, officiating, and memberships on a variety of boards and committees, Bill has achieved this, having been a long-time contributor to youth sports in his neighborhood and throughout the Seattle area.

Education

Bill graduated in 1973 with an honors degree in Mathematics from Dartmouth College where, among many other activities, he lettered twice in lacrosse.

He then attended Boston University School of Law, from which he earned a J.D. degree in 1976, where he met and married his wife, Marsha Pechman.

Admitted to Practice

  • Washington State Courts (WSBA #07122)
  • United States District Courts in Washington State
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court

Professional & Community Activities

  • Bill is a member of the King County Bar Association, the Washington Defense Trial Lawyers, the Defense Research Institute, and the American Bar Association.
  • For over 25 years, Bill has volunteered as the Head Supervising Attorney for the UW Student Legal Services program, which provides free or low cost legal advice and representation to UW students.

Other activities include:

  • Washington Defense Trial Lawyers Association [Technology Section]
  • Northwest Environmental Claims Association
  • Federal Bar Association of Washington
  • American Bar Association
:
    • Torts and Insurance Practice Section (former Regional Editor of TIPS Newsletter) Insurance Litigation Section
    • Law Practice Management Section
    • Environmental Law Section
  • Washington State Bar Association
:
    • WSBA Hearing Officer
    • Litigation Section
    • Law Practice Management Section
  • King County (Washington) Bar Association:
    • Courts & Judiciary Committee
    • Internet Committee
    • Professionalism in the Law Committee
    • Volunteer Legal Services (accept pro bono referrals of indigent clients)
    • Past Chair, Program Committee
    • Past Chair, Bridging the Gap Seminar Committee
    • Past Chair, Trustees Search Committee
    • Judicial Evaluation Committee
    • Litigation Section

Publications & Presentations

  • Presenter, "Professional Liability Insurance Coverage," National Business Institute, Seattle, WA.
  • Presenter, "Avoiding Legal Malpractice While Defending Liability Claims," National Business Institute, Seattle, WA.
  • Presenter, "Factual Investigations in Defending Environmental Insurance Claims," Seattle, WA.
  • Presenter, "Insurance Agent E&O Claims Defense," Professional Seminars, Inc., Seattle, WA.
  • Presenter, "Insurance Company Insolvency," Professional Seminars, Inc., Seattle, WA.
  • Presenter, "Insurance Guaranty Associations," Professional Seminars, Inc., Seattle, WA.
  • Various in-house seminars for insurance company clients:
    • Representative topics:  duty to defend; avoiding malpractice, slip and fall 
claims; construction claims; employment discrimination claims.

Honors

  • Bill has an "AV" Rating from Martindale-Hubbell.  Under the Martindale-Hubbell criteria, an AV Rating shows that a lawyer has reached the height of professional excellence and is recognized for the highest levels of skill, integrity and ethics.