Masaki James Yamada ("Saki")

Direct Dial: 206-529-3015
Ph: 206-287-9900
Fx: 206-287-9902

Masaki James Yamada Attorney

Practice Areas

  • Construction Law and Litigation
  • Insurance Coverage and Litigation
  • Construction Site Injury Litigation
  • Complex Commercial Litigation
  • Commercial Real Estate/Leases
  • Communications Law (Cell Tower Site Leases)

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Practice Description

Saki Yamada is a Partner at the firm and his practice focuses on complex construction, insurance, business litigation, commercial real estate, and communications law. He regularly represents and advises general contractors, subcontractors, developers, business and property owners, and design professionals in a wide range of legal issues from contract negotiations to payment disputes. Mr. Yamada has tried complex claims in multiple jury trials, including a one month long trial that ended in a multi-million dollar judgment on behalf of an international general contractor client and a successful defense of a general contractor against a multi-million dollar construction site injury claim. Mr. Yamada has successfully resolved numerous disputes through direct negotiations, mediation, and dispositive motions in State Court and Federal Court. Mr. Yamada also has extensive experience with Washington’s court of appeals, including an appeal to the Washington Supreme Court involving the right of union trust funds to make a claim under Washington’s public works bond and retention statute. Mr. Yamada's practice also includes negotiating, revising, drafting, and reviewing construction contracts, real estate agreements and commercial leases, including communication tower leases.

Mr. Yamada started his legal career at the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office where he worked fulltime while attending and completing the night program at the Seattle University School of Law. Upon passing the bar, Mr. Yamada was hired as a Civil Deputy Prosecuting Attorney to defend and advise corrections officers, sheriff deputies, and prosecutors in civil rights and tort cases in superior court and federal district court; enforced taxi licensing codes, animal control and abuse codes at administrative board hearings; and drafted agency policy and county codes (that are still enforced today).

Mr. Yamada is admitted to practice in all state, federal, and appellate courts of Washington. He regularly gives seminars around the state on insurance, contract law, and public works. He has also been selected as a “Rising Star” by Washington Law and Politics / Super Lawyers Magazine for 2013, 2014, and 2015.

Representative Cases

  • Defended a construction site injury claim for $3.6 million in a one-month jury trial and successfully limited recovery of damages.
  • Successfully mediated a general contractor’s multi-million dollar claims for breach of contract and general extended conditions while defending multi-million dollar counterclaims based on alleged construction defects and delay claims (liquidated damages claims) by the owner over a dispute arising from the $52 million "Ballard Blocks" commercial project in Ballard, Washington.
  • Successfully obtained $4.0 million judgment, plus attorney's fees and costs, after a one-month lien foreclosure trial on behalf of international general contractor over disputes arising from the Whole Foods construction project in West Seattle.
  • Successfully defended a general contractor in federal court action against a national title company’s claims for fraud that resulted in a no payment settlement.
  • Successfully defended a national leader in heavy civil and specialty geotechnical construction in multiple lawsuits by home owners who alleged vibrations created by adjacent construction activities caused damage to their homes. Summary judgment motions in all cases ultimately resulted in no damages owed by the contractor and dismissal of the actions.
  • Represented multiple building owners in disputes with AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile in lease disputes.
  • Successfully mediated and resolved numerous cases on behalf of contractors involving unpaid sums and delay damages on private and public projects.

Admitted to Practice

  • Washington State Bar Association
  • United States District Court Western District of Washington
  • United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Professional Associations

  • Member, Washington State Bar Association
  • Member, Master Builders Association
  • Member, National Association of Home Builders
  • Member, Associated General Contractors of Washington
  • Member, King County Bar Association
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • President (former), Phi Alpha Delta – Seattle University Chapter


  • J.D., Seattle University School of Law, 2004
  • B.A., Political Science, Seattle University 1997