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T. Dennis George

Arbitrator
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About Dennis

With my background as a lawyer in private practice, a law firm founder and senior partner, and an executive of a public biotechnology company, I bring unique skills to the arbitration process. My range of experience provides a confidence level that I will listen to disputes knowledgably and decide them impartially and efficiently.

I have been an active member of the Seattle legal community for over 40 years, including 23 years in a firm of which I was a founder, George, Hull, Porter & Kohli. I have extensive experience in business-related litigation, including court trials and appeals; and in alternative dispute resolution, including arbitrations.

I have served as an arbitrator and a mediator in a number of lawsuits and pre-filing disputes involving contract and other business disputes and employment matters. In one example, I served as the sole arbitrator in a dispute over ownership rights in a Hawaiian condominium asset among several partners who were also family members. In another, I served as the sole arbitrator in an American Arbitration Association multi-day arbitration between a large sports shoe, clothing and equipment manufacturer and sponsored athletic team regarding complex claims of breach of a sponsorship/endorsement agreement, requiring a reasoned award. In an another American Arbitration Association case, I served as the sole arbitrator of claims involving the purchase and sale of a small business. I have also served as an arbitrator on a three member FINRA panel in a multi-day arbitration in which an issue was whether a transfer of funds was an investment in a security that was offered for sale.

 

In addition to my experience in private practice, I served four years at Dendreon Corporation as senior vice president for corporate affairs, general counsel, and corporate secretary. When I joined Dendreon, a Seattle-based biotechnology company, it was privately held and had about 35 employees. I worked closely with the CEO and the company’s management, and had responsibility for scientific relationships, including a collaboration with a Japanese partner, contract management and creation of a process for evaluating and managing the company’s risk environment, including establishment of company policy regarding alternative dispute resolution. I also conceived and negotiated an ongoing scientific research collaboration between Dendreon and Northern Michigan University. We took Dendreon public in 2000, and when my four years of service ended, the company had 145 employees and had significantly advanced the development of novel cancer therapies, one of which is a therapeutic prostate cancer vaccine that has since been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for a biologics drug license.

 

My legal experience is varied and includes representation of directors and officers in several bank and savings association failures that resulted in securities and mismanagement claims; claims of breach of non-competition agreements and wrongful use of trade secrets, insurance coverage questions, claims of defamation and civil rights violations, and claims involving contracts in various contexts, and preparation of contracts, including licensing and manufacturing contracts relating to biotechnology. Areas of particular interest are business transactions and contracts, responsibilities and liability of corporate officers and directors, non-competition issues and insurance coverage.

 

My professional interests include serving as a lecturer in the University of Washington Business for International Professionals program where I have taught the International Finance segment and teach the International Law segment (which focuses on alternative dispute resolution methods) of a semi-annual ten week course for graduate students and working professionals, most of whom are from Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Germany. I also taught parts of this course to Emirati students at the UAE Academy in Abu Dhabi in the autumn of 2007.

Professional Memberships:

  • Washington State Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association of the Western District of Washington (President in 1994)
  • American Arbitration Association panel of neutrals
  • Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Roster of Arbitrators (FINRA Dispute Resolution)
  • Seattle ADR Round Table
  • Washington Biotechnology and Biomedical Association (past member)
  • Japan-America Society (past board member)
  • Northern Michigan University Foundation (former Trustee)

Education:

  • J.D., University of Wisconsin Law School, 1966 (with honors and Law Review)
  • U.S. Marine Corps., 1960-63, active duty as an infantry officer
  • B.S., Northern Michigan University (with honors)
    • Executive in Residence, Undergraduate Business School course instructor in 2003, 2006
    • Honorary D.Sc., in part for for contributions to science, 2005
    • 2005 commencement speaker