News & Events

Our Impact

January 16th, 2017

NBF attorney Chris Nicoll authored an article entitled “WDTL Amicus Committee Tackles Personal Jurisdiction,” for the Winter 2016 Defense News published by the Washington Defense Trial Lawyers Association. (See pages 9-10, 12 of linked .pdf)

January 13th, 2017

NBF is pleased to announce an important victory for its client in an intellectual property matter. In Hempton v. Pond5, Inc., No. 3:15-CV-05696-BJR, 2016 WL 6217113 (W.D. Wash. Oct. 25, 2016), reconsideration denied, No. 3:15-CV-05696-BJR, 2017 WL 132453 (W.D. Wash. Jan. 13, 2017), plaintiff Gordon Hempton sued Pond5, Inc. for copyright infringement. Pond5 operates a website that allows artists and other media owners to upload digital media such as video, images, music and sound effects, and customers to download the media by purchasing a license that allows its use. Hempton, a nature sound recordist, alleged that his work was stolen and illegally uploaded to the Pond5 website. He alleged that Pond5 was liable for copyright violation for hosting the material on its website and issuing licenses to it. He claimed that he had sustained significant damages. He filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.


NBF attorneys Larry Altenbrun and Curt Feig defended the lawsuit on behalf of Pond5. They filed a motion for summary judgment seeking dismissal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DCMA”), which creates certain safe harbors for service providers who satisfy certain statutory requirements, including the removal of infringing content upon notice. In a detailed decision from Judge Rothstein, the court granted Pond5’s motion and held that it was entitled to protections under the DMCA. The decision includes important discussions about several elements of the DMCA safe harbor defense.


The Hempton v. Pond5 matter is another successful example of Nicoll Black & Feig’s growing intellectual property practice. We are regularly appointed, by companies and their insurers, to defend companies and individuals accused of various intellectual property violations.

December 20th, 2016

In December, 2016, NBF attorneys Chris Nicoll and Noah Jaffe prepared and filed two amicus curiae briefs with the Washington Supreme Court on behalf of the Washington Defense Trial Lawyers Association. The first was filed in Noll v. Special Electric Co., No. 91998-4, and concerns the proper test for specific personal jurisdiction in a case involving a manufacturer of a component product that was marketed in Washington by the manufacturer of the end product. The case focuses on whether a component part manufacturer can be subject to jurisdiction in a state where its product ended up even if the component manufacturer was unaware that the end product manufacturer was marketing the product in the forum state. Chris and Noah teamed up again to author and file an amicus brief for the Washington Defense Trial Lawyers Association in Swank v. Valley Christian School, No. 90733-1, analyzing in detail the case against exercising specific personal jurisdiction over an Idaho doctor sued in Washington for care he rendered to an Idaho patient in Idaho, but who later traveled to Washington where he was injured and died. Both cases provided NBF with an opportunity to add to the debate about specific personal jurisdiction that has been reignited by recent decisions of the United States Supreme Court.


December 2nd, 2016

NBF attorney Chris Nicoll attended the 132nd Annual Dinner of the Association of Marine Underwriters of San Francisco and also attended various related events in the Bay area. 

October 28th, 2016

NBF Attorney Nina Mitchell presented to the Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA). Her presentation was titled:  Injured Workers on the Waterfront; Highlights of the United States Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.

October 27th, 2016

NBF attorney Pegeen Mulhern made a presentation on Marina Emergency Preparedness and Casualty Responses at the 16th Annual Northwest Marina & Boatyard Conference.

October 11th, 2016

NBF attorney Chris Nicoll wrote a brief article on recent developments in personal jurisdiction for an upcoming issue of the Washington Defense Trial Lawyers Association Newsletter.

October 4th, 2016

NBF supported and NBF attorney Chris Reilly attended and participated in the Thomas Miller (Americas) Inc. Play for Pink Charity Golf Outing benefiting the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. It was a great cause and first class event. No bystanders were injured by any of the errant balls that briefly grazed Chris’s clubs …

June 30th, 2016

NBF attorneys Noah Jaffe and Chris Reilly obtained a confirmation of an important arbitration decision on June 30, 2016 in King County Superior Court. The matter involves the enforcement of a “no sail” provision from a seaman’s personal injury lawsuit settlement agreement. The matter was recently the subject of an article in the U.K. P&I Club’s Bodily Injury News: Check out the article at p. 3 of the linked document.  

May 17th, 2016

NBF attorney Rivers Black participated in the Marine Panel Summit Conference for Markel Insurance in Milwaukee during May 16-18, 2016, where he served on the program committee, as a speaker and as a panel participant.