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Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt

Dennis J. Dunphy

Dennis J. Dunphy

Shareholder Emeritus

Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt
Washington, U.S.A.

tel: 206-292-1327
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Local Time: Sun. 18:31


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.

Bar Admissions

  • 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 


  • Georgetown University Law Center, Juris Doctor degree (1978)
  • Georgetown University, Bachelor of Arts degree (1974)
Areas of Practice
Professional Career

Significant Accomplishments

  • 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.


  • Condemnation Risk Planning: Denial Is Not A Strategy
  • Threat of condemnation looms as region's transit systems expand
  • Arnold Brown Joins Schwabe's Technology Industry Group in Our New Mountain View, CA, Office

WSG's members are independent firms and are not affiliated in the joint practice of professional services. Each member exercises its own individual judgments on all client matters.

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