Christopher Pence

Christopher Pence

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Personal Injury Attorney in Bainbridge Island, WA

Law Office of Christopher Pence PLLC
 | 10941 NE Seaborn Road, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
Phone: 206-686-2300
Fax: 206-686-2300
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2003 - 2009, 2012 - 2019
Licensed Since: 1977
Practice Areas:
  • Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff (40%),
  • Personal Injury - Medical Malpractice: Plaintiff (30%),
  • Professional Liability: Plaintiff (10%),
  • Personal Injury - Products: Plaintiff (10%),
  • Class Action/Mass Torts: Plaintiff (10%)
Attorney Profile

Christopher Pence is privileged to represent individuals and families to recover just compensation for serious personal injuries, death and economic loss caused by negligence and misconduct.  Chris has handled a wide range of damage cases, including wrongful death and serious personal injuries from roadway collisions, construction accidents, unsafe products and drugs, food-borne infestions, government liability, and all manner of accidents caused by carelessness.  Chris seeks the maximum recovery consistent with his client's wishes, whether by settlement or by trial.  In addition to personal injury, his practice includes an emphasis on legal and medical negligence claims.  Chris began his career prosecuting attorney misconduct as bar counsel with the Washington State Bar Association.  He served as a member and chairperson of the WSBA Disciplinary Board, through which the Washington Supreme Court disciplines Washington attorneys.  He is consistently named by The Best Lawyers in America as one of the nation's best attorneys in the legal malpractice field.  He has been named as a Washington Super Lawyer for 12 years, and as one of the best 40 personal injury attorneys in Washington.  Mr. Pence currently accepts clients with serious physical injuries or who have lost a loved one to negligence or misconduct, and clients with major legal and medical malpractice claims.  Chris is a graduate of Whitman College and Willamette University College of Law.  

White Papers

  • Mullen v. Physician Insurance Company, 130 Wn. App. 1031 (2005) (2005) - Appeal over-turning summary judgment dismissal of insurance bad faith action arising from excess jury verdict Mr. Pence won against doctor insured by mutual insurance company insuring the majority of physicians in Washington State. 

  • Lesher v. Murphy, 124 Wn. App. 1018 (2004).  Herman v. Estabrook, 117 Wn. App. 1007 (2003).  Kim v. Budget Rent-A-Car, 143 Wn.2d 190, 15 P.3d 1283 (2001). State Farm v. Johnson, 72 Wn. App. 580, 871 P.2d 1066.  .  (1994). Eriks v. Denver, 118 Wn.2d 451, 824 P.2d 1207 (1992).  In re Discipline of Curran, 115 Wn.2d 747, 801 P.2d 962 (1990).  Ebsary v. Pioneer Human Services, 59 Wn. App. 218, 796 P.2d 769 (1990).  Mele v. Turner, 106 Wn.2d 73, 720 P.2d 787 (1986).  In re Discipline of Yates, 90 Wn.2d 767, 585 P.2d 1164 (1978).   In re Discipline of Lavery, 90 Wn.2d 463, 587 P.2d 157 (1978).

  • About Christopher Pence

    Admitted: 1977, Washington

    Professional Webpage: https://pencelaw.com/

    Special Licenses/Certifications:

    • Rated "AV" for “Very High to Preeminent” legal ability, adherence to ethical standards, professional reliability and diligence based on confidential ratings by judges and lawyers in the legal community.  The "AV" rating is awarded to less than 10 percent of  lawyers nationally and is the highest rating by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory.  Consistently rated AV approximately last 25 years. , 2019

    Bar/Professional Activity:

    • Hearing Officer appointed by Washington State Supreme Court to preside over disciplinary cases alleging violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct filed by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel, 2019
    • Chairperson, Disciplinary Board, Washington State Bar Association.  Board vice-chair and member preceding three years.
    • Member, Washington State Supreme Court and Bar Association Joint Task Force on Lawyer Discipline
    • Member, Bench-Bar-Press Committee of Washington
    • Member, Seattle-King County Task Force on Alternative Dispute Resolution.  The Task Force was instrumental in establishment of the Dispute Resolution Center of King County, https://kcdrc.org/  

    Pro bono/Community Service:

    • 300 pro bono hours representing U.S. Army combat medic veteran of Afghanistan War denied all VA benefit in connection with appeal to the Board of Veteran's Appeals. Obtained reversal of three prior claim denials and award of 100% service-related disability for combat post-traumatic stress disorder. , 2018
    • Board Member, Operation Sack Lunch five years.  See http://www.oslserves.org/, 2018
    • Organizer and faculty, Bainbridge Island Peoples' Law School for several years; volunteer attorney King County Bar Association Freemont Legal Clinic many years; various individual cases.

    Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

    • Ethical Considerations, Winning: Hot Topics in Criminal Law, The Seminar Group, May 2005.   The Practical Side of Running Your Own Practice, Early Years of Litigation Practice, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, May 2004.   Ethics and Professional Liability Issues – Plaintiff Perspective, Ethics Seminar, Washington Defense Trial Lawyers Association, November 2001.   Litigation Techniques Involving Confidential Records, Law of Confidential Records, Washington Law Institute, April 2000.  Litigation Techniques Involving Confidential Records, Law of Confidential Records, Washington Law Institute, May 1999.   Panelist, Ethics and Professionalism in Civil Practice in the Western District of Washington, Washington Federal Bar Association, December 1997.  Referral Fees and Fee Splitting: What are the rules and how do you comply with them?, Ethical Issues in the Plaintiff’s Personal Injury Practice, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, December 1997.   Insurance Law, Annual Convention, East King County Support Professionals, May 1996.   Creative Use of Class Actions for Mass Torts: Post-mortem on the Jack-in-the Box Litigation, Luvera Seminar, WSTLA Annual Meeting, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, July 1996.   Fee Divisions: Practice and Ethics, Luvera Seminar, WSTLA Annual Meeting and Convention, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, August 1997.   How to Hire and Work With a Lawyer, Bainbridge Island Peoples Law School, April 1995.   Setting-up a System That Works, Auto Cases:  Nuts and Bolts, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, April 1994.   Personal Injury and Professional Liability Law, Bainbridge Island Peoples Law School, March 1994.   Handling Fee Disputes Without Being Sued, How To Avoid Legal Malpractice and Its Three Ugly Siblings:  CR 11 Sanctions, Bar Complaints and Fee Disputes, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, February 1992.   Handling the Personal Injury Case, The Attorney-Paralegal Team, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, August 1991.   Effective Use of Legal Assistants and Standard Forms in Handling the Auto Case, Auto Cases:  Winning Is No Accident, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, April 1991.   Ethical and Malpractice Pitfalls for the Sole Practitioner, Setting Up Your Own Law Office, Seattle-King County Bar Association, April 1990.   Legal Malpractice in Washington:  Plaintiff’s Perspective, Bringing a Legal Malpractice Action, Seattle-King County Bar Association, October 1989.   Plaintiff’s Pretrial Motions, Demonstration of an Automobile Collision Trial, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, March 1988.   Considerations in Bringing and Proving a Legal Malpractice Claim, Prosecuting, Defending, and Avoiding Malpractice Claims, University of Washington Law School Foundation, October 1987.   The Money Trap:  Fee Agreements, Fee Disputes, Fee Ethics, Malpractice Traps for the Unwary, Seattle-King County Bar Association, May 1987.   Mandatory Arbitration of Dissolution Modification, Family Law Section WSBA Annual Meeting Seminar, Washington State Bar Association, September 1985.   Settlement of Insured Claims Against Attorneys:  Policy Provisions; Disputes Between Insurer and Insured; “Bad Faith,” Legal Malpractice, Washington State Bar Association, April 1985.   File Organization:  Keeping Track of the Information, Preparation and Trial of a Personal Injury Case, Seattle-King County Bar Association, April 1984.   Malpractice and Ethical Complaints:  Staying Out of Trouble and What Happens When You Don’t, Lawyers’ Ethics - Honesty is Not Enough, Seattle‑King County Bar Association, July 1983.   File Organization:  Keeping Track of the Information, Preparation and Trial of Personal Injury Cases, Seattle-King County Bar Association, February 1983.   Closures of Courtroom to Media, Regional Seminar, Bench-Bar-Press Committee of Washington, 1980.   C. Pence, Avoiding Fee Disputes and Informal Engagement Letters, Legal Malpractice Rev. (Dec. 1979).  Reprinted in 34:9 Washington State Bar News, 125 (Sept. 1980).   Attorney Discipline, Legal Malpractice, Washington State Bar Association, July and August 1980.   C. Pence, In re Krogh and Attorney Discipline in Washington, 12 Will. L.J., 374 (1976).

    Verdicts/Settlements:

    • $4.4 million settlement against corporation for child injured by food-borne infection
    • $3 million jury verdict in medical malpractice lawsuit in Snohomish County against doctor for failure to diagnose heart infection
    • $3.2 million settlement of legal malpractice action against prominent Seattle law firm that facilitated client fraud
    • $2.9 million settlement against pharaceutical corporation for injuries from unsafe drug
    • $2.5 million settlement against insurance company for bad faith failure to defend rafting guide against wrongful death claim
    • $1,125,000 settlement for pelvic fractures sustained in pedestrian-truck accident
    • $550,000 jury verdict in King County for auto accident neck injury
    • Served as court-appointed Plaintiffs' Class Action Co-counsel of the Jack-In-The-Box Class Action arising from the largest E-Coli outbreak on record.  
    • Confidential medical malpractice wrongful death settlements against emergency room doctor for failure to diagnose intracranial hemorrhages
    • Confidential medical malpractice settlement against physician for failure to diagnose bacterial endocarditis
    • Confidential medical malpractice wrongful death settlement against hospital for failure to evaluate head injury
    • Confidential settlement against Seattle Catholic Archdiocese for failure to supervise priest
    • Confidential legal malpractice settlement against Seattle based international law firm alleging conflict of interest resulting in loss of client's business  
    • Confidential legal malpractice settlement against attorney for conflict of interest representing husband in divorce while sleeping with client's wife (really...)

    Educational Background:

    • Juris Doctor, Willamette University College of Law, Salem, Oregon  , 1977
    • Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington, 1972
    • Howard University, Washington, D.C., 1970

    Industry Groups

    • Washington State Association For Justice
    Office Location for Christopher Pence

    10941 NE Seaborn Road
    Bainbridge Island, WA 98110

    Christopher Pence:

    Last Updated: 4/2/2019

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