Kinnon Williams

Top rated Eminent Domain attorney in Seattle, Washington

Foster Garvey
Kinnon Williams
Foster Garvey

Practice Areas: Eminent Domain, State, Local & Municipal, Real Estate; view more

Licensed in Washington since: 1986

Education: University of Oregon School of Law

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2013 - 2024

Foster Garvey

1111 Third Ave
Suite 3000
Seattle, WA 98101 Visit website


Attorney Kinnon W. Williams. CRE is a Shareholder at Foster Garvey PC. At the firm, he focuses his efforts on representing the interests of municipalities and property owners throughout Washington state in matters related to the following:

• Eminent domain
• Dispute resolution
• Municipal law
• Real estate

Mr. Williams began his legal career in 1986 after earning his law degree from University of Oregon School of Law and his admission to the Washington State Bar Association. However, his education did not end when he finished law school. He went on to graduate from the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, and annually co-chairs a seminar on eminent domain. Recently receiving the designation of Counselor of Real Estate (CRE), Mr. Williams is one of less than a handful of attorneys who holds that distinction in the State of Washington.       

Over the course of Mr. Williams' his legal career, he has earned the respect of both his clients and his peers. In addition to being nominated for the distinction of CRE, he has served as lead trial counsel in numerous cases, is a regularly requested guest speaker, both locally and nationally, and he has written a number of articles on various legal topics involving eminent domain, real estate valuation in litigation, impact fees, easements and open government. He has successfully worked on legislation to make the eminent domain process fairer to landowners and is the author of the Washington State Bar Association’s Real Property Deskbook Chapter on Eminent Domain.

In addition to Mr. Williams' work on behalf of his clients, he actively works within the community believing that volunteerism strengthens not only the community but the volunteer as well. He is a Fellow of the American Bar Association, currently serves as Delegate to the American Bar Association, Co-Chairs the King County Bar Association's Judicial Conferencing Committee, served as the Vice Chair of the Board of the Washington State Bar Foundation, and was a member of the King County Charter Review Commission.

Practice areas

Eminent Domain, State, Local & Municipal, Real Estate: Business

Focus areas

State, Local & Municipal Litigation

  • 70% Eminent Domain
  • 20% State, Local & Municipal
  • 10% Real Estate: Business

First Admitted: 1986, Washington

Professional Webpage:

  • Washington Super Lawyers list, 2013-2023
  • Selected as Super Lawyer, Seattle Metropolitan Magazine, 2013- 2018
Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • "Pulling it All Together: Preparing for an Appraisal Trial," The Seminar Group
  • Prepared in anticipation of Presentation materials on the most effective and best practices in mentoring and training attorneys for a practice in eminent domain for the American Law Institute / American Bar Association.    , Author, 2023 ALI-CLE - Mentoring as a Condemnation Attorney, Legal, 2023
  • Presented on the Automatic Road Vacation Statute to legal professionals helping them to understand the automatic road vacation statute related to early plats and the impact it has for property owners.  Discussion included:  Vacation Statute• A timeline of how the statute works• What does opening of the right of waylook like?◦ Finding evidence of non-use◦ Who has the burden and is there apresumption of use• Addressing issues of subsequent use◦ Determining when the subsequentuse began◦ Extent of use• The need to perfect Tit, Author / Presenter, Automatic Road Vacation, Legal, 2022
  • Prepared and presented on acquisitions under imminent threat of eminent domain analyzing real estate excise tax exemptions WAC 458-61A-206 and IRS 1033 Exchange Rules.  , Author / Presenter, Acquisitions under Imminent Threat of Eminent Domain, Legal And Right Of Way, 2023
  • "Eminent Domain Basics for Fire Districts," Washington Fire Commissioners Association Annual Conference, 10.24.19
  • "The Evolution of Floating Easements: Shifting Scheduling Risks to Property Owners," 9.27.19
  • "Eminent Domain: Legislative Changes to Protect Business Owners," The Seminar Group
  • "Mass Relocation and Navigating Cultural Conflicts: Displacement of Immigrant and Refugee Communities," Annual Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Seminar, Palm Springs, CA, January 24-26, 2019
  • "Liabilities Related to the Use and Ownership in Easements," 7th Annual Easements and CCRs in Washington, 11.16.18
  • "Stigma Damage: Washington State," Appraisal Institute Fall Conference
  • The Seminar Group's 8th Annual Eminent Domain Seminar
  • "How to Have a Happy Vacation – The process for vacating rights of way," Washington State Association of Municipal Attorneys, Whistler, B.C., Canada, 5.3.18
  • "Living With Lenders: Their Opportunity to Participate and Owner Counsel’s Right to a Fee," Annual Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Seminar, Charleston, SC, January 25-27, 2018
  • Washington Eminent Domain Law In a Rapidly Changing Region, King County Bar Association Bar Journal, 5.19
  • County Charter Review Commission Proposing Changes to Housing, Inquest Rules and Office of Law-Enforcement Oversight, King County Bar Association Bar Journal, 7.19
  • Gentrification: Good or Bad – Differences in Perspective, King County Bar Association Bar Journal, 11.19
  • Author, Washington State Bar Association Real Property Deskbook Chapter on Eminent Domain, (4th ed., 2012 and supplement 2015)
  • Author, Taking Fear Out of Land Acquisition, Fire Chiefs Magazine, Denver. CO. (May 2007)
  • Contributor, Washington Fire Chiefs newsletter, 2011, 2012, 2013
  • Speaker, "Ethics for Municipal Officials," Washington Association of Sewer and Water Districts, 2014
  • Program Co-Chair & Speaker, "Easements in Washington" Seattle, Seminar Group, 2013
  • Program Co-Chair & Speaker "Issues in Condemnation" Seattle, Seminar Group, 2013
  • Speaker, 81ST Washington Fire Chiefs EXPO, "Municipal Ethics," "Social Media & the Fire Service," 2013
  • Speaker, "The Process of Condemnation," Seminar Group 2010
  • Speaker, "Road Easement Law from A to Z," National Business Institute, 2010
  • Speaker, Fire Chief Magazine's National Station Style Conference, Denver Colorado
  • Speaker and Facilitator, International Right of Way Association, numerous seminars
  • Seattle Metropolitan Magazine, Super Lawyer Honoree, 2013 - 2018
  • The Unit Rule: Misunderstood and Rightly So, was presented to the Seattle Chapter of Appraisal Institute in an effort to assist appraisers in understanding the finer points of the Unit Rule (or Undivided Fee Rule). This rule is often confusing in the application, can lead to unjust results, and is a legal fiction that is rarely used in most modern acquisitions where the condemning authority can not or chooses not to acquire the entire fee. Presented to the Seattle Chapter of the Appraisal Institute, The Unit Rule: Misunderstood and Rightly So, Appraisal Institute - Seattle Chapter
Educational Background:
  • National Institute of Trial Advocacy, 2001
  • University of Washington, B.A. in Political Science, 1982
Verdicts/Settlements (Case Results):
  • King County Fire Protection Districts Nos. 16, 36, and 40 v. The Housing Authority of King County, 123 Wn. 2d 819, 1994
  • City of Lynnwood v. Video Only, Inc. 118 Wn. App. 674, 77 P.3d 378 (2003), review denied January 7, 2004
  • Arthur T. Lane, et al. v. The City of Seattle, Washington State Supreme Court Decision, No. 80204-1 October 16, 2008
Pro bono/Community Service:
  • Washington State Bar Foundation Board Trustee 2017-2023. The Washington State Bar Foundation helps fund WSBA programs that provide legal assistance to our state’s most vulnerable populations through the Powerful Communities Project; match moderate income clients with legal professionals who work for reduced fees through the Moderate Means Program; and ensure the legal profession reflects the communities it serves and supports all members., 2017
  • Fellow of the American Bar Association , 2020
  • Appointed Delegate to the American Bar Association 
  • Served as a Commissioner on the King County Charter Review Commission tasked with reviewing and suggesting amendments to the King County Washington Charter.  
  • Evergreen Health Care Foundation, Vice Chair and Board Member, 2009-2017
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • Nominated as a Fellow of the American Bar Association , 2020
  • Washington State Bar Association Delegate to the American Bar Association , 2021
  • Washington State Licensed Real Estate Instructor
  • Washington State Bar Association, Solo and Small Practice Section Board, 2007-2014
  • Washington Fire Commissioners Association
  • Washington Fire Chiefs Association
  • The Washington Center, Washington D.C. Alumni Advisory Board - Previous
  • King County Washington Bar Association, Judicial Fair Campaign Committee, Chair, 2012-2013
  • King County Washington Bar Association, Judicial Evaluation Committee, Co-Chair, 2010
  • King County Washington Bar Association, Judicial Conferencing Committee, Co-Chair, 2012-2013
  • King County Washington Bar Association, Treasurer, 2014-2017
  • King County Washington Bar Association, Finance Committee, 2018-2019
  • King County Washington Bar Association, Awards Committee, 2020-present
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Washington
Special Licenses/Certifications:
  • Counselor of Real Estate (CRE) The Counselors of Real Estate is a professional membership organization for real estate advisors who have been recognized by their peers and clients for their high-level knowledge, experience, and integrity. All members of the organization hold the CRE designation, which is bestowed by invitation only., 2023
Industry Groups:
  • Cities
  • Commercial Property Owners
  • Ports
  • Retail Restaurants
  • Telecommunications
  • Utilities

Office location for Kinnon Williams

1111 Third Ave
Suite 3000
Seattle, WA 98101

Phone: 206-447-4400


12 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2013 - 2024

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