Rory Cosgrove focuses his practice on appellate litigation in state and federal courts. Rory has extensive experience drafting briefs, motions, and memoranda and researching myriad legal areas, including medical/legal malpractice, employment discrimination, personal injury, products liability, and commercial law. Rory’s passion and enthusiasm for appeals shapes his trial practice.
You can follow Rory on Twitter as he tweets about recent appellate decisions and other appellate issues.
Before joining the firm, Rory clerked for the Honorable James Verellen at the Washington State Court of Appeals, Division One, for two years. He analyzed more than 60 appeals from bench memorandum to judicial opinion. His clerkship gave him valuable insight into the judicial decision-making process. Rory uses that insight to offer a unique perspective to clients. Rory regularly writes on appellate issues in his appellate law blog. You can subscribe to his blog posts for future updates.
While in law school, Rory was an extern for the Oregon Court of Appeals in the Appellate Commissioner’s Office. Before law school, Rory taught English in France for two years.
Rory impacts his local community with his commitment to pro bono service. He regularly volunteers for the Housing Justice Project in King County. Outside of the office, Rory enjoys voyages abroad (especially to France) and spending time with friends and family. Rory channels his love for basketball through his annual participation in the Spokane HoopFest basketball tournament. And when the weather permits, Rory will be found on the links working on his short game.
“Rory is beyond dedicated to the field of law. Having had the opportunity to work with him at the Court of Appeals, I witnessed firsthand his extreme work ethic and legal expertise. Rory’s unique perspective of the law and ability to effectively navigate difficult legal issues are unmatched. His vivacious personality is infectious and only an added bonus to his professionalism and practicality. Rory is a tireless and tenacious advocate that I recommend to family and friends whenever they are in search of quality legal advice. There is no one more passionate about helping you efficiently resolve a legal dispute than Rory. He is a powerhouse.”
“Without hesitation, I endorse him as an expert and man of the highest regard. Rory is one of the most intelligent people I have ever met, and his dedication, passion and drive know no limits.”
“He is the consummate professional and his clients are well served by his superior intelligence, tireless work ethic, easy-going personality, and competitive drive. I cannot recommend Rory Cosgrove strongly enough.”
“Without hesitation, I would trust Rory to handle my legal matters and the legal matters of those closest to me.”
- “Disqualification and Recusal of Federal Appellate Judges,” For the Defense (DRI), February 2019.
- “Effect of Digital Technology on Reading and Writing Appellate Briefs,” For the Defense, DRI, February 2018.
- Co-author, “Expansion of Judicial Review of Arbitration Awards,” Appellate Practice, May 2017.
- WDTL Annual Convention, Co-Moderator (with Jenna R. Goltermann), Deposition Skills Practicum, July 2019.
- WDTL Annual Convention, Co-Moderator (with Jenna R. Goltermann), That’s What Friends Are For: Things We All Should Know for Cocktail Parties, July 2019.
- “ProBuilders, Court’s Expansion of the Application of the ‘Efficient Proximate Cause Doctrine’,” PCI Association of America’s 29th Annual Western Region General Counsel Seminar, San Diego, CA, August 2018.
- “Recent Developments in and Nuts and Bolts of Appellate Practice,” Litigation Group, Carney Badley Spellman, P.S., May 2018.
- “State and Federal Appellate Practice: 1920 to Present,” National Association of Legal Secretaries, Annual Conference, April 2018.
- “Nuts and Bolts of State and Federal Court Appellate Practice,” National Association of Legal Secretaries: Greater Seattle Chapter, February 2018
- “Developing a Pro Bono Appellate Practice,” King County Bar Association Appellate Section, December 2017
Honors and Recognitions
- Rising Star, Super Lawyers, 2018 – 2020
- Roy Lockenour Award for Professional Responsibility
- Washington Defense Trial Lawyers Outstanding Associate of the Year, 2019
- 2008 Yarwood Award, Top Dean’s Honor Student for Modern Languages and Literatures
- 2008 Washington’s Strongest Apple Champion
- 2006 Washington Ironman Bodybuilding Champion
- Volunteer Attorney, King County Housing Justice Project
- Volunteer Attorney, King County Neighborhood Legal Clinic
- J.D., Willamette University College of Law, summa cum laude, 2014
- Class Rank: 2/113
- Managing Editor (Vol. 50), Willamette Law Review
- Honors Appellate Brief, Legal Research and Writing
- Certificate in International and Comparative Law
- Research, Writing, and Editing Assistant to Dean Emeritus Symeon Symeonides
- Legal Writing Assistant to Professor Helen Mazur-Hart
- B.A., Eastern Washington University, magna cum laude, 2008
- Majors: International Affairs and French
- Vice President, Sigma Phi Epsilon
- Study Abroad, Université Stendhal III, Grenoble, France
Bar and Court Admissions
- State of Washington
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
Representative Pro Bono Cases
- Negotiated structured settlement agreement on behalf of residential tenant facing eviction to keep the tenant in her home an extra month to avoid enforcement of a write of restitution.
- Rory is currently serving as court-appointed pro bono counsel in a civil appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
- Represented a client facing eviction and successfully negotiated with opposing counsel to keep the client in his home an extra 120 days.
- Represented client facing eviction and $12,000 in allegedly owed rent, and obtained an order dismissing the unlawful detainer action including an order of limited dissemination.
- Successfully obtained a show cause hearing for a client facing eviction in an unlawful detainer action.
- Represented residential tenant in a post-eviction hearing and successfully obtained an order reinstating client’s term tenancy and an order limiting dissemination of the unlawful detainer action.
- Represented residential tenant facing eviction and successfully negotiated with opposing counsel to keep client in her home for an extra month and saved client over $3,000.
Representative Appellate Cases
- W.H. v. Olympia School District, ___ Wn.2d ___, ___ P.3d ___, 2020 WL 3275612 (2020) (drafted an amicus-curiae brief on behalf of the Washington Defense Trial Lawyers in a certified-question appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington to the Supreme Court of Washington)
- Rosen v Rosen, 52945-9-II, 2019 WL 6131246 (Wash. Ct. App. 2019) (affirming the trial court’s grant of summary judgement in our clients’ favor and awarding our clients attorneys’ fees and costs on appeal)
- Sawyer Lake Veterinary Hosp., Inc., P.S. v. Pine Tree Veterinary Hosp., 8 Wn. App. 2d 1070, 2019 WL 2180128 (May 20, 2019) (successfully defended trial court’s order denying the opposing sides’ motion to set aside the summary-judgment dismissal of the opposing sides’ claims under CR 60(b)).
- Ada Motors, Inc. v. Butler, 7 Wn. App.2d 53, 432, P.3d 445 (2018) (uniform trade secrets act) (reversed a damages and attorneys’ fee award after a jury verdict and remanded for a new trial on damages), rev. denied, 193 Wn.2d 1013, 441 P.3d 828 (2019).
- Drafted an amicus brief on behalf of the Washington Defense Trial Lawyers Association on specific personal jurisdiction to support a petition for review to the Washington Supreme court (Aug. 2017).
- Successfully persuaded the Washington Supreme Court to deny our opponent’s petition for review and to award our clients reasonable attorney’s fees and expenses (Oct. 2017).
- Noll v. Special Electric Co., Inc., 188 Wn.2d 402, 395 P.3d 1021 (2017) (specific jurisdiction) (reversed and remanded)
- Drafted an amicus curiae brief on behalf of a national insurance association in the Washington Supreme Court (August 2016)
Representative Trial Cases
- Successfully obtained a dismissal on the merits for lack of specific personal jurisdiction following the Washington Supreme Court’s remand in Noll vs. Special Electric Co., Inc., 188 Wn.2d 402, 395 P.3d 1021 (2017).
- Successfully obtained a summary-judgment dismissal of a counterclaim striking down a unilateral attorney’s fees provision in a homeowners’ association’s declaration of covenants, conditions, and restrictions.
- Successfully obtained a “judgment on the pleadings” dismissal under CR 12(c) in state court for a prominent local bank in a complex commercial dispute.
- Washington State Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- King County Bar Association, Appellate Practice Section: Chair
- Washington Defense Trial Lawyers Association: Amicus Curiae Committee, Annual Convention Planning Committee (2019, 2020)
- Defense Research Institute: Appellate Advocacy Section