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ADR Neutral: Stephen J. Tan

Stephen J. Tan
Tel: 206-292-6300

Focus of Practice

Since 2000, I have focused my practice on environmental litigation for clients that include Fortune 500 companies, local businesses, municipalities, and nonprofit groups. From 1991 to 1994, I served as a judge advocate in the United States Navy, primarily as counsel representing Navy, Marine, and Coast Guard servicemen in their defense against criminal charges including government contract procurement fraud, conspiracy, espionage, and attempted murder. From 1994 to 2000, I worked as a general civil litigation attorney, primarily as defense counsel. I have tried over 30 cases to verdict in state and federal courts in Washington, Alaska, Oregon, and California and have represented parties in over 100 mediations.

Legal Experience

Represent clients in disputes over liability for environmental cleanup costs and natural resource damages under Superfund laws; citizen suits brought under the CWA and RCRA; policyholders and insurance carriers in disputes re environmental liabilities under CGL and specialty environmental insurance products, and over claims handling, defense, and indemnity obligations; claims arising from hazardous or noxious environmental conditions caused by operation of municipal and commercial facilities; and clients in disputes over alleged negligent performance of environmental investigation and remediation services Advise and provide expert testimony to parties and counsel in cost recovery actions over scope of liability for remedial action costs and attorneys' fees; expert testimony in disputes over insurance carriers' claims handling, defense, and indemnity obligations; disputes before the Washington Pollution Control Hearings Board; and property owners before regulatory agencies over responsibility for investigating and remediating contaminated property Counsel to Sierra Club, National Audubon Society, Wilderness Watch, Pacific Rivers Council, Washington Environmental Council, Olympic Park Associates, North Cascades Conservation Council, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Defenders of Wildlife, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, and Label It Washington

Court Admissions

Supreme Court of the State of Colorado, October 1990; Supreme Court of the State of Oregon, September, 2007; Supreme Court of the State of Washington, June, 1993; U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, 5/18/2004; U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington, 2/18/2003


J.D., University of Colorado, 1990 (Articles Editor, Law Review); B.A., University of Virginia, 1986 (Biology/Environmental Science)

Professional Associations

Washington State Bar Association; American Bar Association; King County Bar Association; and currently serving on the Board of Directors of Pacific Public Media (KNKX-FM) (Chair, 2016 to present), National Audubon Society (Chair, Environmental Litigation Committee, 2014 to present), and Braided River Publishing (President, 2014 to present); Board of Trustees of PCC Community Markets (2006-2015, 2017-present, Chair, 2008-2010)

ADR Training

Trends In Mediation Advocacy (3/8/2018) (1.5 Ethics; 3 Law CLE), Sponsored by WSBA (Activity ID 1052291); and WSBA ADR Section: Ethics and Social Media (12/6/2018) (1.5 Ethics) (Activity ID 366995)

ADR Experience

Observation and participation in the following mediations: 1.Brava v. Pioneer Human Services; Mediator: Barry Ziker, Joyce Ziker Partners PLLC, held on 10/4/2019 (9 hours); 2. Seattle Housing Authority and PLPs re Site Contamination, Mediator: Mark Schneider, Perkins Coie, held on 12/4/2019 (8 hours); 3. Ash Grove v. Insurers, Mediation held on 8/21/20 (Session 1) (8 hours); 4. Ash Grove v. Insurers, Mediation held on 10/22/20 (Session 2) (7 hours); 5. Puget Soundkeeper Alliance v Ecology, Mediation held on (12/15/20); 6. Puget Soundkeeper Alliance v Ecology, Mediation held on (1/20/21); 7. Puget Soundkeeper Alliance v Ecology, Mediation held on (2/5/21)

ADR Practice Areas

Consumer Protection, Corporations, Employment, Environment, Insurance, Real Property, Torts