Caryn Geraghty Jorgensen - Shareholder, Seattle

Caryn Geraghty Jorgensen

Shareholder | Seattle


Caryn represents businesses, non-profits, municipal entities, and individuals at trial and in alternative dispute resolution proceedings throughout the Pacific Northwest and the state of Alaska. Caryn’s practice focuses on complex civil litigation including commercial disputes, aviation, catastrophic tort, and product liability matters. Having tried cases and handled appeals in federal and state court for more than 25 years, Caryn brings a deep level of experience to all stages of complex civil litigation. Caryn earns the trust of her clients and their senior management by being a skilled strategist who ensures her clients’ business objectives drive resolution strategies and litigation decisions (and not the other way around).

As head of Stokes Lawrence’s Aviation Group, Caryn leads a team of litigators with deep aviation industry knowledge. She provides sophisticated and effective representation in a wide range of aviation-related matters in Washington, Oregon, and Alaska. Caryn handles commercial and tort litigation for a number domestic and international airlines and Part 135 operators. Her practice includes emergency response support, consultation in NTSB accident investigations, and regulatory compliance proceedings for Part 121 and Part 135 operators. Her aviation practice also includes product liability matters for aircraft and component part manufacturers.

In addition to her complex civil litigation and aviation practices, Caryn applies her extensive experience to her role as a mediator and arbitrator. Caryn completed the Pepperdine Straus Institute’s Mediating the Litigated Case program and is certified as a Rule 39.1 Neutral in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington’s Alternative Dispute Resolution program.

When not litigating or serving as a neutral to help others avoid or resolve disputes, Caryn values opportunities to mentor and train young lawyers. She frequently presents on trial skills, aviation, and product liability topics and has served as faculty in NITA’s trial skills program in Seattle and the IADC Trial Academy.

Admissions

  • Washington
  • Oregon
  • Alaska
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Education

  • University of Notre Dame School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, Assistant Executive Editor, Journal of College & University Law (1996)
  • College of the Holy Cross, B.A., cum laude (1993)

Recognition & Honors

  • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
  • The Best Lawyers In America in Commercial Litigation; Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants; Product Liability Litigation - Defendants (2016 - 2023)
  • Washington Super Lawyers (2013 - 2022)
  • Distinguished Alumna, Holy Names Academy (2020)
  • Kilkenny Scholar, University of Notre Dame
  • Matson Fellow, University of Notre Dame

Representative Work

Trial Experience

  • Defended helicopter operator in double fatality case arising out of utility construction accident.

  • Defended national airline in personal injury case involving substantial claims for subsistence damages.

  • Defended airline in enforcement action related to security regulations.

  • Defended airbag injury product liability case (case resolved mid-trial).

  • Defended catastrophic injury case involving motorcycle/dump truck collision (case resolved following jury selection).

  • Defended catastrophic injury claim involving handling, stability and restraint product liability allegations.

  • Defended product liability claim involving alleged steering lock-up.

  • Defended wrongful death product liability claim involving rollover accident.

  • Defended product liability claim involving alleged braking malfunction.

  • Defended international airline from wheelchair-related injury claim.

  • Prosecuted property management malpractice claim.

  • Defended passenger race discrimination claim for national airline.

Representative Motion Practice
  • Obtained summary judgment dismissal of Section 1981 claims against national airline.

  • Obtained summary judgment dismissal of claim against transit agency and operator applying sudden medical emergency defense.

  • Applied principles of federal preemption under the Air Carrier Access Act to obtain summary judgment and dismissal of personal injury claim against airline arising out of alleged bite by service animal on board.

  • Sustained removal from state court based on complete federal preemption of claims under Air Carrier Access Act.

  • Obtained summary judgment and dismissal of claims against weather forecasting service based on determination of no duty under contract and tort principles.

  • Obtained summary judgment and dismissal of product liability claim in sudden acceleration case based on both merits and as sanction for spoliation of evidence.

  • Obtained summary judgment and dismissal of negligent misrepresentation claims against municipal employees and officials.

  • Obtained partial summary judgment regarding scope of insurance coverage in condominium construction defect claim.

  • Obtained summary judgment and dismissal of federal civil rights and discrimination claim.

  • Obtained summary judgment and dismissal of wrongful adoption claim.

Arbitration & Mediation
  • Arbitrator, King County Mandatory Arbitration Program.

  • Completed University of Washington School of Law Professional Mediator Training Course, October 2013

Recent Publications & Presentations

  • "Sexual Misconduct at Altitude," panelist, ABA Forum on Air and Space Law Annual Conference (September 2019)
  • "Goodbye 'Sweetheart.' The Ethics of Eliminating Discrimination and Promoting Diversity in Legal Practice," presenter, King County Bar Association Aviation and Space Law Section’s Annual Meeting (2017)
  • "Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don't: The Expansion of Tort Liability to Airport Owners and Operators Who Regulate Airline and Vendor Operations," co-author, Journal of Air Law and Commerce, SMU School of Law (Fall 2016)
  • "Damned if You Do, Damned if You Don't: The Expansion of Tort Liability to Airport Owners and Operators Who Regulated Airline and Vendor Operations," presenter, SMU Aviation Law & Insurance Symposium (2016)
  • "Trial Skills Program," instructor, NITA (2012 and 2014)
  • "Recent Ethics Opinions from North and South of the Columbia River," presenter, KCBA Aviation Section Seminar (2012)
  • "The Challenges of Direct Examination," presenter, WSBA CLE (2010)
  • "Wrongful Adoptions and How Not to Have One," presenter, WSBA CLE (2010)

Professional & Community Activities

  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, Alternative Dispute Resolution Certified

  • International Association of Defense Counsel, Faculty, 2019 Trial Academy

  • International Aviation Women’s Association

  • National Institute for Trial Advocacy, Instructor, Building Trial Skills (Seattle)

  • King County Bar Association

  • King County Washington Women Lawyers, Former Board Member, Past VP of Publicity

  • Northwest Aviation Insurance Association, Former Board Member

  • Washington Defense Trial Lawyers

  • Washington State Bar Association, Court Rules and Procedures Committee (2014 - 2016)

  • Holy Names Academy, Trustee, Finance Committee Chair