Network Firm News

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

By all Accounts, Kelly Corr was looking at a golden path to big-time legal success in New York City after his graduation from Columbia University. The native Seattleite had made the dean’s list, graduated with honors and won awards for his grasp of Constitutional law.

But he decided to leave it all behind and come home instead. “Probably my only claim to fame is that I was the only one in my law class who didn’t interview with a Wall Street firm,” Corr says. “I grew up here. I went to Seattle Prep.”

Corr’s career path began with a stint as an assistant U.S. attorney in Seattle. “It was a great job. I loved it,” he says. “It’s the white hats against black hats. It was a fun, fun job, but I just didn’t think I wanted to be a career prosecutor forever.”

After several years in the position, Corr entered private practice with the then-major law firm of Bogle & Gates, where he worked as co-chair of the litigation department. That firm dissolved in 1999. Corr and some of his colleagues went on to form his current partnership, Corr Cronin Michelson Baumgardner & Preece.

Today, Corr is one of the best-known litigators in the city, taking on complex and often highly charged cases for both corporations and individuals. One prominent, ongoing case is his representation of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper in its struggle to preserve its 20-year joint operating agreement with the Seattle Times, claiming millions in losses over three years, wants to dissolve the JOA. Both papers share printing, circulation and advertising departments, run by the Times.

Corr also represented the rock group Nirvana in a highly publicized case with Courtney Love, widow of the band member Kurt Cobain. The band, wishing to release additional Nirvana music despite Love’s objections, sought to have Love declared incompetent and removed from control of Nirvana’s business affairs. The case was settled, and the music was released.

In another case that made national headlines, Corr represented Bushmaster Firearms, which manufactured the weapon that was used in the Washington, D.C., sniper attacks of 2002. The suit brought against Bushmaster by the families of seven of the sniper victims, eventually was settled.

Jeff Freimund, senior counsel for the state attorney general’s office, worked as a co-counsel with Corr on a complex, lengthy class action lawsuit challenging the adequacy of Washington’s foster care system. He says that trial attorneys don’t come much better than Corr.

“He’s a really nice person and a superb trial lawyer and a real pleasure to work with,” Freimund says. “I probably learned as much watching Kelly as I have [watching] any lawyer.”

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