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About me

John Ray Nelson has represented clients from around the world in state and federal courts throughout the Northwest United States in a broad variety of civil cases, including all types of intellectual property matters, environmental cases, employment claims and complex commercial matters ranging from securities claims to real estate cases.


Practice areas


  1. Litigation: 40%
    29 years
  2. Environmental: 20%
  3. Employment: 20%
  4. Lawsuits & Disputes: 20%

Attorney endorsements

1 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • William M. Symmes

    I endorse this lawyer's work. Have worked with John in bar related activitites and know his reputation before the Courts.


    William Symmes Employment and labor Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

Foster Pepper PLLC

West 422 Riverside Ave
Suite 1310
Spokane, WA, 99201-0302


IDAuthorized to practice law200607/12/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
BV RatedMartindale-Hubbell2015
Best Lawyers in America -- Commercial LitigationUS News and World Report2013
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
AttorneyFoster Pepper Shefelman2005 - Present
AttorneyPreston Gates & Ellis, LLP1990 - 2005
Law ClerkUS District Court ED Washington1988 - 1990
Association namePosition nameDuration
Federal Bar AssociationExecutive Committee2007 - Present
Idaho State BarMember2006 - Present
Utah State BarMember1987 - Present
Washington State Bar AssociationMember1986 - Present
American Bar AssociationMember1986 - Present
U.S. District Court of Eastern Washington Federal Bar AssociationPresident2011 - 2012
Washinton State Bar Association - Litigation SectionChairman2002 - 2003
Washington State Bar Association - Litigation SectionExecutive Committee1997 - 2004
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Aardema v. Northwest Dairy AssociationDefense verdict
Microsoft v. Alpine Industries$250,000 award plus fees and costs for willful infringement
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
Washington State Bar JournalBook Review: Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts2007
Documenting Discharge and Discipline from a Trial Lawyer's PerspectiveLorman Employment Law CLE2006
Washington State Bar Association Continuing Legal EducationNon-Compete, Confidentiality and Solicitation Materials, and Terminating the Employment Relationship2003
Washington Wage and Hour UpdatePersonal Liability for Directors and Managers and Litigation of FLSA Claims2003
CLE Essentials of Advising the Small BusinessEmployment: Creation and Use of An Employment Manual; Agreements and Their Enforceability; and Harassment Suits1997
Appropriate Termination Practices at Washington State Bar Association CLEEmployee Handbooks, Hiring, Firing & Employee Contracts1997
UnknownBasic Wage & Hour Law in Washington1997
Washington State Bar Association DeskbookPleadings and Motion Practice1995
WSBA Litigation Section's Trial ManualER 702 and Expert Opinion Testimony1994
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1986
University of WashingtonEconomicsMA - Masters1983
Utah State UniversityPolitical ScienceBS - Bachelor of Science1981
Utah State UniversityEconomicsBS - Bachelor of Science1981
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
E.D.WA. Annual MeetingVenue and Jurisdiction in Federal Courts2012
5th Annual Federal Civil Trial Practice SeminaryEffective Use of Summary Judgment in Federal Courts2011
The Mechanics of Washington Civil ProcedureCommencing Action, Responsive Pleadings: When to Use, What and How2010
Non-Competes in a Down EconomyZen and the Art of Post-Employment Agreements2009
Northwest Association of Human Resource ProfessionalsAnatomy of an Employment Trial2007
Cutting Edge Issues in Employment LawKey Ethical Issues in Employment Cases2007
Litigation Section CLE, Elements of Litigation: Advanced Strategies, Techniques and Demonstrations from Both Sides of the BarDepositions in a Commercial Case -- Defense Perspective2006
Lorman Education ServicesDocumenting Discipline and Discharge from a Trial Lawyer's Perspective2006
CLE: Trial Techniques for Every AttorneyTrial Themes2006
Litigation and Alternative Dispute ResolutionCan You Hear Me Now?!? What Mediators, Arbitrators and Litigators Really Want to Say to Each Other2005
Laws Against Discrimination in Rental Properties, Olympic Rental AssociationSex & Other Discrimination Claims2005
WSBA Litigation Section's Civil Procedure DeskbookPleadings and Motion Practice1997
Ethical Considerations and Litigation of Wage and Hour Claims, National Business InstituteBasic Wage & Hour Law in Washington1997
Appropriate Termination Practices at Washington State Bar Association CLEEmployee Handbooks, Hiring, Firing & Employee Contracts1997
WSBA Litigation Section's Trial ManualER 702 and Expert Opinion Testimony1994
E.D.WA. Annual MeetingVenue and Jurisdiction in Fedral CourtsN/A