Douglas M. Fryer

phone: 206-292-8008 | fax: 206-340-0289
phone: 360-293-7024 | fax: 360-588-8034

Doug Fryer Color WebMr. Fryer is senior trial counsel for the firm. He has personally tried over a 100 cases, with his trial experience including cases in collision, death, personal injury, general average, cargo damage, demurrage, grounding, charter parties, forfeiture, and marine insurance. He has defended pilots and ship officers on license matters in Alaska and Washington, and before United States Coast Guard license proceedings. Mr. Fryer was lead defense counsel in two class action cases involving the salmon industry: In re Bristol Bay Antitrust Litigation, and Atonio v. Wards Cove Packing Co.

He was previously a trial attorney with the Admiralty and Shipping Section, Department of Justice, 1959-1964. He then served as Special Assistant to United States Attorney, Western District of Washington, 1961-1964. Following his service with the Justice Department, Mr. Fryer engaged in the private practice of law primarily in admiralty with particular emphasis in the fishing industry. He has defended class action cases involving employment discrimination and antitrust claims. He has also served as Special Disciplinary counsel for the Washington State Bar Association.

Mr. Fryer’s work has included representation of the federal government of Canada in the Nestucca oil spill litigation. He has had at least 50 reported cases, including his success before the United States Supreme Court in the Atonio case. Mr. Fryer has acted as Special Disciplinary Counsel to the Washington State Bar Association (1968-1972, 2001- 2004). He has also been instrumental in furthering Alternate Dispute Resolution, having been retained by litigants for the better part of twenty years to act as a mediator and/or as an arbitrator.

Mr. Fryer is a member of the Seattle-King County, Washington State and Federal Bar Associations, and the Maritime Law Association of the United States.

Mr. Fryer has extensive offshore sailing experience. He has raced to Hawaii from the west coast a dozen times (11 as navigator, 10 as skipper) and to Tahiti once (as navigator), and he sailed the single-handed race from San Francisco to Kauai. He has cruised Alaska and the South Pacific and was awarded the Cruising Club of America Blue Water Medal for a voyage around South America by way of Cape Horn and the Panama Canal. He was a co-inventor of The Lifesling man overboard recovery device that is now the world standard for overboard recovery from sailing craft.

Practice Areas

Admitted to Practice

  • Washington State Courts
  • United States District Court for the District of Western District of Washington
  • United States District Court for the District of Oregon
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of California
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Unites States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
  • The Court of Claims
  • United States Supreme Court


  • Bachelor of Arts: University of Washington
  • Juris Doctor: University of Washington, Order of the Coif