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422 W Riverside Ave, Suite 1100
Spokane, WA 99201

(509) 624-5265

Spokane Coeur d'Alene Law Firm, Real Estate law, Business and Corporate law, Banking law, Tax law, Litigation, Labor and Employment. 

William M. Symmes

William Symmes, Employment Lawyer

Spokane, WA
Phone: 509.755.2026


Best Lawyers Award Badge



Primary Practice: Labor & Employment, Litigation


  • J.D., Southern Methodist University, 1994, cum laude, Order of the Coif, Southern Methodist Law Review

  • B.A., Economics and Political Science, Yale University, 1989

William Symmes represents clients in Labor & Employment related litigation and business matters. He has successfully defended many of the firm's clients in an array of employment matters, including harassment, discrimination and retaliation, breach of contract, and wage and hour. William also represents clients in arbitration under Collective Bargaining Agreements and before the National Labor Relations Board. In connection with many of these matters, William has gained particular experience in drafting, reviewing and litigating executive contracts, covenants not to compete, confidentiality and non-disclosure, non-use agreements. 

William also has represented a number of clients in shareholder disputes and D & O liability matters. William often uses his litigation experience to frequently advise clients in structuring transactions to minimize the risk of costly disputes and litigation. 

  • Licensed to practice in Washington, Idaho and Oregon

  • Joined Witherspoon Kelley in 1994


  • AV rated Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell, 2000-2018

  • 2017, 2015, Best Lawyers® Lawyer of the Year, Litigation - Labor & Employment (Spokane)

  • Best Lawyers in America®, Litigation- Labor & Employment (2013-16)

  • Best Lawyers in America®, Commercial Litigation (2013-16)

  • Top Lawyers – Spokane & Coeur d’Alene Living, 2010-2015

  • Recognized as a Pacific Northwest Best Lawyer for Labor & Employment, and Commercial Litigation (2015-16) as published in Seattle Times and Oregonian

  • Superb Rating (No. 10) Avvo, 2010 to 2018

Representative Work

  • Yeager v. Kaiser Aluminum, 2016 WL 6081386 (9th Cir. 2016) (successful appeal affirming trial court's dismissal of Plaintiff's disability discrimination and failure to accommodate claims.)

  • Yeager v. Kaiser Aluminum, 2014 WL 1255825 (E.D. WA 2014) (successful summary judgment in favor of employer in disability discrimination/failure to accommodate case.)

  • Davis v. Fred’s Appliance, 171 Wn. App 348 (2012) (Affirmed summary judgment: No cause of action exists for perceived sexual orientation discrimination.)

  • Cornwell v. Roses & More, 166 Wn. App. 1004 (2012) (Affirmed in part, reversed in part summary judgment on behalf of employer.)

  • Rimov v. Schultz, 162 Wn. App. 274 (2011) (Successful appeal concerning the scope and enforceability of arbitration agreement.)

  • Khan v. Spokane Women’s Clinic (2009) (Successful defense verdict on counterclaim.)

  • Sterling Savings v. US, 80 Fed. Cl. 497 (2008) (Plaintiff’s verdict in a banking contract claim.)

  • Dixson v. Empire Health Svc., Inc., 136 Wn. App. 1050 (2007) (Employment)

  • Keystone Masonry, Inc. v. Garco Construction, Inc., 135 Wn. App. 927 (2006) (Construction)

  • Sterling Savings v. U.S., 57 Fed cl. 234 (2003) (Complex commercial)

  • Sterling Savings v. U.S., 57 Fed. cl. 445 (2003) (Complex commercial)

  • Sterling Savings v. U.S., 53 Fed. cl. 599 (2002) (Complex commercial)

  • Baker v. Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corp., 951 F. Supp 953 (E.D.Wa 1996) (Employment)

Bar Admission

  • US District Court, Eastern and Western Districts of Washington

  • Washington

  • Idaho

  • Oregon

  • US Court of Federal Claims

  • US Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

  • US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Colman Holding Company - Board Member and Corporate Secretary 2011-Present

  • Federal Bar Association for Eastern District of Washington - Past President 2007‐2008

  • Greater Spokane Incorporated (Regional Chamber and Economic Development Council) - General Counsel/Board Member 2008‐Present

  • Lawyer Delegate from the Western Federal Districts To the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference Executive Committee, 2010‐2014

  • Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference - Lawyer Representative/LRCC/Local Chair 2007‐2010

  • Providence Healthcare Foundation - Board Member 2006‐Present

  • Spokane County Court Judicial Liaison Committee - Member 2005‐Present

  • Spokane County Bar Association - Officer and Board Member 2014‐Present

  • Spokane County Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division - Board Member 1995‐1998

  • Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) Labor and Employment Law Section, Executive Committee and Treasurer, 2013‐ Present

  • Western Defense Trial Lawyers - Eastern Washington Representative/Member 2015

Scholarly Lectures

  • Guest Lecturer - Annual Northwest Human Resource Management Association (NHRMA) Convention and Trade Show on employment matters that arise out of accommodation issues in the workplace, 2015.

  • Guest Lecturer - Washington State Employment Law & Human Resources Conference, sponsored by Washington State Human Resources Council, an affiliate of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Employment Law Update, Washington State Employment Law & Human Resources Conference, 2015.

  • Guest Lecturer - Annual Northwest Human Resource Management Association (NHRMA) Convention and Trade Show on employment matters that arise out of the use of social media, 2014.

  • Panelist on CLE / Lecturer - 2013 Annual Washington State Bar Association Labor & Employment Conference in Seattle over legal issues that may arise from social media in the workplace, 2013.

  • Lecturer - Defining What It Means to be Disabled under the WLAD and ADA, 2008.

  • Lecturer -  Minimizing Exposure to Discriminatory Harassment Complaints, various years to various audiences.