John A. Safarli is a partner at Floyd, Pflueger & Ringer. His practice focuses on defending corporations and local governments in employment law, civil rights, wrongful death, intellectual property, and voting rights cases before trial courts, appellate courts, and administrative agencies.
John’s recent victories include Wilson, et al. v. Longview School District, et al., No. 3:15-CV-05863 (W.D. Wash.), a complex civil rights trial in federal court involving five plaintiffs that arose out of alleged misuse of an isolation booth. John was second chair to Francis Floyd, the firm’s senior partner. John’s role consisted of the direct and cross-examination of liability witnesses for both sides. After the plaintiffs rested, Francis and John obtained a directed verdict dismissal of all claims against the school district, its former superintendent, and a current principal. After hearing more than three weeks of testimony, the jury found in favor of the defendants on all remaining claims. Prior to trial, the plaintiffs rejected a $3.025 million global settlement amount.
John was also second chair to Francis in Eubanks, et al. v. Klickitat County, et al., No. 10-2-03324-3 (Clark County Superior Court), a three-week employment case involving allegations of hostile work environment based on gender and retaliation. John presented the County’s defense against the retaliation claims. Despite five female plaintiffs, a jury of nine women and three men, and the news of allegations against Harvey Weinstein breaking in the middle of trial, Francis and John obtained a defense verdict on all claims. The plaintiffs rejected a $1 million global settlement amount before trial.
In October 2016, Francis and John defended a large construction company against a wrongful death claim. After a vigorously contested trial, the jury returned a verdict that found the plaintiff 90% at fault, which dramatically reduced the net award from $1.585 million to $158,500. Before trial, the plaintiffs rejected a $2 million global settlement amount.
In addition to his trial practice, John regularly provides clients with advice in employment law and guides them through difficult personnel matters. John has represented numerous employers in proceedings before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Washington State Human Rights Commission.
John also maintains a practice in voting rights and redistricting law. Francis and John are the only attorneys in the state of Washington who have defended a lawsuit brought under Section 2 of the federal Voting Rights Act, Montes, et al. v. City of Yakima, et al., No. 2:12-CV-03108 (E.D. Wash.). John also drafted an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the City of Yakima that was filed in a recent one-person, one-vote case before the U.S. Supreme Court. John subsequently represented the City of Pasco and successfully persuaded a federal judge to adopt the City’s proposed redistricting plan over the plaintiffs’ proposal (Glatt v. City of Pasco, et al., No:4:16-CV-05108 (E.D. Wash.)). John and Francis were also co-counsel representing the Ferguson-Florissant School District in St. Louis, Missouri, against a Section 2 lawsuit (Missouri State Conference of the NAACP v. Ferguson Florissant School District, No. 4:14-CV-02077 (E.D. Missouri)).. The case went to trial, placing Francis and John among the select few attorneys in the country who have tried a Section 2 lawsuit. John has also published articles and delivered presentations on voting rights, and testified before the Washington State Legislature regarding proposed voting rights legislation. John is routinely sought out by local governments and legislators to consult on legal issues regarding voting rights and redistricting.
John is also an expert in the Public Records Act and regularly assists clients in responding to difficult public records requests. John has also represented clients who have obtained injunctions to prevent the disclosure of sensitive public records.
John is a board member of and regular presenter with the Washington State Council of School Attorneys. He also has presented before the Washington State Association of School Business Officials, the Association of Washington Cities, the Washington Association of Counties, and the Washington State School Directors’ Association.
John has appeared in numerous state trial courts and the United States District Courts for the Western and Eastern Districts of Washington, and argued before the Washington Court of Appeals, the Washington Supreme Court, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Prior to joining Floyd, Pflueger & Ringer, John served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable J. Robin Hunt of Division II of the Washington State Court of Appeals. John graduated from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City. He was honored with the Jacob M. Burns Award for his outstanding contribution to the Moot Court Honor Society, where he and his moot court partner won the 2009 Monroe E. Price International Moot Court Competition at Oxford University after defeating law schools from around Europe, North Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.
John lives in Edmonds with his wife and three children.