Bruce Johnston


R. Bruce Johnston


About Bruce

Robert Bruce Johnston is a master case strategist with an encyclopedic knowledge of Washington law, the judiciary, and Washington’s real estate, maritime, and agricultural sectors. A third-generation Seattle lawyer, his four decades of experience include practice as a partner in large Seattle firms, as well as serving as in-house counsel, before he founded the solo practice that grew into Cloutier Arnold Ortega, PLLC. Bruce has also worked as a bookkeeper at an Alaskan cannery, Managing Partner of a fishing business, the founder of an innovative fish-processing enterprise, Executive Vice President of the All Seasons Living Centers, Inc. nursing home chain, President of Armada/West Campus, Inc., and a Vice President of the Jack Frost Fruit Company, as well as teaching courses on antitrust and health law at the University of Puget Sound. As a lawyer, he has won more jury trials than most commercial litigators have even tried, participated in some of the most consequential commercial cases in the state, and helped many large Washington companies through mergers, acquisitions, and restructurings. A pillar of the legal community, Bruce was a founding member of the WSBA Health Law Section and a long-term panelist on the King County Superior Court Arbitration Panel; he also helped create the federal Eastern District of Washington’s groundbreaking mediation program


  • University of Washington School of Law, J.D.

  • University of Washington, B.A.

Admitted to Practice

  • Supreme Court of the United States

  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

  • All Washington state and federal courts

Professional Life

Representative Cases

  • Peter Pan Seafood, Inc. v. Mogelberg Foods, 14 Wn. App. 527, 544 P.2d 30

  • Lectus, Inc. v. Rainier National Bank, 97 Wn. 2d 584, 647 P.2d 1001

  • Dana Commer. Credit Corp. v. Greenberg, 1999 U.S. LEXIS 4602 (9th Cir.

Representative Transactions

  • Bond counsel for issuance of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center revenue bonds

  • Reorganization of Eastern Washington apple packer Marley Orchards, Inc.

  • Reorganization of real estate development company McCarran Properties, LLC

  • Reorganization of American-Russian fishing venture Richardson Ship Management, Inc.

  • Participated in acquisition and sale of multiple bank branches

  • Participated in acquisition and sale of several hospitals