Corbett Gordon - Tonkon Torp LLP

Corbett Gordon

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2001

Corbett joined the Labor & Employment group at Tonkon Torp in 2013 after 11 years as a founder and senior counsel in the Portland office of Fisher & Phillips. Prior to that, she was a senior partner in her own firm for seven years. Corbett has over three decades of experience representing public and private sector employers in a range of matters including their interactions with labor unions in Oregon and Washington. An experienced labor negotiator, Corbett represents clients in collective bargaining, contract enforcement and labor arbitrations. 
Corbett’s litigation practice includes significant experience defending employers before juries and agencies on a range of claims including harassment, whistleblower retaliation, trade secret and noncompetition violations, and alleged discrimination based on disability, sexual orientation, gender, race and national origin. She has tried cases in Oregon and Washington state and federal courts and successfully prevailed in client appeals in state and federal courts as well as before the U.S. Supreme Court. 
Corbett’s practice includes providing counsel on all aspects of labor and employment law. With a background in teaching, she works effectively with clients to present employment policies and practices as well as management training to employees. Corbett works with management and employees in gender identity matters to ensure a welcoming workplace when an employee is in transition.  
Corbett has been consistently named among America’s Leading Business Lawyers by Chambers USA. The Best Lawyers in America selected her as the top management labor lawyer in Portland in 2012 and she continues to be ranked in the areas of Employment Law - Management, Labor Law Management, and Litigation - Labor & Employment. She is “AV” Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell and has been honored as one of the top 25 female lawyers in Oregon.

Additional Information

Court Admissions

U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington
Supreme Court of Oregon
Oregon Court of Appeals
Washington Supreme Court
Washington Court of Appeals

Experience Collective Bargaining with the Oregon Nurses Association Negotiated on behalf of public hospital to successful contract.
Lightbourne v. Gresham Cosmetic Laser Center Represented employer in termination litigation involving allegations of workers compensation and disability discrimination. Obtained favorable settlement of all claims.
Policy Development/Handbook Renew/Employee Training Worked with client on policy development, handbook renew, and employee training information.
Representation of Municipal Ambulance Company Represented a municipal ambulance company in regard to various employment and labor issues.
Antioch UniversityBA 1969Harvard University Law SchoolJ.D. 1980
Washington State Bar AssociationPortland Human Resources Management Association Dave's Killer Bread Foundation

Client Comments

"Corbett has done an excellent job in representing our interests over the years. Her expertise in labor law matters is evident in her understanding of the law and how it's been interpreted. Her analysis of situations gets to the basics. She provides down-to-earth and practical advice. Her written and verbal communications are clear and concise. Her review of our HR policies, procedures, and employee handbooks has given us substantially better tools to manage HR exposures. She has been very helpful in identifying well-qualified labor and defense counsel within her law firm in other states. We couldn't be more pleased."

-Tony Golda
VP Administrative Services, Corporate Risk Manager
Encore Senior Living, LLC

"Corbett Gordon has committed herself 110 percent to our Fire District by going above and beyond. Corbett is very easy to work with and she takes the time to make sure you understand everything and that she has answered all your questions. I have found Corbett to be extremely knowledgeable, practical, VERY efficient, and organized; she has outstanding communication skills. I have personally learned a lot from Corbett. She has saved our Fire District potentially thousands in our union negotiations. Corbett is a breath of fresh air compared to other attorneys I have worked with. I would not trade her for the world!!! "

-Tonya Vallance
Director of Services
Douglas Okanogan County Fire District, Number15

"Corbett Gordon was an outside employment law counsel for Albertson's during my 17 years of employment there and has served in the same capacity during my five years with another large company. During most of my long-term relationship with Corbett, I talked to her on almost a weekly basis regarding litigation pending in Oregon. She handled dozens of simple and complex cases, uniformly obtaining excellent results. For instance, she prevailed in a difficult six-week administrative hearing regarding a matter that had generated substantial negative publicity about the company; she took a disability discrimination claim to the United States Supreme Court, handled briefing and oral argument expertly, and then prevailed in reversing the decision of the Ninth Circuit; and, most importantly, she has provided good, practical day-to-day counsel. While Corbett has some of the most impressive credentials of any attorney (with a law degree from Harvard and an outstanding record of accomplishment at the highest levels), her greatest asset is putting people at ease and then providing excellent, practical advice. Based on my experience, there just aren't many attorneys who are good abstract thinkers and effective doers who, during the whole process, provide sound practical advice. Many attorneys get carried away with the adversarial process or act to justify their initial view instead of being agile and practical in their approach. Corbett is as good as anyone. "

-Bruce Paolini
Vice President, Associate Relations
Dollar Tree Stores, Inc.

Office Location

Pioneer Tower, Suite 1600
888 Southwest Fifth Avenue
Portland, OR 97204
United States

Lawyer of the Year Awards

2012 Lawyer of the Year in Labor Law - Management of the Portland-OR Metro Area
Corbett Gordon has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2012!

Practice Areas

Employment Law - Management
Labor Law - Management
Litigation - Labor and Employment

Other Information

Gender: Female