Daniel H. Skerritt - Tonkon Torp LLP

Daniel H. Skerritt

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2006

Widely recognized for trial excellence during his past 35 years of practice, Dan represents both plaintiffs and defendants in their complex commercial litigation and disputes. He was the 2010-2012 State Chair of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He is a fellow and past state chair of the International Society of Barristers. Dan was named as one of the top 10 highest rated Oregon attorneys in the 2014 Oregon Super Lawyers® list. 

Dan's background includes litigation involving securities, corporate governance, energy and general business issues. He regularly represents clients in cases involving jurisdictions of U.S. courts over international transactions and disputes and enforcement of judgements.

The defense of securities class actions and derivative claims is a particular area of achievement for Dan. He represents clients regionally, nationally and internationally. Dan’s IP litigation experience includes enforcement of high tech firms' noncompetition and trade secrets agreements.

Dan frequently serves as a mediator or arbitrator in commercial and other complex disputes. His listings in Best Lawyers in America© include ADR services. In addition, he regularly testifies as an expert witness on attorneys' fee issues.

Dan has achieved some of Oregon’s largest awards and settlements. Representative matters include:  

  • William Davis et al. v. Cascade Tanks LLC et al. – Successfully abated breach of contract and business tort claims against foreign client, enforcing foreign arbitration agreement, 2014, U.S. District Court for Oregon, case  NO. 3:13-cv—2119-MO.
  • Amen v. Roberts – $5.1 million arbitration award, reduced to judgment, February 2009, Josephine County, Oregon.
  • Star-Wood v. Swanson et al. – Plaintiff's verdict, 2008 breach of fiduciary duty claim.
  • Johnson et al. v. Buchanan Ingersoll – $850,000  verdict in 2008 legal malpractice case.
  • 2008 – Successful mediation of multiple plaintiffs' claims against a broker-dealer.
  •  State of Oregon v. Phillip Morris Incorporated – Served as one of the legal team members representing the state in Big Tobacco litigation which resulted in a $2.25 billion state settlement.
  •  PPM Energy, Inc. v. Black Hills Power, Inc. – Represented the plaintiff, an energy marketing company, in arbitration claims, for breach of an energy exchange agreement. Client was awarded $1.7 million in damages and favorable declaratory relief. In this private arbitration matter, the award was reduced to judgment in District Court, Jefferson County Colorado.
  • Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway v. Gunderson Inc. – Obtained summary judgment for our client, the defendant, to defeat a $14 million products liability claim in Texas arising from a train derailment.
  • Gray and Company v. Archer Daniels Midland Company et al. – Successfully prosecuted plaintiffs’ antitrust case alleging price-fixing conspiracy by high fructose and corn syrup producers. Following successful appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, we negotiated a favorable settlement.
  • Word Logic v. Hewlett Packard – Settlement of plaintiff’s copyright infringement claims reported in Word Logic SEC filing.
  • Allen v. OHSU – Successfully represented Oregon Health & Science University in defense of a whistle-blower complaint.
  • eFusion v. Zuber – Obtained injunction enforcing high tech firm’s non-competition and trade secrets agreement.
  • Power Medical System v. Intermedics – Obtained $9 million plaintiff’s verdict resulting from failed merger of a medical device company.
  • Eischen v. AVIVA et al. – Defended a class action shareholder claim through to completed trial, challenging AVIVA- Reebok merger.
  • Midway-Sunset Cogeneration Company v. Southern California Gas – Achieved a judgment valued at more than $9 million for a breach of contract case involving a cogeneration facility.
  • Nevada Cogeneration Associates v. Nevada Power Company – Awarded $1.3 million in arbitration for cogenerator against a utility for improper curtailment.
  • Evergreen International Airlines v. Pan Am – Reclaimed leased aircraft from Pan Am bankruptcy on behalf of a private aviation company.
  • Estates of Renae and Lola Cottam v. Nelson (Coos County Circuit Court, No. 14-CV-0085) – 2014 judgment in wrongful death action of $2 million.
Dan frequently serves as a mediator or arbitrator in commercial disputes. In addition, he regularly testifies as an expert witness on attorneys' fee issues.

Dan is a former Board member of the Oregon Association of Defense Counsel and serves on the Board of Visitors at the Willamette University College of Law. Following law school, he served for four years as a captain in the U.S. Army’s Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps.

A prolific writer, Dan has authored more than 20 CLE articles on substantive areas of the law and trial practice techniques, and served as co-editor of the 2012 two-volume Oregon State Bar CLE Oregon Civil Pleading and Practice. For several years, he has served as co-editor of the Oregon State Bar’s Oregon Civil Pleading and Practice Manual. Most recently, Dan wrote "Cross-Examination: Torching the Calendar" published in 2014 by the ABA Litigation Section for The Art of Cross-Examination, Essays From the Bench and Bar.

In October, 2015 Dan presented to the Multnomah Bar Association Young Lawyers Section on cross examination as part of their "Advanced Litigation Skills Series." Dan was invited to speak at the Oregon State Bar's 22nd Annual Litigation Institute in February. He discussed his litigation experience in a master class panel alongside several of Oregon's top litigators. Dan also recently spoke to the Oregon State Bar's New Lawyers Section on trial preparation.

Dan was a speaker on Oregon's Expedited Trial Rule at the 2010 Convention of the Oregon Association of Defense Counsel and was invited by the Oregon Association of Defense Counsel to participate on a panel entitled "Making the Most of Your Expert" in 2012. He was program co-chair for the 2010 Pacific Northwest Regional Conference of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and chair of the Oregon Chapter of the American College of Trial Lawyers in 2011 and 2012. Dan currently chairs the College's Jury Committee. 

Additional Information

Court Admissions — U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. District Court, District of Oregon
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
Willamette UniversityBA 1965Willamette University College of LawJ.D. 1968
American Bar Association Federal Bar AssociationMultnomah Bar AssociationAmerican College of Trial Lawyers

Client Comments

"Mr. Skerritt is an incredibly well organized lawyer who comes very well prepared to represent you in court. He listens to your comments and concerns, and does an excellent job of presenting your case to the jury."

-Irving Snyder
Diamond S, Inc.

"I had met with three attorneys before Daniel in my initial search and he stood out as the leader for my case. Within a short time he understood my situation and had a strategy. His experience and skills were demonstrated many times over during preparation for my hearing. During the depositions and hearing he was tenacious, professional and thorough so all major points of my defense were presented. I am convinced that his experience and skills were the key to my successful defense. I have recommended Daniel to two associates in the last 3 months and the feedback has been very positive; they have both found him to be outstanding."

-Dick Brimmer, CDC
Sr. Account Rep.
American Diversity Business Solutions

"Dan Skerritt's knowledge of the law and strategic guidance are impeccable. He is a pleasure to be around and a pleasure with whom to work."

-Vanessa Sturgeon
TMT Development Co., Inc.

Office Location

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

Lawyer of the Year Awards

2016 Lawyer of the Year in Bet-the-Company Litigation of the Portland-OR Metro Area
Daniel H. Skerritt has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2016!

Practice Areas

Bet-the-Company Litigation
Commercial Litigation