Michael J. Esler - Esler, Stephens & Buckley, LLP
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Michael J. Esler

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2009
Phone: 503-935-5391

Michael J. Esler was born in Chicago in 1945.  He attended St. Mary of the Lake Seminary and University of Illinois (BA 1967) before obtaining his JD from the University of Chicago in 1971.  He was admitted to practice before the Oregon Bar in 1971, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in 1972, and, in 1980, the US Supreme Court.  Mike has written and spoken for the Oregon State Bar Continuing Legal Education program, the National Business Institute, Northwest Securities Administrators, Multnomah County Bar Association, Practicing Law Institute, and the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association, and serves as an Oregon State Bar Disciplinary Counsel. 


Significant appellate cases include:


·        Hayes v. Olmsted, 173 Or App 259, 21 P.3d 178 (2001) (minority shareholder squeeze/freeze out case in which the shareholder recovered about three times the highest offer of the company);

·        Ainslie v. First Interstate Bank of Oregon, 148 Or App 162, 939 P.2d 125 (1997) (securities case in which plaintiffs received a jury verdict, which, including ORICO treble damages and punitive damages, totaled more than $10.8 million);

·        Employers’ Fire Ins. v. Love It Ice Cream, 64 Or App 784, 670 P.2d 160 (1983) (insurance carrier liability based on bad faith refusal to settle);

·        FTC v. Francis Ford, Inc., 673 F2d 1008, cert denied, 459 US 999 (1982) (abusive use of adjudicatory hearing to create an industry rule);


University of ChicagoJ.D. 1971

Case History

Anderson v. Carden — This case expanded participant liability to professionals who provide material assistance to the sale of securities.
Mainland v. Miller — This case expanded an employee''s duty to assign patents based on common law fiduciary duties.
Ainslie v. Spolyar and Ainslie v. First Interstate Bank — These cases expanded participant liability under the Oregon Securities Act to include Banks and lawyers and other third parties.
SEC v. Capital Consultants, Inc. — One of the largest SEC Receiverships in the Country.  We were the principal plaintiffs firm involved in Third Party participant litigation that led to more than $150 million in recoveries from law firms and accounting firms involved.

Client Comments

"Mr. Esler has clearly demonstrated his vast knowledge of the specialties involved in these areas. Of my over 30 years of working with attorneys, he is at the very top of my list of professionals."

-Steven Daniels
Aviation Consultant
Norwest Aerospace LLC

Office Location

121 Southwest Morrison Street, Suite 700
Portland, OR 97204-3183
United States

Lawyer of the Year Awards

2012 Lawyer of the Year in Litigation - Securities of the Portland-OR Metro Area
Michael J. Esler has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2012!

Practice Areas

Litigation - Antitrust
Litigation - Intellectual Property
Litigation - Patent
Litigation - Securities