Firm Profile

Esler, Stephens & Buckley, LLP

121 Southwest Morrison Street, Suite 700
Portland, OR 97204-3183
United States
(503) 223.1510

Firm Details

At the outset, we invite you to visit our web site for more detailed information about our firm and its lawyers, our many reported cases, and our practice generally.  We are at:

Esler, Stephens & Buckley, LLP is a limited liability partnership composed of Michael J. Esler and John W. Stephens.  Kim T. Buckley recently retired. We share offices with our frequent co-counsel, Larkins Vacura Kayser, LLP, and continue to handle a variety of complex business cases ranging from representing over 100 defrauded investors in Aequitas to solitary investors given bad advice by their brokers, from large trust and estate disputes to pro bono work for nonprofit cultural organizations.  The Firm's diverse, multi-jurisdiction practice also includes trial and appellate work in antitrust, public utility law, real estate litigation, intellectual property (patent litigation, copyrights, trade secrets and trademarks), business and nonprofit corporations, condemnation law, toxic torts, environmental law, accounting malpractice and oppression of minority shareholders.  The Firm’s practice is unusually sophisticated and varied for a firm of its size, as the number of its reported cases attests. 

The Firm’s lawyers have the highest rating attainable from Martindale-Hubbell (A-V), and all partners are Oregon “Super Lawyers” and "Best Lawyers" and have been so for many years.  Additionally, Mike Esler won Best Lawyers' “Lawyer of the Year” award for 2012 for securities litigation in the Portland area and Mike Esler was also selected for inclusion in the 2011 edition of “The Best Lawyers in America” in “Bet the Company Litigation” and Commercial Litigation.  The firm is a Benchmark “Highly Recommended” firm and was named a Tier 1 Best Law Firm by US News & World Report. 



  • Best Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers
  • Benchmark "Highly Recommended"

About Our Clients

The Firm's clients are diverse, reflecting the Firm's practice. The range includes large companies such as Pacific Seafood, Honeywell, Calpine and Northwest Natural Gas, and government entities like the Oregon Department of Justice (Mike and John serve as Special Attorneys General), TriMet and the City of Bend, to smaller regional businesses (Ochoco Lumber Company, Pewag Chain, Harry's Fresh Foods, Hallco Manufacturing, On Demand Software), nonprofits (American Diabetes Association-Oregon Affiliate, Inc, Eckankar) and restaurants (the former San Francisco landmark restaurant, Stars, Portland's 2006 "Restaurant of the Year" Lauro Kitchen and Portland's highly regarded Tanner Creek Tavern, Nel Centro and Altabira). The Firm represents many individuals as well, from CEOs, NBA players and famous chefs (Jeremiah Tower and Bradley Ogden), to hundreds of investors from all walks of life who have been victimized in some of the Northwest's biggest frauds, like Capital Consultants, Pac Equities, Sunwest, Willamette Development Services, the Grifphon/Sasquatch hedge funds and most recently, Aequitas and Iris Capital.  These investors have sent us comments like:

“I have always believed that throughout our lives we are blessed with remarkable people that for whatever reason truly make a difference, and those people we never forget. [We] will never be able to express enough our heartfelt gratitude to you and your staff for all of your selfless efforts on our behalf and all investors.”

“Thank you for keeping me alive with your compassion and work for the investors.”

“I invested $100K into Sunwest and have now received all of my money back. I wanted to reach out to you guys and say I sincerely appreciate all the work you guys have done to get us to this point. Your vision, execution and being trustworthy during the fallout of Sunwest's failure is to be highly commended. My investment was to help support my daughters college education. After believing that the money was gone and now getting it back is tremendous. Thank You!!!”

“I want to tell you how much we appreciate what you and our people have accomplished for all of us, and you did it in what I believe to a remarkably quick time span. I have never enjoyed being involved with an attorney. I believe you are “the exception to the rule”. You have been professional always, funny and sympathetic when necessary, and always on-track while corralling all the diverse and multiple personalities you represented. I truly cannot comprehend the talent you possess, it is formidable. As an aside, I am really grateful that you were representing us, not “them”.”

“This has been said before but worth repeating several thousand times, we would not be where we are now without your competent, compassionate, aggressive yet loving guidance along the bumpy path. Gathered around, I know, is an outstanding team but they would not be there or empowered to be so fantastic without your leadership. Thank you is hardly enough to express our collective sentiments. Warm regards for your Herculean efforts.”

“Good work! I know how hard it is to settle disputes, especially in this climate and you should be proud leaving very little on the table. I only hope the rest works out for us in a real way, but I wanted to let you know that I appreciate you and your firms’ hard work and persistence. You did a great job!”

“Thank you for your persistent efforts on our behalf. I know it is unusual to recover so much of clients’ investments in these cases. You have always been “client-friendly,” accessible, and on top of all this. I feel extremely fortunate!”

“We continue to be so appreciative of your excellent services. Your candid, perceptive assessments have always been proven correct.”

“I wish to join all the others that expressed their sentiments regarding your handling of this case and your excellent law firm. You accomplished much more than expected and I add my congratulations to you all.”

“Just wanted to say thank you to you and your team for all the work you have done to make this happen for all of us. It’s been a long haul, but your team came through for us.”

“Thank you all … you have made a lot of people very happy.”

“Thank you for a great result. I know how hard this was.”

“Good work to you all. Thanks so much for your diligence.”

“I think everyone needs to know this corruption and all the hard work you have done. I am sure you wouldn’t have any objections from the investors. We think you are fantastic.”

“Thanks Michael for everything you have done for all of us. I will always keep you and your staff in my prayers.”

“Mike, we want to personally thank you for the wonderful job you and your partners performed for us. When we walked into your office, we had no idea what sort of case this would become. After three years, we are pleased with the outcome and know you and your crew is responsible for those results. There’s really no words that can express our gratitude.”

Firm Practice Areas

  • Bet-the-Company Litigation
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Litigation - Antitrust
  • Litigation - Intellectual Property
  • Litigation - Patent
  • Litigation - Securities

Firm News & Media

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Office Locations

United States

United States



Portland, OR

121 Southwest Morrison Street, Suite 700

Portland, OR 97204-3183

United States

(503) 223.1510

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