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As Past Co-Chair of the firm's Litigation Department, Steve has a broad range of commercial litigation experience. He represents companies, shareholders, and business professionals in cases involving contract disputes, business torts, shareholders disputes, unlawful trade practices, environmental matters, injunctions, product defects and real estate transactions.

Steve's experience includes litigation and trial work in federal and state courts, as well as in private arbitration and mediation. Steve has served a broad client base including, among others, The Greenbrier Companies, Nike, the City of Lake Oswego, and Costco in disputes in Oregon and across the country. Representative cases include:
  • Successfully defended the City of Lake Oswego in federal and state court lawsuits involving disputes about the ownership of Oswego Lake.
  • Obtained a multi-million dollar jury verdict in a state court trial arising out of the client's losses in an investment fund (Beal v. Kerr-Cruickshank Inc., Case No. 1106-07241). "Jury says it matters what investment firms say to clients when an adviser leaves," Oregonian, August 4, 2012.
  • On behalf of a large manufacturer, successfully challenged a controversial Portland city ordinance, Riverplan, which would have significantly hampered development in Portland’s industrial sanctuary.
  • Won summary judgment against a nearly $15M claim arising out of a train derailment in Nebraska.
  • Successfully asserted claims against a brokerage house and investment firm brought by a group of investors who lost millions of dollars in connection with a Ponzi scheme.
  • On behalf of a large Oregon timber company, recovered millions of dollars in costs arising from the cleanup of a Montana mill that was contaminated by a prior owner.
  • Successfully asserted claims on behalf of the City of Portland arising out of defects in a new utilities software billing system.
  • Successfully asserted claims for breach of contract and warranty seeking damages of $4.2M caused by defective professional services.
  • Successfully asserted claims for breach of fiduciary duty, dissolution and minority shareholder oppression seeking damages of over $3M.
  • Won summary judgment against dissenters’ rights and breach of fiduciary duty claims seeking nearly $3M.
  • Obtained a defense verdict against wrongful discharge and retaliation claims brought against a large timber company.
  • Obtained a favorable arbitration award against rescission and damages claims arising out of a real estate transaction.
  • Successfully asserted breach of fiduciary duty and contract claims brought against a corporate director and public utilities company.
  • Won summary judgment against disability discrimination claims brought against a national sporting goods and apparel company.
  • Successfully asserted Alien Tort Claim Act and human trafficking claims brought by an Ethiopian woman against her captor.
  • Successfully defended a large Oregon manufacturer in several lawsuits brought in courts across the country involving train derailments allegedly caused by defective products.
  • Successfully asserted and defended against injunction claims involving non-competition, non-solicitation and confidentiality agreements.

Location

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

Education

  • University of Minnesota, J.D. magna cum laude
  • Tulane University, M.P.H.
  • United States Coast Guard Academy, B.S.

Bar Admissions

  • Oregon, Oregon State Bar
  • Washington, Washington State Bar Association

Affiliations

  • American Association for Justice - Member
  • Federal Bar Association - Member
  • Multnomah Bar Association - Member

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court – Western District of Washington

Tonkon Torp LLP
Headquarters: Portland, Oregon

53 The Best Lawyers in America® awards

16 Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America awards

Best Law Firms Badge Full Firm Profile

Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2023 for work in:

  • Commercial Litigation

Awards:

  • Super Lawyers 2009 Oregon Rising Star - Business Litigation

Burlington Northern & Santa Fe RR v. Gunderson, Inc.

Prevailed on summary judgment against a nearly $15 million claim filed in Texas arising out of a train derailment in Nebraska.

City of Portland v. Severn Trent Systems

Successfully asserted claims of nearly $50 million on behalf of the City of Portland arising out of defects in the new utilities software billing system.

Confidential

(United States District Court, District of Oregon) - Prevailed on summary judgment against dissenters' rights and breach of fiduciary duty claims seeking nearly $3,000,000.

Crandall v. Rajaratnam

Obtained a favorable award following a week-long arbitration on claims of recession and damages relating to the purchase and sale of real estate.

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