The longest-tenured Kell, Alterman & Runstein, L.L.P. partner, Ted Runstein enjoys a reputation as one of Portland’s premier personal injury lawyers, which isn’t unexpected given his vigorous intellect. “I just love to have people locked into the jury box listening to what I have to say,” he says with a grin.
Ted combines skills as a polished orator with a quick-thinking intellect—a fellow partner referred to him as the “artist” of the litigation group—which allows him to craft creative, cerebral strategies on behalf his clients. He’s also known throughout Portland for his advocacy work, having served as chair of a host of community organizations, including the Portland Exposition-Recreation Commission, the Oregon Anti-Defamation League, and the Portland Noise Commission.
Ted developed his early skills upon receiving his J.D. from Willamette University in 1966—“I finished first on my bar exam; I was literally the first to put down my pencil and leave”—working as a trial lawyer for the U.S. Department of Justice and Oregon Legal Aid in the mid-’60s. He joined the firm in 1968 during the heyday of Ray Kell and Cliff Alterman, the two fiery public policy advocates who helped shape the firm, and to a large degree, the Portland political landscape.
Ted developed a thriving litigation business over the years, and also helped preside over the firm’s shift from a two-person practice to a mid-size firm with a broad range of practice areas. His political associations led to his appointment as honorary consul of the Netherlands in 1997, a position that allows him to further showcase his ability to get things done.
When he’s not representing a client’s personal injury or arbitration claims, Ted tests his intellect in championship bridge tournaments across the country. He says the participants enjoy no prizes in the contests other than the challenge of competition. He’s also played tennis regularly for the past 20 years, and devotes his remaining time to his family.