Clients choose Garvey Schubert Barer because of our experience across a diverse array of substantive areas and industries, our ability to efficiently staff and manage cases, our extensive real-world trial experience and a proven track record.
We provide commercial litigation services in most key legal areas. These include antitrust issues, bankruptcy, intellectual property, labor and employment, maritime law, real estate, taxation, securities, contracts, civil and administrative claims, white-collar criminal defense, as well as defense of corporate directors and officers, professionals and other fiduciaries. In addition, we serve — and are knowledgeable about — a wide range of industries. Those within which we have successfully defended cases include
- Communications and media
- Entertainment, arts and sports
- Environment and natural resources
- Financial services
- Health care
- Information technology
- Maritime companies and fisheries
- Real estate
- Technology and e-commerce
- Transportation and logistics
We well understand that litigation can be costly and disruptive. So we look for alternatives, such as a negotiated settlement, arbitration or some other form of alternative dispute resolution. But if litigation is unavoidable, our experienced trial lawyers will tenaciously represent you. In addition to jury and nonjury trials, we handle appeals, administrative proceedings, government agency investigations and transnational disputes.
As a mid-sized firm, we can respond more nimbly and cost-effectively to your needs than bigger firms. Yet our depth and breadth of experience and capacity equals far larger firms, and we are able to successfully litigate large, complex cases across multiple jurisdictions. No matter what type of commercial litigation we are providing, we will always seek the result you define as a success.
- Represented owner of a renewable biomass energy facility in securing and maintaining indemnification
Represented owner of a renewable biomass energy facility in securing and maintaining indemnification against general contractor’s arbitration claims, saving project owner more than $10 million in damages and defense costs.
Defended controlling member of a renewable energy project against governance claims brought by hostile minority member.
- Represented strategic investor and engineer in litigation against owner of geothermal energy facility
Represented strategic investor and engineer in litigation against owner of geothermal energy facility that failed and filed for Chapter 7 during project development.
- Defended foreign technology company, its holding company and its primary owner against multiple lawsuits
Successfully defended foreign technology company, its holding company and its primary owner against multiple lawsuits to enforce a $60 million foreign arbitral award, foreign judgment and guarantees against company, holding company, owner and affiliates.
Successfully defended broker-dealer against claim for commissions brought by former employee.
- Obtained dismissal of successive state and federal lawsuits against private equity fund’s newly acquired mining company
Obtained dismissal of successive state and federal lawsuits against private equity fund’s newly acquired mining company, by advisor that had rendered services to company’s pre-foreclosure owners and managers.
Williby v. Aetna Life Ins. Co. (C.D. Cal. 2018). Secured judgment for claims administrator on remand. After the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a judgment for the claimant and remanded for consideration under the correct standard of review, the District Court concluded that the administrator’s decision to terminate short-term disability benefits was reasonable and supported by the administrative record.
Abubakar v. Aetna Life Ins. Co. (C.D. Cal. 2016). Obtained dismissal of long-term disability benefit claim on de novo review. The Court affirmed the benefit denial, concluding that the administrator correctly applied the plan’s pre-existing condition exclusion.
Regularly represents businesses and financial institutions in all types of litigation, including debtor/creditor disputes and contract disputes. Also regularly represents financial institutions and loan servicers against claims by borrowers and consumers challenging non-judicial foreclosures, assertions of Fair Debt Collection Practice Act (FDCPA) claims, Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) claims, and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) actions.
Represented Receiver (prior to Oregon Receivership Code) and successfully defended Receiver’s right to sell commercial property, comprising three gas stations and convenience stores, for the benefit of interested parties.
Represented Receiver in case where defendants had been indicted in a $13 million securities fraud case. Assisted Receiver with locating and selling assets, coordinating and managing litigation claims, resolving declaratory judgment actions regarding ownership of receivership estate property, reviewing fraudulent transfers, and obtaining contempt order against individual defendants for violations of orders.
Represented developer in Chapter 11 proceeding involving a private condominium and marina project. Successfully defended judgment creditor's motion for relief from stay and obtained an order confirming Chapter 11 plan allowing debtor to refinance and redevelop the property for high-end apartments.
Represented Chapter 11 Debtor with $232 million in claims to reorganize business in highly regulated environment; Chapter 11 plan confirmed; obtained preliminary injunction after contested hearing against 35 state governments prohibiting them from removing debtor from state directories of authorized tobacco product sellers.
Represented Chapter 11 Debtor with approximately $13 million in debt and obtained confirmation of plan after contested confirmation hearing allowing debtor to reorganize and continue selling high-end condominiums alongside Oregon’s Willamette River.
- Successfully defeated disability discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and aiding and abetting claims
Schmitz v. University of Washington et al. (2016-2018). Served as lead trial counsel in defending the University of Washington against claims of disability discrimination, accommodation, harassment, and retaliation brought against the University and in defending three University managers against claims of “aiding and abetting” discrimination. The case proceeded to a nearly month-long jury trial in King County Superior Court in March 2018, resulting in a unanimous defense verdict on all claims in favor of the University and the individual defendants.
Currently representing senior non-shareholder managers of $1 billion privately-held company, individually and as a group, in multiple venues relating to judicially-forced auction process.
Currently representing a Section 1983 plaintiff in litigation in the Southern District of New York and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Successfully defended company with operations in more than 70 countries in threatened international arbitration with UK-based vendor involving breach of contract in Middle East.
- Representation of large advocacy group that seeks to quash non-party document and deposition subpoenas
Currently representing 4,000 member advocacy group seeking to intervene and quash non-party document and deposition subpoenas served on group’s political consultant in New York state court.
Benafel v Williams Connector Gas Pipeline, LLC, 276 Or App 226 (2016). Court agreed that the Williams pipeline\easement allowed it to install additional facilities above ground.
U.S. District Court, Portland, Oregon
Obtained dismissal of civil complaint alleging RICO, fraud and franchise law violations; and obtained an award of attorney’s fees to Tony Robbins.
4th Circuit Court of Appeals
Obtained dismissal of a federal False Claims Act qui tam case on behalf of a manufacturing client, and obtained affirmance on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit.
U.S. District Court, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Successfully represented water freight carrier in U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division prosecution for multi-million dollar conspiracy to violate the Sherman Antitrust Act.
U.S. Attorney's Office, Seattle, Washington
Obtained a non prosecution decision on behalf of an 11,000 ton international chemical/oil tanker under investigation for violations of the Federal Clean Water Act and MARPOL Conventions.
U.S. District Court, Missoula, Montana
Obtained dismissal of a $375 million professional malpractice case on behalf of a multistate law firm.
U.S. District Court, Columbia, South Carolina
Obtained summary judgment for over 90% of claims on behalf of national moving and storage company in a federal False Claims Act qui tam case.
Successfully represented international pharmaceutical corporation charged with violations of Oregon Unfair Trade Practices Act.
U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division
Obtained non prosecution decision for client accused of violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act.
U.S. District Court, Portland, Oregon
Obtained dismissal of multi-million dollar federal False Claims Act qui tam case on behalf of Oregon Health & Science University.
U.S. Attorney’s Office, Portland, Oregon
Obtained a non prosecution decision on behalf of a 15,000 ton research vessel under investigation for violations of the Clean Water Act.
Multnomah County Circuit Court, Portland, Oregon
Successfully defended national restaurant chain in statewide wage and hour class action lawsuit in two separate eight-week jury trials, eliminating 92% of all class members and reducing damages to 8.7% of claims.
U.S. District Court, Casper, Wyoming
Obtained post trial judgment of acquittal for client convicted of Lacey Act violations.
U.S. District Court, Portland, Oregon
Successfully represented Certified Public Accountant charged in $200 million tax shelter scheme.
Conducted internal corporate investigations for publicly traded multi-national companies accused of violations of federal securities laws, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the False Claims Act, and mail fraud.
U.S. District Court, Eugene, Oregon
Following a three-year multi-agency grand jury investigation, successfully defended a large multistate healthcare organization against allegations of falsely billing Medicare.
In product liability C-K fuel tank litigation, drafted briefs in favor of plaintiff that successfully opposed manufacturer's motions to dismiss and summary judgment.
Obtained dismissal with prejudice of suit alleging negligent misrepresentation against asset purchaser.
Lead trial counsel for transportation company on multiple legal matters arising from planned use of marine terminal to serve oil company, including SEPA and land use challenges. Prevailed in full after multiday hearing.
Lead counsel advising stock purchaser of $94 million company in prosecuting claims against sellers for purchase price adjustments, indemnity claims and related litigation.
Lead counsel defending lender from claims for fraud, criminal conspiracy, state and federal RICO. Plaintiff’s claims for over $9 million dismissed on summary judgment shortly before trial; judgment entered for lender for all loan balances and all attorneys’ fees expended; client recovered all amounts in full.
Lead counsel pursuing breach of fiduciary duty claims against client’s former corporate officers, director and attorneys who formed competing company.
Lead counsel in defense of breach of fiduciary duty claims in derivative shareholder litigation – closely held family company.
Lead counsel defending investment advisory firm in matters arising from investments in business alleged to be Ponzi scheme.
Lead counsel advising stock purchaser of minor league sports team against seller for adjustments under purchase and sale agreement.
Lead counsel in defense of employment discrimination claims made by former VP of Human Resources of client.
Lead counsel in numerous maritime matters, including dozens of personal injury cases, oil spills, P&I investigations, claims for damage to cargo and docks, insurance coverage, broker liability, demurrage, maintenance and cure, and vessel casualties.
Won summary judgment on multiple breach of contract cases involving failure to repay commercial loans.
Slapsys v. University of Washington (2015-2016). Successfully defended discrimination and leave-related claims brought by former University pharmacist through a series of successful summary judgment motions resulting in complete dismissal of all claims.
Collins v. Swedish Medical Center (2015-2016). Secured summary judgment dismissal of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation claims brought by former Swedish employee.
- Served as lead defense counsel in representing the University of Washington in successfully defending claims of race, ethnicity, and age discrimination and retaliation
Sambou v. University of Washington (2015-2016). Served as lead defense counsel in representing the University of Washington in successfully defending claims of race, ethnicity, and age discrimination and retaliation. The case proceeded to an eight-day jury trial in King County Superior Court, in which 17 witnesses testified. All claims were denied and dismissed in the University’s favor.
McGlashan v. University of Washington (2015-2016). As lead defense counsel, secured summary judgment dismissal of disability discrimination and contract-based claims brought by a former University employee.
- Secured dismissal, with prejudice, of various claims against the University of Washington and three University employees
Mansfield v. Jones-Pfaff, University of Washington, et al. (2014-2015). As lead defense counsel, secured dismissal, with prejudice, of various claims against the University of Washington and three University employees, including summary judgment dismissal of First Amendment retaliation claims.
Bichindaritz v. University of Washington (2012-2015). Along with co-appellate counsel obtained complete reversal of a public records act judgment and penalties levied against the University, securing a final judgment in the University’s favor.
- Served as lead trial counsel in representing the University of Washington in successfully defending discrimination and retaliation claims
Bichindaritz v. University of Washington (2012). Served as lead trial counsel in representing the University of Washington in successfully defending discrimination and retaliation claims brought by former faculty member in federal court. After a six-day bench trial, in which 23 witnesses testified, the court entered a verdict for the University on all claims. Defense verdict affirmed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (2013).
- Served as lead defense counsel in successfully defending discrimination, retaliation, and more than a dozen other claims
Satterwhite v. University of Washington (2012). Served as lead defense counsel in successfully defending discrimination, retaliation, and more than a dozen other claims brought by former University faculty member. After completing discovery, obtained dismissal of all claims on summary judgment.
WPM NW, Inc. v. GW Services of WA, Inc., et al. (2011). Served as lead counsel in prosecution of noncompetition claims, including for breach of non-solicitation agreement and violation of trade secrets act, against former agent of property management company and competitor who hired former agent. A two-day arbitration, with more than a half-dozen witnesses testifying, resulted in judgment against defendants totaling more than $370,000.
Cardenas v. Interocean American Shipping (2010). Served as lead defense counsel in successfully defending discrimination and retaliation claims brought by former employee of marine shipping company. After completing discovery, obtained summary judgment dismissal of all claims. Affirmed, in part, on appeal.
Manning v. Swedish Medical Center (2015-2016). Secured summary judgment dismissal of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation claims brought by former Swedish employee.
Obtained summary judgment in the amount of $1,850,000 against a major banking institution for breach of contract after the bank failed to prevent the theft of client funds by the client's accountant/bookkeeper defeating among other things, bank’s alleged defenses under the Uniform Commercial Code and Statute of Limitations.
Obtained an Award after a three day arbitration before the American Arbitration Association directing that clients owned a 91% interest in a family limited partnership despite the fact that company tax returns showed a 0% ownership interest for the clients over the preceding ten years. Successfully confirmed the Award in Supreme Court, Nassau County, prevailed on the Appeal of the lower court judgment confirming the Award after oral argument in the Appellate Division, Second Department and successfully procured from both the Appellate Division, First Department and the New York Court of Appeals a denial of leave to appeal the affirmance of lower court judgment.
Obtained an Order vacating an arbitration award on, among other things, the grounds that one of the arbitrators did not fully disclose a financial relationship with one of the parties in the arbitration and, accordingly, the client did not provide his informed consent to arbitrate the dispute when he executed the arbitration agreement.
- Successfully defended a $38,000,000 claim filed by a national insurance carrier/bonding company against a client
Successfully defended a $38,000,000 claim filed by a national insurance carrier/bonding company against a client based on the client's personal guaranty of his company's debt.
- Obtained summary judgment in New York State Court for a full real estate brokerage commission owed to a commercial real estate broker
Obtained summary judgment in New York State Court for a full real estate brokerage commission owed to a commercial real estate broker after the landlord entered into a lease with a tenant introduced by the real estate broker client to the landlord during the term of the broker/client's exclusive representation, but after the exclusive term expired, successfully arguing that the extension clause in the exclusive brokerage agreement entitled the broker to its full commission.
- Obtained a jury verdict in New York State Court after a three day trial awarding a full real estate brokerage commission to a commercial real estate broker
Obtained a jury verdict in New York State Court after a three day trial awarding a full real estate brokerage commission to a commercial real estate broker notwithstanding the argument that, among other things, the tenant procured by the broker never paid rent and was shut down soon after possession was tendered for health code violations.
- Successfully represented two limited partners claiming breach of fiduciary duty against their general partner
Successfully represented two limited partners claiming breach of fiduciary duty against their general partner, a national real estate developer, resulting in a favorable settlement for the clients.
Successfully appealed and procured a reversal in the Appellate Division, First Department of an Order vacating an arbitration award resulting in the confirmation of the award and the entry of a judgment in the client’s favor in the amount of $17,381,547.36.
Defeated a motion to vacate a default judgment entered on behalf of a client in the amount of $856,000, procured an affirmance on Appeal after oral argument to the Appellate Division, First Department and successfully collected the full amount of the judgment with interest to through the date of collection after leave to appeal to the New York Court of Appeals was denied.
- Defeated a motion for a preliminary injunction brought by a laundry service provider attempting to enforce an automatic renewal clause
Defeated a motion for a preliminary injunction brought by a laundry service provider attempting to enforce an automatic renewal clause in an agreement between the laundry service provider and the owner of a residential multi-family building successfully arguing that the automatic renewal clause could not be invoked because the agreement was a license rather than a lease and the failure to provide a timely notice of the automatic renewal in accordance with General Obligation Law 5-903 negated the renewal.
Regularly counsel and troubleshoot for closely held and family-owned entities (i.e., litigation prevention) in connection with their day-to-day contractual issues and business law needs by, among other things, identifying contractual trouble spots and pitfalls and drafting the necessary language to protect the company and its owners and avoid litigation.
- Regularly counsel and troubleshoot for commercial real estate brokers and salesmen involved in the rental and sale of commercial real estate
Regularly counsel and troubleshoot for commercial real estate brokers and salesmen involved in the rental and sale of commercial real estate including, but not limited, the negotiation of exclusive agreements, landlord/owner brokerage agreements and landlord/leasing agent/outside broker co-brokerage agreements
Successful defense of product liability and misrepresentation claims in the agriculture industry for $40 million.
Lead counsel for commercial broker relating to coverage claims of $40 million in connection with Superstorm Sandy.
Co-trial counsel for manufacturer of goods sold world-wide relating to claims for breach of contract, fraud, and breach of fiduciary duties in the aggregate amount of $100 million.
Co-counsel for the State of Oregon in litigation against Oracle.
Successful defense as lead counsel for oil recycling company against business interruption claims in excess of $20 million.
Litigated partnership dispute with claims for accounting, breach of fiduciary duties and fraud. Obtained judgment for recovery of legal fees.
Multnomah County (Oregon) Circuit Court No. 14-cv-16482. A legal malpractice action arising from a settlement – reached in mediation – of a breach of contract case. Damages of $2.5 million sought. Trial result: Defense verdict (November 2016).
Defended local startup company in securities fraud action. Damages of over $1.2 million alleged. Successfully defeated plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment with subsequent settlement for client.
Obtained dismissal on summary judgment in favor of client in strict foreclosure and breach of contract action. Recovered attorney fees and costs, and an award of enhanced prevailing party fees.
Deschutes County (Oregon) Circuit Court No. 09 CV 0525. Defense of LLC counsel for alleged materially aiding securities violations as a result of his formation of LLC in which members were solicited for purchase of “basket of non-performing mortgage-backed notes” from Bear Stearns. Damages of over $2 million alleged. Trial result: Defense verdict (November 2011).
Multnomah County (Oregon) Circuit Court No. 1002-01828. A legal malpractice action by a real estate developer over a failed condo conversion project in Las Vegas, Nevada. Trial result: Plaintiff verdict awarding damages of $7.8 million (June 2011).
Defense of civil rights claims brought against national retailer in federal court. Obtained summary judgment in favor of client, affirmed by Ninth Circuit.
Successfully argued to Oregon Court of Appeals, upholding defense verdict in medical malpractice action brought against local hospital.
Defended local hospital on federal ADA and discrimination claims. Tried to a jury, resulting in complete defense verdict. Appeal to Ninth Circuit dismissed.
Represented plaintiff in breach of contract action and small business dissolution dispute. Tried to a jury. Verdict in favor of client, plus an award of enhanced prevailing party fees.
Obtained dismissal of legal malpractice action for client on summary judgment. Affirmed by Oregon Court of Appeals.
Successfully argued to Oregon Supreme Court, upholding dismissal of underinsured motorist claim.
Multnomah County (Oregon) Circuit Court No. 0505-05395. A legal malpractice action regarding corporate merger. Lost profits of $8 million alleged. Trial result: Defense verdict (January 2007).
Multnomah County (Oregon) Circuit Court No. 0206-06081. Defense of start-up company and its CEO for alleged securities violations in connection with angel investor's equity and debt investments. Trial result: Defense verdict (April 2005).
Multnomah County Circuit Court No. 0304-04518. Defense of corporate counsel for alleged securities violations arising from asset sale agreement. Damages of $5 million alleged. Trial result: Defense verdict; company and its former CEO found liable (February 2005).
191 OrApp 408, 83 P3d 350 (2004). Action for breaches of contracts, piercing the corporate veil and fraud in connection with the state retirement fund's $50 million investment in an airplane maintenance facility in Portland, Oregon. Trial court's $61 million judgment against client reversed on appeal; remanded solely for an award of attorney fees to client. Co-defendant's $34 million judgment affirmed.
Multnomah County (Oregon) Circuit Court No. 9906-06414. A legal malpractice action involving the proper issuance and cancellation of stock pledged as collateral, and the steps needed to perfect a security interest in certificated stock. Trial result: Defense verdict (August 2000).
USDC, Oregon, No. 98-303. An action for breach of contract warranties and fraud regarding the sale of an export grain elevator in Portland, Oregon. Damages of $6 million alleged. Trial result: Defense verdict (July 2000).
USDC, Oregon, No. 96-286. Action against two credit-reporting services for violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act in connection with plaintiff's identity theft. Trial result: Defense verdict; co-defendant assessed $600,000 in damages (July 1999).
News & Events
- GSB Newsroom, 4.25.19
- GSB Newsroom, 1.15.19
- GSB Newsroom, 1.2.19
- GSB Newsroom, 11.19.18
- Andy Goodman Honored With Peter Perlman Service Award at Litigation Counsel of America (LCA) 2018 Fall ConferenceGSB Newsroom, 11.13.18
- GSB Newsroom, 10.1.18
- GSB Newsroom, 9.10.18
- 28 GSB Attorneys Named to The Best Lawyers in America® 2019 List; Two Portland Lawyers Named ‘Lawyer of the Year’GSB Newsroom, 8.15.18
- GSB Newsroom, 7.24.18
- Dan Petalas Quoted in The Washington Post About SCOTUS Nominee Kavanaugh's Decision Involving Role of Foreign Nationals in U.S. ElectionsThe Washington Post, 7.20.18
- GSB Newsroom, 5.3.18
- GSB Newsroom, 3.12.18
- Joe Arellano Explains in the Portland Business Journal What Businesses Should Do If Expecting to Be SuedPortland Business Journal (subscription required), 10.13.17
- GSB Newsroom, 8.31.17
- 30 GSB Attorneys Named to the 2018 The Best Lawyers in America® List; Three Lawyers Named ‘Lawyer of the Year’GSB Newsroom, 8.15.17
- Law360 (subscription required), 7.31.17
- GSB Newsroom, 7.11.17
- GSB Newsroom, 5.1.17
- Portland Business Journal (subscription required), 2.10.17
- GSB Press Release, 9.29.16
- GSB Press Release, 11.9.15
- GSB Press Release, 5.20.15
- GSB Press Release, 7.31.14
- GSB Release, 5.27.14
- Portland Business Journal, 9.21.12
- Garvey Schubert Barer Continues Growth, Adds Litigators Gary Grenley and Paul Trinchero to Portland OfficeGSB Press Release, 9.6.11
- The Oregonian, 5.26.11
- Garvey Schubert Barer Owner David Smith Appointed Co-Chair of Federal Bar Association Criminal Law SectionGSB Press Release, 2.9.11
- Cross Border Business Law Blog, 1.26.16
- "Insecurity: The Interplay of Ethics and Liability for Securities Lawyers," 39th Annual Northwest Securities Institute - Oregon State BarSpeaking EngagementPortland, OR, 5.3.19
- "State and Provincial Regulatory Updates," 39th Annual Northwest Securities Institute - Oregon State BarPanel DiscussionPortland, OR, 5.3.19
- Speaking EngagementPortland, OR, 11.2.18
- "Commercially Reasonable or Best Efforts: How Do the Standards Impact Your Contract?" Navigating the Trends in Commercial Contracting by WSAA-CLE and IACCMSpeaking engagementSeattle, 10.4.18
- “Weed Tourism: What to Know Before Holding Cannabis Functions at Your Premises,” HLC Series 2.0 – Houston (The Hospitality Law Conference)Speaking EngagementHouston, TX, 4.12.18
- Speaking EngagementTigard, OR, 9.13.17
- Panel DiscussionPortland, OR, 3.15.17
- “Current Developments in Arbitration,” Spring Conference and Induction of Fellows, Litigation Counsel of AmericaSpeaking EngagementNewport Beach, CA, 5.2.13
- "Discovery and Motion Practice in Arbitration," 2010 Fall Conference and Induction of Fellows, Litigation Counsel of AmericaSpeaking EngagementNaples, FL, 10.29.10
- "Social Media and Social Networking in the Workplace: Managing the Risks," Garvey Schubert BarerSeminarPortland, OR, 7.28.10
- American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL), Attorney-Client Relationships Committee, 5.17.18
- American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL), Attorney-Client Relationships Committee, 3.12.18
- Presentation Outline: "Securities Liability for Transactional Lawyers Under Oregon’s Expansive Blue Sky Law," Oregon State Bar Securities Regulation Section EventGSB Newsroom, 12.20.17
- GSB Newsroom, 6.17
- The American College of Trial Lawyers Journal, Spring 2017
- Duff on Hospitality Law Blog, 4.10.13
- Office Managing Director and Principal
- Office Managing Director and Principal