Litigation

Our Litigation Practice Group represents clients in virtually all aspects of commercial and business litigation, arbitration, and mediation.  Our mission is simple:  achieve our clients' dispute resolution objectives in a practical and efficient manner.  In doing so, we take great pride in working closely with our clients to formulate and execute the correct approach to minimize risk, manage the costs of litigation, and meet our clients' goals.
 
Our litigators represent clients in a broad range of disputes in state and federal trial, bankruptcy, and appellate courts.  We advise clients in a variety of alternative dispute resolution matters across the country, with an emphasis in the states of Oregon, Washington, California, and Idaho. 

Representative Work
Sussman Shank Prevails in Lease Guaranty Arbitration
We successfully defended a lease guaranty claim brought against Terri Waldroff by the landlords including Security and Investment Company of Lake Oswego, LLC.  Waldroff was a minority member of the tenant of an assisted living facility in LaConner, Washington, and was sued by the landlords for amounts allegedly owed under the lease.  Sussman Shank successfully argued that the landlords modified the risk under the guaranty which extinguished the guaranty.  The arbitrator also awarded Waldroff her attorney fees.  The arbitration award may not be appealed.  Sussman Shank Partner Aaron Besen also assisted with his knowledge of the long term care industry and review of the commercial documentation. 
Successful Defense of Wrongful Death Claim and Insurance Coverage
Successfully settled two lawsuits filed against our client, an industrial machine manufacturing service company. 

An industrial accident in which an employee was killed on the job led to a lawsuit against our client in which the employee's widow sought $1.9 million in damages.  Our client's workers' compensation insurance carrier denied coverage, claiming the lawsuit was barred by the Exclusive Remedy Statute, or, in the alternative, that the loss was not covered under the Intentional Loss Exclusion in the insurance policy.  This denial of coverage left our client facing a lawsuit in which the damages sought would have put it out of business.

A vigorous defense of the suit by our team of attorneys led to a settlement with the widow for $400,000, a fraction of the damages originally sued for. 

Sussman then turned around and sued the workers' compensation insurance company, claiming a breach of duty in their denial of coverage.  Complex and aggressive litigation ensued, with both sides exchanging discovery requests and filing Motions for Summary Judgment.  In the end, the judge ruled that the insurance company had breached its duty.  The judge ordered the insurance company to pay 100% of Sussman's fees and 85% of the settlement Sussman reached with the widow. 

Almost a year and a half of litigation ended with our client getting back nearly all of what it paid to settle the original suit, including the fees incurred by our team in negotiating that settlement and then getting the insurance company to pay up.  As a result, our client is quite pleased with the level of legal expertise offered by Sussman Shank.
Areas of Law
Appellate Law
Sussman Shank's Appellate group handles appeals in a broad range of areas, including commercial litigation, employment, insurance coverage, and civil rights. Our experience, coupled with adept written and oral advocacy, allows us to frame and present the key legal issues in the most effective and persuasive manner possible. Read more >
Commercial Litigation
In continuing Sussman Shank's nearly 60-year legacy as one of the Pacific Northwest's leading commercial litigation firms, our attorneys advocate for clients in all types of complex commercial and business disputes, seeking intelligent, client-centric resolutions from juries, judges, arbitrators and mediators. Read more >
Construction & Real Estate Litigation
Our attorneys have a long and proven record of success in partnering with developers, contractors, and owners in matters related to real estate and construction.  We represent these clients in a wide range of legal disputes in numerous forums across the Pacific Northwest, including federal and state courts, arbitration, and administrative proceedings. Read more >
Employment Litigation
We represent employers in litigation of employment claims in state and federal court, in administrative proceedings before state and federal agencies, and in resolving disputes through arbitration and mediation.  Our litigators assist in defense of claims for discrimination, harassment, and FMLA/OFLA violations, as well as enforcement of relevant contractual provisions and protection of employer confidential trade secret information. Read more >
Financial Services Litigation
Our attorneys have successfully represented lenders, investors, trustees of securitized trusts, and loan servicers in over two hundred lawsuits filed in both state and federal courts. We also routinely obtain successful outcomes for our clients at the state and federal appellate level.  Read more >
Intellectual Property Litigation
Our attorneys understand the challenges facing individuals and businesses that find their valuable rights, ideas, and information at risk. Defending these rights requires a coordinated and reasoned approach, whether it involves proactive enforcement or responding to legal claims in both stand-alone proceedings and larger business litigation disputes. Read more >
Privacy & Data Security
We help our clients navigate their ever-changing privacy and data security obligations, including compliance with state, federal, and international laws governing the collection and use of sensitive data.  In matters involving potential data breaches, our attorneys guide our clients through the necessary steps of containment, investigation, and notification requirements.  Read more >
Speech Rights & Defamation
As the volume of social, political, consumer and business speech continues to increase, so does the potential for speakers and those spoken about to become embroiled in litigation. We help clients navigate such litigation, as well as to help prevent it before it happens. Read more >
Trusts and Estates Litigation
Our attorneys recognize the sensitive nature of trust and estate disputes, and we represent clients thoughtfully during contested probate or administration matters. Read more >