Oregon State Bar Bulletin — JUNE 2011
Bar People

Among Ourselves

Jody Stahancyk, senior shareholder of Stahancyk, Kent & Hook, was one of the 15 veteran lawyers in Oregon recently honored by the Daily Journal of Commerce during the Leadership in Law Award Ceremony. The award recognizes outstanding professional efforts by lawyers in community and industry service, mentorship and leadership. Stahancyk started her career in law more than 35 years ago. Serving first as a Multnomah County deputy district attorney for six years, Stahancyk became a pro tem judge in Multnomah County juvenile court cases, serving from 1979 through 1982. She began her own family law firm in 1986, then known as Stahancyk & Cohen, at a time when very few women were practicing law. With only 11 women in her law school class of 135, Stahancyk noted, “When I started practicing, there were very few women lawyers to create footprints for me to follow.” She has since grown her firm to include more than 60 employees in five offices in Oregon and southwest Washington.

Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt shareholders Walt Grebe and Martha Pagel were recently honored by the Daily Journal of Commerce with its 2011 Leadership in Law recognition. The Leadership in Law designation was developed to pay tribute to long-standing members of the legal community in Oregon. Grebe has concentrated his legal career in business and corporate law, having represented companies of all sizes and matters relating to mergers and acquisitions, securities, estate planning and corporate governance, poison pills, retirement planning, employment contracts, covenants not to compete and confidentiality agreements. He was elected president and CEO of the firm in July 1994 and became chair emeritus in October 2001. Pagel is a recognized regional leader in water law and natural resources and was the director of two state agencies — the Oregon Water Resources Department and Department of State Lands — before joining Schwabe in 2000. She assists a wide range of clients on water, natural resources and government relations matters. Pagel also is a frequent speaker on water law, natural resources and the Endangered Species Act.

Gilion Dumas has been added as the newest member of the board of directors of the Cascade Policy Institute. Dumas is a partner at the Portland firm of O’Donnell, Clark & Crew.

Bullard Smith Jernstedt Wilson shareholder Maryann Yelnosky-Smith recently received the Harpole Attorney Award at the 13th Annual Joyce Harpole Reception and Awards ceremony. The award honors a lawyer dedicated to the pursuit of justice while maintaining a sense of balance among career, family and community. The selection committee noted that Yelnosky-Smith “is an excellent lawyer who advocates vigorously for her clients but who also strives to resolve matters in fair and reasonable ways. She keeps her balance and sense of humor even in the tense circumstances that practicing lawyers often encounter on a daily basis.” For more than 20 years, Yelnosky-Smith has helped health care providers and employers prevent and resolve employment disputes. She specializes in litigation defense, including discrimination, employee management and employee training. She is a frequent speaker on employment law topics, and she has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Oregon School of Law.

Two Ater Wynne partners have been elected to the boards of local organizations. Leslie Bottomly, a partner in the firm’s labor and employment group, has been elected to the board of directors of Raphael House of Portland, an agency dedicated to ending domestic violence. Kay Abramowitz, chair of Ater Wynne’s wealth preservation group and family-owned business group, has been elected to the Portland Opera board of directors. Bottomly focuses on advising organizations on strategic employment matters and advising healthcare organizations on a broad range of business and compliance matters. Abramowitz counsels individuals and business owners on asset protection and wealth preservation through estate planning, estate and trust administration, entity formation and business planning.

Lane Powell shareholder Robert E. Maloney Jr. received the University of Portland’s “Distinguished Alumni of the Year” award on April 5, at a recent lunch at the Multnomah Athletic Club. This award recognizes Maloney for his significant support to the university and its programs, and honors him for his significant contributions to his profession on a local and national level.

Chas. Horner of Lane County Legal Aid and Advocacy Center has been given the 2011 Bandiero Award for Lawyer Commitment to Public Interest Law. The award is bestowed by the Oregon Law Student Public Interest Fund in recognition of dedicated service in the public interest. Horner represents low income clients in a variety of public benefits appeals and other civil matters in Lane County.

Stoel Rives announces that associate Eric Kodesch, with his wife Anna, are the recipients of the Young Leadership Award given by the Portland Kollel. The couple was recently honored at a dinner at the Mittelman Jewish Community Center, where they were credited with making “a great investment in the Portland Jewish community and have helped the Kollel fulfill its vision, goals, and mission …” They are cofounders of Kollel’s Young Family Initiative (“Y-Fi”), which reaches many uninvolved as well as involved families with programming created specifically for their needs. At Stoel, Eric Kodesch is an associate in the tax section of the benefits, tax and wealth management group. He regularly advises clients on federal income tax and state and local tax issues, including international tax planning, general business planning, financial transactions, trust taxation, executive compensation and choice of entity issues.

Jacquelyn J. Jurkins, librarian and director of the Multnomah Law Library, has been selected as an inductee in the AALL Hall of Fame for 2011. The Hall of Fame was established in 2009 to recognize members whose contributions to the profession and service to the American Association of Law Libraries have been significant, substantial and longstanding. Jurkins will receive her award during the Business Meeting of the Association’s 103rd annual meeting in Philadelphia this July.

The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners and the Multnomah County Citizen Involvement Committee have honored Tonkon Torp attorney Max M. Miller Jr. with a Multnomah County Volunteer Award. Miller serves on the board of the Regional Arts and Culture Council and the governing committee of the Right Brain Initiative, a program to increase access to the arts for K-8 students. Miller chairs the firm’s environmental and natural resources practice group, where his business counsel and litigation practice focuses on complex hazardous waste, air and water pollution matters, as well as forestry and renewable energy. He is a founding member of Oregon Lawyers for a Sustainable Future and last year was honored by the OSB with its Sustainable Leadership Award.

Chris Magana, senior portfolio manager and vice president of West Coast Trust, was recently named one of Oregon’s 40 Under 40 business leaders by Portland Business Journal. At West Coast Trust, Magana is a trust management committee member and is responsible for the Leader Portfolio equity investment strategy, managing investments for individuals, trusts and retirement plans.

Miller Nash attorney Phillip Grillo has been recognized for service to the local business community by the Portland Business Alliance. Grillo was presented with the honor in front of more than 1,000 attendees at the PBA annual meeting on April 19. Grillo was honored for his work with the Working Waterfront Coalition’s legal challenge to the recently adopted River Plan. (The challenge argued that the plan would impede job growth and economic development along the river.) Grillo, who specializes in land use planning, permitting, and development, is listed among the Best Lawyers in America, and is involved with the Home Builders Association.

Lane Powell Shareholder Carolyn Vogt was recently appointed to the Oregon Humane Society’s board of trustees. Vogt is familiar to working with nonprofits: she is past president of the board of directors for the YWCA of Greater Portland and is currently a member of the board of directors for the Wetlands Conservancy. She is also currently on the board of Smart Grid Oregon, a trade association that promotes smart-grid industry and infrastructure in Oregon. Vogt has more than 20 years of legal experience representing clients in complex business transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, financing, entity formation and structure, and commercial contracts. She has worked with a range of clients, including manufacturers, retailers and energy project developers.


Fisher & Phillips announces the addition of Tamsen Leachman as a partner in the Portland office. Leachman brings nearly 20 years of experience assisting employers in all areas of employment and labor law. For several years, she led the employment and labor law team at Dunn, Carney, Allen, Higgins & Tongue. She is a fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America and is also general counsel for and a board member of the Portland Human Resources Management Association and has served on the leadership committee for Oregon Women Lawyers.

Arnold Law Office announces that Lewis & Clark Law School alumna Rachel A. Mortimerhas joined the firm as an associate. Mortimer worked throughout her schooling as a paralegal for various firms throughout Oregon, including a personal injury firm, insurance defense firm and medical malpractice firm. After passing the bar, she was an associate attorney at a small family law and criminal defense firm. She is a member of the OSB Family Law and Juvenile Law sections.

David A. Ernst has joined Davis Wright Tremaine in its national hospitality practice. He joins the firm as partner and will practice from its Portland office. Ernst, previously with Bullivant Houser Bailey, brings more than 25 years of trial experience, representing both plaintiffs and defendants in major exposure cases throughout the United States. For the last 15 years, he has focused on litigation issues unique to the food and beverage industry. Representing national restaurant clients, food manufacturers and distributors in outbreak and contamination claims, Ernst has handled more than 1,000 cases arising from food-borne illness outbreaks across the country. He also regularly counsels the industry on risk management and policy development strategies aimed at avoiding potential disputes. Along with managing an active practice, Ernst is involved with a number of professional and civic organizations. He chairs the boards for both the Business for Culture & the Arts and for the Classroom Law Project. He is a master member for the Owen M. Panner American Inn of Court, and he sits on the board of visitors for Lewis & Clark Law School.

Steven D. Nofziger has joined Hershner Hunter as an associate. He graduated from the University of Oregon School of Law in 2006. Prior to moving to Eugene, he practiced with a large regional law firm in Portland. Nofziger is an accomplished speaker and author and has been named as a “Rising Star” in Oregon Super Lawyers magazine. His practice will focus on employee benefits, taxation, and business formation and organization.

Flagler Law Group in Sisters, Ore., announces the addition of Craig A. Gipson as an associate. Gipson is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law and previously practiced with the firm of Brackett & Ellis in Fort Worth, Texas. Flagler Law Group, an intellectual property law firm, specializes in representing Christian publishers across the United States.

Gwendolyn Grif- fith is the new leader of the tax and employee benefits practice group at Tonkon Torp. Griffith’s tax practice covers a wide range of matters including partnership and corporate taxation as well as estate planning. Her most recent book, Family Wealth Transition Planning (Wiley, 2009), is a guidebook for families and advisors addressing family business succession issues. Griffith’s 30-year career includes both practicing and teaching law. Before joining Tonkon Torp in 2008, she was a partner at Speer Hoyt in Eugene and was a professor at Willamette University College of Law. Griffith also serves as executive director of the Oregon Facilities Authority, the state agency responsible for facilitating the issuance of tax exempt bonds for nonprofit organizations.

Shawn N. Menashe has been named managing shareholder of Gevurtz, Menashe, Larson & Howe in Portland. Menashe takes over the role his father, Albert A. Menashe, has held for nearly 30 years. Albert Menashe will continue practicing law with the firm full time. After passing the Oregon bar exam in 2003, Shawn Menashe joined his father’s firm as an associate attorney. In 2009, he became a partner. He is active in a number of nonprofit organizations, including Make-A-Wish Foundation of Oregon, American Red Cross, Oregon Zoo Foundation, Portland Opera, Self Enhancement Inc., and Children’s Miracle Network. Shawn Menashe has also been named a “Rising Star” by Oregon Super Lawyers magazine each year since 2008 and was named one of the “40 under 40” by Portland Business Journal in 2008.

Nadine A. Gartner has joined Stoll Berne as an associate. Gartner previously worked at Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart and prior to that she clerked for two federal judges. She was law clerk for the Hon. Emily C. Hewitt of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and for the Hon. Susan P. Graber of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. Gartner’s practice will emphasize complex business litigation and class action litigation.

Robin A. Smith, vice president and senior trust officer, recently relocated to the Portland office of West Coast Trust. Smith received her J.D. from the University of Oregon in 1997 and her LL.M in Taxation from New York University School of Law in 1999. Previously, Smith practiced estate planning and tax exempt organizations law with Pacific Northwest law firms including Stoel Rives and Preston, Gates & Ellis. She also served as assistant director of the graduate program in taxation at the University of Washington School of Law, where she taught classes in tax-exempt organizations and the tax aspects of charitable giving.

Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt has hired experienced products liability trial attorney Jeff Eden and associate Ryan Boyle. Eden comes to Schwabe with 25 years of experience practicing law and will continue to focus his practice in the area of products liability litigation. He also has extensive experience in a broad range of civil litigation including products liability, professional liability and catastrophic injury. He has successfully tried more than 80 jury trials in the state and federal courts of Oregon and Washington. Boyle focuses his practice on products liability defense, personal and catastrophic injuries and toxic torts. He has represented product manufacturing clients, defended large grocery retailers, pharmacy chains, retail outlets and general contractors in employer liability law cases. He also represents clients in the arts, entertainment and sports industries.

Adam C. Lowry has joined Tonkon Torp’s litigation department as an associate. Lowry earned his J.D. from University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 2010. He was a member of the Hastings Law Journal and the Thurston Society. Lowry previously was a summer associate at Tonkon Torp and at Latham & Watkins. He also served as a judicial extern for the Hon. Marilyn Hall Patel, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, and as a law clerk in the criminal division of the U.S. Attorneys’ Office for the Northern District of California. Before beginning his law studies, Lowry worked for two years in the contracts department of Chronicle Books, a San Francisco publishing company. There he negotiated and drafted employment, licensing and permissions contracts, and handled intellectual property matters including fair use, trademark and copyright.

Chernoff Vilhauer announces that as of April 1, Chuck McClung is senior counsel to the firm and Don Haslett (pictured) is the firm’s managing partner. McClung’s new position comes after serving as the firm’s managing partner for more than 25 years. His practice will continue to encompass all areas of intellectual property, with an emphasis on patent and trademark prosecution. He joined the firm in 1977 and has been a partner since 1984. His practice involves all areas of intellectual property, specializing in domestic and foreign patent prosecution. His varied clientele includes Gunderson, Inc., Sam Medical Products and Leatherman Tool Group.

Kirsten C. Meneg-hello has founded Illumination Coaching LLC, a life-purpose coaching practice. She works with attorneys and other professionals who are successful, but who are dissatisfied and are searching for deeper purpose and meaning. She is an authorized facilitator of the “Now What? 90 Days to Your New Life Direction” 12-week program and a graduate of Coach U. She can be reached at kirsten@illuminationcoachpdx.com or (503) 432-8214.

Thomas Tongue, shareholder in the Portland office of regional law firm Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, was recently appointed co-leader of the firm’s business and transaction practice group. Tongue will share leadership with Carmen Calzacorta. Tongue has extensive experience representing clients in a broad array of business transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, securities and corporate finance. He serves as primary corporate counsel for several Oregon businesses including Parr Lumber Company and Columbia Steel Casting Co. A fifth generation Oregon attorney, Tongue is deeply committed to numerous community or law-related organizations, including: the University of Oregon School of Law, where he teaches a course on mergers and acquisitions; the March of Dimes, serving on the board; two three-year terms as an elected representative for the OSB House of Delegates; steering committee for Oregon Entrepreneurs Network’s Venture Oregon event; and volunteer coach for the Classroom Law Project’s Mock Trial program. Law & Politics magazine named him a “Rising Star” (2008-2010), and in 2010 Portland Business Journal named him one of its “Forty Under 40” emerging business leaders.

Associate attorneys Jodie M. Sneller, John A. Pinzelik and Brook D. Wood have joined as shareholders in the firm formerly known as David W. Owens P.C. & Associates. The firm officially became Owens, Sneller, Pinzelik & Wood on Jan. 1. Owens was admitted to the Oregon bar in 1975. Sneller was admitted to the bar in Oregon in 2007 and practices primarily in family law and Social Security disability. Owens and Sneller are also licensed in Washington. Pinzelik joined the Oregon bar in 2005 and practices primarily in the areas of bankruptcy and personal injury. Wood was admitted to the bar in Oregon in 2009, and his practice is primarily devoted to estate planning and probate.

Christopher J. Nye has been named shareholder at Reed McClure in Seattle. He represents defendants in a variety of complex commercial litigation disputes, including construc- tion defect, worksite injury, product liability and personal injury. Nye also represents insurance companies in litigating coverage disputes and bad faith cases, as well as providing coverage opinions and advice.

Portland business litigator Shannon Riordan Armstrong has joined Markowitz, Herbold, Glade & Mehlhaf as an associate. Her practice will focus on commercial litigation, with an emphasis on breach of contract, partnership disputes, securities litigation and other business matters. Armstrong previously practiced trial law at a white-collar criminal defense firm, where she represented individuals and corporations in criminal and regulatory proceedings. She negotiated settlements in regulatory and criminal actions including pre-indictment resolutions. She began her career as a law clerk for the Hon. Melvin Brunetti at the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Reno, Nev., and then moved to Portland, where she clerked for the Hon. Ancer L. Haggerty at the U.S. District Court, District of Oregon.



In Memoriam

Carol Wilson, the Professional Liability Fund’s founding practice management adviser who assisted the practices of Oregon lawyers for nearly 20 years, died March 18, 2011. She was 71.

Wilson created the PLF’s practice management adviser program and was one of the first practice management advisers in the country. She was the inspiration and developing force behind the PLF’s collection of practice aids and handbooks, which continue to be used by lawyers and law office staff throughout the state and the nation. Wilson started the first stress management support group associated with the Oregon Attorney Assistance Program. She wrote countless articles, served as newsletter editor, presented numerous CLEs and volunteered her time and energy to many committees and associations.

After 20 years of service, she retired in 2004, enjoying traveling and spending time with her family. In retirement, she continued her volunteerism, spending many hours helping seniors.

Wilson’s work with thousands of lawyers and law office staff has made a substantial positive impact on the legal profession in Oregon and elsewhere. Her resourcefulness, diligence, kindness and humor are fondly remembered by the many lawyers and legal support staff who were fortunate to know and work with her. She spent most of her life helping people and remains highly respected.

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