Oregon State Bar Bulletin — JANUARY 2016

Bar People

Among Ourselves

Chernoff Vilhauer partners Jacob Vilhauer and Peter Staples have been recognized in the 2015 edition of the IAM Patent 1000, a guide that identifies the world’s leading patent professionals in key jurisdictions around the globe. The firm has been recognized by IAM Patent 1000 for the past four years. Vilhauer advises companies that manufacture mechanical and electrical industrial equipment on patent procurement, patent enforcement, patent infringement defense, patent opinions, technology transfer, licensing and joint technology development. Staples’ practice has encompassed a broad range of intellectual property matters, including acquisition of patent and trademark portfolios, intellectual property litigation and counseling, and arbitration and mediation of intellectual property matters.

Tonkon Torp attorney Clay Creps has joined the board of directors as of the Portland Human Resource Management Association (PHRMA), the local chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management. Creps will serve as legislative affairs director. He is a partner in Tonkon Torp’s Labor & Employment practice group and has more than 25 years of experience providing counsel and litigation services for all types of labor and employment problems.

Lake Oswego attorney Thomas C. Patton will retire from the Oregon Air National Guard on April 1, after 30 years of service. He began service as an active duty C-130 navigator in 1985 and has been a judge advocate general since 1997. He left active duty and moved to Portland in January 1993, flew C-130 Rescue planes at the Portland base and began law school at Lewis & Clark that year. After he graduated with the Class of 1996, he hung up his flight boots and become a JAG. In addition to serving within the Oregon ANG, he also held several national level positions. In his civilian life, he has a solo practice in civil litigation and appeals in Lake Oswego, which he continues.

Sussman Shank partner Heather A. Kmetz has been named 2015 Mentor of the Year by the Oregon State Bar Taxation Section’s new tax lawyer committee. The award is a result of the generous time and energy Kmetz has given to help develop tax lawyers who are young in their careers. She is known for giving practical advice that includes important lessons about the business aspects of a law practice, the culture of the legal community, and substantive tax issues, including ethics and standards of practice.

Garvey Schubert Barer owner John Rothermich has been elected to serve as president of the board of directors of Outside In, a Portland-based nonprofit focused on helping homeless youth and other marginalized individuals move towards improved health and self-sufficiency. As a member of the firm’s litigation group, Rothermich regularly assists clients in resolving critical business disputes, including False Claims Act defense, federal antitrust investigations and complex commercial litigation.

Tonkon Torp partner Drew Hagedorn has been elected president of the Oregon Transportation Forum, a private nonprofit membership organization that encourages full development, maintenance and integration of all transportation modes. He previously served as the organization’s vice president.Hagedorn chairs the firm’s state government relations and public policy practice group.

Miguel Santos has been named trust officer for the Private Client Reserve of U.S. Bank in Portland. In his new role, Santos will provide personal trust and estate services to individuals and families at all stages of life, and will manage the complexities of wealth preservation.

Mark Johnson Roberts and the Hon. Adrienne C. Nelson have changed positions within the structure of the American Bar Association. Association officers are selected by the 69-member nominating committee, comprised of the 52 state delegates and 17 other members selected from other places in the association. Johnson Roberts completed a full nine-year term as Oregon’s state delegate in August, and Nelson has been elected to replace him in that role. In November, ABA President Paulette Brown then appointed Johnson Roberts back to the nominating committee as an LGBT member at large, giving Oregon two seats on the nominating committee and 10 in the House of Delegates —the largest Oregon delegation ever. The other members of Oregon’s House delegation are Marilyn Jean Harbur, Akira Heshiki, Leslie S. Johnson, Christine M. Meadows, Katherine H. O’Neil, Oregon Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum, Andrew M. Schpak and Jovita T. Wang. Also, ABA President Brown has appointed Johnson Roberts to chair the ABA Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, which works for acceptance and inclusion for LGBT people throughout the justice system and in the larger legal community. OSB members with questions or concerns about the ABA’s work may contact any member of the delegation.

Stephen Buckley, a partner at Brownstein Rask was nominated by Gov. Kate Brown and confirmed by the Oregon Senate to serve a three-year term as a member of the Oregon Public Employees Retirement Board. The five-member board administers the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System, which provides retirement benefits for approximately 95 percent of all public employees in Oregon.

Michelle Druce has joined Portfolio Financial Servicing Co. in Portland as general counsel and chief compliance officer. Druce has extensive experience in financial services, compliance, privacy and operations spanning 18 years as in-house counsel. She also serves as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for youth in foster care and is a board member and treasurer for the Oregon Consumer League. PFSC is a third-party private-label servicer of leases and loans, structured settlements, lottery prize and royalty-type contracts and other installment-based contracts for both commercial and consumer portfolios.

Larry J. Brant, a shareholder in the Portland office of Garvey Schubert Barer, has been admitted as a fellow in the American College of Tax Counsel, a leading professional association of tax attorneys. Brant’s practice focuses on tax law, tax controversy and transactions. He is also currently a member of the board of directors of the Portland Tax Forum and an editor of Thomson Reuters Checkpoint Catalyst. Previously, he served as chair of the Oregon State Bar Taxation Section and as the long-term chair of the Oregon Tax Institute. He maintains a popular tax law blog at larrystaxlaw.com.

Tonkon Torp attorney Colin Geiger has joined the board of directors of the Ethos Music Center, a community-based nonprofit organization that works to provide all children with access to music education. As a member of the firm’s labor and employment practice group, he focuses his practice on defending employers in lawsuits filed by current or former employees. He also assists employers in a variety of other human resource matters. Actively involved in causes that support childhood education in the Portland area, he also serves as a board member for the Kids Community Learning Center.

The Oregon chapter of the Labor and Employment Relations Association has honored Miller Nash Graham & Dunn partner Wayne Landsverk in the management practitioner category during its annual awards reception. Landsverk has been advising and representing Northwest employers in all areas of employment and traditional labor law for more than 40 years. He has extensive experience with: union organizing drives; National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) representation hearings of all types; NLRB unfair labor practice hearings (both defending them and bringing them against unions); secondary boycott issues, strikes, slowdowns, sabotage, injunction and TRO proceedings; and federal and state court litigation relating to collective bargaining agreements.

The Oregon State Bar Environmental and Natural Resources Section awarded Brett VandenHeuvel its Leadership and Service Award in December. VandenHeuvel is the executive director of Columbia Riverkeeper, where he leads the organization’s legal and policy work to protect clean water. The section selected VandenHeuvel from its 460 members statewide.


Lori Sills has joined Cosgrave Vergeer Kester as an associate in the business practice group. Her practice specialties include estate planning, probate and trust administration, taxation and business transactions. Formerly, Sills worked as a professional fiduciary and paralegal. She has previously served as a long term care ombudsman and is currently a national certified guardian. She is a member of the ABA, the Multnomah Bar Association and Oregon Women Lawyers. She earned her law degree from Lewis & Clark, with a certificate of federal taxation. A daily bike commuter, she is passionate about cycling and an avid volunteer with Community Cycling Center and other advocacy organizations working to broaden access to bicycling for all. She also volunteers to boost fundraising for the Children’s Cancer Association.

Ashleigh Edwards has joined Cosgrave Vergeer Kester as an associate. She will specialize in litigation. She earned her law degree from Lewis & Clark, where she was the executive editor for the Lewis & Clark Law Review. She is a member of the Multnomah Bar Association, Oregon Women Lawyers and the City Club of Portland. In her spare time she plays on a recreational roller derby team associated with the Rose City Rollers.

Elliott P. Dale has joined Black Helterline as an associate. Dale’s practice focuses on business and real estate. He is a graduate of Lewis & Clark Law School and Willamette University Atkinson Graduate School of Management.

Pacific Northwest law firm Miller Nash Graham & Dunn welcomes three fall associates to its offices in Portland. John Clarke joins the firm’s litigation team. He recently earned his law degree from the University of Oregon School of Law, where he was elected to Order of the Coif. During law school, Clarke served as a legal research and writing tutor and as a law clerk at a Eugene-based firm and also served as a full-time judicial extern for the Hon. Michael J. McShane of the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon. Taylor Richman joins the firm’s education team. He recently earned his law degree, with honors, at the University of Washington School of Law. Richman also recently earned his Ph.D. in multicultural and special education at the University of Washington. While earning his doctorate, Richman taught graduate and undergraduate education courses on Education Law and Equity, Multicultural Education, and Instructional Issues in Multicultural Classrooms. Vanessa Triplett joins the firm’s litigation team. She recently earned her law degree at the University of Michigan Law School, where she was an executive editor of the Journal of Race and Law. At Michigan, Triplett served as a student attorney in the school’s general litigation clinic and also as a student mediator in the school’s mediation clinic.

Pacific Seafood Group, a family-owned seafood processing and distribution company headquartered in Clackamas, recently welcomed attorney Tony Dal Ponte to the company’s department of legal and strategic affairs as deputy general counsel. Dal Ponte comes to Pacific from the law firm Samuels Yoelin Kantor and brings a diverse bench of experience in litigation, corporate law and government affairs. The Salem native earned his law degree from University of Notre Dame.

Scott Eads has joined Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt as a shareholder in the firm’s intellectual property practice group in the Portland office. Eads is an intellectual property litigator with more than two decades of experience litigating patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret and unfair competition cases. He has handled patent infringement cases across a wide range of technologies, including Hatch-Waxman generic drugs, genetic engineering, biotechnology, Internet software, semiconductors, computer hardware and mechanical technologies. Prior to joining Schwabe, he was a partner with Perkins Coie.

Betts, Patterson & Mines has opened a new office in Portland to better meet the needs of its Oregon clients. The Portland office and will house two of the firm’s newest attorneys, David P. Rossmiller and Elissa Meyrowitz Boyd. Rossmiller has a multistate practice and specializes in complex insurance coverage advice and litigation. Rossmiller’s insurance practice includes a broad range of third-party and first-party insurance issues including general commercial liability, environmental liability, homeowners policies, directors and officers liability, and errors and omissions policies. Before attending the University of Michigan Law School, Rossmiller was an award-winning investigative reporter in Arizona for the now-defunct afternoon daily newspaper, The Phoenix Gazette, where he covered crime and city politics. Boyd specializes in insurance coverage advice and litigation, commercial litigation, employment law and intellectual property litigation. Boyd received her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in December 2010. Boyd was an article editor for the Michigan Journal of Gender and Law, and interned at both the Legal Aid and YWCA in Omaha, Neb., where she focused on helping survivors of domestic violence.

Kyle Abraham (right) and Sean Ray (left) have been named partners of Barran Liebman, effective Jan. 1. Abraham practices both traditional labor law and employment law and is one of the only attorneys in Oregon certified by the Association of Workplace Investigators to conduct workplace investigations. He frequently trains on employment law issues and serves on the board of the Portland Human Resource Management Association. Ray represents management and owners in employment law matters across all industries, with a particular affinity for hospitality and engineering industry clients due to his background. He regularly speaks on employment law issues and serves on the Multnomah Bar Association’s CLE Committee, among others.

Mark Kannen has joined the law firm of Hershner Hunter. His practice will focus on estate and business planning and business organization and transaction matters. Kannen’s planning and transactional practice builds on his previous experience working for a local law firm. He is a 2011 graduate from the University of Oregon School of Law. For more information, see his biography at www.hershner hunter.com/our-people/mark-r-kannen.

After serving as the Wilsonville city attorney for the past 35 years, Mike Kohlhoff has retired from the position, effective Nov. 30. Kohlhoff, among the longest serving and most experienced city attorneys in Oregon, first began practicing law in Wilsonville in 1975 and then began providing legal counsel to the city in 1980 as part of a contract to develop the city’s comprehensive plan. In October 1990, he joined the city as a full-time employee, becoming its first on-staff city attorney. During a tenure spanning seven different city managers, Kohlhoff participated in the drafting of the city’s comprehensive plan and numerous other major projects. Kohlhoff will stay on the job on a part-time basis for six months to work on specific projects in process.

Jennifer Bragar has become an owner in the Portland office of Garvey Schubert Barer, effective Jan. 1. Bragar’s practice focuses on land use, real estate, municipal and environmental law. She has been involved in several significant cases, including hazardous waste cleanup actions and land use advocacy on behalf of private landowners. She regularly assists as special counsel and general counsel to multiple cities across the state.

Steven D. Nofziger has become became an owner in the Portland office of Garvey Schubert Barer, effective Jan. 1. Nofziger’s practice focuses on employee benefits and executive compensation, tax and business matters. He frequently assists clients in matters involving ERISA and Affordable Care Act compliance, business and tax planning, Section 1031 exchanges and tax controversies before the Internal Revenue Service and the Oregon Department of Revenue.


In Memoriam

Longtime Salem attorney W. Wallace (Wally) Ogdahl died Aug. 23, 2015, after battling cancer. He was 70.

Wally Ogdahl was born Feb. 3, 1945. He went to Oregon State University, joining Phi Delta Theta fraternity and received two varsity letters for OSU’s nationally ranked wrestling team. He made many lifelong friends at OSU, including his wife of 45 years, Janet Field Ogdahl.

He enrolled in Willamette University School of Law in 1971, and after graduating in 1974, he joined the law firm of Bedingfield, Joelson, Barron & Gould in Coos Bay. A few years later he moved to Salem, where he joined longtime friend Paul Ferder to form a law practice. He continued to practice law in Salem for 37 years.

During his career Ogdahl served on various legal boards and associations. He was a member of the American Bar Association (Litigation Section); Marion County Bar Association (member, board of directors 1990-94, president 1993); Oregon State Bar (House of Delegates, 1997-98); Oregon Trial Lawyers Association (sustaining member, board member, 1984-88); and the U.S. District Court of Oregon (1976-2015).

In addition to his wife, Ogdahl is survived by a son, a daughter and grandchildren, all of Salem.


Jindřich Henry Langer died Nov. 21, 2015, in Salem. He was 69.

Langer was born and raised in Prague, Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic). He served in the Czech military special forces, training as a skilled machinist, and bus driving while earning two Czech law degrees from the Charles University in Prague. In the 1970s, he served as a prosecutor for the city of Prague and was connected to the underground resistance.

In 1981, he escaped from communism to the United States, where he and his wife, Vera, returned to law school. They became U.S. citizens in 1986. While still a law student at the University of Oregon, he created and taught a comparative law class as an adjunct professor. He then became a member of the Oregon State Bar and entered public service as a prosecutor in 1987. That same year he received the OSB President’s Award for Public Service. He subsequently served as a criminal justice act panel attorney, representing indigent and underprivileged defendants in federal courts from 1990 until his retirement in 2014.

In addition to his wife of 37 years, Langer survived by a brother, two sons and their families.

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