Steven D. Olson

Tonkon Torp LLP
1600 Pioneer Tower
888 SW Fifth Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97204

PHONE: 503.802.2159
EMAIL: steven.olson@tonkon.com
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Steve
As Co-Chair of the firm's Litigation Department, Steve has a broad range of commercial litigation experience. He represents companies, shareholders, and business professionals in cases involving contract disputes, business torts, shareholders disputes, unlawful trade practices, environmental matters, injunctions, product defects and real estate transactions.

Steve's experience includes litigation and trial work in federal and state courts, as well as in private arbitration and mediation. Steve has served a broad client base including, among others, The Greenbrier Companies, Nike, the City of Lake Oswego, and Costco in disputes in Oregon and across the country. Representative cases include:
 
  • Successfully defended the City of Lake Oswego in federal and state court lawsuits involving disputes about the ownership of Oswego Lake.
  • Obtained a multi-million dollar jury verdict in a state court trial arising out of the client's losses in an investment fund (Beal v. Kerr-Cruickshank Inc., Case No. 1106-07241). "Jury says it matters what investment firms say to clients when an adviser leaves," Oregonian, August 4, 2012.
  • Won summary judgment against a nearly $15M claim arising out of a train derailment in Nebraska.
  • Successfully asserted claims against a brokerage house and investment firm brought by a group of investors who lost millions of dollars in connection with a Ponzi scheme.
  • On behalf of a large Oregon timber company, recovered millions of dollars in costs arising from the cleanup of a Montana mill that was contaminated by a prior owner.
  • Successfully asserted claims on behalf of the City of Portland arising out of defects in a new utilities software billing system.
  • On behalf of a large manufacturer, successfully challenged a controversial Portland city ordinance, Riverplan, which would have significantly hampered development in Portland’s industrial sanctuary.
  • Successfully asserted claims for breach of contract and warranty seeking damages of $4.2M caused by defective professional services.
  • Successfully asserted claims for breach of fiduciary duty, dissolution and minority shareholder oppression seeking damages of over $3M.
  • Won summary judgment against dissenters’ rights and breach of fiduciary duty claims seeking nearly $3M.
  • Obtained a defense verdict against wrongful discharge and retaliation claims brought against a large timber company.
  • Obtained a favorable arbitration award against rescission and damages claims arising out of a real estate transaction.
  • Successfully asserted breach of fiduciary duty and contract claims brought against a corporate director and public utilities company.
  • Won summary judgment against disability discrimination claims brought against a national sporting goods and apparel company.
  • Successfully asserted Alien Tort Claim Act and human trafficking claims brought by an Ethiopian woman against her captor.
  • Successfully defended a large Oregon manufacturer in several lawsuits brought in courts across the country involving train derailments allegedly caused by defective products.
  • Successfully asserted and defended against injunction claims involving non-competition, non-solicitation and confidentiality agreements.


  

As Co-Chair of the firm's Litigation Department, Steve has a broad range of commercial litigation experience. He represents companies, shareholders, and business professionals in cases involving contract disputes, business torts, shareholders disputes, unlawful trade practices, environmental matters, injunctions, product defects and real estate transactions.

Steve's experience includes litigation and trial work in federal and state courts, as well as in private arbitration and mediation. Steve has served a broad client base including, among others, The Greenbrier Companies, Nike, the City of Lake Oswego, and Costco in disputes in Oregon and across the country. Representative cases include:
 
  • Successfully defended the City of Lake Oswego in federal and state court lawsuits involving disputes about the ownership of Oswego Lake.
  • Obtained a multi-million dollar jury verdict in a state court trial arising out of the client's losses in an investment fund (Beal v. Kerr-Cruickshank Inc., Case No. 1106-07241). "Jury says it matters what investment firms say to clients when an adviser leaves," Oregonian, August 4, 2012.
  • Won summary judgment against a nearly $15M claim arising out of a train derailment in Nebraska.
  • Successfully asserted claims against a brokerage house and investment firm brought by a group of investors who lost millions of dollars in connection with a Ponzi scheme.
  • On behalf of a large Oregon timber company, recovered millions of dollars in costs arising from the cleanup of a Montana mill that was contaminated by a prior owner.
  • Successfully asserted claims on behalf of the City of Portland arising out of defects in a new utilities software billing system.
  • On behalf of a large manufacturer, successfully challenged a controversial Portland city ordinance, Riverplan, which would have significantly hampered development in Portland’s industrial sanctuary.
  • Successfully asserted claims for breach of contract and warranty seeking damages of $4.2M caused by defective professional services.
  • Successfully asserted claims for breach of fiduciary duty, dissolution and minority shareholder oppression seeking damages of over $3M.
  • Won summary judgment against dissenters’ rights and breach of fiduciary duty claims seeking nearly $3M.
  • Obtained a defense verdict against wrongful discharge and retaliation claims brought against a large timber company.
  • Obtained a favorable arbitration award against rescission and damages claims arising out of a real estate transaction.
  • Successfully asserted breach of fiduciary duty and contract claims brought against a corporate director and public utilities company.
  • Won summary judgment against disability discrimination claims brought against a national sporting goods and apparel company.
  • Successfully asserted Alien Tort Claim Act and human trafficking claims brought by an Ethiopian woman against her captor.
  • Successfully defended a large Oregon manufacturer in several lawsuits brought in courts across the country involving train derailments allegedly caused by defective products.
  • Successfully asserted and defended against injunction claims involving non-competition, non-solicitation and confidentiality agreements.


  

Oregon State Bar
Business Litigation Section
Executive Committee
 
Oregon State Bar
Practice and Procedure Committee
Executive Committee
 
Oregon State Bar
Products Liability Section
Executive Committee
 
Catholic Charities
Immigration Legal Services
 
Southeast Legal Clinic
Pro Bono Volunteer
 
All Saints School
Volunteer and Fundraising

Portland Business Alliance
Leadership Portland Class of 2007
Before becoming a lawyer, Steve served six years as an officer in the United States Coast Guard. He spent time at sea, and then managing the Port of New Orleans. In his leisure time, Steve enjoys playing and coaching sports, cooking, travelling, and most importantly, spending time with his wife and daughters.