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 of contracts, business torts, shareholders disputes, unlawful trade practices, environmental matters, injunctions, product defects and real estate transaction matters.

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, Sprint and Costco in disputes in Oregon and across the country.

Representative cases include:

  • Obtaining 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.
  • Prevailing on summary judgment against a nearly $15M claim arising out of a train derailment in Nebraska.
  • Representing the City of Lake Oswego, Oregon in an ongoing Federal Court lawsuit concerning ownership of Oswego Lake.
  • Representing an Oregon timber company in its successful effort to recover multi-million dollar costs of an environmental cleanup from a prior owner who contaminated a mill site in Montana.
  • Successfully asserting claims on behalf of the City of Portland arising out of defects in a new utilities software billing system.
  • Successfully asserting claims for breach of contract and warranty seeking damages of $4.2M caused by defective professional services.
  • Successfully asserting claims for breach of fiduciary duty, dissolution and minority shareholder oppression seeking damages of over $3M.
  • Prevailing on summary judgment against dissenters’ rights and breach of fiduciary duty claims seeking nearly $3M.
  • Successfully represented Riverplan, a large manufacturer on challenges to local ordinances that would have significantly hampered development in Portland’s industrial sanctuary.
  • After a week-long trial, obtaining a defense verdict against wrongful discharge and retaliation claims brought against a large timber company.
  • Obtaining a favorable arbitration award against rescission and damages claims arising out of a real estate transaction.
  • Successfully defending against injury claims brought against manufacturing and timber companies.
  • Successfully asserting breach of fiduciary duty and contract claims of nearly $1M brought against a corporate director and public utilities company.
  • Prevailing on summary judgment against disability discrimination claims brought against a national sporting goods and apparel company. 
  • Successfully asserting Alien Tort Claim Act and human trafficking claims brought by an Ethiopian woman.
  • Defending manufacturer in several lawsuits involving train derailments allegedly caused by defective products.
  • Defending manufacturer against multimillion dollar claims in environmental contribution lawsuit.
  • Successfully asserting and defending 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 of contracts, business torts, shareholders disputes, unlawful trade practices, environmental matters, injunctions, product defects and real estate transaction matters.

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, Sprint and Costco in disputes in Oregon and across the country.

Representative cases include:

  • Obtaining 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.
  • Prevailing on summary judgment against a nearly $15M claim arising out of a train derailment in Nebraska.
  • Representing the City of Lake Oswego, Oregon in an ongoing Federal Court lawsuit concerning ownership of Oswego Lake.
  • Representing an Oregon timber company in its successful effort to recover multi-million dollar costs of an environmental cleanup from a prior owner who contaminated a mill site in Montana.
  • Successfully asserting claims on behalf of the City of Portland arising out of defects in a new utilities software billing system.
  • Successfully asserting claims for breach of contract and warranty seeking damages of $4.2M caused by defective professional services.
  • Successfully asserting claims for breach of fiduciary duty, dissolution and minority shareholder oppression seeking damages of over $3M.
  • Prevailing on summary judgment against dissenters’ rights and breach of fiduciary duty claims seeking nearly $3M.
  • Successfully represented Riverplan, a large manufacturer on challenges to local ordinances that would have significantly hampered development in Portland’s industrial sanctuary.
  • After a week-long trial, obtaining a defense verdict against wrongful discharge and retaliation claims brought against a large timber company.
  • Obtaining a favorable arbitration award against rescission and damages claims arising out of a real estate transaction.
  • Successfully defending against injury claims brought against manufacturing and timber companies.
  • Successfully asserting breach of fiduciary duty and contract claims of nearly $1M brought against a corporate director and public utilities company.
  • Prevailing on summary judgment against disability discrimination claims brought against a national sporting goods and apparel company. 
  • Successfully asserting Alien Tort Claim Act and human trafficking claims brought by an Ethiopian woman.
  • Defending manufacturer in several lawsuits involving train derailments allegedly caused by defective products.
  • Defending manufacturer against multimillion dollar claims in environmental contribution lawsuit.
  • Successfully asserting and defending against injunction claims involving non-competition, non-solicitation and confidentiality agreements.  


    

OSB Business Litigation Section
Executive Committee Member

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.