Tonkon Torp litigator Steven Wilker was one of three attorneys honored by the ACLU of Oregon at their annual Liberty Dinner on February 26. In the 60 year history of the ACLU of Oregon, only three of its cases have been taken all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Steven and his fellow honorees (Carl Neil and Thomas Christ) were acknowledged at the dinner for their commitment and dedication over the course of many years to argue their respective cases on the ACLU’s behalf. More information on the suit which Wilker joined as cooperating attorney in 2006 can be found here.
In 2014, Wilker argued to the Supreme Court in Wood v. Moss that Secret Service agents should be subject to liability for ordering local police to move peaceful protestors away from the President because of the viewpoint of their speech. Although the Court found that the agents had qualified immunity and could not be sued for their decision to order the protestors moved, the case is still pending with Fourth Amendment and state law claims against local police for excessive force and false arrest in implementing the order to move the protestors. The case is expected to proceed to trial in late 2016.
Wilker has been a volunteer attorney for the ACLU of Oregon for more than a dozen years. He joined the board of directors in 2009 and served on the Executive Committee as Vice President for Legal Affairs and Chair of the Lawyers Committee from 2010 – 2015. Wilker is currently the Vice Chair of the Lawyers Committee, which selects the cases the organization will pursue by representing clients or filing briefs as a friend of the court.
Although Wilker’s broad-based commercial litigation practice focuses on intellectual property, information privacy and security, and financial services, he also advises and represents newspaper and television clients on issues involving newsgathering and reporting.