Dan Skerritt

Dan Skerritt

Partner

503.802.2024
dan.skerritt@tonkon.com

PDF

vCard

Services & Industries

Education

J.D., summa cum laude, Willamette University College of Law, 1968

L.L.M., George Washington University, 1972

B.A., Willamette University, 1965

Bar & Court Admissions

Oregon State Bar
U.S. District Court, District of Oregon
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
U.S. Supreme Court

Widely recognized for trial excellence during his past 35 years of practice, Dan represents both plaintiffs and defendants in their complex commercial litigation and disputes. He was the 2010-2012 State Chair of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He is a fellow and past state chair in the International Society of Barristers. In 2015, Dan was named a Senior Statesman by Chambers.

Dan’s background includes litigation involving securities, corporate governance, energy, and general business issues. He regularly represents clients in cases involving the jurisdiction of U.S. courts over international transactions, disputes, and enforcement of judgments.

The defense of securities class actions and derivative claims is a particular area of achievement for Dan. He represents clients regionally, nationally, and internationally. Dan’s IP litigation experience includes enforcement of high tech firms’ noncompetition and trade secrets agreements.

Dan frequently serves as a mediator or arbitrator in commercial and other complex disputes. His listings in Best Lawyers in America include ADR services. In addition, he regularly testifies as an expert witness on attorneys’ fee issues.

Following law school, Dan served for four years as a captain in the U.S. Army’s Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps.

A prolific writer, Dan has authored more than 20 CLE articles on substantive areas of the law and trial practice techniques, and recently served as co-editor of the 2012 two-volume Oregon State Bar CLE Oregon Civil Pleading and Practice.

For several years, he has served as co-editor of the Oregon State Bar’s Oregon Civil Pleading and Practice Manual.

Dan’s 2019 article, “Why Not Trials Instead of Depositions?” was published in both the ABA Litigation Journal and the American Board of Trial Advocates’ Voir Dire publication. In 2014, his article, “Cross-Examination: Torching the Calendar,” was published by the ABA Litigation Section for The Art of Cross-Examination: Essays from the Bench and Bar.

In 2015 Dan presented to the Multnomah Bar Association Young Lawyers Section on cross examination as part of their “Advanced Litigation Skills Series.” He also was invited to speak at the Oregon State Bar’s 22nd Annual Litigation Institute, where he discussed his litigation experience in a master class panel alongside several of Oregon’s top litigators.

Throughout his 35 years of practice, Dan has received accolades from the Oregon and national legal community for his litigation practice. In October, 2018, the Portland Business Journal featured Dan as a giant in Oregon corporation litigation. With the publication of Farm Boy: Growing up Progressive in Rural America, he now adds author to his credentials. Dan has long known that jurors love hearing adages gleaned from his farm-boy childhood, and felt the time was right to publish his family lore for a broader audience. In his memoir, Dan reflects on growing up on a Montana farm established by grandparents who immigrated from Ireland to homestead and establish a new life in America. He mixes lighthearted adventures of farm life with his brothers and sisters, one being his twin, with thoughtful commentary on charged social issues such as immigration and rural development that resonate with today’s societal conversations.

Representative Matters

Representation of Second-Generation Business Owner

Defended and successfully resolved claims for breach of agreements that were made in connection with the transition of a family business from one generation to the next.

Starr-Wood v. Swanson et al.

Obtained Plaintiff's verdict in jury trial on breach of fiduciary duty claim on behalf of minority shareholders.

Amen v. Roberts

Obtained $5.1 million arbitration award against client's ex-husband for breach of an agreement to share profits in a business they formed together.

William Davis et al. v. Cascade Tanks LLC et al.

Successfully abated breach of contract and business tort claims against client, enforcing foreign arbitration agreement.

Eischen v. AVIVA et. al.

Defended a class action shareholder claim through to completed trial, challenging AVIVA- Reebok merger.

Estates of Renae and Lola Cottam v. Nelson

(Coos County Circuit Court, No. 14-CV-0085) – 2014 judgment in wrongful death action of $2 million.

Midway-Sunset Cogeneration Company v. Southern California Gas

Achieved judgment valued at more than $9 million for a breach of contract case involving a cogeneration facility.

PPM Energy, Inc. v. Black Hills Power, Inc.

Represented an energy marketing company in arbitration claims for breach of an energy exchange agreement. The client was awarded $1.7 million in damages and favorable declaratory relief. The award was reduced to judgment in District Court, Jefferson County, Colorado.

McCormick & Schmick Restaurant Corp., v. Professional Facilities Management, Inc.

(U.S.D.C. Case No. 3:10-cv-362-pk) –  Represented PFMI in defense of breach of contract and business tort claims filed by McCormick and Schmick relating to a repair and maintenance contract for a chain of 93 restaurants. Also filed counterclaims on behalf of PFMI for breach of contract and business torts. The case was settled on a confidential basis.

​Allen v. OHSU

Successfully represented Oregon Health & Science University in defense of a whistleblower complaint.

​Amen v. Roberts

$5.1 million arbitration award, reduced to judgment, February 2009, Josephine County, Oregon.

Broker-Dealer Mediation

Successful mediation of multiple plaintiffs' claims against a broker-dealer, 2008.

​Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway v. Gunderson Inc.

Obtained summary judgment for our client, the defendant, to defeat a $14 million products liability claim in Texas arising from a train derailment.

​eFusion v. Zuber

Obtained injunction enforcing high tech firm’s non-competition and trade secrets agreement.

​Eischen v. Avia et. al.

Defended a class action shareholder claim through to completed trial, challenging Avia-Reebok merger.

Estates of Renae and Lola Cottam v. Nelson (Coos County Circuit Court, No. 14-CV-0085)

2014 judgment in wrongful death action of $2 million.

​Evergreen International Airlines v. Pan Am

Reclaimed leased aircraft from Pan Am bankruptcy on behalf of a private aviation company.

​Gray and Company v. Archer Daniels Midland Company et al.

Successfully prosecuted plaintiffs’ antitrust case alleging price-fixing conspiracy by high fructose and corn syrup producers. Following successful appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, we negotiated a favorable settlement.

​Johnson et al. v. Buchanan Ingersoll

$850,000 verdict in 2008 legal malpractice case.

​Midway-Sunset Cogeneration Company v. Southern California Gas

Achieved a judgment valued at more than $9 million for a breach of contract case involving a cogeneration facility.

​Nevada Cogeneration Associates v. Nevada Power Company

Awarded $1.3 million in arbitration for cogenerator against a utility for improper curtailment.

​Power Medical System v. Intermedics

Obtained $9 million plaintiff’s verdict resulting from failed merger of a medical device company.

​PPM Energy, Inc. v. Black Hills Power, Inc.

Represented the plaintiff, an energy marketing company, in arbitration claims, for breach of an energy exchange agreement. Client was awarded $1.7 million in damages and favorable declaratory relief. In this private arbitration matter, the award was reduced to judgment in District Court, Jefferson County Colorado.

​Star-Wood v. Swanson et al.

Plaintiff's verdict, 2008 breach of fiduciary duty claim.

​State of Oregon v. Philip Morris Incorporated

Served as one of the legal team members representing the state in Big Tobacco litigation which resulted in a $2.25 billion state settlement.

​William Davis et al. v. Cascade Tanks LLC et al.

Successfully abated breach of contract and business tort claims against foreign client, enforcing foreign arbitration agreement, 2014, U.S. District Court for Oregon, case NO. 3:13-cv—2119-MO.

Word Logic v. Hewlett Packard

Settlement of plaintiff’s copyright infringement claims reported in Word Logic SEC filing (http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1139614/000110313204000042/wlq0604.htm).

WordLogic v. Hewlett Packard

(USDC, N.D. Cal.) – Represented WordLogic in copyright infringement and contract dispute involving client's software product.

WHI Hotel, LLC, et al. v. Wilsonville Holiday Partners LLC, et al.

Defended Wilsonville Holiday Partners (WHP) against claims for breach of warranty and misrepresentation in a hotel property sold by WHP to buyers in 2008. The buyers claimed that alleged defects in the hotel allowed water intrusion from the roof and windows. The case was tried to a jury in Washington County Circuit Court. Plaintiffs sought damages of $5 million and punitive damages of $15 million. After the jury had deliberated to impasse, the case was settled on terms favorable to the client, for a small fraction of the amount sought by plaintiff, and the settlement consisted mainly of forgiveness of a note from buyers to seller for seller financing of a portion of the purchase price.

Thomas Michael Anderson, as Trustee of the Timothy P. Moyer Trust, et v. Sturgeon et. al.

(Multnomah County Circuit Court) – Defended president of property management company against claims for breach of contract and breaches of fiduciary duty. Obtained summary judgment dismissing complaint in its entirety.

Burlington Northern & Santa Fe RR v. Gunderson, Inc.

Prevailed on summary judgment against a nearly $15 million claim filed in Texas arising out of a train derailment in Nebraska.

Exploring Lewis and Clark College’s Perfect Storm

When the President of Lewis & Clark College made an unauthorized $10.5 million loan to an oil company that eventually defaulted on the loan, Tonkon Torp was asked to investigate.

Community Involvement & Activities

Oregon State Bar
Civil Jury Instructions Committee, Past Member
Civil Rights Section, Past Chair
2014, Military and Veterans Law Section, Treasurer
2003–2006, House of Delegates Member

Citizens’ Coalition for Court Funding
Past Board Member

United States Supreme Court Historical Society
2013–2014, Oregon State Membership Chair

Campaign for Equal Justice
2014–2016, Co-Chair, Large Firm Committee

Oregon State Parks Trust
Board of Trustees
Past Chairman

World Trade Club
Past President
Past Director

Cathedral School
Past Advisory Board


Professional Memberships

American Bar Association

American College of Trial Lawyers
2013-2015, Chair, ACTL Jury Committee
2010-2012, State Chair, Oregon

Federal Bar Association

International Society of Barristers
Past State Chair

Multnomah Bar Association

Oregon Association of Defense Counsel
Past Director

The Best Lawyers in America

2006–2023, Arbitration
2006–2023, Bet-the-Company Litigation
2006–2023, Commercial Litigation
2006–2023, Mediation
2016, Lawyer of the Year – Bet-the-Company Litigation

Read More

Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers

2004-2019, Litigation: General Commercial Law

Read More

Super Lawyers

2006-2022, Oregon Super Lawyer – Business Litigation
2007, 2009-2015, Top 50 Oregon Super Lawyers
2014, Top 10 Oregon Super Lawyers

Read More

International Society of Barristers

Fellow

Read More

Benchmark Litigation

2011-2017, Litigation Star

Best Lawyers in America® Includes 53 Tonkon Torp Attorneys on 2023 List

Fifty-three Tonkon Torp lawyers representing 37 practice areas have been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2023. Nearly all the attorneys have been previously named to the peer-review list, and most have been listed for more than 10 years.

31 Tonkon Torp Attorneys Honored on 2022 Super Lawyers Lists

Thirty-one Tonkon Torp attorneys in 11 practice areas have been included in the 2022 Oregon Super Lawyers or Rising Stars

OSB Litigation Publication with Tonkon Torp Contributions Wins International Award

A recent publication from the Oregon State Bar Legal Publications, Oregon Civil Pleading and Litigation has won an Award of Outstanding Achievement from the Association for Continuing Legal Education. Partners Caroline Harris Crowne and Dan Skerritt were members of the editorial review board for the publication, and helped to develop and organize the list of topics for inclusion, recruit authors for the 48 chapters, and provide peer-review for the draft chapters

Best Lawyers in America® Includes 53 Tonkon Torp Attorneys on 2022 List

Fifty-three Tonkon Torp lawyers representing 39 practice areas have been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2022

26 Tonkon Torp Attorneys Honored on 2021 Super Lawyers Lists

Twenty-six Tonkon Torp attorneys in nine practice areas have been included in the 2021 Oregon Super Lawyers or Rising Stars lists.

All News Items

Publications & Presentations

“Why Not Trials Instead of Depositions?” Voir Dire, American Board of Trial Advocates, Summer 2019

“Why Not Trials Instead of Depositions?” Litigation Journal, American Bar Association, Winter 2019

“Cross-Examination: Torching the Calendar,” The Art of Cross-Examination: Essays from the Bench and Bar, ABA Litigation Section, 2014