Frank Weiss

Frank Weiss

Partner

503.802.2051
frank.weiss@tonkon.com

PDF

vCard

Services & Industries

Education

J.D., cum laude, University of California, Hastings College of the Law, Order of the Coif

B.S., University of Oregon

Bar & Court Admissions

Oregon State Bar
State Bar of California
U.S. District Court, District of Oregon
U.S. District Court, Northern, Southern and Central Districts of California
U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit

Frank’s practice emphasizes complex commercial litigation, including insurance coverage, and product liability matters. His experience includes trial work in federal and state courts, as well as in private arbitration and mediation. He also regularly advises corporate policyholders with respect to the scope and availability of insurance coverage, the presentation of insurance claims, and the negotiation of settlements with insurance companies. Frank’s clients include regional and national entities involved in disputes in Oregon and across the country. He also serves as the firm’s General Counsel.

Prior to joining Tonkon Torp, Frank was an associate at Thelen Reid & Priest in San Francisco.

Representative Matters

Asbestos Claims

Recovering several million dollars in settlement of an insurance coverage action seeking coverage for asbestos claims filed across the country.

Pacific Scientific v. Lighthouse Worldwide Solutions

(Oregon State Court) – Represented defendant in a trade secret case involving the design and manufacture of handheld and portable particle counters for clean room applications. We prevailed following a preliminary injunction evidentiary hearing.

Allianz Global Risks US Insurance Co. v. ACE Property & Casualty Insurance Co. et. al

Following a seven-week jury trial, secured a complete victory for Con-way, a $5.5 billion American multinational freight transportation company. At issue was the question of responsibility for some portion of defense and indemnity costs associated with three Superfund sites, including the Portland Harbor, and over 1500 asbestos lawsuits. Tonkon Torp successfully argued that certain of Con-way's historic insurance policies did not apply to claims against the current property owner.

Insurance

Obtained partial reversal on appeal of adverse summary judgment concerning the availability of insurance coverage for the settlement of several class actions relating to the sale of hardboard siding. (Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals)

Theft Loss Coverage re Chapter 11 Trustee

Obtained a substantial recovery in settlement of insurance coverage action seeking coverage for theft loss on behalf of the Chapter 11 trustee of a bankrupt 1031 Exchange accommodator, Oregon Federal Court.

Arbitration

Obtaining a nearly four-million dollar arbitration award in a dispute involving the sale and installation of a defective material-handling system.

Breach of Endorsement

Successfully defending a large publicly-traded company against a claim of over $100,000,000 for breach of an endorsement and licensing agreement. This matter was tried in a private arbitration in which Frank was one of the three primary trial lawyers representing the defendant.

Breach of Fiduciary Duty

Obtaining summary judgment against dissenter's rights and breach of fiduciary duty claims seeking nearly $3,000,000. 

Breach of Warranty

Successfully defending a large publicly-traded company in a breach of warranty action involving sophisticated point-of-sale equipment.

Derailment Appeal

Prevailing on summary judgment against a nearly $15,000,000 claim arising out of a train derailment and upholding the judgment on appeal.

Derailment Lawsuits

Favorably resolving federal court lawsuits arising out of train derailments occurring in Nebraska, Kansas, and Wyoming.

Distribution Agreement

Defeating a multi-million dollar claim in a federal court jury trial arising out of the termination of a distribution agreement.

Environmental Liability

Obtaining a defense verdict as lead trial counsel for a large public company following a seven week jury trial relating to liability for environmental contamination at three superfund sites, including the Portland Harbor, and over 1,200 asbestos claims.

NFL Endorsement

Obtaining a preliminary injunction enforcing a client's right of first refusal in its endorsement contract with an NFL quarterback. 

Trade Secret Misappropriation

Successfully defending clients against a trade secret misappropriation claim and defeating the plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction.

Train Derailment Insurance

Prevailing on summary judgment in Oregon Federal District Court establishing entitlement to insurance coverage for a multi-car train derailment.

Confidential

(Multnomah County Circuit Court) – Successfully assert claims for breach of judicial dissolution, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of shareholder agreement seeking damages of $6.0 million.  

Tinn v. EMM Labs, Inc.

Won a multi-million dollar federal court jury trial on behalf of our client EMM Labs, a Canadian manufacturer of high-end audio equipment. Defeated the plaintiff's claims under a distribution agreement and prevailed on our client's counterclaim.

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.

Confidential

Successfully defend contract rescission claims and successfully assert breach of fiduciary duty claims seeking damages of $3 million.

Products Liability

Successfully defended a large manufacturing company against products liability and breach of warranty claims filed in the U.S. District Court, District of Nebraska by establishing that plaintiff's alleged losses were caused by a component part manufacturer and by plaintiff's own negligence.

Union Pacific RR v. Greenbrier Rail Services

Representing a railcar manufacturer in a series of related lawsuits arising from train derailments in Kansas, Nebraska and Wyoming. Plaintiff alleges that products manufactured by Greenbrier failed, causing damages in excess of $10 million.

Confidential

(United States District Court, District of Oregon) – Prevailed on summary judgment against dissenters' rights and breach of fiduciary duty claims seeking nearly $3,000,000. 

Symbol Technologies v. Continuum Technology

(USDC, E. NY) – Successfully assert claims for breach of contract and preliminary and permanent injunction arising from unauthorized use of bar code technologies.

Entitlement to Insurance Coverage

Upheld grant of judgment establishing entitlement to insurance coverage for a multi-car train derailment. (Texas Appellate Court)

Union Pacific RR v. Greenbrier Rail Services

Representing a railcar manufacturer in a series of related lawsuits arising from train derailments in Kansas, Nebraska and Wyoming. Plaintiff alleges that products manufactured by Greenbrier failed, causing damages in excess of $10 million.

Tonkon Torp Wins Arbitration Victory for Technology Company and Patent Law Firm

Tonkon Torp achieved a significant arbitration win involving two clients, a California-based technology company and its patent litigation law firm. Tonkon Torp was originally retained to represent the tech company in obtaining declaratory and injunctive relief against a litigation finance company that had been engaged to fund the client’s patent enforcement litigation.

Tonkon Torp Victorious at Oregon Court of Appeals on Behalf of Con-way

In May 2019, Tonkon Torp celebrated a complete appellate victory for its client, Con-way, with a decisive win in the Oregon Court of Appeals. The appeal affirmed a 2014 judgment that settled the question of who bore responsibility for a portion of defense and indemnity costs associated with three Superfund sites, including the Portland Harbor, and more than 1,500 asbestos lawsuits.

Tonkon Torp Wins Complicated Civil Trial for Con-way

In arguably one of the biggest and most complicated civil trials in Portland, Tonkon Torp secured a complete jury trial victory for Con-way, a $5.5 billion American multinational freight transportation company. Find details and more featured cases here.

Tonkon Torp Wins Water Law and Boundary Dispute for Jackson County Landowner

Tonkon Torp wrapped 2020 with a complete victory in a complicated and contentious boundary and water law dispute.

Community Involvement & Activities

Mt. Scott Learning Center
Board Member

Oregon State Bar
Disciplinary Board, Member
Legal Ethics Committee, Former Member

Multnomah Bar Association
Professionalism Committee, Former Member

American Bar Association
Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee, Former Vice-Chair

Multnomah County Lawyers’ Professional Responsibility Committee
Former Member


Professional Memberships

Multnomah Bar Association
American Bar Association
Federal Bar Association

The Best Lawyers in America

2013-2022, Commercial Litigation
2018-2022, Insurance Law

Read More

Martindale-Hubbell

AV Preeminent

Tonkon Torp Unveils Shareholder Disputes & Governance Practice Group

Tonkon Torp has launched a new practice group, Shareholder Disputes & Governance.

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

Tonkon Torp Litigators Share Expertise in Oregon Civil Pleading and Litigation Publication

Tonkon Torp litigators have contributed their expertise to a new treatise on civil litigation practice, Oregon Civil Pleading and Litigation.

Best Lawyers in America® Includes 49 Tonkon Torp Attorneys on 2021 List

Forty-nine Tonkon Torp lawyers representing 36 practice areas have been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2021. A majority of attorneys have been named to the peer-review list in past years, and most have been recognized for more than five years.

Frank Weiss Discusses COVID-19 Insurance Claims for Mediation Podcast

Tonkon Torp attorney Frank Weiss was a featured panelist on the April 28 podcast presented by Schulwolf Mediation. The episode focused on insurance coverage for COVID-19 claims.

All News Items

Court Decision Favors Businesses Claiming Insurance Coverage for COVID-Related Losses

Companies across the state, and around the country, have suffered significant loss of income due to interruptions to their business caused by the spread of COVID-19 and the ensuing government-ordered closures. These companies have been disappointed to find their insurance claims for business interruption losses denied across the board. Now, however, for the first time, a federal district court in Missouri has issued an opinion affirmatively holding that coverage may exist for COVID-19 business interruption claims.

Business Interruption Insurance and COVID-19: Tender Your Claim

Now that many businesses have been shut down for weeks as a result of the COVID-19 virus, there have been a number of important developments affecting the availability of business interruption insurance to help mitigate the losses experienced as a consequence of closures.

Will Business Interruption Insurance Cover Coronavirus-Related Disruptions?

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak was already delivering significant economic impacts across industries; now the World Health Organization (WHO) has officially declared the outbreak a global pandemic. This will likely result in further—perhaps even extended—economic fallout for nearly every industry. Does this mean you should turn to your business interruption insurance for relief?

Court Decision Favors Businesses Claiming Insurance Coverage for COVID-Related Losses

Companies across the state, and around the country, have suffered significant loss of income due to interruptions to their business caused by the spread of COVID-19 and the ensuing government-ordered closures. These companies have been disappointed to find their insurance claims for business interruption losses denied across the board.

Publications & Presentations

“Individual Parties and Representative Capacity,” Chapter, Oregon Civil Pleading and Litigation (2020 Edition), Oregon State Bar

“Court Decision Favors Businesses Claiming Insurance Coverage for COVID-Related Losses,” Tonkon Torp Legal Update, August 2020

Podcast, A Mediator’s Round (Kitchen) Table: Insurance Coverage for COVID-19 Claims,” Schulwolf Mediation, April 2020

“Business Interruption Insurance and COVID-19: Tender Your Claim,” Tonkon Torp Legal Update, April 2020

“Will Business Interruption Insurance Cover Coronavirus-Related Disruptions?” Tonkon Torp Legal Update, March 2020

“Maximize Your Insurance ROI: A Proactive Approach to Insurance Pays Off,” Association of Corporate Counsel of Oregon Newsletter, January 2019

“Insurance 101,” Northwest Insurance Law Seminar, The Seminar Group, October 2018

“Litigation — The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” University of Oregon, November 2016

“Commercial & Cyber Insurance,” October 2016

“Indemnity Provisions & Principles: Traps for the Unwary,” Oregon State Bar Business Law Section, June 2016

“Contract Boilerplate and Oregon Common Law,” OSB Business Law Section, Annual Seminar,  November 2015

“Manage Insurance Coverage Like Risks,” Daily Journal of Commerce, September 2012

“Surviving Winter: The Ninth Circuit Reaffirms the ‘Serious Questions’ Test for Injunctive Relief,” Litigation Journal, 2011

“Think Twice Before Accepting an Assignment of Insurance Rights,” Litigation Journal, 2007