Services & Industries
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.
- Obtained a defense verdict as lead trial counsel for a large public company following a seven-week jury trial relating to insurance liability for environmental contamination at three superfund sites, including the Portland Harbor, and over 1,200 asbestos claims.
- Prevailed on summary judgment in Oregon Federal District Court establishing entitlement to insurance coverage for a multi-car train derailment in Canada.
- Recovered millions of dollars in settlements of insurance coverage litigation pertaining to coverage for over a thousand asbestos claims against a large publicly traded company.
- 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)
- Prevailed on summary judgment in Oregon District Court on behalf of the manufacturer of a pressure differential railcar in a product liability action seeking $10 million.
- Obtained a nearly $4 million arbitration award on behalf of large public company following a two-week arbitration hearing involving a dispute over the sale and installation of a defective material-handling system.
- Prevailed on summary judgment in Texas state court, and successfully upheld judgement on appeal, on behalf of a railcar manufacturer in connection with product liability claims seeking $15 million brought by a Class 1 Railroad.
- 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.
- Obtained a defense judgment following an arbitration hearing in a breach of warranty action involving sophisticated point-of-sale equipment.
- Successfully defended a large publicly-traded company against a claim of over $100 million 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.
- Defeated a multi-million dollar claim in an Oregon Federal Court jury trial arising out of the termination of a distribution agreement.
- Obtained a preliminary injunction in federal district court enforcing a client’s right of first refusal in its endorsement contract with an NFL quarterback.
- Prevailed on summary judgment against dissenters’ rights and breach of fiduciary duty claims seeking nearly $3 million.
- Prevailed in a state court bench trial involving a dispute between neighboring landowners arising out of liability for flood damage.
Tonkon Torp wrapped 2020 with a complete victory in a complicated and contentious boundary and water law dispute.
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.
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.
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.
Community Involvement & Activities
Mt. Scott Learning Center
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
Multnomah Bar Association
American Bar Association
Federal Bar Association
Forty-nine Tonkon Torp lawyers representing 36 practice areas have been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2024. All of the attorneys have been previously named to the peer-review list, and most have been listed for more than 10 years.
Thirty-nine Tonkon Torp attorneys in 12 practice areas have been included in the 2023 Oregon Super Lawyers or Rising Stars lists.
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.
Tonkon Torp has launched a new practice group, Shareholder Disputes & Governance.
Fifty-three Tonkon Torp lawyers representing 39 practice areas have been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2022
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.
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.
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.
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?
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