Michael Willes

Michael Willes





Services & Industries


J.D., Columbia Law School, 2010

B.A., Brigham Young University, 2005

Bar & Court Admissions

Oregon State Bar
State Bar of California
Washington State Bar Association
U.S. District Court, District of Oregon
U.S. District Court, Districts of Northern and Central California
U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington

Michael is a partner in the firm’s Litigation Department. He tries complex cases—including a nine-figure jury trial.

Before joining Tonkon Torp, Michael practiced in the Litigation Department at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP for four years. He earned his J.D. from Columbia Law School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, Alexander Hamilton Fellow, and Managing Editor of the Columbia Business Law Review. As a law student, he externed for Judge Michael W. Mosman of the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon.

Michael worked as an analyst at economics consulting firm Analysis Group, Inc., before attending law school. There he performed financial and statistical analyses in support of expert witnesses, whose reports and testimony were used at trial. While earning his undergraduate degree in economics and Spanish, Michael interned at the U.S. embassy’s economics section in Madrid.

Michael is a native Oregonian, raised in Corvallis.

Tonkon Torp Litigators Take on One of Oregon’s Largest Commercial Lawsuits

In 2021, Tonkon Torp defended its client Sprinklr, Inc. in one of the largest Oregon-based commercial lawsuits to be filed in recent years. The complex case between Sprinklr and plaintiff Opal Labs began in 2017 and involved the high-end technology of two sophisticated companies offering services in content marketing.

Tonkon Torp Celebrates Final Victory for Former Bank of Oswego CEO

The U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon recently dismissed the last criminal charges lingering against Dan Heine, former Bank of Oswego CEO. In 2015, Mr. Heine and Diana Yates, the Bank’s former CFO, were indicted for conspiracy to commit bank fraud and making false bank entries during the time they served as officers for the Bank. They both denied any wrongdoing.

Community Involvement & Activities

Virginia Garcia Memorial Foundation
Vice Chair, Board of Directors

Oregon State Bar Business Litigation Section
Executive Committee, Chair

Oregon State Bar House of Delegates
Past Region 5, Delegate

Portland Workforce Alliance
Past Board Member

Campaign for Equal Justice
Past Member, Associates Committee

Multnomah Bar Association Young Lawyers Section
Past Member, Board of Directors
Past Co-Chair, CLE Committee

Professional Memberships

Multnomah Bar Association

The Best Lawyers in America

2022-2024, Commercial Litigation
2021, Ones to Watch – Litigation – Securities

Super Lawyers

2017-2018, 2020-2022, Oregon Rising Star – Business Litigation

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Multnomah Bar Association

2016, Young Lawyers Section Rookie of the Year

Michael Willes Elected Vice Chair of Virginia Garcia Memorial Foundation Board of Directors

Tonkon Torp partner Michael Willes has been elected Vice Chair of the Virginia Garcia Memorial Foundation Board of Directors. The Foundation provides fundraising and community relations support to Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center, ensuring the continuation of vital primary care, dental, and pharmacy services to more than 47,000 people in Washington and Yamhill counties.

Michael Willes Leads Law Firm Tech Discussion for Law Firm Alliance

Tonkon Torp litigator Michael Willes moderated an online discussion on tech for the Law Firm Alliance, as part of their LFA Tech Discussion Series. The program, “Three Generations under the Same Roof: Why and How to Make the Modern Practice of Law More Technologically Inclusive,” offered an overview on how to use technology harmoniously and dynamically in a multi-generation legal workplace.

Best Lawyers in America® Includes 49 Tonkon Torp Attorneys on 2024 List

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.

Michael Willes Elected Board Secretary for Virginia Garcia Memorial Foundation

Tonkon Torp partner Michael Willes has been elected Secretary of Virginia Garcia Memorial Foundation Board of Directors.

Willes Chairs Business Litigation Section Executive Committee

On January 1, Michael Willes began his term as Chair of the Oregon State Bar Business Litigation Section Executive Committee. His term runs through the end of 2023.

All News Items

Banks Sue Over Oregon’s Foreclosure Moratorium

Two recent lawsuits filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon illustrate that Oregon banks are none too pleased about HB 4204. This legislation, passed by the Oregon legislature in June 2020, prohibits residential and commercial real estate foreclosures in Oregon from March 8, 2020 until December 31, 2020.[1] The legislation was initially set to expire in September 2020, but was extended by executive order. In response to this legislation, the Oregon Bankers Association (“OBA”) and a number of other banks sued the State of Oregon in August.

Publications & Presentations

“Injunctive Clauses,” Oregon Business Lawyer, Dec. 2023

Moderator, “Three Generations under the Same Roof: Why and How to Make the Modern Practice of Law More Technologically Inclusive,” Law Firm Alliance, Sept. 2023

“Drafting Contract Dispute Resolution Clauses: A Litigator’s Perspective,” Nov. 2021

“Oregon State Courts: Overview and Rules,” Chapter, Oregon Civil Pleading and Litigation (2020 Edition), Oregon State Bar

Banks Sue Over Oregon’s Foreclosure Moratorium,” Ear to the Ground Blog, Oct. 2020

Stare Decisis at the Oregon Supreme Court,” Litigation Journal, Fall 2018

“Waivers – What Am I Waiving?” Fall Board and Educational Conference, NALS of Oregon, Sept. 2016

“Contracts 101 for Startups,” Feb. 2016

“A Foil for Fazzolari: Recent Negligence Case Law Weakens Duty Limitations,” Oregon Law Review, Feb. 2016

Caveat Venditor: The Consequences of Bagley v. Mt Bachelor, Inc. for Negligence Releases and Other Contract Provisions,” Litigation Journal, Summer 2015

“Recent Case Notes – Forum Non Conveniens,” The Verdict, Issue 1, 2015