Paul Balmer

Paul Balmer





Services & Industries


J.D., University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, 2020

B.A., Pomona College, 2012

Bar & Court Admissions

Oregon State Bar
Washington State Bar
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
U.S. District Court, District of Oregon

Paul is an associate in Tonkon Torp’s Litigation Department and represents businesses and individuals in a wide variety of complex civil matters, from residential real estate disputes to eight-figure trade secret claims and civil rights litigation. Paul has experience in state and federal court and has resolved numerous cases through arbitration and mediation.

Paul deeply values community engagement and enjoys an active pro bono practice. He has helped clients vacate unconstitutional convictions and expunge past criminal records and is a volunteer coach with Classroom Law Project. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Raphael House of Portland.

A Portland native and Grant High School graduate, Paul matriculated to Pomona College, where he double-majored in Politics and Middle East Studies and was captain of his NCAA Division III cross country and track teams. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law in 2020. While a law student, Paul worked at Tonkon Torp as a Summer Associate. He also worked as a judicial extern for the Honorable Kathleen Banke at the California Court of Appeal and the Honorable Trina Thompson at the Alameda County Superior Court.

Prior to law school, Paul worked for several years in the Washington, D.C. office of Congressman Earl Blumenauer. He uses that experience and passion for politics as a member of Tonkon Torp’s Government Law & Disputes group.

Paul is a competitive marathoner and enjoys spending time outside in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and son.

Representative Matters

Product Liability Defense

Defended a national wearable device manufacturer against claims that one of its products was dangerously defective. Following an arbitration, we received a complete defense victory.

Fraud and Failure to Disclose Claims

Prosecuted fraud and failure to disclose claims against seller of residential property and seller’s realtor, obtaining highly favorable settlement at confidential mediation.

Breach of Contract Defense

Obtained favorable settlement for seller of residential property against seven-figure claims for breach of contract and specific performance.

Tonkon Torp Wins Again in Ongoing Defense of Oregon State Bar

Tonkon Torp celebrates another victory for the Oregon State Bar in the ongoing challenge presented in Gruber v. Oregon State Bar and Crowe v. Oregon State Bar. At question in both cases is whether compulsory membership in the Oregon State Bar violates individual rights to free speech and free association under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution

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 Wins Ballot Challenge for Oregon Agriculture Coalition

Tonkon Torp’s Government Solutions Practice Group is celebrating a successful effort on behalf of the Oregon Farm Bureau seeking changes to an Attorney General’s ballot title, caption and summary.

The Ramos Project

In April 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down non-unanimous jury convictions in criminal cases in Ramos v. Louisiana. A shameful carryover from the Jim Crow era, Louisiana and Oregon were the last two states that allowed non-unanimous criminal convictions when as many as two jurors believed a defendant was innocent. Overnight, more than 260 cases in Oregon became eligible to seek post-conviction relief for unconstitutional non-unanimous convictions. Housed in the Criminal Justice Reform Clinic (CJRC) at Lewis & Clark Law School, the Ramos Project is a statewide pro-bono initiative providing legal assistance to those seeking redress.

Community Involvement & Activities

Raphael House of Portland
Board of Directors

Civics Learning Project (fka Classroom Law Project)
Cleveland High School Constitution Team – Volunteer, Coach

Campaign for Equal Justice Associates Committee

Professional Memberships

Multnomah Bar Association

Paul Balmer Appointed to Raphael House Board of Directors

Tonkon Torp attorney Paul Balmer has been appointed to the board of directors of Raphael House of Portland, a multi-faceted agency dedicated to ending domestic violence through advocacy, education, community outreach, and by providing a safe haven.

Paul Balmer Serving on CEJ Associates Committee

Tonkon Torp attorney Paul Balmer is serving on the Associates Committee of the Campaign for Equal Justice (CEJ). The CEJ Associates Committee is comprised of young attorneys in Portland who help drive support for CEJ and Oregon legal aid within their respective organizations and among their peers.

Paul Balmer Joins Tonkon Torp Litigation Department

Attorney Paul Balmer has joined Tonkon Torp LLP as an associate in its Litigation Department. Balmer works with regional and national businesses and individuals to resolve challenges in and out of court, including contract disputes and administrative charges.

Major Changes Coming to Cannabis Industry – Most of Them Are Good

The 2021 Oregon legislative session—mostly virtual in the midst of a global pandemic—saw legislators and draft bills largely focused on economic recovery issues. Most relevant to our narrow focus, the cannabis industry won some industry-specific economic recovery in the form of relief from overregulation, thanks to the passage of SB 408.

Publications & Presentations

“Major Changes Coming to Cannabis Industry – Most of Them Are Good,” Tonkon Torp Legal Update, August 2021

“Colluding to Save the World: How Antitrust Laws Discourage Corporations from Taking Action on Climate Change,” 47 Ecology Law Currents 219, 2020

“Martin’s Beach Litigation and Eroding Public Access Rights to the California Coast,” 45 Ecology Law Quarterly 427, 2018