William (Rick) F. Martson Jr.

William (Rick) F. Martson Jr.

Retired Partner/Inactive

503.802.2005

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Services & Industries

Education

J.D., magna cum laude, University of Michigan Law School, 1972, Order of the Coif

B.A., magna cum laude, Washington & Jefferson College, 1969, Phi Beta Kappa

University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland

Bar & Court Admissions

Oregon State Bar (Inactive)
Oregon Circuit Court
U.S. District Court, District of Oregon
U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
U.S. Tax Court
U.S. Court of Federal Claims
U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
U.S. Supreme Court

Rick’s practice covered securities, shareholders rights, defense of accountants, environmental, and natural resources litigation. He tried over 200 cases and 75 injunctive proceedings.

Representative Matters

ENRON

Tonkon Torp was lead counsel for a former executive officer and board member of Enron in dozens of federal and state court lawsuits in more than 20 states. We represented our client in civil lawsuit proceedings involving the Department of Labor and SEC, and a myriad of other proceeds obtaining favorable settlements to resolve all the proceedings before trial.

In re Baldwin-United Corporation

(Bankr. S.D. Ohio) – Baldwin-United Corporation was a publicly-held diversified financial corporation with annual sales in excess of $3.5 billion. At the time its petition was filed, it was the largest bankruptcy in the history of the United States. Tonkon represented the petitioning creditors in that bankruptcy, and William F. Martson, Jr. subsequently served as co-chairman of the official unsecured creditors' committee. 

In re Rajneesh Neal-Sannyas International Commune

(Bankr. D. Or.) – Tonkon represented the petitioning creditors in the involuntary bankruptcy petition against the commune in one of the most notorious cases in Oregon history. Subsequently, the firm represented the court-appointed trustee.  

Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claims

Successfully defended and resolved claims of breach of ficuciary duty against founder of family business.

City of Albany v. SVC Manufacturing Inc.

Defended SVC, a subsidiary of PepsiCo Americas Beverages, in a $105,000,000 breach of contract action filed by the City of Albany after SVC terminated a development agreement pursuant to which SVC was to build a Gatorade plant in Albany.

Columbia Management Co. v. Wyss

(765 P2d 207, 94 Or App 195, 1988) – Obtained a multimillion-dollar recovery in this dissenting shareholder case. This is the seminal case in Oregon on dissenter's rights.

Henderson v. Lee

Obtained a $3 million jury verdict in case involving fraud in the sale of a business.

Kahn, et al. v. Robert A. Sprouse, II, et al.

(?842 F Supp, 423 D. Or. 1993) – Successfully obtained summary judgment on behalf of directors in the face of allegations of misdeeds by minority shareholders. This is the seminal case in our district upholding the validity of investigations by independent committees of boards of directors.

Lewis v. Chiles, et al.

(719F2d 1044, 9th Cir 1983) – On behalf of Fred G. Meyer's Estate, defeated a challenge to the acquisition of Fred Meyer by KKR.

Medford Corporation v. Simmons

(D. Or. May 9, 1985) – Defended Medford Corp. from a hostile tender offer by Harold Simmons and his group.

Melridge, Inc. v. Heublein, et al.

Case started as an internal investigation by the Board of Directors concerning alleged wrongdoing by insiders. Ended with a Chapter 11 proceeding, injunctive relief and a $150 million judgment against the principal wrongdoer.

Wayne C. Van Zwoll v. William Swindells, et al. and Willamette Industries, Inc., et al.

(219 Or App 16 (2008)) – Defended the non-Weyerhaeuser appointed board members in an action related to Weyerhaeuser's hostile tender offer for Willamette Industries.

Columbia River People's Utility District v. PGE, 40 F Supp 2d 1152

Defeated PUD's claim that agreement concerning utility's exclusive service territory violated federal antitrust law.

Oregon Trail Electric Consumer Cooperative, Inc. v. Catalyst Energy, et al

Represented Oregon Trail Electric Consumer Cooperative, Inc. in a PURPA contract dispute.

PGE v. AMAX, Inc., 909 F2d 1577 (9th Cir)

This was one of several proceedings against AMAX concerning PGE's long-term coal supply agreement for the Boardman electric generating plant.

PGE v. Warm Springs Tribes, U.S. District Court

On behalf of Portland General Electric Company, we overturned a $225 million arbitration award regarding PGE's obligations to the Warm Springs Indians.

Puget Sound Energy, Inc., PacifiCorp and the City of Seattle v. Public Utility District No. 2 of Grant County, Washington, King County Superior Court Case No. 01-2-22126-4SEA

We intervened in this dispute concerning power sale contracts related to the Priests Rapid Hydroelectric Project on the Columbia River. We defeated the plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction against Grant County PUD. Our efforts led to summary judgment in defendants' favor.

BPA v. WPPSS, 956 F2d 1497 (9th Cir)

Represented Portland General Electric Company in litigation concerning the allocation of costs among twinned nuclear power plants.

Dreyer v. Portland General Electric Company, 341 Or 262 (2006)

Obtained a writ of mandamus from the Oregon Supreme Court resulting in abatement of consolidated class actions related to the Trojan nuclear power plant.

Wholesale Electricity Antitrust Cases I and II and the People of the State of California v. Portland General Electric Company, et al

Defended a utility in a variety of litigation arising out of the California energy crisis.

Bet the Company Cases

Tonkon Torp has been involved in a collection of “bet the company” cases regarding D.B. Western, the largest producer of formaldehyde in the world. The firm has managed criminal and civil litigation and remediation related to the alleged illegal disposal of formaldehyde-related wastes. In 2010, following significant discovery and motion practice, the federal government dismissed its criminal complaint against the company. Litigation with the State of Oregon is ongoing.

Defending a Former Director in Enron Fallout

Enron’s $63 billion bankruptcy in 2001 sent shockwaves through the financial community, triggering the collapse of one of the world’s largest accounting firms and setting in motion corporate governance changes that would alter the face of corporate America.

Tonkon Torp Looks Back at Wild Wild Rajneeshee Cases

The popular Netflix series, Wild Wild Country, has placed the compelling story of the Rajneeshee cult community back in the spotlight. Led by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and Ma Anand Sheela, the commune was active in Wasco County, Oregon during the early 1980s. Tonkon Torp attorneys were involved in three well-documented lawsuits that helped to halt the fraudulent actions of the Rajneeshees and restore assets to former members of the cult.

Community Involvement & Activities

 

Northwest Highland Cattle Association
Board Member

International Society of Barristers
2009–2010, President
1999–2011, Member, Board of Directors

International Society of Barristers Foundation
2011–2016, Officer, Board of Directors
2010–2016, Member, Board of Directors

Congress of Fellows of the Center for International Legal Studies, Salzburg, Austria
Member

Oregon Historical Society
1990–2009, Board of Directors
1997–1999, President
1994–1997, Treasurer
1992–1994, Assistant Treasurer

Oregon Trail Foundation
1994–1996–, Board of Directors

Molalla Elementary School
1991–1993, District #35 Board – Chairperson

Albertina-Kerr Center for Children
1985–1990, Board Member
Treasurer (2 years)

 


Professional Memberships

International Society of Barristers
Congress of Fellows of the Center for International Legal Studies, Salzburg, Austria
American Association for Justice
Federal Bar Association
Multnomah Bar Association

Benchmark Litigation

2011–2014, Litigation Star

The Best Lawyers in America

2005–2016, 2018–2020, Bet-the-Company Litigation
2005–2020, Commercial Litigation
2005–2020, Litigation: Banking & Finance
2005–2020, Litigation: Environmental
2005–2020, Litigation: Regulatory Enforcement
2005–2020, Litigation: Securities
2012, 2015, Lawyer of the Year – Litigation: Banking & Finance, Portland
2014, Lawyer of the Year – Litigation: Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy), Portland

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Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers

2004–2019, Litigation: General Commercial Law

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Super Lawyers

2006-2019, Oregon Super Lawyer – Business Litigation
2006-2013, Oregon Super Lawyer – Environmental Law (Administrative/Regulatory, Land Use and Zoning)

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2020 List for Best Lawyers in America® Includes 48 Tonkon Torp Attorneys

Forty-eight Tonkon Torp lawyers representing 39 practice areas have been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2020. A majority of attorneys have been named to the list in past years, and most have been recognized for more than five years.

31 Tonkon Torp Attorneys Honored on 2019 Super Lawyers Lists

Thirty-one Tonkon Torp attorneys in nine practice areas have been included in the 2019 Oregon Super Lawyers or Rising Stars lists.

Chambers USA Names 23 Tonkon Torp Attorneys in 2019 Ranking

Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business has recognized 23 Tonkon Torp attorneys in seven practice areas in its 2019 USA Guide.

Best Lawyers in America® Names 51 Tonkon Torp Attorneys to 2019 List

Fifty-one Tonkon Torp lawyers representing 41 practice areas have been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2019. Nearly all attorneys have been named to the list in past years, and have been recognized for more than five years

31 Tonkon Torp Attorneys Honored on 2018 Super Lawyers Lists

Thirty-one Tonkon Torp attorneys in 11 practice areas have been included in the 2018 Oregon Super Lawyers or Rising Stars lists. Tonkon Torp partner and bankruptcy authority Albert Kennedy has been once again recognized on the Top 50 list of Oregon lawyers rated most highly by their peers statewide.

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Publications & Presentations