Tonkon Torp’s appellate lawyers are skilled advocates with a proven track record representing clients in federal and state appellate courts.

Our appellate lawyers have a broad range of subject matter expertise, in-depth knowledge of appellate court procedures, and personal experience with the appellate judges of the courts in which we appear.

We have represented clients in the following courts:

  • The U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals (including the Ninth and Federal Circuits)
  • Oregon Supreme Court
  • Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Washington appellate courts
  • California appellate courts

Our cases run the gamut of civil litigation, from bankruptcy, to land use, to administrative appeals. Our appellate lawyers blend top-level strategic analysis and fresh perspective with superb written and oral advocacy skills.

Tonkon Torp’s appellate lawyers are experienced and familiar with every step of the appellate process, and we have deep experience doing the following:

  • Advising clients on the likelihood of success
  • Ensuring a complete appellate record
  • Using appellate motions practice to reduce costs to clients
  • Drafting concise and persuasive merits briefs
  • Delivering effective oral arguments
  • Preparing and responding to petitions for higher review

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Bar Admission

Bar Admission




Of Counsel
Labor & Employment Paralegal
Of Counsel
3503, 3539, 3541, 3545, 3547, 3551
Immigration Paralegal

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 Wins Ballot Challenge at Oregon Supreme Court

Tonkon Torp’s Government Solutions Practice Group is celebrating the release of an Oregon Supreme Court opinion in favor of its client, Associated General Contractors.

Tonkon Torp Helps to Clear Path for Building Mosque, Other Religious Facilities

Tonkon Torp appellate attorney Bob Koch recently won a favorable ruling from the Oregon Court of Appeals that allows for Masjid Ibrahim, a local mosque, to be built in the Bethany area of Multnomah County. The court’s ruling is also an important victory for all proposed places of worship throughout Oregon.

Robert Koch Wins Pro Bono Appeal at Oregon Supreme Court

Tonkon Torp attorney Robert Koch, Chair of the firm’s Appellate Practice Group, won a family law appeal in the Oregon Supreme Court involving a child custody dispute for his client.

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 Appellate Victory in Auto Insurer Case

Tonkon Torp recently achieved a complete appellate win on behalf of its client, Leif Hansen, in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In 2018, Tonkon Torp attorneys Steve Olson, Paul Conable, and Meg Houlihan represented Hansen individually and in a proposed class action against his auto insurer, GEICO, for refusing to pay for digital scans of his truck as part of the truck’s repair following a collision. Hansen sued for breach of contract under his insurance policy and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. The federal district court dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim.

Tonkon Torp Wins Dismissal of RICO Claims Attacking Cannabis Industry – First of its Kind in 9th Circuit

Tonkon Torp secured a dismissal of civil RICO claims filed in federal court based on defendants’ involvement in an Oregon Medical Marijuana Program grow operation. Four civil RICO cases have been filed this year in Oregon against nearly 300 businesses and individuals engaged in state-authorized cannabis activity.

Tonkon Torp Wins Appellate Victory in Lake Oswego Access Dispute

Tonkon Torp litigators won a remarkable victory at the Oregon Court of Appeals in the ongoing high-profile dispute regarding public access to Oswego Lake. Here are the details.

Ninth Circuit Victory Assures Electricity Rate Stability

Representing Portland General Electric (PGE), Tonkon Torp appellate lawyers successfully argued for the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to uphold a settlement by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA). Find details and more featured cases here.

Representative Matters

Land Use

Represented a large industrial landowner in a series of appeals successfully challenging the City of Portland's North Reach River Plan ordinance as failing to comply with Oregon's statewide land use planning goals and the City's own comprehensive plan. (Land Use Board of Appeals, Oregon Court of Appeals, Oregon Supreme Court)


Successfully pursued Oregon Health & Science University’s right to recover a proportionate share of approximately $25 million, including interest, received by the state from the 1999 demutualization of Standard Insurance Company. (Marion County Circuit Court/Oregon Court of Appeals)

Guydish v. U.S. Bakery

(King County, WA Superior Court/Washington Court of Appeals) – Defended successfully, in trial court and on appeal, a class action seeking unpaid overtime on behalf of route sales persons for a regional company.

Walker v. Metro One

(Multnomah County Circuit Court/Oregon Court of Appeals) – Obtained damages for an investor at trial for breach of convertible promissory note where company had refused to issue shares; successfully defended appeal.

Administrative Law/Insurance Rate-Setting

Represented a health insurance provider in a rate dispute filed by a consumer. The Oregon Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, allowing the rates to stand. (Oregon Court of Appeals)


Represented a bankruptcy trustee in litigation to determine who owns certain stock that previously belonged to the debtor. (Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel)

Criminal Law

Represented the defendants in a criminal environmental enforcement action related to an alleged release of hazardous material. (Oregon Court of Appeals)

Legal Malpractice

Represent a bankruptcy trustee in a lawsuit against the debtor's former legal counsel. (Oregon Court of Appeals)

Nonprofit/Employment Law

Successfully represented a nonprofit community orchestra against the Oregon Employment Department in dispute over independent contractor status of musicians. (Oregon Court of Appeals)

Measure 49 Appeal

Obtained decision from Oregon Court of Appeals approving construction of an additional homesite on client's property under Ballot Measure 49, overturning state agency and County trial court which had ruled against client. 

Class Action/Employment Law

Represented the nation's largest veterinary chain in a wage and hour class action in federal court in California, including substantial motions practice. (USDC Central District of California)

Administrative Law/Water Law

Represented a hydroelectric developer in a citizen dispute regarding a proposed hydroelectric project on an existing dam. The Oregon Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the Water Resources Department, allowing the project to go forward. (Oregon Court of Appeals)

Real Property Law

Obtained reversal of trial court's decision on one issue (adverse possession) and reversal of Court of Appeals' decision on another issue (accretion) to obtain a complete victory for client real estate investor. This real property dispute involved a significant parcel of land on the Oregon coast. The case turned on complex accretion issues, a 150-year deed record, and alleged adverse possession of vacant land. (Oregon Supreme Court)

Employment Law

Represented Asante in an employment dispute involving the Oregon reinstatement and reemployment statutes. Prevailed on the correct interpretation of the statutes, including in the Oregon Supreme Court, ultimately resulting in the dismissal of the two main claims in the case. (Oregon Court of Appeals, Oregon Supreme Court)


Represented a law firm in a voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding, including two appeals filed by a creditor. (USDC District of Oregon, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals)

Consumer Law

Represented an individual consumer in a successful lawsuit against a large credit card company for unlawful practices under the Fair Credit Billing Act and Unlawful Debt Collection Practices Act. (Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals)

Constitutional Law

Defended attacks by the American Trucking Associations against Oregon's heavy truck tax system. The Oregon Supreme Court held that the tax did not violate the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. (Oregon Court of Appeals, Oregon Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme Court)

Disability Discrimination

Represented an employer in a disability discrimination case in which the plaintiff asserted that Oregon employers must accommodate medical marijuana use. As a matter of first impression, the Oregon Supreme Court held that Oregon law takes into account mitigating measures to decide whether an employee is disabled and entitled to disability protection. (Oregon Supreme Court)

Discrimination Case

Represented NIKE in a discrimination case, in which the jury returned a verdict in NIKE's favor and the Ninth Circuit affirmed.  (Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals)

Tax Litigation

Represent Crystal Communications, Inc. in a dispute with the Oregon Department of Revenue. At issue is whether a Florida-domiciled S corporation's $48 million gain on the sale of an FCC license in Oregon is subject to apportioned taxation as business income in Oregon. (Oregon Supreme Court)

Americans With Disabilities Act

Represented Georgia-Pacific in an appeal establishing standards for when a return to work performance test constitutes a medical examination subject to the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. (Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals)

Antitrust Law

Represented a doctor in a case in which the jury found that our client's hospital privileges were revoked as a result of an unlawful conspiracy and monopolization. The U.S. Supreme Court held that defendants' actions were not immune from antitrust liability under the state action doctrine. (Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, U.S. Supreme Court)

Patent Infringement

Represent Apeldyn Corporation in patent infringement litigation against Sony, Samsung, AU Optronics, and Chi Mei Optoelectronics. The lawsuits are for infringement of Apeldyn’s patents related to the fast response liquid crystal systems used in flat panel screens. (Federal Circuit Court of Appeals)

Employment Law

Obtained affirmance of a summary judgment decision holding that a bakery's compensation system for a class of route sales drivers provided the reasonable equivalent of overtime and was therefore exempt from Washington's overtime laws. (Washington Court of Appeals, Washington Supreme Court)

Civil Rights/First Amendment

Represented the plaintiffs in Moss vs. U.S. Secret Service, a civil rights case arising out of the demonstrations in southern Oregon during President Bush’s 2004 campaign visit.  (U.S. District Ct. (Or.), Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, U.S. Supreme Court)

Public Records

Successfully represented the ACLU of Oregon in Public Records Law action seeking records concerning a Eugene Police Department investigation on public interest grounds. (Lane County Circuit Court, Oregon Court of Appeals, Oregon Supreme Court)

Tort/First Amendment

Represented the plaintiffs in Obsidian v. Cox, a defamation case against an Internet blogger that received national attention from media, bloggers, and constitutional scholars. The case involved the difficult balance between First Amendment speech and press protections and state defamation laws in the Internet age. (Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals)

Successful Ballot Challenge at Oregon Supreme Court

Represented Associated General Contractors in a ballot challenge for Initiative Petition 41 (IP 41). Following successful modifications requested in a comment letter submitted to the Attorney General (AG) for draft ballot title for IP 41, Tonkon Torp petitioned the Oregon Supreme Court for further refinement. The Court was persuaded by Tonkon Torp’s arguments and referred the ballot title back to the AG’s office, which made the required modifications.

Successful Appeal Allowing Mosque to Be Built

Won a favorable ruling from the Oregon Court of Appeals that allows for Masjid Ibrahim, a local mosque, to be built in the Bethany area of Multnomah County. While the county and the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) approved the building of the mosque, the plan was opposed by a neighbor, who cited traffic and other impacts as not compatible with the residential character of the neighborhood. The court’s ruling opens opportunities across the state for others seeking to site new places of worship (Oregon Court of Appeals).

Services + Industries

Services + Industries

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We encourage you to contact us if you have further questions about our firm or our experience. For your protection, we cannot represent you until we know that doing so will not create a conflict of interest. Accordingly, please do not send us any confidential or secret information about any matter that may involve you until you receive a written statement from us that we represent you (an engagement letter).

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