Complex Litigation

Business and commercial disputes, among individuals, companies, associations and governmental entities, vary in their substantive focus, but there is a common theme: the facts and the law intertwine with complications. The tools of litigation, sharpened over generations, must be used by lawyers with experience and judgment, to mediate, to investigate and to negotiate the issues which accompany every dispute, from an anti-trust claim to an aircraft disaster, from an energy contract to the siting of power plants, from an environmental review to a construction claim over transcontinental pipelines.

With the Oregon state legal rate of interest at 9% per annum, and with millions of dollars at stake in claims, a judgment in the future already may be one of the client’s most productive assets. A judgment obtained needs protection, through appeals that test the complicated processes that led to the judgment itself. Prejudgment interest, therefore, becomes an important ingredient in tracking the value of damages computed.

In 2008-09, Arden Shenker brought a complex tort and contract case to a successful jury verdict in the United States District Court for the District of Oregon. Judge Anna Brown presided over a seven-day jury trial. In addition, he brought a complex energy case to a successful trial court verdict in the United States Court of Federal Claims. Judge Lettow presided over a nine-day trial to the court. The cases resulted in multi-million dollar damage awards.

Notable Cases

Banister Continental Corp. v. N.W. Pipeline Corp., 76 Or. App. 282, 709 P.2d 1103 (1985), vacated on other grounds, 301 Or. 763 (1986). Seminal case establishing the right to prejudgment interest on contract disputes and providing for jury review of complex contract documents under court's instructions. Provided largest contract recovery, in excess of $17,000,000, in an Oregon jury trial to date.

Erickson Air-Crane Co. v. United Technologies Corp., 303 Or. 281, 735 P.2d 614 (1987).Established product liability responsibility for ongoing service bulletins, to compensate helicopter owner and operator in multimillion dollar loss.

Hazelwood Chronic and Convalescent Hospital, Inc., v. U.S. Secretary of Health Education and Welfare, 556 F.2d 981 (9th Cir. 1977). Persuaded the United States Supreme Court to accept certiorari from the decision of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals validating the constitutionality of retroactive application of Medicare regulations, in an opinion by Circuit Judge Anthony Kennedy, in the 9th Circuit. The Supreme Court reversed, 430 U.S. 952 (1977), the earlier decision of the 9th Circuit, 543 F.2d 703 (1976).