Rick Pope


“Trial lawyers have to be willing to look at a situation without flinching and size it up for exactly what it is. Then comes the challenge.”
Rick Pope has been a trial lawyer for 35 years. He is drawn to challenging civil cases for plaintiffs and defendants.

Biography

Rick works with clients to resolve conflict through a full range of the most appropriate means — negotiation, mediation, arbitration, dispositive motions, court or jury trials, or appellate judgments. Rick does this for both plaintiffs and defendants.

Rick has spent more than 1,200 hours in front of juries in civil cases. He has won three verdicts of more than one million dollars each: for employment retaliation against a union whistle-blower, for insurance coverage to clean up groundwater pollution threatening Portland’s water supply, and for misappropriation of cellular telephone application trade secrets.

His first trial took him to the Oregon Supreme Court, where he obtained a reversal of a criminal conviction that the appellate court had affirmed without opinion. He has briefed and/or argued 21 appeals in the Oregon Court of Appeals, the Oregon Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit. He has succeeded in obtaining reversals on appeal in close to two thirds of his cases.

Rick’s cases have included business torts, insurance coverage, Federal Employers Liability Act, contract disputes, disability and ERISA matters, insurance fraud, unfair competition, intellectual property, personal injury, product liability, negligence, professional liability and employment disputes. He also advises policyholders on all aspects of liability insurance coverage.

In 1997, Rick successfully tried and appealed a landmark Oregon case on allocation of insurance policies covering losses over many years from ongoing environmental property damage.

A former newspaper reporter, Rick excels at case investigation. He has also served on the Oregon’s Joint Bar-Press-Broadcasters Committee.

Rick graduated with degrees in journalism (1974) and law (1979 magna cum laude and Order of the Coif) from the University of Illinois. He clerked for U.S. District Judge Harold Baker in Illinois, and came to Oregon with his family in 1980.

Rick and his wife Debbie have lived in the same house in Raleigh Park since 1982, raising three daughters — one a graduate student in public health, one a special education teacher, and one the chief of staff for a state official.

“We have tenacity. We go the distance. And when we say something, you can believe it.”

Professional Recognition and Activities

  • Martindale Hubbell Rated AV Preeminent 5.0 of 5.0
  • Past President, Owen M. Panner American Inn of Court, and Master Member
  • Oregon Super Lawyer in business litigation since 2006
  • Uniform Civil Jury Instruction Committee of the Oregon State Bar 2005-2008
  • Oregon Joint Bar-Press-Broadcasters Committee (two terms)

Admitted to Practice

  • Oregon
  • Washington
  • U.S. District Court for District of Oregon
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • United States Supreme Court
  • Has been admitted pro hac vice in Nevada, the Western District of Washington, and Utah