Steve Thompson

“I left home at 18 and came to Oregon. I took a job in the woods, and then in a mill, to put myself through college….Now, I can walk the halls with doctors and lawyers but can also go to the union hall, the clearcut or the docks or the yard and can be comfortable and knowledgeable in many different realms.”
Steve Thompson has tried more than 100 civil jury cases throughout a 38-year legal career. He has specialized in the representation of injured railroad employees.


One year out of law school, Steve joined the respected Portland law firm Reiter Bricker Zakovics and Querin, which specialized in the representation of injured railroad employees. At the age of 27, he tried his first railroad case and won. Five years later, after trying more than 50 cases, Steve became a partner.

Steve has also handled many types of commercial disputes, including fraud, business torts, breach of contract, insurance coverage, non-competition agreements and employment matters. He is experienced in trying a broad range of personal injury cases, including products liability, medical malpractice, brain injury and wrongful death. Steve has tried cases in the state and federal courts of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Arizona. His hallmark is painstaking preparation and tenacious advocacy.

In 2006, George Kirklin – who had represented Southern Pacific Railroad and knew Steve from his many railroad cases – asked Steve to join Kirklin’s firm.

Early in his career, Steve encountered George as an opponent. Over the years, as their respect for one another grew, George would introduce Steve as “the kid that beat me” and politely not mention the time he beat Steve.

A past secretary and president of the Oregon State Bar Committee on Procedure and Practice, and recipient of the OSB President’s Public Service Award, Steve is a Master member of the Owen M. Panner American Inn of Court.

Steve attended the University of California at Davis, and earned his B.A. with Honors in Economics at the University of Oregon in 1973. He got his J.D. from the University Of Oregon School Of Law in 1976.

Steve has been married to his wife Vickie for 24 years. His daughter Megan graduated from Bennington College in Vermont and earned her master’s degree in architecture at the University of Kansas. Steve is an expert skier, a dedicated cyclist, and is close to obtaining his private helicopter pilot license.

“They call me a bulldog. I stick at it and don’t take no for an answer.”

Professional Recognition and Activities

  • Martindale Hubbell Rated AV Preeminent 5.0 of 5.0
  • Past President, Past Secretary, Oregon State Bar Committee on Procedure and Practice
  • Recipient Oregon State Bar President’s Public Service Award
  • Master Member, Owen M. Panner American Inn of Court

Admitted to Practice

  • Oregon State Bar
  • Washington State Bar
  • U.S. District Court of Oregon
  • U.S. District Court of Washington, Western District
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • Has been admitted pro hac vice in Idaho, Utah, Montana, Nevada and Arizona.