I have over 25 years of diverse litigation and trial experience. After two years as a prosecutor and nearly a decade working at several Portland law firms, including some of the largest firms in the Northwest, I opened The Rundle Law Firm. Over the past decade, I have represented clients in numerous legal malpractice cases. Today, my firm focuses exclusively on prosecuting claims to compensate victims of lawyer negligence.
I received my law degree in 1992 from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, a private Ivy-League school in Philadelphia, PA that ranks in the top-ten out of approximately 200 ABA-approved law schools.
Before entering private practice, I served for 2 years as a Deputy District Attorney for Multnomah County where I tried dozens of cases to juries and the court and achieved a high ratio of prosecution verdicts.
I then worked as a civil litigation attorney at one of the Pacific Northwest’s largest law firms, and later joined a medium-sized law firm emphasizing business, contract, real estate, construction, and employment litigation, where I became the youngest attorney in the firm to attain partnership.
After practicing for over 11 years in Oregon and Washington, I opened my own firm in 2003 as a sole practitioner, handling a diverse variety of litigation matters, including many large, complex cases. In 2007, I began to take legal malpractice cases, and found my true calling. That practice has grown steadily over the past 10 years and is now my exclusive focus.
I will not sacrifice your stated goals and bottom line in pursuit of Pyrrhic litigation victories. I appreciate that the bottom-line can be more important than a technical win, and work hard to achieve good negotiated settlements consistent with the client’s objectives. However, I will not attempt to sell you a settlement that is not in your best interests. You will not be talked out of your day in court because your lawyer is unprepared for trial or does not have the fortitude to take a verdict.
In private communications with my clients, I recognize my role is not to be your cheerleader. Instead, what is called for is objectivity, judgment, and a willingness to present at all times the unvarnished reality of the situation. I do not allow my role as zealous advocate for your interests to cloud my judgment by failing to be vigilant in ferreting out not just strengths but also any weaknesses in your case, in order to plan the most effective litigation strategy.
However, when dealing with opposing counsel and the court, my role is to be your advocate. In that role I strive to be aggressive, creative, and doggedly persistent. Every case presents flaws and risks, but I do not allow my awareness of these to dampen my eager persistence to find solutions, and to fight effectively on your behalf as an advocate in communications with opposing counsel, the court, and the jury. It is important for any trial lawyer to be mindful of these dual but often opposing roles – counsellor and advocate. Much legal malpractice has its roots in a lawyer’s failure to appreciate the differences and to act upon them.
I am a classical pianist with a deep affinity for the works of Chopin, Schumann, Liszt, and Rachmaninoff. I am an avid traveler and scuba diver, voracious reader of history, and fine wine enthusiast. I also enjoy snow skiing, tennis, and precision marksmanship. I live in Vancouver, Washington with my wife, and our two daughters and chocolate Havanese dog.
I am a sole practitioner attorney. For my larger cases, I usually harness additional firepower by co-counseling with another attorney. I have resisted the temptation to do this by formally partnering with other senior attorneys or hiring junior associate attorneys. Instead, my approach is to co-counsel with attorneys whom I carefully select and present to the client for approval as additional counsel-of-record on a case-by-case basis. This affords me greater flexibility to work with just the right co-counsel for the case, instead of a one-size-fits-all approach using the same team on every case, regardless of subject matter.
Legal malpractice cases often involve an in-depth examination, trial, or re-trial of the underlying case or transaction that was mishandled in order to prove the client suffered damage as a result of the previous lawyer’s mistakes. My own unusually diverse background and experience as a lawyer, including complex litigation, makes me particularly suited to handling the diversity of issues and practice areas that legal malpractice claims often present. However, no attorney’s experience is all-encompassing, and often it makes sense to bring into the malpractice case as co-counsel a lawyer whose practice is more focused on the area of law presented in the underlying case-within-a-case. When it comes to selecting my co-counsel, an excellent choice for one case may not be the optimal fit for another. By approaching the selection of co-counsel on a-la-carte basis, I can fine tune the composition of your legal team for the best synergy. I have done this very successfully on many occasions. In fact, this has become my standard approach for handling most legal malpractice cases, particularly the larger ones. I always remain actively involved in all of my cases, as lead counsel or co-lead counsel.
For contingency fee cases in which I am associating with co-counsel, an aggregate fee structure is presented, and the Rundle Law Firm shares the fee with co-counsel at rates mutually agreed upon by counsel and client. However, the fee structure is presented as the aggregate fee. It is not in addition to fees paid to co-counsel. Sometimes, depending on the nature of the case, the presence of co-counsel may exert some upward pressure on the selection of an appropriate fee from this firm’s alternative rates. However, essentially, the presence of co-counsel in your case comes out of this firm’s pocket, not yours.