If you’re an insurance claims professional or corporate risk manager who is new to Oregon cases or who usually doesn’t handle much work here, and you want to know more about what kind of jurisdiction this is, we hope that this page will be of assistance. Litigation in Oregon is a little different.
First, the rules might be a little scary compared to what you’re used to: no interrogatories, no mandatory witness disclosure, no expert discovery, and 90% of civil matters go to trial – really – in less than a year. In short, Oregon is one of the last bastions of trial by ambush, a topic that is treated in depth in the article Trial By Ambush in the Oregon Update area of this site.
Second, you’ll find Oregon juries to be among the fairest, and most thoughtful, in the country. Just like any other jurisdiction, our juries are mirrors of our collective values and who we are as a community. Given Oregon’s history as a state built on the labor-intensive industries of timber, fishing and farming, that means juries that, as a group, value hard work, personal responsibility, honesty and fairness. But don’t think that translates as knee-jerk skepticism about lawsuits; far from it. An honest plaintiff who has been injured through the fault of another will be well compensated here, just like any place else, and you only need to review local verdict reports to know that. But if the typical Oregon jury thinks that a litigant is being anything less than honest, or thinks that a lawyer is trying to sell them a bill of goods – to put it bluntly, forget it. It’s over.
Third, there’s more to this state than Portland. If you come away from this site with one valuable piece of information, that should be it. Well over half of the state’s population is concentrated in and around the three counties which include or surround metropolitan Portland, and juries in the counties comprising this Tri-County Area – Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas – reflect the more liberal, urban perspective that you would expect. But as a general rule, the further away from Portland you get, the more conservative the state becomes — politically, socially, and economically.
Local knowledge is the key to success. In handling your matters, we do our utmost to take these factors into account, and to make local conditions work for our clients, and not against them. The Chaney Firm offices are in Eugene, the county seat of Lane County, which with Douglas, Deschutes, Coos, Jackson, Josephine, Linn and Benton Counties, forms our core service area.. Jim Chaney has handled multiple cases to conclusion in every one of those counties, and knows them well.
Local counsel provide efficiency, too. Eugene is a two hour drive south of Portland, and for matters venued in and around Lane County, the efficiencies are clear: time spent behind the wheel on the way to deposition or trial is rarely time which helps to win the case.