Mr. Thomas M. Christ
Sussman Shank LLP
1000 S.W. Broadway, Suite 1400
Portland, OR 97205

Phone    (503) 227-1111
Email      tchrist@sussmanshank.com
Website www.sussmanshank.com

Type of Case: Civil
Admitted to practice:
Supreme Court
9th Circuit
OR

Degrees:

  • B.S., University of Oregon, 1979 J.D., University of Oregon, 1983

Practice Focus:

  • Practice emphasizes civil appeals
  • insurance law
  • and constitutional law (trial and appeal). Argued over 300 civil appeals in various appellate courts, including the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the Oregon Supreme Court, the Oregon Court of Appeals, the Washington Supreme Court, and the Washington Court of Appeals (all three divisions).

Publications:

  • Various state bar publications on appellate practice, civil litigation, and insurance law.

Representative Cases:

  • Vernonia School District 47J v. Acton, 515 U.S. 646, 115 S. Ct. 2386, 132 L.Ed.2d 564 (1995) (whether suspicionless drug testing of students violates the Fourth Amendment)
  • Deckard v. Bunch, 358 Or. 754, 370 P.3d 478 (2016) (whether violation of Dram Shop Act creates statutory liability)
  • Broadway Cab, LLC v. Employment Dept., 358 Or. 431, 364 P.3d 338 (2015) (whether cab company must pay unemployment taxes on drivers)
  • Noble v. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife,355 Or. 435, 326 P.3d 589 (2014) (whether dams in Oregon must allow fish passage whenever there is sufficient water passing)
  • Karuk Tribe of California v. Tri-County Metro. Transp. Dist., 241 Or. App. 537, 251 P.3d 773 (2011), aff'd by an equally divided court, 355 Or. 239, 323 P.3d 947 (2014) (whether the government may regulate the content of speech in government-owned forums)
  • Farmers Ins. Co. v. Mowry, 350 Or. 686, 261 P.3d 1 (2011) (criteria for applying stare decisis in construction of a statute)
  • Bonds v. Farmers Ins. Co., 349 Or. 152, 240 P.3d 1086 (2010) (whether plaintiff filed a timely request for arbitration of insurance dispute)
  • Vogelin v. American Family Mut. Ins. Co., 346 Or. 490, 213 P.3d 1216 (2009) (method for calculating benefits in underinsured motorist case)
  • Harris v. Suniga, 344 Or. 301, 180 P.3d 12 (2008) (whether subusequent purchaser of defectively constructed builder can sue builder in tort)
  • Mid-Century Ins. Co. v. Perkins, 344 Or. 196, 179 P.3d 633 (2008) (what constitutes and underinsured motor vehicle under Oregon's UIM statute)
  • Johnson v. Swaim, 343 Or. 423, 172 P.3d 645 (2007) (whether plaintiff satisfied statutory requirements for award of attorney fees in small-value tort cases)
  • Logan v. D. W. Sivers Co., 343 Or. 339, 169 P.3d 1255 (2007) (proper measure of damages for breach of non-solicitation clause in letter of intent to buy land)
  • Yancy v. Shatzer, 337 Or. 345, 97 P.3d 1161 (2004) (whether the Oregon Constitution permits courts to decide moot cases that present recurring issues)
  • League of Oregon Cities v. State, 334 Or. 645, 56 P.3d 892 (2002) (whether a 2000 voter-approved initiative improperly amended the Oregon Constitution)
  • Swett v. Bradbury, 333 Or. 597, 43 P.3d 1094 (2002) (whether a 1998 voter-approved initiative improperly amended the Oregon Constitution)
  • Gladhart v. Oregon Vineyard Supply Co., 332 Or. 226, 26 P.3d 817 (2001) (whether the statute of limitation for product liability claims includes a discovery trigger)
  • Lourim v. Swenson, 328 Or. 380, 977 P.2d 1157 (1999) (whether the Boy Scouts are vicariously liable for sexual abuse by a troop leader)
  • Fidanque v. State, 328 Or. 1, 969 P.2d 376 (1998) (whether a state tax on lobbyists is an unconstitutional infringement on free speech)
  • Armatta v. Kitzhaber, 327 Or. 250, 959 P.2d 49 (1998) (whether a 1996 voter-approved initiative improperly amended the Oregon Constitution)
  • Moore v. Mutual of Enumclaw, 317 Or. 235, 855 P.2d 626 (1993) (whether the 12-month time limit on claims under a standard fire policy begins with discovery of loss or loss itself)
  • Seeberger v. Burlington Northern R.R., 138 Wn.2d 815, 982 P.2d 1149 (1999) (whether an injured worker produced sufficient evidence to support claim under the FELA)
  • All-Pure Chemical Co. v. White, 127 Wn.2d 1, 896 P.2d 697 (1995) (whether the federal pesticide-labeling law preempts a state tort claim alleging failure to warn).

Honors and Awards:

  • Rated A.V. by Martindale-Hubbell since fourth year of practice. Listed in last seventeen editions of Best Lawyers in America. Named by Best Lawyers in America as the "Lawyer of the Year" for Oregon in three fields: appellate practice (2011 and 2019), insurance law (2012), and First Amendment litigation (2015). Circuit court judge (pro tempore) since 1989. Delegate to ABA House of Delegates and Oregon State Bar House of Delegates. Recipient of the Multnomah County Bar Association Award of Merit.

Nature of Firm's Practice:

  • Civil and criminal litigation, business, bankruptcy.