Attorneys

Attorneys

Susan K. Eggum

Shareholder | Portland | 503.778.2175 | eggums@lanepowell.com

Areas of Practice

Susan Eggum tries claims involving securities fraud, officer and director malfeasance, usurpation of corporate opportunity, interference with economic relations, theft of trade secrets, breach of contract, non-competition agreements, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and whistleblowing. Susan has been recognized for her depth of experience in wrongful termination and whistleblowing suits. In fact, she was tapped to serve as the arbitrator in a highly-publicized whistleblower and wrongful termination suit filed by a former technical services manager for the Water Environmental Services (“WES”) Department of Clackamas County, which was the subject of several articles in The Oregonian. Susan has a Yellow Belt certification in Legal Lean Sigma® and Project Management, and has received numerous accolades from her clients for her project management skills, exceptional work and industry knowledge.

Professional Experience

  • Cosgrave Vergeer Kester LLP, Partner (2006-2012)

Admitted to Practice

  • Oregon
  • Washington
  • U.S. District Court, District of Oregon
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Academics and Accreditations

  • Legal Lean Sigma® and Project Management — Yellow Belt Certification
  • Georgetown University Law Center (J.D., 1982)
    • Georgetown Journal of Law and Policy in International Business, Editor (1981-1982)
  • University of California at Berkeley (B.A., with highest honors, 1976; M.A., with honors, 1977)
    • Phi Beta Kappa

Practice Group and Specialty Team Memberships

  • Business Crisis Management and Emergency Remedies
  • Director and Officer Liability
  • Diversity Committee
  • Fiduciary Litigation
  • Labor and Employment
  • Litigation
  • Long Term Care and Seniors Housing Client Service Team
  • Professional Liability
  • Securities Litigation

Representative Matters and Clients

  • Served as arbitrator in a highly-publicized whistleblower and wrongful termination suit filed by a former technical services manager for the Water Environmental Services (“WES”) Department of Clackamas County.  The manager claimed he was terminated in retaliation for complaining that his supervisor was violating county and state contracting rules, and that the supervisor, when presenting to the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners, would be misrepresenting the need to pay an additional $300,000 to an outside vendor on a project where more than $1.5 million had already been spent by WES.  The matter was settled in favor of the former employee, the supervisor was put on leave while his contracting practices were audited and Clackamas County was ordered to pay $322,236 in damages.
  • Tried preliminary injunction trial defending former employee in exterior insulation finish industry who allegedly breached a non-competition and non-disclosure agreement.  Following submissions of the evidence and testimony, the court denied the motion for injunctive relief, and the party seeking relief dismissed all claims.
  • On behalf of a Silicon Valley high-technology entity in the industrial digital imaging industry, defended a suit brought by a Fortune 500 company against its former employee for alleged breaches of a non-compete, confidentiality and non-disclosure agreement.  Denied all claims, moved for summary judgment on grounds of invalidity of agreement, and filed counterclaims for wage and hour violations.  The matter was settled in favor of the former employee, including reimbursement of attorney fees incurred in bringing countersuit.
  • Represented Fortune 500 company in heavy duty truck manufacturing industry in action for breach of fiduciary duty and conversion against former high level executive following  resignation and  joining chief competitor.  Defended multiple counterclaims including race discrimination,  national origin discrimination, and alleged violations of ERISA.  After substantial local and multi-district third party discovery and trial preparation, all claims were settled favorably.
  • Represented an investment adviser in defense of federal unsuitability claims arising out of investing all of a college teacher’s retirement funds in secondary stocks on margin.  Expert testimony from the parties was received concerning standards for determining suitability; the adviser’s chosen portfolio at the time of losses; and inherent market volatility.  The jury returned a unanimous defense verdict on all claims for relief.
  • Represented members of the Northwest Food Processors Association in a federal court action seeking a preliminary injunction barring the EPA’s enforcement of a national emergency order suspending the use of dinoseb, a broad leaf weed control agent.  The federal court heard all the evidence, including the testimony of agricultural producers and economic experts, and granted the preliminary injunction sought.  The U.S. Department of Justice then sought and obtained an emergency appeal to the Ninth Circuit which, following oral argument, affirmed the U.S. District Court’s entry of the preliminary injunction.
  • Represented a multinational Japanese corporation and its two Oregon subsidiaries operating in the light utility vehicle manufacturing and distribution sector.  Brought suit for theft of trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duties of loyalty and honesty, and conversion against a shareholder and former officer and director.  The defendant counterclaimed for wrongful discharge and an accounting of the value of shares held.  The counterclaims were dismissed, and a unanimous jury verdict was awarded in favor of the Japanese national on all claims brought.
  • Represented one of the top five suppliers of shipping containers in North America in an action for breach of employment agreements, misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duty, and fraud against former salespersons.  Sought and obtained a temporary restraining order addressing post-employment conduct of the former sales persons.  Following entry of the TRO, the matter was then settled favorably to the client.
  • Represented major real estate developer with interests in Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and Oregon. Presented and defended claims in seven separate civil actions generally arising out of debt repayment obligations addressed in numerous LLC operating agreements, including the defense of claims of securities law violations.  All matters were resolved favorably to the client.
  • Represented members of the Oregon State Bar Board of Governors, President of the Oregon State Bar, the Executive Director of the Bar, and Disciplinary Counsel for the Bar in defense of federal claims brought by a former member of the Board of Governors for violations of 42 USC § 1983, including claims for First Amendment retaliation and violations of Fourteenth Amendment rights to due process of law and equal protection.  The federal court granted summary judgment as to all claims, the Ninth Circuit affirmed, and the U.S. Supreme Court denied petitioner’s writ of certiorari.
  • Defended Fortune 500 company against claims for sexual harassment, hostile work environment, and retaliation brought by former employee terminated after lodging internal complaint of harassment and filing administrative law charges during employment.  Substantial claims were dismissed on summary judgment, and the remaining claims were settled favorably to client.
  • Defended Fortune 500 company against claims for race discrimination and retaliation, and violations of ERISA, brought by a minority employee discharged by new manager after more than 25 years of service.  Following limited discovery, claims were settled favorably to client.
  • Served as second chair in defense of claims that the formation and operation of the Oregon State Bar Professional Liability Fund violated federal antitrust law, including 15 USC §1, Sherman Act, and established record demonstrating applicability of the Noerr-Pennington defense.  The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the U.S.  District Court’s decision that the operation of the Professional Liability Fund falls within the Noerr-Pennington exception to anticompetitive conduct.
  • Represented Susan Kuhnhausen against Michael Kuhnhausen, Sr., her estranged ex-husband, who pled guilty to solicitation to murder her and is currently serving an eight-year prison term.  In defense of her own life during the attack by Edward Haffey, Mr. Haffey died.  The jury awarded Ms. Kuhnhausen $1 million in emotional distress damages.

TV/Radio Interviews

  • Interview regarding former Portland Police Chief, Derrick Foxworth’s potential race discrimination lawsuit, KGW news channel 8
  • Client testimonial by former General Counsel for Daimler Trucks North America, LLC, Paul Hurd

Publications

  • “Check Your C-Suite Employee at the Door — Managing Competitor Misconduct,” Oregon Business magazine (October 2014)
  • “The California Myth About Non-Compete Agreements,” Oregon Business magazine (September 2014)
  • “Non-Competes: The California Myth,” Oregon State Bar Litigation Journal (Summer 2014)
  • “A Case in Point: When and How to Use Non-Compete Agreements for Bank Executives and Key Managers,” Oregon Bankers Association’s Banking Matters magazine (Spring 2014)
  • “Clackamas County Tagged Over Firing,” The Oregonian, Quoted (March 16, 2014)
  • “Employees Claimed County Paid Contractor Twice for the Same Work,” The Oregonian, Quoted (March 13, 2014)
  • “Recent Court Decisions Shine a Renewed Light on the Desirability of Employee Arbitration Agreements,” Oregon Business magazine, Co-author (October 2013)
  • “The Next Four Years: The LGBT Community and the New Normal,” Oregon Business magazine (March 2013)
  • “EEOC Vote Approving Class-Based Initiatives: What Employers Need to Know,” Oregon Bankers Association’s Banking Matters magazine (Winter 2013)
  • “Internal Audits Can Effectively Mitigate Risk,” Oregon Daily Journal of Commerce (November 19, 2012)
  • “EEOC Anticipates Class-Wide Actions Over Discrimination,” Portland Business Journal (November 2, 2012)
  • “Investment and Finance Industry Employers Beware,” The Litigation Commentary & Review (August/September 2010)
  • “Oregon’s Erosion of the Non-compete Agreement,” IADC Committee Newsletter (June 2010)
  • “IMEs for the Just Plain Nuts,” Ask the Expert column, Portland Business Journal (October 2009)
  • “Non-compete Agreement Caveat,” Ask the Expert column, Portland Business Journal (June 2009)
  • “Covenants Not to Compete,” Ask the Expert column, Portland Business Journal (June 2009)
  • “Oregon Evidence Code:  Objections,” Oregon State Bar publication, Co-editor (2009)
  • “Trade Secret Theft,” Ask the Expert column, Portland Business Journal (August 2009)
  • “When the Employee Owes Fiduciary Duties of Loyalty to the Employer,” Oregon Business magazine (September 2008)
  • “Is the Mere Giving of a Tort Claim Notice the Equivalent of Discovery Claim for Relief?” Litigation Journal, Oregon State Bar (1998)
  • “Should You Sue a Party Who You Have a Good Faith and Reasonable Believing is Not Liable?” Litigation Journal, Oregon State Bar (1998)
  • “Trial Practice,” Federal Civil Litigation in Oregon, Oregon State Bar Continuing Legal Education (1997)
  • “What Showing Must a Plaintiff Make to Avoid Summary Judgment in an Age Discrimination Case?” Litigation Journal, Oregon State Bar (1997)
  • Susan is a frequent contributor and author for the Portland Business Journal’s labor and employment Q&A column titled “Ask the Legal Professionals”

Speaking Engagements

  • “Introduction to Employment Law: Hiring, Firing and Administrative Oversight,” Multnomah Bar Association Employment Law Fundamentals CLE seminar (September 18, 2014)
  • “Keeping Up with Marriage: Serving Your Same-Sex Couples Right,” Oregon Law Institute of Lewis & Clark Law School CLE seminar (June 13, 2014)
  • International Association of Defense Counsel’s Corporate Counsel College, Presenter (April 10-11, 2014)
  • “Our Former Executive is Doing What?! When to Fight Over Trade Secrets and Unfair Competition,” Lane Powell’s 31st Annual Labor and Employment Seminar (April 3, 2014)
  • “Objections at Trial,” Multnomah Bar Association Young Lawyers Section Professional Development and Education Committee CLE (October 31, 2013)
  • “What You Need to Know About the EEOC’s Vote Approving Class-Based Initiatives,” Lane Powell’s 30th Annual Labor and Employment Seminar, Portland (April 2, 2013)
  • “Professional Liability Claims Against Attorneys — Responding to Claims and Minimizing Malpractice Reports,” CLE webinar (February 12, 2013)
  • “Witness Examination Strategies in Employment Litigation: Best Practices for Direct and Cross-Examination of Lay, Expert and Percipient Witnesses,” CLE webinar (January 23, 2013)
  • “Third-Party and Informal Discovery — Strategy and Ethical Limits,” Oregon Law Institute of Lewis and Clark’s workshop titled Pretrial Litigation Skills 101 (May 4, 2012)
  • “Employers at Home and Abroad,” Employment Law and Corporate Counsel, International Association of Defense Counsel (February 2012)
  • “Complex Litigation, Tips and Procedures for Trying Complex Cases,” Multnomah Bar Association (February 2012)
  • “Elder Law:  Legal Ethics in an Elder Law Practice,” Oregon State Bar (October 2011)
  • “Hiring and Firing,” Multnomah Bar Association Young Lawyers Section (March 2011)
  • “Practical Skills:  Direct and Cross Examination,” Professional Liability Fund Panel Conference (August 2011)
  • “Review of Recent Supreme Court Employment Law Decisions,” International Association of Defense Counsel Midyear Meeting (February 2011)
  • “2010 An Employment Odyssey:  Are You Ready for a New Era?” ALFA International, Labor & Employment Conference, Moderator (2010)
  • “Motions Practice in Tort Cases,” Multnomah Bar Association Young Lawyers Section Tort Law Seminar (April 2010)
  • “Hot Topics:  The Latest Interpretations of Current Employment Law,” Sterling Education Seminar (February 2009)
  • “Investigating and Resolving Alleged Employee Misconduct,” Seventh Annual Commerce Concepts Series (October, 2009)
  • “Employee Lawsuits:  How to Avoid Them, What to do When They Happen,” Employment in 2008:  Are you Ready? Seminar (January 2008)
  • “Hiring and Firing,” The Fundamentals of Employment Law, Multnomah Bar Association (September 2008)
  • “Risk Management and Litigation Strategies,” Employment Practices Liability Seminar (June 2008)
  • “Covenants Not to Compete in the Global Marketplace,” ALFA International (2007)
  • “Direct Examination,” Oregon State Bar Continuing Legal Education Committee’s Ninth Annual Oregon Trial Advocacy College (2007)
  • “Balancing the Scales of Justice:  Battles in the Courts,” Rebooting Democracy-Bus Project Summit (2006)
  • “Business Innovation and Law:  Representing Oregon Small and Emerging Business,” Alternative Dispute Resolution, Sponsored by the University of Oregon (2006)
  • “Cross Examination,” Oregon State Bar Continuing Legal Education Committee’s Eighth Annual Oregon Trial Advocacy College (2006)
  • “Cross Examination Techniques,” Oregon Trial Lawyers Association’s February Meeting (2006)
  • “2005 Annual Employment Law Update:  Retaliation Claims,” Oregon Law Institute, Panelist (2005)
  • “Sexual Discrimination Claims in Oregon,” Oregon State Bar Labor and Employment Law Section Annual Conference (2005)
  • “Trial Tips,” Multnomah Bar Association Young Lawyers Section (2005)
  • “Depositions,” Multnomah Bar Association Young Lawyers Section (2004)
  • “Direct Examination,” Oregon State Bar Continuing Legal Education Committee’s Fifth Annual Oregon Trial Advocacy College (2003)
  • “Voir Dire,” Oregon State Bar Continuing Legal Education Committee’s Annual Oregon Trial Advocacy College (2002, 2004 and 2005)
  • “Employment Law Advice and Litigation Update:  Advising Clients on Employment Law Issues in a Transitioning Economy,” Oregon Law Institute, Panelist (2002)
  • “Medical Issues in Employment Litigation,” Oregon Law Institute Seminar “From the Experts: Presenting Medical Evidence in the Courtroom” (2002)
  • “Employment Law Advice and Litigation Update:  This Time it’s Personnel,” Oregon Law Institute Seminar, Panelist (2001)
  • “Employment Law Issues for Workers’ Compensation Lawyers,” Oregon State Bar Workers’ Compensation Section Meeting (2001)
  • “Pretrial Preparation,” Oregon State Bar New Lawyers Division on Trial Strategies, Practices and Techniques, Co-presenter with the former Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court, Edwin Peterson (2001)
  • “FRCP 12 Motions,” Federal Bar Association and Oregon Law Institute Federal Practice and Procedure Seminar (2000 and 2001)
  • “Employment and Public Benefits,” Oregon State Bar CLE on Representing Domestic Partners (2000)
  • “Critical Issues In Employment Law:  Ethics Issues,” Oregon State Bar Seminar (1999)
  • “Employment Law Issues for Workers’ Compensation Lawyers,” Oregon State Bar Workers’ Compensation Section Meeting (1999)
  • “Evidence,” Federal Bar Association and Oregon Law Institute’s Lewis & Clark College Federal Practice and Procedure Seminar (1999)
  • “Trade Secret Litigation:  Using the Courts to Compete,” Oregon Law Institute (1999)
  • “Employment Law for the Business Lawyer,” Multnomah Bar Association (1998)
  • “Evidence,” Federal Practice and Procedure Seminar, Federal Bar Association and Oregon Law Institute (1998)
  • “Federal Civil Litigation in Oregon,” Lorman Business Seminar (1998)
  • “How To Mediate Efficiently and Effectively,” Oregon Law Institute Seminar on “The Art of Mediating:  A Work Session on Mediation,” Panelist (1998)
  • “Proving Damages in Business and Commercial Cases,” Oregon State Bar Seminar for “Proving and Challenging Damages” (1998)
  • “Case Within a Case Analysis in Legal Malpractice Actions,” Oregon State Bar Professional Liability Fund (1997)
  • “Evidence,” Federal Practice and Procedure Seminar, Lewis & Clark College (1997)
  • “Taking the Mystery Out of Federal Practice,” Multnomah Bar Association (1997)
  • “Evidence,” Federal Bar Association Annual Convention (1996)
  • “Trial Motions for State and Federal Court,” Lorman Business Seminar (1996)
  • “Distinctions Between State and Federal Practice,” Second Annual Litigation Institute and Retreat, Oregon State Bar CLE and OSB Litigation Section (1995)
  • “Evidence,” Federal Practice and Procedure Seminary, Federal Bar Association (1995)
  • “Trial Motions in State and Federal Court,” Lorman Business Seminar (1995)
  • “Differences in Federal and State Court,” Federal Litigation Seminar, Moderator (1994)
  • “Discovery in Federal and State Court,” Oregon Association of Legal Secretaries, Winter Board Meeting (1994)
  • “Effective Motion Practice in State and Federal Court,” Lorman Business Seminar (1993)
  • “Malpractice Issues Facing Accountants and Attorneys,” Oregon State Bar/Oregon Society of Certified Public Accountants Joint Committee (1993)
  • “Post-Trial Motions,” Multnomah Bar Association/YLS Luncheon (1993)
  • “Oregon Law of Contracts,” Portland State University, Professional Development Center, Instructor (1992)
  • “ORICO,” Oregon Association of Defense Counsel/OTLA Bench and Bar Breakfast (1991)
  • “Pleadings and Motion Practice,” Federal Bar Association and Northwestern Law School of Lewis and Clark (1991)
  • “The Statute of Limitation Governing Section 10(b) Securities Fraud Claims,” Oregon State Bar Securities Section (1991)
  • “Financial Fraud:  Claims and Defenses,” Multnomah Bar Association Seminar (1990)

Awards and Honors

  • Named as “Oregon Super Lawyer,” Super Lawyer’s magazine, Business Litigation, Employment Litigation: Defense, Employment Litigation: Plaintiff (2006-2014)
  • AV Preeminent® in Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™
  • Received Award of Merit, Multnomah Bar Association Young Lawyers Section (1985)

Professional and Community Activities

  • Member, The Association for Human Resource Management
  • International Association of Defense Counsel
    • Member (after peer review and nomination)
    • Vice Chair, Programs, Labor and Employment
    • Vice Chair, Programs, Diversity Committee
    • Vice Chair, Programs and Projects, Employment Law Committee
  • Member, Multnomah Bar Association
  • Associated Oregon Industries, Employment Policy Committee (2013-present)
  • Past President, Owen M. Panner American Inn of Court
  • Past Member, Oregon State Bar Continuing Legal Education Committee
  • Past Member of Editorial Board, Oregon State Bar Litigation Journal 
  • Past Member, Oregon State Bar Federal Practice and Procedure Committee
  • Past Editor, Federal Civil Litigation in Oregon, Oregon State Bar Continuing Legal Education
  • Past Chair, Multnomah County Continuing Legal Education Committee
  • Past Member, Local Professional Responsibility Review Committee for Multnomah County
  • Past Member, Oregon State Bar Ad Hoc Committee on Specialization