With a career spanning over 30 years, successfully representing a wide range of clients in complex and high profile cases, Managing Partner Jeff Eberhard is a recognizable and reputable force within the industry.
Jeff’s practice focuses on civil litigation throughout Oregon and Washington with an emphasis on the defense of complex liability claims, most notably, in dram shop/liquor liability. By successfully defending hundreds of cases, Jeff’s expert knowledge of Oregon’s Dram Shop Act, and how to defend against it, is unparalleled.
Kyle Riley manages the firm’s Seattle, Washington, office. He has profound expertise in Washington bad faith law, wrongful death, and catastrophic injury claims. Kyle also has significant experience defending fire losses, trucking companies, banking institutions, and self-insured rental car companies.
Prior to joining Smith Freed Eberhard, Kyle worked with the Oregon Department of Justice where he gained significant litigation experience specializing in the recovery of self-insured losses. He joined Smith Freed Eberhard in 2003.
Josh’s practice focuses on the defense of cases involving personal injury and wrongful death. He represents companies and the insureds of several large insurance carriers against claims arising from the alleged negligent use of motor vehicles, products liability, and premises liability.
Josh started as an associate at Smith Freed Eberhard in 2001. He has been a partner since 2008. Josh leads a group of attorneys that specialize in trying cases and effective pre-trial litigation. Josh typically tries several cases a year to jury verdict.
Prior to joining Smith Freed Eberhard, Josh gained experience in civil litigation, criminal defense, and family law while clerking at a firm in Salem, Oregon. While attending law school, he spent time in London, UK, where he served as a solicitor’s clerk for a high-profile firm advocating on behalf of individuals alleging human rights violations.
Paul’s practice is focused on defending general contractors, real estate developers, and specialty subcontractors in construction defect related litigation in both Oregon and Washington.
His litigation experience spans 25 years in the areas of construction defect litigation and appellate work in both state and federal court. Paul is known for his expertise in defending design professionals in malpractice claims as well as defending builders against property owners in construction-related claims.
Prior to joining Smith Freed Eberhard, Paul worked for several years as a general litigator focusing on criminal defense as well as a wide range of civil litigation both at the trial and appellate level. Paul has extensive experience in all phases of litigation including pre-trial practice, trial practice, and appellate work.
Ryan specializes in defending a wide range of personal injury claims and has significant representation in construction and job-site injuries, automobile accidents, catastrophic injuries, wrongful death, premise liability, and products liability and has extended his practice to work closely with Smith Freed Eberhard’s Construction and Development Group.
Prior to joining Smith Freed Eberhard, Ryan gained his insurance defense experience working at law firms in Eugene and Portland, Oregon. While attending law school, Ryan served as an associate editor of the Oregon Law Review, preparing articles for publication and conducting associated research.
Cliff’s practice focuses primarily on the defense of personal injury and property damage claims brought against commercial and personal lines insurers and their insureds. His practice involves the handling of a wide range of cases, including personal injury negligence, errors & omission, liquor liability, construction defect, and business litigation.
Cliff has experience taking cases to jury verdicts as a lead trial attorney and has conducted numerous arbitrations and mediations in both Oregon and Washington. Cliff is also experienced in insurance coverage matters and regularly advises and defends carriers in coverage disputes. In addition, Cliff manages the firm’s probate and subrogation practices.
Cliff’s well-rounded legal background has provided him with the ability to quickly evaluate key issues and identify strategic opportunities in his cases. This enables his clients to efficiently and effectively prepare for trial or pursue favorable early resolution of matters when appropriate.
Specializing in the defense of large loss and catastrophic injury claims, Bill Taaffe regularly defends claims based on premises liability, products liability, liquor liability (Dram Shop), defamation, commercial auto liability, and general negligence. If it is a large, complex case, it often ends up on Bill’s desk.
In addition to his expertise in the Commercial Lines realm, Bill has considerable international business experience–having worked in several different countries over a period of many years. His international background has provided him with the ability to masterfully view case handling situations through multiple perspectives and continues to help him find creative solutions to complex legal matters.
Bill has extensive experience defending large, complex GL claims ranging up to 28 million dollars. He has successfully represented clients from all over the US and abroad and, in the last 5 years, Bill has successfully defended many complicated matters involving products liability, fire loss, premises liability, and Dram Shop. He regularly obtains excellent results for his clients–often far beyond expectations.
In sports parlance—Bill has a “strong motor”—always ready to jump on a plane to meet with out-of-state clients, work long hours, and do whatever is necessary to fully defend a claim and take care of his clients.
Tom is an experienced litigator with an extensive background handling civil litigation matters. From product liability and personal injury matters to sexual abuse or medical malpractice allegations, Tom’s reliability and dedication allows his clients peace of mind through what can prove to be a long and stressful process.
Not only has Tom defended numerous product liability matters that have resulted in early dismissals, successful settlements, and favorable jury verdicts, but also lends himself to favorable outcomes with sensitive suits involving healthcare providers and medical malpractice.
After handling this variety of complex cases throughout his career, Tom has proven to be an asset to the clients he works with and continues to show an endless drive in the pursuit for client success.
Since joining Smith Freed Eberhard in 2014, Ashley has expanded her practice area to include a range of complex litigation areas including commercial liability, premises liability, product liability, first and third party personal injury, uninsured and underinsured motorist cases, and sex abuse cases. Throughout her legal career Ashley has argued in more than 20 counties throughout the state of Washington. Her energy, poise and confidence in the court room is unmatched.
In addition to being a skilled attorney, Ashley has authored several publications including two published opinions by the Washington Court of Appeals – Division 1: Furnstahl v. Barr, 197 Wash.App. 168 (2016) and American Express Centurion Bank v. Stratman, 172 Wash.App. 667 (2012).
In her free time, Ashley enjoys exploring the Pacific Northwest, playing softball and volleyball, and traveling to various baseball stadiums to watch the Chicago Cubs.
As a leader in Smith Freed Eberhard’s Construction and Development Group, Mike leverages proficiency, over a decade of experience, and hard-nosed determination to give his clients the advantage. Mike focuses on representing general contractors, subcontractors, product manufacturers, and design professionals in all aspects of construction defect and design claims.
Before joining Smith Freed Eberhard, Mike worked on construction defect litigation with a niche Oregon-based insurance defense firm. During his time there, Mike gained substantial experience in depositions, arbitrations, and mediations. Mike has also worked as a judicial clerk in Multnomah County Circuit Court where he was closely mentored by trial court judges on all aspects of criminal and civil trials. He has been exposed to numerous trials, including working alongside some of Oregon’s most experienced litigators.
Prior to entering the practice of law, Mike graduated from Gonzaga University School of Law, where he served as the Managing Editor of the Gonzaga Law Review and competed with Gonzaga Law School’s National Trial Team.
With a strong business and litigation background, and over 20 years of first-chair trial experience, Gordon knows exactly which strategies will make a weak case stronger as well as what makes practical and financial sense. Gordon’s practice focuses on construction defect litigation defending developers, general contractors, and subcontractors throughout Washington state and works closely with Smith Freed Eberhard’s Construction and Development Group.
Prior to joining Smith Freed Eberhard, Gordon worked in-house for Travelers Insurance Company where he led the opening of the construction defect unit for their Seattle Staff Counsel office. He also focused on slip-and-falls, auto liability, construction liability, and commercial claims. Before joining Travelers, he worked for four years with the Hartford Insurance Company where he specialized in construction defect and complex commercial liability cases.
Gordon has successfully first-chaired over 50 jury trials to verdict. He is a licensed attorney before the Washington State and Appellate Courts, the United States District Court, as well as with the Puyallup Tribal Court.
Sean provides defense for insurers and their insureds in complex litigation suits in the areas of automotive claims, commercial liability defense, first and third-party claims, and SIU claims.
Prior to joining Smith Freed Eberhard, Sean was a judicial clerk in both Lane County and Multnomah County. During this time, he was able to observe over 75 court and jury trials and gain insight into advanced trial tactics.
While attending law school, Sean also worked as a law clerk at a mid-sized civil litigation firm in Eugene, Oregon. In this role, he became skilled in executing legal research and distilling his findings into concise arguments. In addition, he honed his composition techniques for creating effective legal documents.
Melanie is a litigator with a diverse civil litigation practice focusing on catastrophic injury, premises liability, automobile liability, dram shop, and commercial litigation. Melanie’s practice takes her all over the state of Oregon and Washington regularly, and occasionally into Idaho as well. She has given a number of presentations on changes in Oregon and Washington law highlighting the Pacific Northwest’s unique legal landscape.
Before joining Smith Freed Eberhard, Melanie handled first-party insurance claims including claims related to PIP, UM/UIM, bad faith, and consumer protection act claims on behalf of insurance carriers. Melanie also has experience handling insurance subrogation matters. This high-volume practice placed a premium on efficiency, diligence, and energy that has carried over into her current practice.
In law school, Melanie won awards for both client advocacy and legal writing. Some of Melanie’s first experiences in the legal community were volunteering for the Washington County Family Law Assistance Program and working at the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic.
Melanie is an Oregon native and grew up in a handful of smaller, Southern Oregon towns. She moved to the big city for law school, fell in love with Portland, and can’t imagine being anywhere else. Away from work, Melanie can usually be found teaching knitting lessons at a local yarn shop, checking out a local brewery, or getting her yearly supply of Vitamin D during the 4 months of the year that it’s dry enough to be outside.
Brian Schiewe is an experienced litigator with a diverse legal background that helps him quickly grasp what will dictate a case’s outcome. Brian’s practice focuses on commercial liability defense, automotive defense, and business litigation.
Brian joined Smith Freed Eberhard in 2015 and practices out of the firm’s Seattle office. Before joining the firm, Brian worked as an associate attorney at a boutique insurance defense firm where he defended policyholders against a wide variety of claims including personal injury, premises liability, automobile liability, earth movement, and maritime claims. Responsible for all aspects of litigation, Brian honed his litigation and resolution skills across a multitude of practice areas that serve as the foundation for his practice today.
Before attending law school, Brian managed all aspects of litigation support as a paralegal at a Seattle, Washington firm, where he focused primarily on complex litigation and prosecuting class action cases involving corporate fraud and misconduct.
Denny is a founding member of Smith Freed Eberhard. His practice specializes in complex civil cases with a focus on catastrophic personal injury claims.
With over 41 year’s experience, Denny is a seasoned attorney in a variety of litigation areas, including job-site injury, premises liability, construction dispute, products liability, business tort, large automobile and commercial transportation injury, fraud and property trespass. Denny has conducted over 300 jury trials and arbitrations involving numerous individuals and business entities. He has also participated in legislative sessions on behalf of the Defense Bar.
Bob is a founding member of Smith Freed Eberhard and has over 40 years of litigation experience. Bob frequently prepares and delivers seminars and lectures to insurance professionals and trade organizations on insurance coverage issues, hot topics, and legislative updates. He also has spent several years training agents for large insurers on all aspects of claims with an emphasis on errors & omissions liability and how to avoid it.
Bob’s practice is broad-based in all aspects of insurance defense. He focuses on Special Investigations Unit, first-party property issues, as well as property-related casualty claims. Bob provides coverage opinions for all aspects of property and casualty insurance and he conducts fraud investigations.
Jessica is a senior associate on Gordon Klug’s team, providing defense for insurers and their insureds in a variety of commercial litigation suits. Jessica’s practice focuses on automobile accidents, construction defect, first and third party personal injury, product liability, and uninsured and underinsured motorist cases.
Prior to joining Smith Freed Eberhard, Jessica worked as a civil litigator on both the plaintiff and defense side. She gained experience in the areas of commercial litigation, personal injury, construction defect, eminent domain, professional malpractice, and employment, in addition to federal contract and trespass law.
While attending law school in Washington, D.C., Jessica won awards for her legal writing and oral advocacy skills. Jessica also took the opportunity to intern at the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice, and is proud to have worked as a legal assistant for The Constitution Project’s task force on detainee treatment.
Before beginning her legal career, Jessica worked as an editor for a major publisher in D.C.
Jessica loves to spend her free time cooking, hiking, backpacking, kayaking, skiing, checking out the breweries of Seattle with friends, and introducing visitors to the adventures of the Pacific Northwest.
Melanie’s practice focuses primarily on commercial liability defense, including premises liability, products liability, automobile liability, negligence, catastrophic injury, and liquor liability (dram shop) claims.
Prior to joining Smith Freed Eberhard, Melanie worked at a defense firm in Portland where her practice focused on insurance coverage and bad faith litigation. Prior to that, she worked at insurance defense firms in both Portland and Seattle where her practice included defense of third-party claims.
During law school, Melanie worked as a law clerk for the Oregon Department of Justice, Civil Litigation Section and externed for the Honorable Ronald B. Leighton at the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. She was also an Associate Editor-In-Chief on the Washington Journal of Environmental Law & Policy.
Joy is a senior associate attorney on Tom McCurdy’s and Ashley Nagrodski’s teams, focusing on Personal Lines defense.
Prior to joining Smith Freed Eberhard, Joy’s legal career started in Philadelphia and included working for the Philadelphia Law Department, Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, and a small civil defense firm representing municipal entities in tort litigation and workers’ compensation claims.
Joy is a proud graduate of Villanova University School of Law and served as the President of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association. During school she worked with the Philadelphia Homeless Advocacy Project, Defender’s Association of Philadelphia, and the Farmworker Legal Aid Clinic, litigating matters on behalf of the indigent, all of which provided valuable experiences which inform her practice today.
Joy is happy to be back in the Pacific Northwest, spending her free time at concerts, checking out local new eats, and cooking and baking with her daughter.
Jackson is an associate attorney on Bill Taaffe’s litigation team. His practice focuses primarily on defending policyholders and insurance companies in commercial lines matters, specifically litigation involving personal injury claims, landlord-tenant disputes, Oregon’s Employer Liability Law, uninsured and underinsured motorist claims, and dram shop liability. Jackson works closely with clients and insurance representatives toward resolution of civil lawsuits as well as mandatory arbitration matters and pre-litigation disputes.
Jackson graduated from the University of Oregon School of Law in 2018. Prior to that, he received his B.A. in Political Science from Auburn University. Jackson is licensed to practice law in Oregon as well as Washington.
Jackson is originally from Georgia but moved to Eugene, Oregon in 2015 for law school. After graduating, he moved to Portland and began his legal career with Smith Freed Eberhard. Outside of the office, Jackson loves music and exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest with his fiancé.
Brittany joined Smith Freed Eberhard in 2019 as an associate attorney. She previously worked as an associate attorney at Tyson and Mendes, LLP, an insurance defense firm in Seattle, WA. She has experience litigating cases from initial litigation planning, discovery and dispositive motions to arbitration and trial.
Brittany has published articles involving Washington’s arbitration limit increase, Washington’s position on Service of Process issues, property law issues, and an informative piece on women’s increased discrimination protections through changes in employment law. In addition, she served as an article editor where she revised numerous articles pertaining to insurance defense, employment law, automated vehicle and pending safety regulations, cannabis law, and women’s initiatives in the workplace.
Steven Gassert is an associate attorney with Smith Freed Eberhard on Paul Sheely’s team, focusing on construction defect litigation.
Steven has a diverse legal background and has experience practicing construction defect litigation, real estate law, and condo and homeowners association law. Prior to joining Smith Freed Eberhard, Steven worked as assistant vice president and general counsel at a health care cost containment company, where he served as the company’s primary legal officer. Prior to that, he worked at a class action and mass tort solutions company, where his primary focus was construction defect litigation.
Steven is originally from Pittsburgh, PA, but moved to Washington DC for school where he lived until moving to Portland in 2014. Steven has two daughters, meaning he is outnumbered three to one at home. He loves to cook, so he is always trying new recipes, even though his daughters always hate them (unless it’s chicken nuggets or mac and cheese). You could also say that he plays a lot of golf (at least once a week).
Andrew Tingkang is an associate attorney on both Thomas McCurdy’s and Gordon Klug’s teams. His practice focuses on construction defect litigation, fire loss, motor vehicle accidents, wrongful death, job site injury, and product liability.
Andrew has over five years of experience working in defense litigation, including helping launch a small litigation/business law firm where he worked with two partners as the sole associate.
Andrew graduated with an undergrad degree from the University of Washington with majors in political science and philosophy and a minor in earth and space science. Following this he attended the Seattle University School of Law where he authored These Aren’t the Asteroids You Are Looking For: Classifying Asteroids in Space as Chattels, Not Land, Seattle University Law Review Vol. 35, No. 2 (2012).
Andrew was born and raised in the Puget Sound area. Away from work he can be found cooking, watching TV, trying new restaurants, and traveling with his wife. Andrew is an avid science fiction and fantasy reader, a Sounders season ticket holder, and a general Seattle sports fan. Maybe most notably though, Andrew did some modeling as a 5-year-old for JC Penny and once appeared as a space law expert on Fox News.
Jason is an associate attorney on Team Cliff Wilson. Jason’s practice focuses primarily on personal injury litigation on behalf of insureds and their insurance companies. He also handles commercial line matters, working closely with businesses and their owners in defending claims brought against them.
Jason graduated from Lewis & Clark Law School in 2019. Prior to that, he attended The College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies with a minor in German Studies. Jason is now licensed to practice law in Oregon. He is currently pursuing Washington licensure as well. During his years in law school, Jason worked as an intern for one of Oregon’s top trial law firms focusing on medical malpractice defense. There, he learned the intricacies of complex trial preparation and observed how skilled attorneys deployed honed and calculated strategies to achieve the best results for their clients. In that position, Jason gained extensive experience in motions practice, trial preparation, and trial support in wrongful death and medical malpractice cases. Jason brings that background knowledge and accompanying skills with him to the ranks of Smith Freed Eberhard, where he remains committed to the interests of clients and continues to insist on nothing short of the best-possible outcome.
Jason is a native of Portland, Oregon. He is also a first-generation lawyer, with his mother and father both electing medical careers. He is musically inclined and has played the cello since he was about six years old and was a member of Portland’s Metropolitan Youth Symphony from 2006 to 2011. In his free time, Jason occupies himself with several interests including snowboarding, building custom computers, and sampling Portland’s burgeoning local restaurant and food cart scene.
Joyce is an associate attorney on Cliff Wilson’s team, with a primary focus on Personal Lines defense.
Prior to joining Smith Freed Eberhard, Joyce began her career as a plaintiff’s attorney at a large personal injury law firm. She brings with her a broad range of civil litigation experience to her practice ranging from premises liability, first and third party personal injury, uninsured and underinsured motorist, and personal injury protection (PIP) cases.
She received her J.D. from Seattle University School of Law, where she was an active board member of the Seattle University Law School’s Moot Court Board and The Seattle Journal of Environmental Law. Joyce participated consistently in mock trial and appellate competitions, ultimately earning first place in a mock appellate competition.
Steve Murphy is an associate attorney on the commercial liability defense and personal lines practice groups.
Steve graduated from University of Illinois with a B.S. in Biology. After that, he worked in several labs focused primarily on quality control. Steve ended up working as a quality supervisor at a plasmapheresis facility where he did a lot of compliance work ensuring the processes were FDA-approved, and he started to gain an interest in reading/interpreting the regulations.
Steve graduated Lewis & Clark Law School in 2020 after falling in love with the Pacific Northwest where he worked as an intern for Center for Biological Diversity and as an extern to the Honorable Judge McShane. Following graduation, Steve practiced at a small firm in Tillamook, but he and his wife missed Portland too much and decided to return.
Steve was born in a small town in rural Illinois, and he remained in the same general area for most of his life until he moved to the Pacific Northwest four years ago. Outside of work, Steve can be found wandering around the woods or trying out new restaurants, bars, and retro-videogames – he even has a mildly impressive collection of Super Nintendo and Nintendo games from the 80s and 90s. Steve also loves spending time with his wife, Claire, and spoiling his cats, Manfred and Gruntilda.
Kyle Ellison graduated cum laude from Chapman University School of Law in Orange County, California and served as a symposium editor of the Chapman Law Review. He began his legal career in California Workers’ Compensation where he represented both injured workers and defended employers against injury claims with both in-house and private firms. He subsequently moved into private civil litigation defense where he defended insureds in cases ranging from auto accidents, personal injury, premises liability, dog bites, and other related claims. Kyle joined Smith Freed Eberhard in January 2020 where he has continued to grow his civil litigation practice, including expanding into construction defect litigation.
In his free time, Kyle enjoys reading about history, playing jazz music, swing dancing, photography, working on classic cars, and spending time with his wife and son.
Carleigh is an associate attorney on Bill Taaffe’s team, and her practice focuses on commercial liability defense and personal lines defense.
Carleigh graduated from Northwestern School of Law at Lewis & Clark in 2020. Prior to that, she attended Albion College where she earned her Bachelor of Science in biology and a minor in psychology. Carleigh is now licensed to practice law in Oregon. During her years in law school, Carleigh was a representative within the Student Bar Association (SBA), participated in Appellate Moot Court, and was a co-founder of Students for Eliminating Environmental Discrimination (SEED). After graduating from law school in 2020, she took a judicial clerkship position with the Honorable Jeffrey S. Jones at Clackamas County Circuit Court. There she learned the intricacies of complex case litigation, civil and criminal procedure, the best strategies to use as a litigator, and developed a deeper understanding regarding the rules of evidence through the tutelage of one of the top evidence experts in Oregon. This position allowed Carleigh to obtain extensive experience in motions practice, Uniform Trial Court Rules (UTCR), and proper procedure for both jury trials and court trials.
Carleigh was born and raised in the Metro-Detroit area of Michigan. She is a first-generation lawyer, with most of her family electing careers in the Arts or STEM fields. Before moving to Portland for law school, Carleigh played the violin for 14 years and was second chair in the Oakland Youth Symphony, was a competitive archer and briefly trained under an Olympic archer, and she volunteered or worked at several local veterinary hospitals in Metro-Detroit. Outside of work, Carleigh can be found kayaking, checking out a local brewery or restaurant, or camping in the high deserts of eastern Oregon.
Katie Russell is an associate attorney on Team Taaffe. Katie’s practice focuses primarily on commercial liability defense.
Katie graduated from UC Davis School of Law in 2020 where she worked on a class action lawsuit as a part of the UC Davis Civil Rights Clinic. She helped represent all inmates and ICE detainees being held at Yuba County Jail in a claim involving inadequate living conditions and denial of medical care. Her team won the class action and monitored the implementation of new procedures, ADA accessible cells, and reform of jail policies regarding medical care. Prior to this, Katie graduated Cum Laude from the University of Oregon with a degree in English in 2017.
Katie was born and raised in the Bay Area in California. She moved to Oregon for undergrad and fell in love with the rain, the forest, and the Ducks. Katie went back to the sunshine for law school, but she could not deny her love for Oregon and returned to Portland to start her legal career. In her free time, Katie loves to go on adventures to discover parts of the PNW she has not seen before. She is also an avid reader and enjoys science fiction, in particular Octavia Butler and Ray Bradbury.
Narmina Sharifova is and associate attorney on Team Klug focusing on complex bodily injury, construction defect, traumatic brain injury, and premises liability cases.
Narmina graduated from University of Washington School of Law in Seattle, Washington in 2020. Prior to this, also at the University of Washington, she received her B.A. in Law, Societies, and Justice and a Diversity minor in 2016 with special recognition in 2017 when she received the President’s Medal in recognition of exemplary academic achievement.
Before Smith Freed Eberhard, Narmina worked as an associate attorney at a private criminal defense firm. For 8 years (including her time in law school), she worked as a part-time office assistant and a back-up case manager in a CEO Program at Bellevue College. Narmina helped underserved youth to get free college education, high school diplomas, and GEDs. During her 3L year in law school, Narmina completed a legal externship with the City of Bellevue Attorney’s Office.
Narmina was born and raised in Baku, Azerbaijan (Eastern Europe), and she is fluent in Russian and basic conversational in Azerbaijani and Turkish. In 2010, her family won a Green Card Lottery, and, in 2011, she moved to the States. Narmina has been living in Bellevue for the past 10 years. Narmina loves to collect books, and away from work, she can be found reading French history literature, Slavic literature, and American classics.
Jeremy is an associate attorney on Kyle Riley’s team, and his practice focuses on commercial, construction and personal lines.
Jeremy graduated from Seattle University with a J.D. in 2015, and he has been licensed to practice law in Washington since then. Prior to that he graduated from University of Washington with a Bachelor of Science in economics as well as a business administration degree in accounting in 2012.
Before Smith Freed Eberhard, Jeremy worked as a plaintiff’s personal injury attorney that transitioned to defense. He enjoys working on litigation cases.
Jeremy is originally from Florida, but he grew up in the Seattle area. Away from work, you can find him reading, hiking, kayaking, and spending time with his wife and son who is about 3 ½ months old now.
Lauren Barnes is an associate attorney on Team Eberhard and Team McLellan focusing on general civil litigation, motor vehicle accidents, personal injury, negligence, and slip and falls.
Lauren graduated from Willamette University College of Law in 2017 where she clerked for the Marion County District Attorney’s Office on the domestic violence team from 2015 until 2017, prosecuting her own full misdemeanor caseload while being supervised by a Deputy District Attorney. Prior to that she attended Colorado State University where she graduated with a degree in Political Science and International Studies in 2013.
Before Smith Freed Eberhard, Lauren worked as an associate attorney at the Law Offices of Goldberg & Loren, P.A., a national plaintiffs’ personal injury firm, from 2020 through 2021, and prior to that worked at Tiffany Davidson, Attorney at Law, P.C. as an associate attorney, specializing in high-conflict family law and child representation from 2018 through 2020.
Lauren is from Colorado and grew up with a love for the outdoors, however, she was not a fan of the regular snowfall and freezing temperatures from October through April. Because of that she began looking at the Pacific Northwest when applying to law schools. Once she visited Oregon, she instantly fell in love with the state and never wanted to leave. Specifically, she loves the energy and inclusive and laidback nature of Portland. Away from work, you can find Lauren baking sweets treats and other baked goods (quarantine reinvigorated this hobby) and exploring the hiking trails of the PNW with her boyfriend and their Siberian Husky, Kimchi.
Nathaniel is an associate attorney on Cliff Wilson’s team, and his practice focuses on commercial liability defense, negligence, and products liability.
Prior to joining Smith Freed Eberhard, Nathaniel worked as an Attorney at The Gatti Law Firm in Salem. Before that he clerked at Swanson Lathen Prestwich in Salem, and The Law Offices of Randall Wolfe in Lake Oswego. Nathaniel worked as a biologist in healthcare and research, spending nearly 10 years at Rocky Mountain Sleep Diagnostics Inc. before attending law school, and currently he is an Adjunct Faculty member at the University of Western States College of Chiropractic Medicine where he teaches medical ethics and jurisprudence to third year medical students.
At Willamette University College of Law, Nathaniel authored “Designing People: A Bioethical Analyses of the Laws and Regulations Regarding the Genetic Manipulation of Human Fetuses” Willamette Law Review (2021), and he co-authored “Racial Justice Task Force Report to Oregon Supreme Court” (2021). Nathaniel was also 1 of 7 law students from Willamette inducted into the Order of Barristers in 2020, and he received the Col. Rupert J. Park Pro Bono Student of the Year Award, which is given to the one law student who volunteers the most free, legal “pro bono” hours over the course of law school. Nathaniel donated roughly 1,000 hours over 3 years, and most of his time was spent with under-served students from 6-12 grade, DACA “Dreamers,” and teaching the “Youth and Law” course to teenage mothers at Early College High School.
Now Nathaniel speaks to assemblies of AVID students from 6-12 grade about succeeding in school despite trauma and physical limitations, reaching nearly 20,000 students in the Salem-Keizer School district over the past 3 years. As a result of his involvement with AVID assemblies, he was invited to and spoke at “Dory Day”, an all-day event where Early College High School students attend workshops normally focused on preventing violence against women and girls.
Nathaniel is from Price, Utah and grew up the middle of 7 kids. He went to Carbon High School where he was captain of the varsity soccer team and won the state championship for “Best Entrée” as a member of the schools Pro-Start culinary team. Nathaniel and his wife, Debbie, have been married for nearly 12 years now and have 3 very cute and moderately well-behave kids; Bridgette, Jonathan, and Phillip. Outside of work, Nathaniel considers himself an amateur paleontologist, and he like to plan trips to hunt and find fossils to take back home and delicately prepare them for display or donation to a museum. Nathaniel is a member of NARG and has a special license that allows him to collect rare fossils along Oregon’s coast and beaches.
Justin joined the firm leadership team at Smith Freed Eberhard in 2008.
Justin has served in a variety of operational roles including director of marketing, director of client service, director of business operations, and now fulfills his current role as director of legal operations.
The initiatives Justin has led at Smith Freed Eberhard have transformed the firm’s IT infrastructure, legal supply chain, and customer value offerings.
The aspect of his job that Justin enjoys the most is partnering with claims professionals to identify the business challenges they face and develop solutions that bridge the gap between where they are and where they want to be.
Prior to joining Smith Freed Eberhard Justin was a partner at Impress Systems, a cloud based, enterprise management application that allowed insurance carriers to more effectively handle payment of insurance premiums, policy management, and agent retention.
Justin holds an MBA and MS in International Business from Boston University.
Jon has over 10 years of experience in legal accounting, working at a wide variety of firms ranging from mega firms to independent practices. Over the course of his career, he has built and improved the accounting and billing practices to meet the individual needs of firms of all sizes. Jon now serves in his current role as the billing manager at Smith Freed Eberhard, where he enjoys providing value to clients and firms alike.
Jon began his carrier in San Diego, California at the litigation law firm of Solomon, Grindle, Lidstad & Wintringer as a billing clerk, where he first grained experience with legal e-billing. Within a few years, he became the assistant manager of the firm, managing the day to day accounting and billing processes. In 2016, Jon moved to Vancouver, Washington and found a job as a manager of a family law firm in downtown Portland, Oregon, where he revitalized the firm’s file management and billing procedures. In 2017, Jon became a National Billing Specialist for one of the top insurance defense firms in the nation and an AM Law Top 100 National Firm, Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard and Smith. During his time there he managed high value, institutional insurance providers, while helping build and train teams of e-billers on a multitude of e-billing platforms.
In his free time Jon enjoys attending concerts and collecting silkscreen posters, art toys, and vinyl records and CDs.
In Memoriam: Jacob Rasmussen
It is with deep sorrow that we announce that Jacob Rasmussen passed away June 21, 2021, after a difficult battle with cancer.
Jake graduated from The University of the Pacific – McGeorge School of Law. Before joining Smith Freed Eberhard, Jake worked for a leading regional workers compensation defense firm representing self-insured employers. Prior to relocating to Oregon, Jake was an associate at a California firm specializing in mortgage law.
Jake was with SFE for five years as a senior attorney defending personal and commercial injury matters. Jake grew his skill set immensely over the past five years and was a valued team member and mentor.
Jake was an avid traveler, reader, and skier – he especially loved Spain and Ernest Hemingway. Jake participated in two half marathons and was a member of the firm’s Hood to Coast team. Jake loved attending firm happy hours and holiday parties – he jumped at any opportunity to socialize with the team. He was always excited to raft at the attorney retreats and didn’t shy away from “riding the bull” while raging down the Deschutes River. Jake enjoyed giving back to his community and felt it was a duty of his to do so. He participated in the annual Habitat for Humanity event run by one of SFE’s clients.
When he first became a father, Jake explained how different his life was – he got very little sleep and had to think about every danger within his house. In the same breath, Jake exclaimed how excited he was to be a father and see his little girl grow up. He called Aven his greatest accomplishment along with marrying his beautiful wife, Kerry.
Jake is survived by his wife, Kerry and daughter, Aven.