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We Live and Breathe Litigation. We Are First Trial Lawyers, Which We Believe Makes Us Superior Litigators, Creative Problem-Solvers, and Litigation Management Innovators… and We Love to Win.
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Melanie Rose
  • Oregon

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.

Jason Evans
Associate Attorney
  • Oregon

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.

Carleigh McMahon
Associate Attorney
  • Oregon

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.


Lauren Barnes
Associate Attorney
  • Oregon

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 Woodward
Associate Attorney
  • Oregon

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.

Jacob Rasmussen Attorney
Jacob Rasmussen
In Memoriam
  • Oregon

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.