Personal Lines
Experts in Defending: Automobile Accidents, Traumatic Brain Injuries, Soft Tissue or Minor Impact, PIP/UM/UIM, ORS 20.080
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From the moment we opened our doors, Smith Freed Eberhard has been fearlessly pushing the edge of what’s possible for our clients. We’ve carefully cultivated and developed specialties in our practices and our people to give you the very best: formidable expertise, strategically creative thinking, and litigation guideline adherence. We are your champion, keenly focused on understanding your situation, solving your challenges, and achieving your goals.

Our Personal Lines defense team is highly skilled in defending all types of personal lines claims. This includes; Minor Impact / Bodily Injury / Fractures and Broken Bones / Neck and Back Injuries / Spinal Cord Injuries / Sexual Abuse / Traumatic Brain Injuries / Wrongful Death / Bad Faith / Premises Liability, Slip, Trip, and Fall Accidents / High Net Worth Insureds / Host Liquor Liability / ORS 20.080.

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.

 

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.

Success Story Negligence Personal Lines Tenant Landlord Court Strikes Opposing Party’s Counterclaims Due to Failure to Comply With Discovery Orders Wednesday October 13, 2021 By: Narmina Sharifova
Success Story Automotive Defense General Litigation ORS 20.080 Attorney Fee Personal Lines Taking a Case to Trial During COVID-19 Wednesday September 22, 2021 By: Gordon Klug
Success Story General Litigation ORS 20.080 Attorney Fee Personal Lines When to Fight Back with a Counterclaim Thursday November 19, 2020 By: Jeff Eberhard
Success Story Automotive Defense General Litigation Motorist Minor Impact Personal Lines The Strategy in Jury Selection: Using Voir Dire to the Defendant’s Advantage Tuesday August 11, 2020 By: Jessica Kamish
Success Story Automotive Defense Personal Lines Research Pays Off (to the Tune of $2.2 Million) Friday December 20, 2019 By: Firm Authorship
Success Story Automotive Defense Personal Lines PIP Rejected: A Desperate Attempt to Recover Expenses Friday December 20, 2019 By: Firm Authorship
Success Story Automotive Defense General Litigation Personal Lines The Early Bird Gets the Case Dismissed Friday December 20, 2019 By: Josh Hayward
Safe Harbor Letter Success Story Automotive Defense Personal Lines Preparation Always Pays off: Especially at Trial Friday December 20, 2019 By: Firm Authorship
Success Story Automotive Defense General Litigation Personal Lines The Case of the Mysterious Torn Medial Meniscus Friday December 20, 2019 By: Firm Authorship
Success Story Automotive Defense Personal Lines Hit and Run Dismissed Friday December 20, 2019 By: Firm Authorship
Success Story Automotive Defense Personal Lines Admitting Liability and Saving Costs Friday December 20, 2019 By: Firm Authorship
Success Story Automotive Defense Personal Lines Know Your Venue: Taking Advantage of Arbitration Rules to Gain the Upper Hand and Mitigate Costs Friday December 20, 2019 By: Firm Authorship
Success Story Automotive Defense Personal Lines PIP Pre-Existing Conditions Affirmed, No Additional Recovery Earned Friday December 20, 2019 By: Firm Authorship
Success Story Dog Bite Personal Lines Dog Bite Dilemma Friday December 20, 2019 By: Cliff Wilson
operation trick or treat Success Story General Litigation Personal Lines Operation Trick-or-Treat Wednesday January 23, 2019 By: Gordon Klug
KDB Success Story Padilla Success Story Automotive Defense Personal Lines Bringing a Claim to a Complete Stop Thursday January 10, 2019 By: Gordon Klug
Small Claims Big Headache Success Story Automotive Defense Personal Lines Small Claims, Big Headache Thursday December 27, 2018 By: Cliff Wilson
Success Story Commercial Liability Defense Personal Lines PIP Occam’s Razor at Work Wednesday February 17, 2016 By: Firm Authorship
Success Story Automotive Defense Personal Lines Cleaning the Slate: Using Witness Strengths to Dispel Juror’s Pre-Conceived Notions Wednesday February 17, 2016 By: Firm Authorship
Success Story Commercial Liability Defense First & Third Party / SIU Personal Lines Whose Fault is it Anyway? Friday December 11, 2015 By: Cliff Wilson
Success Story Commercial Liability Defense Personal Lines No Tolerance For Tardiness Monday October 19, 2015 By: Firm Authorship
Success Story Commercial Liability Defense Personal Lines Using the Right Rulebook Monday October 19, 2015 By: Firm Authorship
Success Story Personal Lines Know the Law In and Out: Developing the Right Game Plan to Keep Costs Down Wednesday September 16, 2015 By: Firm Authorship
Success Story First & Third Party / SIU Personal Lines Absolute Duty Not Lost in Translation Thursday July 16, 2015 By: Gordon Klug
on-demand
Webinar Automotive Defense Bad Faith Motorist Minor Impact Personal Lines PIP UM/UIM Wrongful Death Washington Personal Lines – 2020 Year in Review Friday January 29, 2021 By: Josh Hayward
Liquor Liability
on-demand
Bill Taaffe
Webinar Commercial Liability Defense Dram Shop & Tavern Keeper ORS 20.080 Attorney Fee Timber Trespass Oregon Commercial Lines – 2020 Year in Review Thursday November 19, 2020 By: Jeff Eberhard
on-demand
Cliff Wilson
Webinar ORS 20.080 Attorney Fee Personal Lines UM/UIM Oregon Personal Lines – 2020 Year in Review Friday October 23, 2020 By: Josh Hayward
on-demand
Cliff Wilson
Webinar Minor Settlement Personal Lines Wrongful Death The When, Where, Why, and How of Settlements Involving Minors, Estates, and Liens Thursday April 4, 2019 By: Cliff Wilson
on-demand
Webinar Commercial Liability Defense Personal Lines Slip and Fall Liability Waivers – Should We Wave Goodbye? Thursday January 31, 2019 By: Jeff Eberhard
jan 2019 webinar thumbnail
on-demand
Cliff Wilson
Webinar Personal Lines 2019 – Year In Review – Personal Lines in OR & WA Thursday December 20, 2018 By: Cliff Wilson
on-demand
Cliff Wilson
Webinar Automotive Defense Personal Lines UM/UIM Attorney Fee Exposure in UM/UIM Friday October 5, 2018 By: Cliff Wilson
mandatory non-binding arbitration
on-demand
Webinar Automotive Defense Commercial Liability Defense Personal Lines How To Brave the High Seas of Mandatory Non-Binding Arbitration and Live to Tell the Tall Tale Thursday July 5, 2018 By: Firm Authorship
on-demand
Webinar Automotive Defense PIP UM/UIM An Introduction to the Updated Rules and Regulations for First Party Claims Tuesday April 24, 2018 By: Josh Hayward
on-demand
Webinar Commercial Liability Defense General Litigation Personal Lines Tough Calls: Ethical Claims Handling in Oregon and Washington Monday November 27, 2017 By: Josh Hayward
on-demand
Webinar Commercial Liability Defense First & Third Party / SIU General Litigation Personal Lines Professional Lines (EPL,D&O,E&O) Utilizing Probability Analysis in Claims Evaluation: A Systematic Approach Thursday May 4, 2017 By: Josh Hayward
on-demand
Cliff Wilson
Webinar Commercial Liability Defense Minor Settlement Personal Lines Wrongful Death Minor Settlements and Wrongful Death in Oregon & Washington Friday April 7, 2017 By: Cliff Wilson
on-demand
Webinar Personal Lines 2016 – A Year In Review Oregon and Washington Personal Lines Friday February 3, 2017 By: Josh Hayward
on-demand
Webinar Commercial Liability Defense General Litigation Personal Lines Professional Lines (EPL,D&O,E&O) A History of Multnomah County High-Value Verdicts Tuesday November 1, 2016 By: Ryan McLellan
on-demand
Bill Taaffe
Webinar Automotive Defense Commercial Liability Defense Dog Bite First & Third Party / SIU General Litigation Negligence Personal Lines PIP Premises Liability Products Liability Slip and Fall Timber Trespass Trucking & Transportation UM/UIM Wrongful Death Discovery in the Information Age – Using Technology and Data to More Effectively Defend and Settle Your Claims Thursday July 21, 2016 By: William Taaffe
on-demand
Webinar Commercial Liability Defense Personal Lines PIP Making a Fair Call: Developing a Game Plan for Handling Washington’s IFCA Claims Wednesday March 16, 2016 By: Thomas McCurdy
on-demand
Cliff Wilson
Webinar Automotive Defense Commercial Liability Defense Dram Shop & Tavern Keeper Personal Lines PIP UM/UIM 2015 – Hit the Ground Running – Oregon Edition Monday February 1, 2016 By: Cliff Wilson
on-demand
Kyle Riley
Webinar Bad Faith Commercial Liability Defense Construction & Development Cyber Liability First & Third Party / SIU Personal Lines Professional Lines (EPL,D&O,E&O) The Art of Arbitration: Strategically Structuring Your Case in Washington Wednesday August 12, 2015 By: Kyle Riley
on-demand
Webinar Commercial Liability Defense Construction & Development First & Third Party / SIU Personal Lines 2014 – A Year End Review – Washington Edition Wednesday August 12, 2015 By: Josh Hayward
on-demand
Cliff Wilson
Webinar Automotive Defense Commercial Liability Defense General Litigation Personal Lines PIP UM/UIM The 411 on SB 411 Thursday June 25, 2015 By: Josh Hayward
on-demand
Cliff Wilson
Webinar Commercial Liability Defense First & Third Party / SIU General Litigation Personal Lines Professional Lines (EPL,D&O,E&O) Settlement Navigation Wednesday August 27, 2014 By: Ryan McLellan
on-demand
Kyle Riley
Webinar Commercial Liability Defense Construction & Development First & Third Party / SIU Personal Lines Professional Lines (EPL,D&O,E&O) 2013 – Washington Cases Law Update Wednesday February 19, 2014 By: Josh Hayward
Our Process


1.
Early & Accurate
Evaluation


2.
On-Time Reporting
Throughout the Life of the Case

3.
Legal Analytics
Proven Results
We Play
to Win

SFE has defended thousands of automotive defense / bodily injury cases throughout Oregon and Washington. Our experience in representing insureds as policyholders, ride-sharing services, taxi’s, and self-driving autos — allows our attorneys to gain critical experience on a wide range of automotive defense scenarios, which helps us to understand different themes brought by plaintiff’s counsel and their unique challenges.

Often the desired course of action to resolve conflict, particularly in complex, time sensitive, expensive, catastrophic injury cases, is the best course of action. With that in mind, our personal lines defense team is committed to resolving even the most hotly contested disputes outside of court and with less delay and expense than in the traditional litigation process. The firm’s lawyers are involved in the arbitration and mediation of injury disputes of all kinds, which can result in significant cost and time savings for our clients.

Personal lines defense matters cannot be solved with a one size fits all approach. Our goal is to analyze and mitigate risk, whether our attorneys are negotiating a settlement or actively litigating a case. Early evaluation and discovery is critical. Our team seeks to identify legal defenses theories at the earliest point possible and effective settlement opportunities.

Let’s talk

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