William (Rick) F. Martson Jr.
Rick is now retired. When Rick was active professionally this was his biography.
Rick has a broad range of commercial litigation experience, including securities, shareholders rights, defense of accountants, natural resources-based and environmental litigation. He has tried over 200 cases and more than 75 injunctive proceedings to conclusion.
Examples of some of the cases Rick has handled are:
Mark Newby, et al. v. Enron Corp., et al. and Pamela M. Tittle, et al. v. Enron Corp., et al., Defended a former Vice-Chair of the Board and an executive officer in all of the Enron-related litigation and matters;
Securities and Exchange Commission v. J. Kenneth Stringer, III, et al. and United States of America v. J. Kenneth Stringer; III, et al. Defended FLIR's former CEO in an SEC investigation, an enforcement proceeding and in a criminal prosecution. The criminal prosecution was dismissed then reversed on appeal. U.S. v. Stringer, 408 F. Supp.2d 1083 (D. Or. 2006), reversed, 521 F.3d 1189 (9th Cir.), amended, 535 F.3d 929 (9th Cir. 2008). Both the criminal and enforcement proceedings were settled.
Wayne C. Van Zwoll v. William Swindells, et al. and Willamette Industries, Inc., et al., and related cases. 219 OR App 16 (2008). Defended the non-Weyerhaeuser appointed board members in an action related to Weyerhaeuser's hostile tender offer for Willamette Industries;
In re Louisiana-Pacific Corp. Securities Litigation, U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, Case No. 95-707-JO; In re Louisiana-Pacific Corp. Derivative Litigation, New Castle County, Delaware Chancery Court Consolidated C.A. No. 14322; In re Louisiana-Pacific Inner-Seal™ Siding Products Liability Litigation, U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, Case No. 95-879-JO-LEAD. Represented Louisiana-Pacific’s former Chairman and CEO, Harry A. Merlo, in these securities, derivative and products liability class actions;
Melridge, Inc. v. Heublein, et al. Case started as an internal investigation by the Board of Directors concerning alleged wrongdoing by insiders. Ended with a Chapter 11 proceeding, injunctive relief and a $150 million judgment against the principal wrongdoer;
Medford Corporation v. Simmons, Case No. 84-847 (D. Or. May 9, 1985) Defended Medford Corp. from a hostile tender offer by Harold Simmons and his group;
Kahn, et al. v. Robert A. Sprouse, II, et al., 842 F Supp 423 (D. Or. 1993). Successfully obtained summary judgment on behalf of directors in the face of allegations of misdeeds by minority shareholders. This is the seminal case in our district upholding the validity of investigations by independent committees of boards of directors;
Lewis v. Chiles, et al. 719F2d 1044 (9th Cir 1983). On behalf of Fred G. Meyer's Estate, defeated a challenge to the acquisition of Fred Meyer by KKR;
In the Matter of the Estate of Reuben Lenske, Case No. CMCR 0111921007; Moshe Lenske & Judith Temko v. Shirlee Lenske, et al., Case No. 0202-01510; Skyline Investments, Inc. V. Shirlee Lenske, et al., Case No. 0205-04675. Successfully represented two children of Reuben Lenske who brought various claims against his widow and others, including for tortious interference with prospective inheritance. After a seven-week jury trial, the jury awarded our clients 100% of the estate;
Columbia Management Co. v. Wyss. 765 P2d 207 (94 Or App 195, 1988). Obtained a multimillion-dollar recovery in this dissenting shareholder case. This is the seminal case in Oregon on dissenter's rights;
PGE v. Warm Springs Tribes, USDC. On behalf of Portland General Electric, overturned a $225 million arbitration award regarding PGE's obligations to the Warm Springs Indians;
In Re Baldwin United Bankruptcy. Represented the petitioning creditors in what at the time was the largest involuntary bankruptcy ever filed;
In Re Rajneesh Neo-Sannyas International Commune. For the primary petitioning creditor in the involuntary bankruptcy of one of the Rajneesh entities, obtained an interim trustee and, through this and other related international actions, obtained almost 100¢ on the dollar repayment for our client who had advanced approximately $2 million;
PGE v. AMAX, Inc., 909 F2d 1577 (9th Cir 1990). This was one of several proceedings against AMAX concerning PGE’s long-term coal supply agreement for PGE's Boardman electric generating plant. As a result of these proceedings, PGE was able to resume operating the Boardman plant;
John D. Graham v. Deloitte & Touche LLP, et al. and William J. Graham v. Deloitte & Touche LLP, et al. Defended Deloitte & Touche LLP in a negligent misrepresentation and Blue Sky case;
INA v. Deloitte & Touche LLP, et al. Defended Deloitte & Touche LLP in a subrogation claim brought by Tektronix's insurer;
BPA v. WPPSS, 956 F2d 1497 (9th Cir 1992). Represented PGE in the cost sharing and several other litigated aspects of the WPPSS debacle;
Henderson v. Lee. Obtained a $3 million jury verdict in this case involving fraud in the sale of a business;
Harold A. Miller, et al. V. United States, 620 F2d 812 (223 Ct Cl 352, 1980). Obtained an approximately $17 million judgment after a four-week trial in the Court of Claims;
United States of America v. United States National Bank of Oregon as Trustee for the Nonwithdrawing Members of the Klamath Indian Tribe. Obtained a judgment for $130,540,000 in this case involving the condemnation of the Klamath Indian Forest;
County of Josephine, et al. v. James G. Watt, et al., 539 F Supp 696 (ND CA 1982). Represented timber companies, counties and citizens groups who opposed the inclusion of Five Rivers in northern California in the Wild and Scenic Rivers System. We obtained a temporary restraining order against opposition by the government and numerous environmental groups;
Oregon Trail Electric Consumer Cooperative, Inc. v. Catalyst Energy, et al. Represented Oregon Trail Electric Consumers Cooperative, Inc. in a PURPA contract dispute. The case settled to the satisfaction of our client; and
Wholesale Electricity Antitrust Cases I and II and The People of the State of California v. Portland General Electric Company, et al. Defended a utility in a variety of litigation arising out of the California energy crisis.
Rick was the 2009-2010 President of the International Society of Barristers. He became a fellow of the International Society of Barristers in 1995. In 1999 he was appointed to the Board and in 2009 he became President of that organization. Rick served on the Oregon Historical Society Board from 1990–2009, serving as President during 1997–1999; Treasurer during 1994–1997; and Assistant Treasurer during 1992–1994. Other activities include past membership on the Boards for the Oregon Trail Foundation, Molalla Elementary School District #35 Board – Chairperson, 1991–1993, and the Albertina-Kerr Center for Children – Past Treasurer.
In 2006, Rick taught at Tyumen State University in Siberia under the auspices of the Center for International Legal Studies in Salzburg, Austria. For the past 12 years he has been invited to participate as a faculty member for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA) at various programs. Presently, Rick is a Visiting Professor at Willamette University College of Law teaching Trial Practice and Deposition Skills.
Tonkon Torp Looks Back at Wild Wild Rajneeshee Cases
The popular Netflix series, Wild Wild Country, has placed the compelling story of the Rajneeshee cult community back in the spotlight. Led by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and Ma Anand Sheela, the commune was active in Wasco County, Oregon during the early 1980s. Tonkon Torp attorneys were involved in three well-documented lawsuits that helped to halt the fraudulent actions of the Rajneeshees and restore assets to former members of the cult.
Community Involvement & Activities
Northwest Highland Cattle Association
International Society of Barristers
1999–2011, Member, Board of Directors
International Society of Barristers Foundation
2011–2016, Officer, Board of Directors
2010–2016, Member, Board of Directors
Congress of Fellows of the Center for International Legal Studies, Salzburg, Austria
Oregon Historical Society
1990–2009, Board of Directors
1992–1994, Assistant Treasurer
Oregon Trail Foundation
1994–1996–, Board of Directors
Molalla Elementary School
1991–1993, District #35 Board – Chairperson
Albertina-Kerr Center for Children
1985–1990, Board Member
Treasurer (2 years)
Congress of Fellows of the Center for International Legal Studies, Salzburg, Austria
American Association for Justice
Federal Bar Association
Multnomah Bar Association
Awards & Recognition
The Best Lawyers in America
2005–2020, Commercial Litigation
2005–2020, Litigation: Banking & Finance
2005–2020, Litigation: Environmental
2005–2020, Litigation: Regulatory Enforcement
2005–2020, Litigation: Securities
2012, 2015, Lawyer of the Year - Litigation: Banking & Finance, Portland
2014, Lawyer of the Year - Litigation: Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy), Portland
2006-2013, Oregon Super Lawyer – Environmental Law (Administrative/Regulatory, Land Use and Zoning)