Jon W. Monson is a partner in Cable Huston’s Litigation, Appellate, and Internal Investigations practice groups. Jon represents clients in all aspects of state and federal civil litigation, including high-stakes commercial litigation, mediation, and arbitration. He has also briefed and argued numerous appeals and petitions for review, including before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Oregon Supreme Court, and Oregon Court of Appeals, among other appellate courts. His clients include individuals, public and private companies, and governmental and quasi-governmental entities. Jon served for many years as Chair of the Firm’s Management Committee and now as the Firm’s General Counsel.
Jon’s practice covers a variety of litigation areas, including:
- Complex Business & Commercial Litigation
- Civil and Administrative Appeals
- Professional Malpractice Defense and Legal Ethics
- Mass Torts and Class Action Defense
- Sports and Entertainment Litigation
Jon also has unique expertise managing complex internal investigations for businesses and public entities. Jon’s internal investigation practice involves sensitive and complex investigations of potential wrongdoing. Jon has experience managing the efficient collection and analysis of large quantities of hard-copy and electronic evidence on short time frames; planning for and conducting sensitive witness interviews; documenting and reporting interview and investigation findings (verbally or in writing) to boards of directors, audit committees, public entities, and criminal/civil regulators; analyzing complicated attorney-client privilege issues; and coordinating public relations issues.
In addition to his client work, Jon is an active volunteer in the Portland legal community. For several years, Jon has served as pro tem circuit court judge for Multnomah County Circuit Court. Pro tem judges preside over civil motions and are appointed by the Oregon Supreme Court after vetting through a judicial screening committee comprised of local attorneys.
Jon also serves as an active member of the Oregon State Bar and continues to serve and lead numerous bar committees. Jon serves as an appointed member of the Oregon State Bar Disciplinary Board, the regulatory body charged with deciding contested ethics and disciplinary complaints against Oregon lawyers. Jon is also the current Chair of the Oregon State Bar Civil Jury Instruction Committee and a member of the Executive Committee of the Bar’s Litigation Section. Jon previously served for many years as a member, and later Chair, of the Oregon State Bar Legal Ethics Committee.
Before joining Cable Huston in 2010, Jon worked for several years as an attorney at O’Melveny & Myers LLP in New York and Los Angeles, a firm consistently recognized by The American Lawyer as having one of the most prestigious litigation departments in the country. At O’Melveny, Jon focused his practice on complex civil litigation and appeals, criminal and regulatory investigations, and internal corporate investigations. During that time, he also served as a Supervising Attorney for the UCLA Law School Appellate Advocacy Clinic.
Business and Commercial Litigation
- Represented international insurance company in defending high value coverage disputes related to COVID-19 business interruption issues.
- Represented the Portland Trail Blazers and Rip City Management in various litigation matters, including complex arbitrations and grievance proceedings before the Commissioner of the National Basketball Association (NBA).
- Successfully defended officers of CenterStaging Corp., a well-known rehearsal studio in Burbank, California against securities fraud claims in federal court.
- Represented one of the Pacific Northwest’s largest lumber manufactures against $50 million shareholder oppression claims brought in Oregon and Washington state court.
- Obtained favorable trial verdict for high net worth individual after six-week jury trial arising from local artist’s breach of multi-million dollar oral loan agreement.
- Obtained dismissal of all claims and attorney fee award for national surety company in multi-million-dollar lawsuit filed by a Eugene, Oregon developer.
- Represented a special committee of a national media company in a highly-publicized internal Investigation and subsequent federal civil prosecution of hundreds of millions of dollars in fraud claims against former CEO and other senior executives. Led to criminal convictions and restitution for victims.
- Successfully defended California’s largest public agency retirement fund trust administrator in California Attorney General investigation and subsequent federal qui tam litigation related to handling of over $150 million in unclaimed retirement funds.
Mass Torts and Class Action Defense
- Represent companies and public bodies (including various state agencies) in defending mass tort and class action lawsuits.
- Overseeing defense of numerous state court wildfire lawsuits brought by over 1,500 plaintiffs against a local municipal utility arising from the 2020 Holiday Farm Fire.
- Lead trial counsel for former director of state agency against multi-million-dollar class action claims brought on behalf of adults-in-custody related to the State’s handling of COVID-19 in Oregon prisons.
- Lead trial counsel for multiple Oregon state agencies in putative wage and hour class action lawsuit related to alleged problems with State’s payroll system.
- Lead trial counsel for Oregon state agency in putative class action lawsuit related to alleged disclosure of state employee COVID-19 vaccine information.
- Represented large pharmaceutical company in defending hundreds of multi-district state and federal Vioxx lawsuits.
Legal Malpractice Defense and Legal Ethics
- Frequently advise lawyers on legal ethics and complex attorney-client privilege issues.
- Represent numerous lawyers and law firms in Oregon against professional malpractice and related claims as member of the Oregon Professional Liability Fund’s Defense Counsel Panel.
- Successfully defended lawyer against malpractice claims arising from negotiation of complex real property transaction in Deschutes County. Case dismissed at summary judgment.
- Successfully defended two lawyers against $5 million claim by former client alleging elder abuse, breach of fiduciary duty, and other claims related to payment and collection of attorney fees during representation in underlying federal insurance coverage lawsuit. All claims dismissed at summary judgment; court awarded client prevailing party attorneys’ fees.
Civil and Administrative Appeals
- Lead counsel for former Oregon Health Authority director in Ninth Circuit appeal related to scope of immunity under federal PREP Act for claims relates to vaccine prioritization decisions made during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Argument available at: https://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/media/video/?20230420/22-35218/ (starts at 7:00)
- Argued and won Oregon Court of Appeals appeal for two large metal recycling companies alleging violations of the Administrative Procedures Act by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. See PNW Metals Recycling Inc. v. DEQ, 317 Or App 207 (2022). Also argued subsequent before the Oregon Supreme Court (decision pending).
- Argued and won Ninth Circuit appeal for Oregon Health Authority director in case related to FamilyCare’s exit from the coordinated care market in 2018. See Allen v. FamilyCare, Inc., No. 18-35891, 12 Fed App’x (9th Cir 2020).
- Argument available at: https://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/media/video/?20200302/18-35593/ (starts at 35.20)
- Argued and won Oregon Court of Appeals appeal in complex easement dispute related to fish return channel on the McKenzie River. See Eugene Water & Electric Board v. Miller, 290 Or App 721 (2018).
- Argued and won appeal in longstanding retaliatory tax dispute between Stewart Title Guaranty Co. and State of Oregon’s Department of Consumer and Business Affairs. See Stewart Title Guaranty Co. v. State of Oregon, 272 Or App 138 (2015).
- Argued and won Oregon Court of Appeals appeal for AmeriTitle, Inc. in title insurance dispute. See Haveman v. AmeriTitle Inc., Oregon Court of Appeals Case No. A15398.
- Argued and won reversal on appeal as lead counsel for indigent prisoner in seminal prisoner rights case involving Eighth Amendment claims arising from prison’s failure to provide adequate outdoor exercise. See Thomas v. Ponder, 611 F.3d 1144 (9th Cir. 2010).
- Frequently serve as court-appointed counsel for indigent parties through the Ninth Circuit’s Pro Bono Appellate Program, including in appeals on Section 1983, Bivens, and other constitutional claims.
Internal Investigations & Compliance
- Managed transnational internal investigation for Special Committee of a Swedish parking meter manufacturer into bribery allegations related to the City of Portland’s parking meter contract with a former distributor. Conducted numerous witness interviews and oversaw collection of electronic and documentary evidence from the United States, Canada, and Sweden. Coordinated closely with the Portland City’s Attorney’s Office to disclose findings of investigation and discuss remedial action.
- Managed internal investigation for defense contractor arising from Navy Criminal Investigative Services (NCIS) subpoena related to alleged misreporting of OSHA violations in bid documents.
- Managed internal investigation for Air Force defense contractor related to allegations of False Claims violations arising from excessive time entries by employees on a large time and materials contract.
- Participated in numerous internal investigations of public companies related to stock options back-dating and other allegations of financial fraud.
- Managed internal investigation for Fortune 500 company concerning whistleblower allegations of environmental violations that arose during internal compliance audit.
- Managed internal investigation for large healthcare company concerning retaliation claims against former compliance officer.
- Participated in internal investigation for one of the world’s largest investment banking firms regarding alleged violations of anti-money laundering regulations.
- Represented multiple investment advisory businesses in highly-publicized New York Attorney General investigation related to pay-to-play allegations in state pension fund.
Publications and Speaking Engagements
- Speaker, Ethics: Lessons Learned from Practicing in a Pandemic, Multnomah Bar Association Young Lawyers Section (April 2021)
- Speaker, Ethical Considerations: Ethics issues That May Arise When Dealing with Prospective and Past Clients, Multnomah Bar Association (Dec. 2019)
- Speaker, Tripartite Ethics Issues / Fee Disputes, Oregon Professional Liability Fund Defense Panel Conference (Aug. 2019)
- Co-Author, Attorney Advocacy and Ethics in Arbitration, Chapter 12 of the Oregon State Bar CLE BarBook on Alternate Dispute Resolution (2019 ed.)
- Co-Author, Arbitrator Ethics, Chapter 13 of the Oregon State Bar CLE BarBook on Alternate Dispute Resolution (2019 ed.)
- Speaker, Summary Judgment Motions, Multnomah County Bar Association Young Litigators Forum (2016, 2017, 2018)
- Author, When the Law Provides Repayment Terms: The Perils of Oral Loan Agreements, Oregon State Bar Debtor-Creditor Newsletter (Winter 2012)
- Author, The Young Lawyer’s Corner: Internal Investigation Tips for Junior Attorneys, Criminal Litigation (ABA Fall 2009)
- Author, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Handbook, (O’Melveny & Myers 6th ed. 2009) (co-authored chapter on Internal Investigations)
- Speaker, Compliance Programs, O’Melveny & Myers LLP White Collar Defense and Corporate Investigations Training Series, Los Angeles, CA (May 2008)
- Author, 10 Ways to Retain Confidentiality During (and After) an Internal Investigation: A Strategy for Minimizing the Damage of Disclosure, Criminal Litigation (American Bar Association Spring 2007)
- Speaker, Putting Lawyers on the Defensive: When Law Firms Get Indicted, ABA Section of Litigation Annual Conference, San Antonio, TX (April 2007)
- Author, Tribal Immunity from Process: Limiting the Government’s Power to Enforce Search Warrants and Subpoenas on American Indian Land, 56 Rutgers L. Rev. 271 (2003)
Awards & Recognition
• “Super Lawyer” (Oregon Super Lawyers, 2022, 2023)
• “Rising Star” (Oregon Super Lawyers, 2013-2020)
• “Faces of the List” (Portland Business Journal, Jan. 2015)
• “Outstanding Subcommittee Chair” (American Bar Association, 2009)
• “Rising Star” (JAMS Arbitration Service, 2009)
• “Empire State Counsel Award” (New York State Bar, 2008)
• “Outstanding Newsletter Editor” (American Bar Association, 2007)
- Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Pro Tempore (2018-present)
- Member, Oregon State Bar Disciplinary Board (2021-present)
- Executive Committee Member, Oregon State Bar Litigation Section (2023-present)
- Oregon State Bar Uniform Civil Jury Instruction Committee (Chair, 2023-present; Member, 2021-present)
- Oregon State Bar Legal Ethics Committee (Chair, 2020; Secretary, 2019; Member, 2015-2020)
- Arbitrator, Oregon State Bar Fee Dispute Resolution Program (2019-present)
- Arbitrator, Multnomah County Mandatory Arbitration Program (2011-present)
- Panel Member, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Pro Bono Appellate Program (2009-present)
- Member, Multnomah County Bar Association
- Member, Clackamas County Bar Association
- Member, Federal Bar Association
- Editor-in-Chief, Criminal Litigation, (American Bar Association, 2008-2010)
- Supervising Attorney, UCLA Law School Appellate Advocacy Clinic (2009-2010)