Attorney Kristen L. Olson

Professional Experience

Kristin is an experienced trial attorney who has tried cases throughout the state of Oregon.  She practices personal injury and business and commercial litigation.  Kristin brings lawsuits on behalf of injured persons, and she also defends lawsuits on behalf of individuals and companies. She is admitted to practice in Oregon and Washington.  

Kristin has experience with:

  • A wide variety of personal injury matters, including catastrophic injury; wrongful death; trucking accidents; and product liability. 
  • Civil cases involving sexual abuse; sex trafficking; and crime victims.
  • Professional liability cases, including medical malpractice.
  • Business, contract and commercial litigation, including breach of contract; surrogacy litigation; timber trespass; noncompete agreements; trade secrets; intellectual property; piercing the corporate veil; and fraud cases.  Kristin also has experience bringing and defending against motions for preliminary injunction. 

Representative Accomplishments

  • Defended a Montana grain milling company against claims for breach of contract brought by Dave's Killer Bread, and obtained a full dismissal of all claims.  Dave's Killer Bread, Inc. v. Mont. Merch., Inc., Case No. 3:17-cv-0237-YY (D. Or. Jul. 12, 2017).
  • While representing a woman who was severely injured by falling down stairs at a restaurant, Kristin requested documents regarding other falls at the restaurant, but the restaurant claimed that there were no documents.  Months later, with no explanation, the restaurant produced documents that showed, among other things, that the restaurant knew that a different patron fell down the same stairs and necessitated a trip to the emergency room just days before Kristin's client fell.  They also showed that, days before Kristin's client fell, a manager of the restaurant tried to make the stairs more visible with chalk, but the owner ordered her to remove the chalk. Kristin won a motion for sanctions and an award of $3,290 in attorney fees to be paid by the restaurant and its attorneys to Kristin's client.  Johnpoll v. Brix Tavern, LLC, Multnomah County Case No. 17CV33824 (June 1, 2018).    
  • Represented a woman who tore her rotator cuff in an automobile accident. Within days of filing the lawsuit, Kristin negotiated a settlement for the full amount of the insurance company's policy limits.  
  • Represented a man who was hit at an intersection while driving his motorcycle.  Without filing a lawsuit, Kristin negotiated a settlement with the at-fault driver for the full amount of her insurance company's policy limits.  Kristin then successfully argued that the at-fault driver was underinsured and obtained the full policy limits from her own client's insurance company.
  • Achieved a defense jury verdict in a $1 million admitted fault personal injury case.  Kristin defended a math teacher who was accused of causing permanent injuries in an automobile accident.
  • Defended a log truck driver in a complex permanent injury and death case.  At trial, multiple plaintiffs asked the jury for over $2.7 million. Kristin achieved a net jury verdict of $104,000, with the jury awarding nothing in pain and suffering damages to two of the plaintiffs. This was upheld on appeal.  Estate of Ibarra v. Lilly, 245 Or App 294, 263 P3d 1053 (2011). 
  • On behalf of her injured client, Kristin won a motion to amend to allow allegations of punitive damages of $1 million in a case where her client was severely injured due to a fall at a restaurant. 
  • Successfully brokered a resolution of cross-motions for preliminary injunction in a complex commercial matter in Seattle involving numerous construction projects worth millions.
  • Achieved a defense verdict in a $1 million complex personal injury binding arbitration involving an auto accident.
  • Defended a railroad cleaning company in a $425,000 complex personal injury case where the plaintiff claimed her hand was crushed by a railroad car.  The jury awarded only $35,000---less than a tenth of the amount requested. Subsequently, plaintiff filed a motion requesting her attorney fees of $40,000. Kristin won this motion and the plaintiff was denied all attorney fees.
  • Achieved a defense verdict in a bench trial involving a contract dispute between two businesses about an indemnity clause.
  • Successfully deposed key witnesses while defending a subcontractor in a complex construction breach of contract case, causing the plaintiff to voluntarily dismiss the entire lawsuit against all parties.
  • Successfully deposed key witnesses while defending against a personal injury case involving a workplace injury at a construction site.  Kristin elicited admissions from witnesses that caused the plaintiff to voluntarily dismiss the lawsuit against Kristin's client.
  • Won a Motion for Summary Judgment that dismissed Kristin's client from a personal injury case involving an accident allegedly caused by a recreational sand rail. This was upheld on appeal. Higgins v. Sand Dunes Frontier Co. and Sand Dune Express, Inc., et al (Case No. A140420) (affirmed without an opinion by the Oregon Court of Appeals, June 30, 2010).
  • Defended a sealant manufacturer against a product liability case involving alleged property damage to an automobile.  In a bench trial, the judge ruled in favor of Kristin's client and found that there was no proof that the sealant caused any damage.  
  • Defended an admitted fault residential property damage case where Kristin's client, a U.S. distributor, paid nothing and was still able to settle the case because Kristin persuaded the product manufacturer (a foreign company) as well as the manufacturer's affiliated U.S. company to pay the full settlement amount.  
  • Defended an admitted fault personal injury case where Kristin's client, a distributor of medical equipment, paid nothing and was still able to settle the case because Kristin persuaded the manufacturer of the equipment to pay the full settlement amount. 

Articles & Presentations

  • Guest lecturer, "Civil Trial Practice", Oregon Pleading and Practice at Lewis and Clark Law School, Portland, Oregon, 2016. 
  • Author, "A Limited Survey of Best Practices for Enforcement of Noncompete
    Agreements and Restrictive Covenants", International Association of Defense Counsel, Business Litigation Newsletter (April 2016)
  • Author, "Consent Provisions in Lease Agreements: Must the Lessor Act Reasonably?", International Association of Defense Counsel, Business Litigation Newsletter (April 2015)
  • Author, "An Overlooked Attorney Fee Statute in Oregon", Insurance Thought Leadership (January 14, 2014) 
  • Co-Presenter, "Using a Vocational Expert," Oregon Association of Defense Counsel Fall Seminar (November 2013)
  • Quoted in "Recovering Damages for Undocumented Workers," Lawyers USA (February 6, 2012)
  • Co-Presenter, "Fundamentals of Arbitration," Oregon Casualty Adjusters Association (December 2011)
  • Author, "Indemnity 101," Oregon Association of Defense Counsel Magazine (Summer 2009)
  • Presenter, "Practicing Commercial Litigation," Gonzaga University (2006)
  • Co-Presenter, "Medical Records: What a Legal Assistant Needs to Know," National Association of Legal Secretaries (2004)
  • Author, "Comprehensive Justice for Victims of Pornography-Driven Sex Crimes: Holding Pornographers Liable While Avoiding Constitutional Violation," 80 Or L Rev 1067 (2001)


  • University of Oregon School of Law, J.D., Associate Editor and Contributor, Oregon Law Review
  • Gonzaga University, B.A., cum laude, Quarterfinalist, National Debate Tournament

Bar / Court Admissions

  • Oregon
  • U.S. District Court, District of Oregon
  • Washington



Kristin L. Olson
Expertise 2018 Badge  
  • Oregon Super Lawyers, Rising Star (2009-2013). No more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in Oregon are selected for this honor.
  • Named as one of 25 "Up and Coming Lawyers" in the Daily Journal of Commerce -- Oregon (2010).
  • Named as one of the best litigation attorneys in Portland by Expertise, which selects just 20 litigation firms each year and evaluates attorneys based on reputation, credibility, experience, responsiveness to clients, and professionalism.  (2016-present.)

Civic AND PROFESSIONAL Involvement

  • Founder and Chair, Bonnie Olson Memorial Scholarship Fund, providing college and trade school scholarships to high school students in Auburn, Washington, who demonstrate a commitment to education or to assisting people with disabilities, 2002-present.
  • Board of Directors, Federal Bar Association (FBA), Oregon Chapter, 2006-2012, 2013-present. The FBA Oregon chapter represents the federal legal profession in Oregon and is made up of federal practitioners and judges working together to promote the quality and independence of the federal judiciary and facilitate the sound administration of justice. 
  • Sunday School teacher, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, 2014-present.
  • Treasurer, Committee to Re-Elect Judge Darleen Ortega to the Oregon Court of Appeals, 2010, 2016. 
  • Oregon State Chair, Membership Committee, International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC), 2014-2016. IADC is an invitation-only organization for peer-reviewed civil defense attorneys who have been in good standing with the Bar for at least eight years and who have high professional credentials.
  • Fundraiser, Margaret Hallock Program for Women’s Rights at the University of Oregon. Each year the Program will host a public lecture, film screening, play or exhibit, or contribute to scholarly research that promotes discussion of critical issues that affect women or women’s rights around the world, Fall 2015.
  • Co-Planner, "Black Lives Matter: Race and Justice Across America" lecture by Charles Ogletree, Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics, Fall 2015.
  • Room Mother, Opal School at the Portland Children's Museum, Fall 2014-Summer 2015.
  • Co-Planner, Oregon Law Institute's Continuing Legal Education Program, 2010-2013.
  • Hiring Committee, Bullivant Houser Bailey PC, 2008-2012. 
  • Chair, Young Lawyers Committee, Federal Bar Association, Oregon Chapter, 2006-2009. 
  • Board of Directors, Girls Inc. of the Pacific Northwest, 2008-2009.
  • Founding Member, Oregon Women Lawyers Transformation Committee, dedicated to advancing women and minorities in the legal profession, 2006-2009.
  • National Association of Women Judges' Friends Committee for NAWJ’s 30th Annual Conference, 2008. 

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