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Contact David

3400 U.S. Bancorp Tower
111 S.W. Fifth Avenue
Portland, OR 97204
T: 503.205.2360

David O. Bechtold


David is an associate on the firm’s environmental and natural resources practice team. His practice involves a wide range of issues, from complex cost-recovery actions to facility permitting to science-driven environmental litigation. His primary focus is on representing corporate clients in environmental cases, hazardous waste cleanup actions, permit appeals, and the insurance-recovery process. David is also an experienced litigator outside the environmental context, having worked on a wide range of cases including shareholder disputes, insurance-coverage matters, and one of the largest civil-rights class actions ever successfully brought in Oregon.

Representative Experience

David’s broad knowledge of environmental regulation, combined with his proven ability to litigate, uniquely situates him to assist clients facing environmental litigation. Experience in this area includes:
  • Successful dismissal of all claims against a client accused of exposing a past employee to asbestos.
  • Ongoing representation of a forest products company accused of contributing to a destructive landslide.
  • Successful and ongoing representation of clients for alleged violations of discharge permits.
  • Ongoing representation of potentially responsible parties in CERCLA actions.
  • Successful resolution of claims asserted against a mining company for alleged failures to pay reserved royalties.
  • Ongoing representation of coalition of local, state, and national organizations as intervenors in federal lawsuit threatening the future existence of historic structures located in Olympic National Park.
David represents numerous clients seeking to recover insurance proceeds. While David has experience pursuing claims for a wide array of losses, a large percentage of his practice is devoted to obtaining coverage for historical, environmental liabilities. Experience in this area includes: 
  • Second-chaired one of the largest lost-policy trials in Oregon history, resulting in a complete win that requires multiple insurers to provide Miller Nash's clients a complete 100% defense against major CERCLA claims under numerous policies issued between 1954 and 1982.
  • Researched, briefed, and argued summary judgment motions on behalf of the policyholders in a nationally-followed environmental insurance case against more than a dozen insurance companies.
  • Successful representation of a medical service provider in litigation against an insurer that refused to pay for a child patient’s critical-care services.
  • Ongoing representation of numerous clients, including small family businesses and major international corporations, seeking defense and indemnity coverage for environmental liabilities at sites in Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and California. 
  • Ongoing representation of agricultural products company seeking full recovery for catastrophic fire loss.
  • Representation of maritime related clients seeking insurance proceeds to cover historic pollution related to shipyard and docking operations in Oregon, Washington, and Alaska.
David regularly represents clients facing liability for owning or operating contaminated real property. This includes working with the EPA, state regulators, Tribes, consultants, and other responsible parties to identify risks and develop cost-effective solutions. David is active at some of the nation’s most complex Superfund sites, as well as many smaller state cleanups.
David assists clients in complying with various environmental statutes, including the Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, Clean Air Act, National Environmental Policy Act, and various state equivalents. His clients have included municipalities, major industrial corporations, food processors, ports, drainage districts, and small family businesses.

David regularly litigates cases outside the environmental context. His experience includes:

  • Acting as MNG&D’s lead associate in the firm’s successful representation of Oregonians with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the country’s first class action that sought to enforce the ADA’s integration mandate to state sponsored employment programs.
  • Second-chairing a successful mediation of a client’s claims for breach of fiduciary duty against two former officers and directors.
  • Assisting in the representation of a general contractor in an equitable allocation proceeding.
  • Assisting in the representation of a shareholder in a dispute regarding the management of a private corporation.