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Contact Mike

3400 U.S. Bancorp Tower
111 S.W. Fifth Avenue
Portland, OR 97204
T: 503.205.2330

Michael Porter


Michael Porter is a partner in the employment law and labor relations and education law practice teams.

Since 2000, Mike has worked with public and private employers in all areas of labor and employment law, providing strategic advice and counsel to reduce the risk of employment claims and representing employers in court and in front of administrative bodies. Mike has been recognized by Best Lawyers as Lawyer of the Year in 2018 for Employment Law-Management, and by Oregon Super Lawyers as one of Oregon’s Top 50 lawyers.

Mike's work includes defense of wage-and-hour class actions; trials centering on employment discrimination, retaliation, and whistleblower claims; and litigation of constitutional claims asserted against public entities such as those involving the First Amendment, including speech and religious-freedom cases, and procedural and substantive due process and other constitutional claims. Mike represents employers dealing with traditional labor issues, ranging from negotiating with unions, arbitrating grievances, and representing employers in matters involving the National Labor Relations Act and the Oregon Public Employee Collective Bargaining Act.

Mike’s practice also focuses on serving public school districts, private schools, and higher education institutions on issues involving employment, including tenure issues, student rights and discipline, education programs, and federal and state regulatory compliance. Through this work, Mike has tried lawsuits and has addressed issues through the Office for Civil Rights ("OCR") and other regulatory bodies, including extensive negotiations with OCR and the United States Department of Justice to obtain favorable resolution terms for institutions. This education-related work has encompassed litigation and advice and counsel under Title IX of the Education Amendments, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans With Disabilities Act, the Fair Housing Act, and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, as well as constitutional issues such as public-forum restrictions and equal protection restrictions on consideration of race or other protected status in educational programs. Mike's practice encompasses litigation and providing practical strategies concerning a range of issues concerning civil and contractual rights of faculty, employees, students, and community members.

Mike regularly undertakes speaking engagements and provides training to clients and to industry groups. Mike's presentations include employment- and education-related topics for the National Association of College and University Attorneys, the National School Boards Association Council of School Attorneys, the Oregon Chapter of the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources, the Oregon School Boards Association, and the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators.

Representative Experience

Obtained jury verdict in favor of institution of higher education in Multnomah County Court lawsuit asserting claims potentially infringing on institution’s discretion in academic matters.
Obtained dismissal of federal lawsuit of and judgment in favor of university and head football coach in case asserting Title IX deliberate indifference claims against institution and due process and equal protection claims against coach.
Obtained summary judgment ruling dismissing case by university instructor in which court determined that in-class speech was not protected under the Constitution because it was not speech made as an employee on a matter of public concern.
Obtained jury verdict in favor of employer in lawsuit asserting disability discrimination, workers’ compensation discrimination, and violation of whistleblower statute.

Obtained summary judgment in favor of school district and administrators in student-athlete's claims of Constitutional procedural and substantive due process brought under Section 1983.