Skip to main content

John M. Stellwagen

John M. Stellwagen

About John

John’s practice focuses on labor contract administration, employee relations, bargaining, discipline and discharge, representation before state and federal agencies, labor arbitrations, preventive law/risk management, education, and municipal law. John also has extensive experience in employment and general litigation and trial work, successfully representing employers in wrongful discharge, harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and wage and hour matters.

John has spent most of the past 20 years representing and providing legal guidance to public sector clients throughout Oregon and Washington, including higher education institutions, K-12 school districts, municipalities, public utility, special districts, healthcare providers, and tribal entities. This experience includes serving in both in-house and outside legal counsel roles which have provided John with insight into the complexities of governmental entities and the unique pressures and regulatory frameworks they must navigate. John is passionate about applying this experience and insight to help employers resolve complex employment and labor disputes, as well as provide practical and creative solutions to mitigate risk and avoid such conflicts.

Prior to joining Miller Nash, John worked at an employment, labor and employee benefits firm in the Pacific Northwest. Before that, John worked at Portland Public Schools as Senior Legal Counsel, focusing on employment and labor matters. Earlier in his career, John served as a Washington State Assistant Attorney General with the University of Washington Division. He supported the University of Washington and UW Medical Center on employment and labor matters. John also worked with the Oregon School Boards Association. He spent nine years in private practice in Seattle, Washington, primarily representing municipalities and school districts, and four and a half years with the Snohomish County Public Defender’s Office.



  • J.D., University of Washington School of Law, 1997
  • B.A., Gonzaga University, 1994

Bar Admissions

  • Washington, 1997
  • Oregon, 2007

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington, 2004
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Washington, 2005
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 2006


Professional Plus
  • Washington Bar Association, Member
  • Oregon Bar Association, Member

    Insights from John

    • “Employee Disability Accommodations,” Oregon School Boards Association, PACE Day 2024 (Apr. 2024)
    • “Current Trends in Public Labor Law: Special Considerations for Schools,” Coalition of Oregon School Administrators (COSA), Annual School Law Conference (Dec. 2023)
    • Bargaining Strategies, Tips, and Skills,” Oregon Public Employer Labor Relations Association (ORPELRA), Annual Training Conference, panelist (Nov. 2023)

    Outside the Office

    Outside of the office, John enjoys cycling, tennis, soccer, and traveling with family and friends. John is also a reluctant runner in an ongoing effort to maintain fitness for the activities he actually enjoys.

      Edit John M. Stellwagen