William Earle

shareholder | portland | LICENSED IN Oregon & Washington

“In my experience, thorough analysis and clear communication always lead to the best results.”

More than 30 years of thoughtful defense

A co-founder of Davis Rothwell, Bill Earle pioneered the recruitment of today’s most successful attorneys at the firm. He values intelligence, good humor, and a collaborative approach when it comes to developing the firm’s internal culture.

With more than three decades of experience, Bill contends with some of the most challenging cases at Davis Rothwell. His clients appreciate his ability to provide thorough, objective analysis, translate difficult legal concepts in an understandable way, and deliver the best possible case result.

When not at the firm, Bill enjoys hiking, spending time with his family, and long-distance bicycling, such as Cycle Oregon.

RECOGNITION:

Education

  • Lewis & Clark Law School – J.D., 1983
  • University of California at Riverside – M.A. Philosophy, 1980
  • University of California at Riverside – A.B., with honors, 1978

Bar / Court Admissions

  • Oregon State Bar, 1983
  • United States District Court, District of Oregon, 1985
  • Washington State Bar, 1995
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of Washington, 1995
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 1995
  • United States District Court, Western District of Washington, 2008
  • Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Tribal Court, 2010

Professional & Civic Involvement

  • Oregon Association of Defense Counsel, Director 2002-2005
  • Oregon Association of Defense Counsel Amicus Committee, 2002-2003
  • Oregon State Bar Professional Liability Fund 2005 Plan Committee, 2004-present
  • Oregon State Bar Pleading and Practice Committee, 2005-present

Articles / Case Notes

  • Bill is a frequent lecturer on insurance defense matters, most often on insurance coverage, bad faith, and the nature of the tripartite relationship

Organizational Memberships

  • Oregon Association of Defense Counsel
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Claims & Litigation Management Alliance
  • Emerging and Environmental Claims Managers Association

Representative Cases

  • Defense of long tail claims, including inhalation of toxic fumes; soil and water contamination by TCE, perchloroethylene, paints, lacquers, thinners, petroleum products, heavy metals, creosote, PCBs, dioxin, municipal waste; penalties and sanctions; and NRD claims.
  • Defense of claims involving products including fruit spray, fertilizer, carpet cleaner, automotive solvent, paints and paint thinners, vehicle lifts, recreation equipment, plumbing valves, and fuel gel.
  • Defense of attorneys, architects, mechanical engineers, software engineers, real estate appraisers, and HVAC professionals.

Notable Trial & Appellate Victories

  • Summary Judgment in Warm Springs Tribal Court – Employment (Jones v. The Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon, Warm Springs Tribal Court No. CV21-15)
  • Capitol Specialty Insurance Corporation v. Chan & Lui, Inc., 248 Or App 674, 274 P3d 238 (2012) (umbrella coverage)
  • Walla Walla College v. Ohio Cas. Co., 149 Wash App 726 (2009) (leaking oil tank)
  • Oregon State Bar Professional Liability Fund v. Benfit, 225 Or App 409, 201 P3d 936 (2009) (professional liability)
  • Marleau v. Truck Insurance Exch., 333 Or 82, 37 P3d 148 (2001) (duty to defend)
  • Minnis v. Oregon Mut. Ins. Co., 330 Or 120, 6 P3d 1097 (2000) (duty to defend)
  • Reesman v. Highfill, 327 Or 597, 965 P2d 1030 (1988) (defamation/invasion of privacy)
  • Washington Co. Unified Sewerage Agency v. First State Ins. Co., 81 F3d 171 (9th Cir 1996) (waste treatment)
  • Mutual of Enumclaw Ins. Co. v. Hemsoth, 134 Or App 611, 896 P2d 607 (1995) (PIP)
  • Harper v. Sizemore-Burke, P.C., 115 Or App 502, 838 P2d 1106 (1992) (professional liability)
  • Collins v. Farmers Ins. Co., 312 Or 337, 822 P2d 1146 (1991) (financial responsibility law)
  • Fuhrer v. Gearhart By-The-Sea, Inc., 306 Or 434, 760 P2d 874 (1988) (premise liability)
  • Bauder v. Farmers Ins. Co., 301 Or 715, 725 P2d 350 (1986) (PIP/UIM)
  • Balderree v. Oregon State Bar, 301 Or 155, 719 P2d 1300 (1986) (professional liability)
  • Trout v. Umatilla Co. School District, 77 Or App 95, 712 P2d 814 (1985) (invasion of privacy, outrageous conduct)