John Dunbar brings ingenuity, skill and a composed approach to high-stakes litigation. In 2009, John was hand-chosen by the Oregon Attorney General to lead the Oregon Department of Justice’s Special Litigation Unit, which he headed for five years. Serving under two different Oregon Attorneys General, John Kroger and Ellen Rosenblum, John led a trial team that focused on highly specialized cases, including high-profile constitutional challenges, tort claims, election cases, complex regulatory cases and environmental litigation. Prior to joining the Oregon Department of Justice, John was a partner at the Portland law firm Ball Janik LLP, where he handled innumerable commercial, fraud and environmental cases for almost 20 years. John also practiced at the firm Markowitz Herbold PC, and he served for two years as a judicial law clerk for Chief United States District Court Judge Owen M. Panner.
John has won trial verdicts in cases ranging from murder to antitrust. Some of his prominent cases include representing the State of Oregon in negotiations with the U.S. Department of Justice over improvements to Oregon’s mental health system, defeating a challenge by tobacco companies to restrictions on smokeless tobacco marketing, and defeating a challenge to Measures 66 and 67, which brought critical revenue to the State during the great recession.
John Dunbar is a pragmatic and highly experienced trial lawyer who represents individuals, public and private corporations, and governmental entities. His deep exposure to a wide variety of legal conflicts equips him for all facets of his complex litigation practice. John’s diverse background includes, for example, in-depth forays into healthcare issues, environmental disputes, intellectual property, consumer disputes, and regulatory litigation. He also has represented corporate clients and the State in conducting or defending various investigations, including representing the State in investigations by the United States Department of Justice.
Admitted to practice:
Oregon; Washington; Illinois; U.S. District Court, Oregon, Western District of Washington and Northern District of Illinois; U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh and Ninth Circuits; U.S. Tax Court. John has been specially admitted to handle cases in state and federal courts in California and Idaho.
John received an A.B. in Government with high honors from the University of Notre Dame. He graduated from the University of Washington Law School with honors, and was a member of the Washington Law Review editorial board
Oregon Super Lawyer (2016 and several earlier years); Listed in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Lawyers” for Commercial Litigation (2015-present); “AV Preeminent” Martindale-Hubbell ranking
Oregon State Bars, Washington Bar Association; Board of Directors, Executive Committee, Owen M. Panner Inn of Court, 2002 – present; President, 2010 – 2012; Local Rules Advisory Committee, U.S. District Court, 2010 – present; Judicial Screening Committee, Multnomah Bar Association, 2014; Executive Committee, U.S. District Court Historical Society, 2002 – 2006; President, 2005; Professional Responsibility Committee, Multnomah County, 1998 – 2001; Co-Chair, Joint Committee of CPAs, Attorneys, Oregon State Bar, 1999
St. Andrew Legal Clinic Board of Directors (1999-present; President, 2002); Jesuit Volunteer Corps NW/Alaska Board of Directors (1995 – 2000; President, 1998-1999); Hollywood Soccer Club coach (1994-2003)