One of Oregon’s oldest law firms, Lindsay Hart, LLP traces its origin to its founding partner Gunther F. Krause (1895-1967).
Beginning in the early 1920’s, Gunther was associated with the firm of Wood, Montague and Matthiessen, where he acquired skill in that firm’s admiralty practice and argued several cases before the Oregon Supreme Court. Gunther left the Wood firm in 1932 and was a solo practitioner, specializing in plaintiffs’ personal injury and workers’ compensation cases. In 1937, Gunther and one of his associates, Walter H. Evans, Jr., formed the partnership of Krause and Evans, which would later become Lindsay Hart, LLP.
The firm hired Dennis Lindsay in 1950. He had practiced on Wall Street in New York and in Washington, D.C. with the Department of the Interior after graduating from the University of Michigan Law School in 1941.
Dennis moved to Oregon in 1948, where he became a Deputy District Attorney of Multnomah County. He was appointed by the governor to the Port of Portland Commission in 1957, serving as its Chair for the next ten years, resulting in his nickname “Commish.” During that period, Dennis was instrumental in the rapid expansion of the Portland airport. He also served on the Portland Development Commission and as Special Counsel to the U. S. Department of Transportation under Secretary Neil Goldschmidt. Dennis took the lead over the years in expanding the firm’s practice in defending maritime employers and insurers on longshoreman and seaman personal injury claims and representing stevedoring and grain terminal employers and various trade associations. Dennis became a partner in the firm in 1952, changing the firm name to Krause, Evans and Lindsay.
Jerry Weigler came to the firm in 1960 as an associate after clerking for U.S. District Court Judge Gus J. Solomon following his graduation from Yale Law School.
Jerry became a partner in 1965. Jerry took the leading role in expanding the firm’s maritime casualty litigation and marine insurance practice. In April of 1972, the firm relocated to the Ladd Carriage House, a Victorian wooden building that now sits at the intersection of at SW Broadway and Columbia. During its eight years there (1972-1980), the firm grew to 33 lawyers, while expanding its practice specialties to electric power law and other areas of business law. The firm’s attorneys included Frederic Merrill, who later became Dean of the University of Oregon Law School and the first Executive Director of the Council on Court Procedures, Robert B. Duncan, who left the firm in 1974 upon his election to Congress, and Leon Gabinet, who withdrew from the firm to become a professor and associate dean at Case Western Reserve Law School in Cleveland. Jerry became of-counsel to the firm in 2004 and retired in 2011.
In 1968, Allan Hart joined the firm, bringing with him his associate Bob Conklin and his retired partner Al Veazie, and Carmie R. Dafoe also became a partner in the firm.
The firm’s new name of Lindsay, Nahstoll, Hart, Dafoe and Krause was announced on April 22, 1968. Carmie expanded the firm’s practice in forest products law and contributed his skills in business law and estate planning practice. Allan had a very distinguished career in private practice and community service. In 1949, he and Verne Dusenbery persuaded the Oregon Supreme Court in Namba v. McCourt, 185 Or 579 (1979), to invalidate Oregon statutes prohibiting aliens (notably Japanese immigrants) from owning land. Notwithstanding a busy law practice, Allan found time to take leadership roles in many community activities, perhaps most importantly in education. He served as a member of the West Sylvan School District Board, was appointed by Gov. Robert Holmes to the State Board of Higher Education and served on it from 1957 until 1964. He was also a co-founder of the ACLU’s Oregon chapter, and served as President of the City Club of Portland in 1966-1967. Allan Hart retired as a partner and became “of counsel” as of December 31, 1984, and passed away in February, 2002.
Carol Hewitt was hired by the firm in 1970, after clerking for U.S. District Court Judge Gus J. Solomon following her graduation from Willamette Law School.
Carol was the first woman attorney to be employed on a partnership track by what many regarded as an “establishment” law firm in Portland. She became a partner in the firm in 1974 and developed a national practice in product liability defense and corporate litigation. She was the first woman in Oregon invited to join the American College of Trial Lawyers. Carol would lead a team from Lindsay Hart that included Steve Blackhurst, Rick Haselton (who would later serve as Chief Judge of the Oregon Court of Appeals), and Janice Wilson (who later became a respected judge of the Multnomah County Circuit Court) that tried dozens of cases in state and federal court for drug manufacturer A.H. Robins Co. involving the Dalkon Shield intrauterine contraceptive device. But where Carol truly made her mark was through her work on several important sex discrimination cases, including County of Washington v. Gunther, 452 US 161 (1981), where her arguments led to a 5-4 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in her favor. In 1981, Governor Vic Atiyeh appointed Carol to the Oregon Investment Council, and served as the Chair beginning in 1987 until her resignation in 1990.
In 1985, the firm relocated to the newly built KOIN Center.
By 1990, the firm had grown to 101 lawyers, with offices in Portland, Seattle, Boise, San Francisco, Tokyo and Washington, D.C. The rapid growth of the firm led to a split, with partners Dennis Lindsay, Carl Neil, Jerry Weigler, Jim Bean, Bob Palmer, Glen McClendon, Thomas McDermott, Bill Tomlinson, James Dumas, Rick Haselton, and David Douthwaite forming a new firm while retaining the firm name Lindsay, Hart, Neil & Weigler.
In August of 1994, the firm moved to its present location in the Wells Fargo building.
On January 1, 2013, the firm renamed itself Lindsay Hart, LLP. In June 2014, the firm merged with Wood Tatum, which was first established in 1870 under the name Durham & Ball and developed a historic maritime practice over the course of its 144-year history. To this day, Lindsay Hart continues to grow and expand its practice through a steadfast commitment to client advocacy, and excellence and professionalism in the legal profession. The partners of the firm at the present time are Glen McClendon, Bob Palmer, Thomas McDermott, Jay Beattie, Nikki Jones, James McCurdy, Tyson Calvert, Michael Estok, Connie McKelvey, Jeff Young, Katie Eichner, Kelly Giampa, Christa Torralba, and Melissa Bushnick.
While we are proud of our past, our focus is on the future and forging strong relationships built on trust, skill, and client advocacy. Our attorneys strive to develop creative legal strategies to advance the interests of our clients. Lindsay Hart was founded on the philosophy of providing our clients excellent service while upholding the highest standards of the legal profession. More than 85 years later, strong relationships with our clients remain the cornerstone of our practice.
© 2022 Lindsay • Hart, LLP