Brian D. Chenoweth
- Managing Partner
Brian formed CLG in 2006, after an 8-year, successful run as the co-founder and managing partner of Rycewicz and Chenoweth, LLP. Brian represents clients in all aspects of commercial litigation in state and federal courts. With over 25 years of experience in law, Brian is recognized for his litigation work with plaintiffs and defendants alike throughout Oregon and Washington.
Business: Brian has handled many business disputes in his career, including shareholder disputes, partnership disputes, trade secret litigation, unfair competition, financial fraud, contract disputes, and UCC cases. Having seen how poorly drafted agreements lead to litigation, Brian also enjoys counseling businesses on their business transactions and improving their contracts.
Real Estate: Brian provides deep experience in real estate disputes, including breach of contract, failure to disclose material defects, boundary and easement disputes, and partition actions.
Employment: Brian regularly counsels clients on employment matters and litigates those cases that cannot be resolved informally. Brian represents both employers and employees, including executives in their employment claims. Representing both sides of an area of law allows a lawyer to understand the strategy and thinking of opposing counsel.
Environmental: Brian’s environmental clients include property owners and businesses facing regulatory compliance and cleanup costs for all types of contamination. In addition, Brian represents clients in matters regarding environmental consultant and contractor negligence, water quality, wetlands, landslides, and bodily injury and property damage related to chemicals, lead, asbestos and mold.
Insurance: Brian has successfully handled numerous insurance disputes and has represented insurance companies and policy holders. Today he only represents policy holders in insurance coverage disputes for property damage and injury. Brian’s expertise is in forcing insurance companies to pay to defend their insureds when they are sued and to pay the cost of settlements or judgments. His work includes general liability policies, errors and omissions/professional negligence policies, directors and officers policies, and first-party property and casualty insurance.
Construction: Brian represents contractors, subcontractors, and owners in all types of construction disputes, including construction defect, construction injury, breach of contract, construction liens, and surety/bond disputes.
Representative clients: Brian enjoys working with a diverse group of clients, large and small, in-state and out-of-state, established companies and start ups. His clients include manufacturers, retailers, food and wine producers, cannabis related business, restaurants, banks and lenders, developers, outdoor advertising companies, construction companies, municipal housing authorities, personal representatives and trustees, trucking companies, environmental consultants and clean-up contractors, testing laboratories, private universities, and individuals, to name a few.
Philosophy: Since founding CLG, Brian’s passion has been a mission of never ending improvement on how CLG delivers legal services and creates value for its clients. As Brian explains,
“Not having started my career in a large law firm, I look at things differently than most lawyers who did. I am always asking myself whether there is a better, more efficient, way to do something. I instill in our lawyers the values of creative thinking, strategy, and innovation in all that we do. To be successful, you need to be a least three steps ahead of the lawyer on the other side. I am also a champion of plain speak and direct communication, and I actively discourage the use of unnecessary legalese. Lawyers need to communicate with their clients in a way that allows them to understand what is happening in their legal matter without having to consult a law dictionary multiple times.”
Licensed to practice law in Oregon and Washington, Brian received his law degree (cum laude) from the American University, Washington College of Law in 1994, and a Bachelors of Arts in political science from the University of Oregon in 1989.
Brian has given lectures to industry professionals, governmental agency staff and other lawyers on environmental, insurance, real estate and land use law.
Away from the office, Brian enjoys seeing and playing music, boating on “Sunshine Daydream”, traveling, and spending time with friends and family. He is currently working on one of his bucket list items — to become a competent tennis player.
Areas of Practice
- Environmental Law
- Real Estate
- Land Use
- Business Litigation
- Personal Injury/Toxic Torts
- Construction Litigation
- Wills, Trusts, and Estates Litigation
- Oregon, 1994
- Washington, 1996
- U.S. District Court District of Oregon
- U.S. District Court Western District of Washington
- U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
- U.S. Supreme Court, 2009
- American University, Washington College of Law, Washington, District of Columbia
- J.D. - 1994
- Honors: cum laude
- University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon
- B.A. - 1989
- Major: Political Science
- Insurance Coverage in Environmental Law Deskbook, Oregon State Bar, 2002
- Environmental Issues affecting Land Use in Major Land Use Laws in Oregon, Oregon Law Institute, 2002
- Recent Case Finds the "Absolute Pollution Exclusion" Not So Absolute When Gasoline Involved, Oregon Petroleum Marketers Association, May, 1998
- Not Just for "Environmental Lawyers," In Brief, Professional Liability Fund, January, 1998
- "Litigating Lost Policies, Insurance Coverage for Environmental Cleanup Costs", Environmental Law Education Foundation, December, 1997
- Case Note: Martin v. State Farm, Environmental and Land Use Section Newsletter, Oregon State Bar, May, 1997
- "Liability and Insurance Coverage for Heating Oil Tank Releases," Environmental and Land Use Section CLE, Oregon State Bar, May, 1997
- Mastering Land Use & Planning Processes, 2007
- Ethical Considerations in Insurance Practice, National Business Institute, 2005
- What to Do When Construction Projects Go Bad, Lorman Education Services, 2005
- Bad Faith Litigation in Oregon, National Business Institute, 2004
- Litigating Lost Policies, Environmental Issues in Real Estate Transaction, Oregon State Bar, 2002
- Environmental Issues affecting Land Use, Major Land Use Laws in Oregon, Oregon Law Institute, 2002
- Insurance Coverage for Environmental Cleanup Costs, Lane County Bar Association, 1998
- Litigating Lost Policies, Insurance Coverage for Environmental Cleanup Costs, Environmental Law Education Foundation
- Liability and Insurance Coverage for Heating Oil Tank Releases, Oregon State Bar, Environmental and Land Use Section, 1997
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Oregon State Bar, Environmental and Natural Resources Section
- Owen M. Panner Inn of Court, Barrister, 1997 to 2010
Past Employment Positions
- Rycewicz & Chenoweth, LLP, Partner, 1997 to 2006
- Detlefsen Law Office, P.C., Attorney, 1995 to 1997