Tom Payne


Tom Payne works with clients on an array of employment and labor issues, including litigation, compliance, and advice. Tom has the comprehensive skill set necessary to efficiently and vigorously defend employers’ interests in administrative proceedings and in court. Enmeshed in employment issues throughout a wide range of industries, Tom provides employment advice, handles human resources issues, manages Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) complaints, and drafts non-compete and trade secret agreements. Tom also provides proactive, strategic counsel to help employers avoid litigation from the outset.

Prior to joining Schwabe, Tom was a law clerk for Magistrate Judge John V. Acosta in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon. Tom’s clerkship experience helps him advocate strategically and effectively for his clients. In addition to advising and representing employers, Tom represents businesses and individuals in general litigation matters and appeals.

Tom was an Executive Editor of the Lewis & Clark Law Review and a member of the Jessup International Law moot court team during law school. Before attending law school, Tom was an elementary special-education teacher in Arizona.



  • Represents and advises healthcare employers, including health systems, group practices, and individual practitioners in employment disputes from pre-filing resolutions to trial and appeal.

  • Represents several employers in BOLI discrimination and wage-and-hour investigations.

  • Drafts employment policies and handbooks for large and small employers in multiple industries.
  • Advises employers on compliance with state and federal employment and wage-and-hour laws.

Memberships & Awards


  • Federal Bar Association, Oregon Chapter, Board of Directors (2018-present)
  • Oregon Women Lawyers, Working Parents Committee
  • Multnomah Bar Association, Young Lawyers Section, Membership Committee Member (2017-2019)


  • Lewis & Clark Law School, 1L Mentor of the Year (2018)
  • Lewis & Clark Law School, Cornelius Honor Society (2016)

Resources & Ideas

Seminars & Speaking Engagements

Community Activities

Community Activities

  • Integrative Trauma Treatment International, Board Treasurer (2019-present)
  • Lewis & Clark Law School, Mentor (2017-present)
  • Multnomah Bar Association Imprint Program, Mentor (2016)
  • Wilson High School Constitution Team, Coach (2015-2016)




Oregon State Courts

U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon

Washington State Courts

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Outside The Office