A lawsuit is not a cost of ‎doing business. It’s often ‎very personal and ‎confusing, and always time ‎consuming. I will be in the ‎trenches with you and we’ll ‎work through it together.

How I represent clients at Schwabe

My name is pronounced “owk-yen” and I am an experienced litigator and trial lawyer with more than 20 years of experience in arbitration and administrative, state, federal, and appellate courts. Known for my success rate in winning “unwinnable” cases, I am a strategic thinker and problem solver. Equally comfortable representing plaintiffs or defendants on the right side of an argument, I work with my clients to attain the best results in difficult situations.

My experience spans a variety of matters, from product liability to transportation litigation, including railroad cases. I focus on trial work and spend significant time in the courtroom. I am adept at handling complex commercial litigation and creating strategies for multiple lawsuit litigation for regional and national clients. A seasoned trial lawyer, I have tried multiple bench and jury trials to verdict, in addition to numerous arbitrations. I have also argued in front of numerous Circuit Courts across Oregon and Washington.

Pro bono work is important to me, and I am dedicated to advancing legal social justice. I regularly represent clients from local legal clinics as well as act as pro bono trial counsel for matters in Oregon and Louisiana on behalf of organizations such as the Mwalimu Center for Justice in New Orleans, which represents clients in post-conviction matters, including death penalty cases.

Experience

Trial Work

  • Tried multiple bench and jury trials to verdict.

Energy

  • Successfully represented solar company through confidential arbitration.
  • Advised energy companies, including solar companies, on national and local litigation strategy.

Transportation, Ports & Maritime

  • Handled over 25 rail-related cases, including grade crossing accidents, wrongful death, and contract disputes.
  • Successfully represented a port client in high stakes dispute with a former rail operator. Led client through confidential arbitration, lawsuit, and settlement.
  • Successfully resolved multiple catastrophic injury suits claiming multimillions of dollars against different maritime clients.
  • Successfully resolved personal injury claim for a railcar owner.

Product Liability

  • Obtained dismissal of a $25 million personal injury and product liability lawsuit against a small, family-owned business.
  • Obtained multiple dismissals and settlements in high-stakes personal injury and product liability lawsuits.
  • Worked as lead and local counsel at trial in multiple personal injury and product liability lawsuits.
  • Published Opinions
  • Dine Citizens Bureau of Indian Affairs (Ninth Circuit, July 29, 2019) (cert. denied); affirming district court dismissal of a case pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 19 and based on tribal sovereign immunity (argued).
  • Figueroa BNSF, 351 Or 142 (2017); ordering circuit court to dismiss case against BNSF Railway Company based on lack of general personal jurisdiction.
  • SAIF Hoffman, 193 Or App 750 (2004); upholding insurer responsibility for a hearing loss claim in a workers’ compensation case.

Education

  • University of New Mexico School of Law, Juris Doctor, 2002
  • University of New Mexico, Masters in Latin American Studies, 2003
  • Whitman College, Bachelor of Arts Degree in History, Minor in Spanish, 1998

Admissions

  • Oregon State Courts
  • Washington State Courts
  • Wyoming State Courts
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court - District of Oregon
  • U.S. District Court - Eastern District of Washington
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Memberships

  • Oregon State Bar, Member, Business Litigation Executive Committee (2021-present)
  • National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel
  • National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel (NARTC), Member, Environmental Committee (2012-present)
  • Multnomah Bar Association, Member (2003-present)

Awards

  • Oregon Rising Stars List (2011-2012, 2014-2016)
  • Whitman College, Myron Eells Prize for History (1998)

Additional Events

Speaker, Know When to Hold Them, Know When to Fold Them—Making Trial Objections
Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, December 21, 2022

Speaker, YLS CLE Seminar: Depositions
Multnomah Bar Association, February 11, 2021

Speaker, COVID-19, Returning to Work
Technology Association of Oregon, October 2020

Moderator, Schwabe Maritime Safety Summit
Portland, Oregon, May 2017

Speaker, Joint Liability, National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel
Phoenix, Arizona, March 2017

Speaker, Apartments vs. Condos
AIA Portland, Portland, Oregon, November 2016

Speaker, Construction Contracts
Halfmoon Education, Portland, Oregon, October 2016

Speaker, Damages, National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel
Sun Valley, Idaho, February 2016

Speaker, “Marijuana Legalization, Drug Testing and Maritime Employer Liability,”
Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, Portland, Oregon, January 2016

Speaker, “Discovery—Beyond the Basics”
Oregon Paralegal Association Annual Meeting, Seaside, Oregon, October 2014

Community Activities

  • Friends of the Children Scholarship Committee (2011-2018)
  • Portland State University, Advisory Board to the School of Urban & Public Affairs (2008-2011)

Pro bono work

  • Aukjen regularly volunteers to represent clients in Schwabe’s East Multnomah County Legal Clinic, successfully resolving matters for low-income clients.
  • Aukjen also acts as pro bono trial counsel in other matters both within Oregon and nationally, including in partnership with the Mwalimu Center for Justice in New Orleans.

Outside Interests

Soccer—coaching my sons, loudly supporting my beloved Portland Timbers or ‎traveling to watch world-class soccer with my family.‎

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