Bill Ohle


Understanding the client’s goals is the first step to a successful outcome.

How I represent clients at Schwabe

With more than 30 years of experience, I have represented clients in construction ‎defect and housing ‎accessibility claims, with an emphasis on claims involving ‎design defects by architects and engineers. I’ve ‎defended design professionals ‎against professional malpractice claims and drafted professional service ‎‎contracts to minimize the risk of construction disputes and meet the needs of ‎specific design disciplines and ‎projects. In addition, I’ve litigated nearly two dozen ‎Fair Housing Act and Americans with Disabilities Act claims ‎in federal and state ‎courts and agencies.‎

With a strong industry background representing public utilities and industries in ‎state and ‎federal regulatory matters, I represent both private and public clients ‎before the Bonneville ‎Power Administration, the Federal Energy Regulatory ‎Commission, and the Oregon Public ‎Utilities Commission. ‎I also assist with ‎transactions between private interests and investor-owned and publicly owned ‎‎utilities, including negotiating power purchase agreements involving renewable ‎energy resources ‎and conventional energy resources. ‎

My professional clients rely on me to advocate for them when their livelihood is ‎on the line. I’ve ‎represented numerous clients before regulatory boards—‎including the Oregon Board of Architect ‎Examiners, Oregon Board of Examiners ‎for Engineering, and the Oregon Electrical and Elevator Board—in ‎contested case ‎hearings, appeals, and negotiated settlements.‎

In-house perspective to help meet and outperform expectations

I am a former in-house counsel to a publicly owned electrical, water and ‎wastewater utility ‎company. My in-house experience helps makes me a more ‎effective advocate. I understand and ‎appreciate our client’s business priorities, ‎challenges, what they value in our approach, and how ‎to leverage this experience ‎to meet or exceed expectations.‎


  • Successfully represented a large investor-owned utility in complex federal litigation over the constitutionality of a city franchise ordinance.
  • Briefed and argued Grays Harbor PUD v. Idaho Power Company (9th Cir. 2004), one of the first cases arising from the 2000-2001 West Coast Energy Crises to reach the federal appellate courts, and obtained a favorable remand.
  • Advised a large investor-owned utility in ongoing efforts by cities to form municipal utilities and condemn utility facilities.
  • Assisted utility clients with regulatory filings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Oregon Public Utilities Commission, and other regulatory agencies.
  • Assisted new large single load (NLSL) customers with power supply options.
  • Tried numerous court litigations and administrative contested cases as first chair, including matters before state and federal courts and professional licensing boards such as the Oregon Board of Architect Examiners and the Oregon Electricians Board.
  • Drafted and negotiated hundreds of architectural, engineering and construction contracts and subcontracts, including custom forms based on specific client needs and knowledge of AIA design and construction forms.
  • Advise design professionals in areas of business organization, including matters of state incorporation and professional licensing and drafting of corporate documents.


  • Willamette University, College of Law, Juris Doctor degree, cum laude (1991)
  • Warner Pacific College, Bachelor of Arts degree (1986)


  • U.S. District Court - Northern Mariana Islands
  • Oregon State Courts
  • Washington State Courts
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court - District of Oregon

Additional Publications

Building Designs: Are They Works for Hire or Works of Art
Daily Journal of Commerce Oregon, December 22, 2014

Oregon Legislative Updates: Statutes Governing Architects
Daily Journal of Commerce Oregon, August 1, 2013

Perfect a Contract, and Then Follow It
Daily Journal of Commerce Oregon, March 1, 2013

Additional Events

‎Ethics in Government Contracting
HalfMoon Education, October 2014‎

‎Architects and the Law Series
AIA Portland, June 2014‎

‎Architects as Master Builders Series
AIA Portland, April 2014‎

‎Risky Business: Traps and Pitfalls in the Practice of Architecture
AIA Portland, May 2013‎


Community Activities

  • Reynolds School District, Citizens Oversight Committee, Chair, 2015 Bond Issue for School Construction (2015-present)
  • Architecture Foundation of Oregon, Communications Subcommittee, Member (2011-present)

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