Chip Paternoster is an accomplished trial lawyer who helps navigate clients through high stakes and complex litigation. For twenty-five years, Chip has served as lead counsel in the highest profile cases in the Northwest.

Chip’s practice focuses on complex business litigation, securities law, and class action litigation. Chip is one of a select group of Northwest attorneys who have obtained multiple multi-million-dollar jury verdicts in Northwest courts and has both prosecuted and defended eight-figure cases on behalf of Oregon and Washington clients at trial. With dozens of bench and jury trials to his name, Chip understands how to persuasively and effectively tell his client’s story to judge and jury.  He also takes pride in his ability to resolve the most difficult disputes prior to lawsuits being filed.

Chip’s clients include large, multinational companies, established regional businesses, local startups, state and local governments and Oregon elected officials. He also maintains a vibrant employment law practice, advising individuals and businesses on noncompetition and nonsolicitation agreements, protection of trade secrets, and claims of discrimination and retaliation.

Representative Clients & Work

Securities and Class Action

  • Lead trial counsel representing financial services company in claims by Receiver seeking in excess of $50 million dollars alleging breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty and fraudulent transfer arising from alleged Ponzi scheme in Washington state court.
  • Lead trial counsel representing financial services company in securities fraud class action brought by investors seeking in excess of $40 million dollars alleging violations of Oregon Securities Law in U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, arising from alleged Ponzi scheme.
  • Lead counsel defending class action claims brought against Northwest delivery services company alleging in excess of $9 million dollars for breach of contract and violations of wage and hour laws.
  • Representation of investment advisory firm and individual investment advisors in successful defense of claims brought under Oregon Securities Law and for breach of fiduciary duty. The Court dismissed the plaintiffs’ fiduciary duty claim at summary judgment, then, granted a directed verdict in clients’ favor at trial on all remaining claims following the close of the plaintiff’s case.

Breach of Fiduciary Duty and Breach of Contract

  • Representation of former corporate officer in defense of claims alleging breach of fiduciary duty and trade secrets seeking damages in the amount of $75 million dollars. Case dismissed with prejudice against client prior to trial. On counterclaims, $10 million dollar jury verdict in shareholder derivative case on claims of breach of fiduciary duty and breach of duty of care. Case upheld on appeal to Oregon Supreme Court establishing for the first time in Oregon history the right to a jury trial under the Oregon Constitution in shareholder derivative actions.
  • Representation of individual against former business partners on claims arising from failed business investment in environmental contamination clean-up business. After a week-long jury trial, Chip obtained a multi-million-dollar verdict in Multnomah County and judgment on claims of breach of contract and fraud.
  • Representation of Oregon municipality in successful defense of breach of contract and quantum meruit claims brought by general contractor arising from contractual dispute with respect to City public works project.

Government Inquiries, Investigations, Elections cases

  • Lead counsel in defense of claims against African American Chamber of Commerce alleging financial mismanagement and violations of Oregon law brought by State of Oregon Charitable Activities Division.
  • Lead counsel in defense of claims brought by United States Attorneys against transportation company alleging violations of Fair Labor Standards Act in Oregon District Court seeking damages in excess of $10 million dollars.
  • Representation of Multnomah County Commissioner in defense of Writ of Mandamus seeking resignation of elected official for violations of Multnomah County Charter. Claims dismissed as a matter of law.
  • Representation of Oregon Elected Official in defense of claims alleging campaign finance violations.

 Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants

  • Co-counsel on behalf of drug testing laboratory in litigation against a competitor and departing sales employees in the US District Court for the District of Oregon. Obtained preliminary injunction on behalf of client, affirmed on appeal by the Ninth Circuit.
  • Representation of departing employees against claims by former employer alleging breach of noncompetition and nonsolicitation agreements in Oregon state court.

Pro Bono


De LaSalle High School Board of Trustees (2019 – present)

Oregon State Bar Disciplinary Panel (2008 – present)

Multnomah County Judicial Screening Committee (2014)

Judicial Administration Committee (2008 – 2010)

Young Audiences of Oregon and SW Washington, Board of Directors (2005 – 2008)

Oregon Lawyers Against Hunger – Board of Directors

News & Publications

Analyzing and Litigating Noncompetition Agreements (OTLA 2012)

Powerful Motion Practice (OLI Seminar 2011)

Advanced Employment Issues: Walking Through Common Problems (NBI Seminar Nov. 2010)

Leadership in Negotiation (Portland Business Alliance, Leadership Portland Speech Nov. 2007)

How to Get Evidence and Expert Testimony Admitted in Court (NBI Seminar April 2007)

Re-thinking Employee Recommendations, Portland Business Journal, (January 12, 2007)

Document Retention and Destruction in Oregon (Lorman CLE Seminar Oct. 2006)

Annual Employment Law Update: Privacy Issues (OLI CLE Seminar June 2006)

(Co-Author) Dead Men Tell Some Tales – Lessons from Arthur Andersen, OSB Bulletin, (April 2006)

(Co-Author) Oregon Civil Pleading and Practice Manual – Depositions, (2006 Edition)

Civil Trial Start to Finish: A Practical Approach to Trying a Civil Case (NBI Seminar June 2005)

Summary Judgment and Pre-Trial Matters (OSB CLE Seminar February 2005)

Attorney Fees in State and Federal Court (OSB CLE Seminar November 2004)

(Co-Author) Oregon Civil Litigation Manual – Depositions, (2004 Edition)


Super Lawyers, Business Litigation (2012-2023)

Best Lawyers in America (2019-2021)