Paula Barran

Paula A. Barran, Partner, Barran Liebman LLP

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Listed in Employment & Labour, Employment Litigation


Law School: Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto, Ontario (LL.B., with honors, Silver Medal, 1979)

School: University of Oregon (M.B.A., Oregon Executive MBA Program , 1991)

School: University of British Columbia (Ph.D., 1976); Cornell University (M.A., 1973) College of William and Mary (B.A. , summa cum laude, 1971)

State/Provincial Admissions: Oregon (1980); Washington (1984)

Other Admissions: U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit; U.S. District Court, District of Oregon; U.S. District Court, District of Western Washington; U.S. District Court, District of Eastern Washington; U.S. Supreme Court

Paula Barran, a founding partner at Barran Liebman, has been practicing labor and employment law since 1980. She has written extensively on management law and is a national speaker and trainer. In addition to providing employer advice, Paula handles employment litigation in state and federal courts, and labor disputes and employment arbitrations. Additionally, she develops and presents “train the trainer” programs to introduce comprehensive, and cost effective, training programs into workplaces. Since the first publication of the Oregon Super Lawyers magazine in 2006, Paula has repeatedly been named as a “Top Ten Lawyer” in Oregon. In 2008, and 2010, she was honored as the “Top Point Getter” for the year. Since 2003, Paula has been ranked #1 (with partners Ed Harnden and Rick Liebman) for Labor and Employment Law defense in the State of Oregon by Chambers & Partners USA, America’s Leading Business Lawyers. She is also a fellow of The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, a fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and has been named in The Best Lawyers In America directory since 1995. She is admitted to practice in Oregon, Washington and before the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit; U.S. District Court, District of Oregon and U.S. District Court, Eastern and Western Districts of Washington. Paula received her B.A. from the College of William and Mary, M.A. from Cornell University, Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia, J.D., with honors, from Osgoode Hall Law School at York University, and M.B.A. degree from the University of Oregon, Oregon Executive MBA program. Paula has also earned an ATIXA Title IX Coordinator Certificate. In addition to her labor and employment practice, she represents colleges and universities on wide ranging compliance issues including institutional obligations under Title VI, Title IX, and VAWA.

Areas of Practice
Employment Law Advice
Employment Litigation
On-Site Employment Law Training
Employment Leadership Training
Higher Education

Admitted to Practice
U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
U.S. District Court, District of Oregon
U.S. District Court, District of Western Washington
U.S. District Court, District of Eastern Washington
U.S. Supreme Court

Professional Experience, Affiliations, and Civic Activities
College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, Fellow of the College, Inducted 2005
Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow
Selected by peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America, 2001- Present
Selected by peers for inclusion in Oregon Super Lawyers, 2006- Present, #1 Point Getter, 2008 & 2010, Super Lawyers Advisory Board Member, 2012-present
Ranked #1 for Labor & Employment Lawyers in Oregon, Chambers & Partners USA, 2003-Present
Listed in Human Resource Executive/Lawdragon 500 as a 100 Most Powerful Corporate Employment Lawyer, 2011-present
Professional Experience, Affiliations, and Civic Activities, Continued
Portland Business Journal’s Orchid Award Recipient and Woman Executive of the Year, Entrepreneur Category Winner, 2009
Children’s Cancer Association, Board Member, 2009-Present
American Bar Foundation, Life Fellow
American Bar Association, Individual Employment Rights Section
Canadian American Bar Association, 2009-Present
Oregon Women Lawyers, Member, 2012 Rainmaking Mentoring Circle
National Association of College and University Attorneys (2013-Present)
American Association of University Women, Member (2012-Present)
Association of Title IX Administrators, Member (2012-Present)
Defense Research Institute
Society for Human Resources Management, Northwest Chapter, Counsel to the Board, 1998-1999
Pacific Printing and Imaging Association
Oregon State Bar, Labor Section
Willamette University, Adjunct Professor – Labor Law, 2000-2001

University of Oregon (M.B.A., Oregon Executive MBA Program, Valedictorian, 1991)
Osgoode Hall, York University (J.D., with honors, Silver Medal, 1979)
University of British Columbia (Ph.D., 1976)
Cornell University (M.A., 1973)
College of William and Mary (B.A., summa cum laude, 1971)
ATIXA Title IX Coordinator and Administrator Certificate
Certificate, Title IX Investigator Training School (2013)

Litigation Experience
Number of cases tried to a conclusion: 15-18
Number of cases worked and settled: 300-400
Number of appeals argued: 7-8
The percentage of time devoted to trial and litigation matters, exclusive of mediation: 75%
The percentage of time devoted to other matters, e.g., mediation and other legal matters, trainings, charitable, community and public service, etc.: 25%

Representative Matters
Griffith v. Schnitzer Steel et al, No. 02-2-08539-9 (Pierce County, Wa. Superior Court). This claim of age discrimination and religious discrimination was tried over approximately one month in Tacoma, Wa., before the Hon. Ronald. E. Culpepper (253-798-6640) in 2003. Plaintiff was represented by Guy Sternal, (253 572-4500). It is presently on appeal; appellate counsel is William R. Hickman (206-292-4900).

Walton v. Fisher Broadcasting. This was a breach of contract claim asserting unpaid compensation. Plaintiff was initially represented by Donald Grant (360-694-8488) through court-annexed arbitration; she represented herself at trial. The matter was tried in 2003 before Hon. Janice R. Wilson (503-988-3069) in a one-day bench trial, and resulted in a ruling in favor of defendant.

Renee Byer v. Oregonian Publishing Co. This was a claim of gender discrimination, wrongful discharge, and fraud tried in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon over approximately six days. The fraud and wrongful discharge claims were dismissed on summary judgment. The jury returned a defense verdict in favor of defendant on plaintiff’s gender claim. Plaintiff subsequently appealed the dismissal of her fraud claim; that decision was upheld by the Ninth Circuit in an unpublished

Representative Matters – Continued
disposition. See 2000 WL 1465934 (9th Cir. 2000). Plaintiff was represented by Richard Busse (503-248-0504). Hon. Garr M. King was the trial judge.

Bonnichsen et al. v. United States et al. Civil No. 96-1481-JE (District of Oregon). This is the federal court litigation over the 9,000 year old Kennewick Man skeleton found in the vicinity of Kennewick, Washington and claimed by a coalition of Indian tribes. It was filed in 1996, and some of the controversy is still pending, although the Ninth Circuit opinion which disposed of most of the case was issued in 2004. As one of two lead counsel, Ms. Barran represented plaintiffs, a group of eight anthropologists, who were seeking the right to study the skeleton. The complex legal issues involved the application of the Native American Graves Protection and Rehabilitation Act and many novel issues of administrative law, as well as constitutional issues. Over a period of more than eight years plaintiffs succeeded in vacating two final administrative decisions and securing the right to study the skeleton. The United States and the intervening claiming tribes appealed unsuccessfully to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The case has been reported at 969 F. Supp 604 (1997), 969 F. supp. 628 (1997), 217 F. Supp. 2d 1116 (2002), 2004 WL 2901287 (2004), 2004 WL 2901204 (2004) and 367 F. 3d 864 (9th Cir. 2004). In addition it has been the subject of considerable news attention, both in print and television (see, It has also been discussed in a variety of scholarly texts (see, for example, Chatters, Ancient Encounters and the Kennewick Man Skeleton, 2001 and Thomas, Skull Wars: Kennewick Man, Archaeology and the Battle for Native American Identity, 2000. At the District Court level the case was assigned to U.S. Magistrate John Jelderks, (503-326-8310). The United States was represented by a number of attorneys from the U.S. Department of Justice, including most recently Sydney F. Cook from the Environment & Natural Resources Division, General Litigation Section in Washington D.C. (202-514-4565) and Timothy W. Simmons, Assistant United States Attorney (Oregon) (503-717-1156). The intervening tribes were represented by a number of attorneys including Rob Roy Smith (206-386-5200) and Walter Echohawk from the Native American Rights Fund (303-447-8760).

Baynton v. Port of Portland et al, USCD for District of Oregon. This was a claim that the employer, executive director and director of human resources violated the plaintiff employees rights to free speech and equal protection and violated state laws protecting whistleblowers. The court (Hon. Garr King) granted summary judgment on all claims.

Representative Publications
“EEOC Issues New Religion Guidance,” Barran Liebman Electronic Alert, March 10, 2014
“Off-Campus Harassment: Identifying the Geographic Reach of Title IX Compliance,” 2013 URMIA Journal
Quoted in “EEOC Steps Up Prosecution of Genetic Information,”, June 12, 2013
Quoted in, “How to Survive the eDiscovery Process,” eCampus News, April 29, 2013
“Higher Ed Homework: Complying with VAWA,” Barran Liebman Electronic Alert (March 1, 2013)
Quoted in, “Did a Baker Break the Law When He Denied Service to Same Sex Couple?” KATU News (February 2, 2013)
“DOJ Issues Report on Campus Sex Crime Investigations,” Barran Liebman Electronic Alert (January 8, 2013)
“The EEOC’s Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures are Alive and Well (But What Does That Mean for Us?),” Barran Liebman Electronic Alert (December 10, 2012)
“New College & University Child Abuse Reporting Law Takes Effect January 1,” Barran Liebman Electronic Alert (November 26, 2012)
Chapter Co-Author, “Discrimination Claims in Oregon,” Torts, 2012 Revision, Published by the Oregon State Bar
Representative Publications – Continued
“Recreational Marijuana in Washington: Now What?” Barran Liebman Electronic Alert (November 7, 2012)
“NLRB Launches Webpage to Educate Employees About Protected Concerted Activity,” Barran Liebman Electronic Alert (June 21, 2012)
“Retaliation Can Happen on the Friends and Family Plan,” Portland Business Journal (February 3, 2012)
“NLRB Throws Employers Curveball regarding Arbitration Agreement,” Barran Liebman Electronic Alerts (January 9, 2012)
“Ninth Circuit Rules That Employers are Not Required to Accommodate Employees to Help Them Become Qualified for Their Jobs,” Barran Liebman Electronic Alert (December 9, 2011)
Quoted in “Black Friday midnight sales might be outlandish, but not illegal,” BrieflyLegalPDX (November 25, 2011)
“Update Your Offer Letters to Include Mandatory Procedures and Notices For Employee Arbitration Agreements,” Barran Liebman Electronic Alert (August 31, 2011)
“Washington Supreme Court Rejects Appeal of Medical Marijuana Ruling: Employers are Not Obligated to Accommodate Users,” Barran Liebman Electronic Alert (June 2011)
“Testing & Medical Marijuana,” Healthy Business Journal (January | February Issue 2011)
“Medical Marijuana Laws: Obstructing Congress?,” The Journal of Global Drug Policy and Practice (Volume 4, Issues 1 & 2 – Spring/Summer 2010)
Monthly Column “Compliance Corner,” Daily Journal of Commerce (Rotating months, 2007-present)
“Medical Marijuana: Friend or Foe?” The Gresham Outlook (September 2009)
“Companies Can Take Steps to Reduce the Cost of Litigation,” Portland Business Journal (September 2008)
“Inside The Minds: Founding a Law Firm,” published by Aspatore Books, Contributing author (2008)
“Proceedings of the International Science Conference: Science in Archaeology” (2007)
“Motions for Summary Judgment” Chapter in 2006 Trial Tactics Defense Litigation Manual (2006)
“Public Policy Challenges to Labor Arbitration Awards: Still a Safe Harbor for Silly Fact Finding?” Willamette Law Review, Volume 38, Co-author (Spring 2002)
“Managing Reentry: Returning to the Interrupted Practice,” The Professional Lawyer (February, 1996)
“Individual Rights in a Collective Bargaining Environment,” LERC Monograph No. 12
(University of Oregon, 1993)
“The Glass Ceiling: Do You Need to Worry and Can You at Least Worry Constructively?,”
Arbitration Quarterly of The Northwest, Vol. XIII (Spring, 1993)
“Employees,” The Oregon Health Law Manual, Co-author (Oregon State Bar Health Law Section, 1992, 1994)
“Employment Related Torts,” Oregon State Bar CLE Publications, Co-author (1990, 1994)
“Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: Eliminating the Offensive Working Environment,” LERC Monograph No. 7 (University of Oregon, 1988)

Representative Presentations
November 13, 2013. Rotary Club of Vancouver. Why Sports Fans Everywhere Should Care About Title IX.
October 22, 2013. Southwest Washington Society for Human Resource Management Annual Conference. Leadership Lessons: Bridging the Gap.
October 16, 2013. National Scholarship Providers Association Annual Conference. Panel Presentation: Legal Whack-A-Mole Panel on Student Privacy and FERPA.
October 11, 2013. National Human Resource Management Association 2013 Conference & Tradeshow. Drugs In The Workplace: What Every Employer Needs To Know.
September 26, 2013. Barran Liebman LLP Annual Seminar. Managing Telework.
July 9, 2013. Barran Liebman Breakfast Seminar. Staying Out of the Tangled Web: The Internet’s Role in Recruitment and Hiring.
June 11, 2013. Strategic HR Peer Groups Roundtable Discussion. Misconduct Caused by Disabilities and Settling Disputes.

Representative Presentations – Continued
May 31, 2013. Oregon Law Institute of Lewis & Clark 2013 Annual Employment Law Update. Workplace Violence.
May 22, 2013. Moderator, Barran Liebman HR Roundtable. Don’t Shoot the Messenger: When You Need to Deliver Difficult News.
May 15, 2013. Portland Human Resource Management Association 2013 Strategic HR Management Conference. Leadership Lessons: Bridging the Gap.
May 15, 2013. Symantec Webinar. eDiscovery.
April 5, 2013. College and University Professional Association for Human Resources Oregon Chapter Spring Conference. Keynote Presentation: HR’s Role Within Title IX.
January 11, 2013. United States Marshals Service Judicial Security Section. Workplace Violence: Legal Issues.
November 2, 2012. Willamette Valley Higher Education HR Consortium. Discipline, Discharge & Documentation.
November 2, 2012. Willamette Valley Higher Education HR Consortium. How to Settle Cases & Complaints and Still Come Out Ahead.
October 26, 2012. Portland Employer Drug-Free Initiative Breakfast Forum. Marijuana: A Workplace Perspective.
October 17, 2012. Annual Business Health Services Workplace Health & Safety Conference. Bullying in the Workplace.
September 27, 2012. Barran Liebman LLP Annual Seminar. Bad Conduct Caused By a Disability.
August 22, 2012. Local Government Personnel Institute’s 37th Annual Conference. Recent Court Decisions for Public Employers.
March 13 and 21, 2012. Southwest Washington Human Resource Management Association. Settlement Strategies and Agreements.
March 6, 2012. Barran Liebman Breakfast Seminar. How to Settle and Still Come Out Ahead.
November 7, 2011. The Mark & Dave Show on KEX 1190. Sexual Harassment in the Workplace.
October 17, 2011. Northwest College of Construction: Construction Law Clinic. Unions and Other Concerted Activity.
October 14, 2011. OARP Fall Conference. “Venturing Outside the Norm.” Medicinal Marijuana in Oregon.
October 6, 2011. Associated Oregon Industries: Oregon Business Policy Forum. Regulatory Reform.
September 22, 2011. Barran Liebman LLP Annual Seminar. Policies That Don’t Belong in Your Handbook.
August 24, 2011. 36th Annual Local Government Personnel Institute Conference. Everything I Know About Employment Law I Learned in Kindergarten: Lessons From The Supreme Court and Courts of Appeals.
June 24, 2011. Whither Women of Wal-Mart, as heard on OPB’s Think Out Loud.
June 15, 2011. The Southwest Washington Human Resource Management Association (SWHRMA) Meeting. Train the Trainer: Bullying in the Workplace.
June 6, 2011. Public Risk Management Association Conference. Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act: An Employer’s Guide to Compliance.
June 1, 2011. RIMS Education Day. Medical Marijuana – Abuse and Key Legal Issues.
April 5, 2011. Metro East Employer Council – Oregon Employment Department. Workplace Bullying.
March 7-8, 2011. The Oregon Governor’s Occupational Safety & Health (GOSH) Conference.
Drugs, Alcohol, and Medication in the Workplace, Workplace Violence, and Bullying in the Workplace.
January 11, 2011. Southwest Washington Human Resources Management Association Luncheon Seminar. Bullying In The Workplace.
December 7, 2010. Barran Liebman LLP 2010 Food For Thought Breakfast Seminar. Train the Trainer Program: Bullying in the Workplace.
December 2, 2010. SAIF Webinar. Back to Basics: An Update On HR & Employment Law Issues.
April 13, 2010. Oregon Employer Council Annual State Conference for Business. Substance Abuse in the Workplace.
December 1, 2009. Barran Liebman LLP Food For Thought Breakfast Seminar: Understanding the New Limitations of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.
November 9, 2009. Medford Chamber. Workplace Substance Abuse.

Representative Presentations – Continued
November 3, 2009. Barran Liebman LLP Food For Thought Breakfast Seminar: Train the Trainer: Training Supervisors About Leave Laws.
October 29, 2009. National Federation of Paralegal Associations. Privacy and Security Issues for Employers.
October 22, 2009. Webinar with PPI. Drugs, Alcohol & Medication – A Roadmap to a Clean & Sober Workplace.
September 30, 2009. NHRMA Conference. Planning for Flu Season.
September 17, 2009. Barran Liebman LLP Annual Employment and Labor Law Seminar. Avoidance and Early Resolution.
August 19, 2009. Gresham Chamber of Commerce. Drugs, Crime & Medical Marijuana.
June 15, 2009. Northwest Workplace Violence Conference. Drugs & Alcohol in the Workplace.
May 1, 2009. Professional Liability Fund Continuing Legal Education. Mistakes to Avoid When Firing an Employee.
April 2, 2009. Oregon Employer Drug Free. Managing Prescription Drugs & Medical Marijuana in the Workplace.
January 13, 2009. Central Oregon Breakfast Seminar. Sexual Harassment in the Workplace.
October 16, 2008. Multnomah Bar Association YLS CLE. Privacy and Confidentiality in the Workplace.
September 12, 2008. TOC Employers Conference. Drugs, Alcohol, & Medications: A Roadmap to a Clean & Sober Workforce.
September 11, 2008. PNNA Conference. How to Reduce Liability with Employee-Related Matters & Drugs and Alcohol in the Workplace.
November 2, 2007. Center for Research on Occupational and Environmental Toxicology (CROET) and Portland State University. Substance Use and Safety in the Workplace. Cooperative Programs: Legal Issues for Labor and Management.
October 18, 2007. National Restaurant Association Human Resources Executive Study Group Meeting. Keep Drug and Alcohol Abuse off the Menu.
October 4, 2007. Local Government Personnel Institute. A Supreme Court and Ninth Circuit Update.
September 27, 2007. Barran Liebman LLP Annual Employment and Labor Law Seminar. How to Accommodate when your Employee has a Disability.
September 21, 2007. Oregon Self-Insured Employer Association. Employment Legal Issues.
August 17, 2007. Associated General Contractors Summer Conference (with Judy Clark). Update On 2007 Legislation.
July 10, 2007. Bend Chamber of Commerce. Workdrugfree Employer Task Group. Oregon Business Plan Drugfree Workforce Initiative.
May 15, 2007. McMinnville Chamber of Commerce. Drug and Alcohol Policies and Interactive Workshop.
May 2, 2007. Classroom Law Project. Sexual Harassment: From School to the Workplace.
April 26, 2007. Workdrugfree Seminar for Manufacturing Businesses.
April 11, 2007. SAIF Corporation (with Judi Croft) Workers’ Compensation Insurance Seminar, Salem, Oregon. 10(+) Reasons a Drug and Alcohol Policy Makes Good Business Sense.
March 29, 2007. Kaiser On-The-Job, Work-Drug Free/Oregon Nurses Foundation; Portland Drug Safe Workplace. Medical Marijuana and Other Employer’s Substance Abuse Legislative Initiatives: A Mid-Session Update.
March 16, 2007. Prineville and Crook County Working Partners. Developing or Strengthening a Drug Free Workplace Policy.
March 15, 2007. Salem Area Chamber of Commerce, Kaizer Chamber of Commerce. Drug-Free Workplace: Policy Development and Dynamics in Drug Testing.
February 27, 2007. International Science Conference. Science in Evidence: What Kennewick Man Can Teach Us About Legal Proof.

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