Randall Sutton is an experienced litigator who focuses his practice on business and employment litigation matters. Randall also advises employers regarding employment law compliance. With nearly 30 years of law practice, Randall is highly regarded for his skills as a litigator and is a frequent public speaker on employment law compliance issues.
- Rated AV Preeminent by his peers in the Martindale-Hubbell directory
- Listed in Best Lawyers in America for the practice area of Employment Law – Management
- Listed in Oregon Super Lawyers
- Recognized by Chambers USA as a Leader in the field of Employment Law
The key areas in which Randall focuses his practice are:
Employment Law & Employment Litigation
Randall advises management with difficult employee relations issues and helps employers stay compliant with state and federal employment laws. Randall advises employers regarding effective employment policies and prepares employment and noncompetition agreements. Randall defends Oregon employers in state and federal employment lawsuits. He has handled a wide variety of harassment, discrimination and retaliation cases alleging violations of age, sex, disability, race, family leave, national origin, and other laws. He also defends employers against wage & hour, breach of contract, overtime, harassment, wrongful discharge, workers’ compensation retaliation, romantic relationship and other employment-related claims. Randall has particular expertise in leave and disability laws under FMLA, OFLA, and the ADA. Randall frequently works with Employment Practices Liability (EPLI) insurance carriers to provide a strong defense under the terms of the EPLI policy.
Randall advises and represents employers in responding to administrative complaints filed with the Bureau of Labor & Industries (BOLI), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Randall also represents employers in responding to DOL Audits and similar proceedings.
Business, Real Estate, & Complex Litigation
Randall advises and represents business clients in state and federal court. He handles real estate disputes, shareholder litigation, collection matters, contract disputes, construction claims, unfair trade practices claims, and a wide variety of other disputes between property owners, businesses, and business owners. His clients have included large manufacturers, call centers, healthcare facilities, medical groups, dentists, hospitals, farms, nurseries, nonprofit organizations, real estate developers, professional service providers, franchisees, artists, retailers, wineries, financial institutions and many others. Randall has successfully litigated a wide variety of claims, including breach of contract, UCC remedies, shareholder disputes, minority shareholder oppression, executives, intellectual property rights, employment discrimination, timber trespass, adverse possession, preliminary injunctions, ERISA claims, corporate raiding claims, collections, breach of fiduciary duty of loyalty and a wide variety of other claims. Our firm has the resources to handle complex litigation matters requiring extensive paper & electronic document discovery.
- Representing a large Christmas Tree grower in successful litigation against a helicopter spray applicator for recovery of damages caused by tank contamination and herbicide misapplication.
- Successfully litigating claims on behalf of a regional fuel retailer against a major oil company to preserve branding rights and protect competitive advantage
- Obtaining preliminary and permanent injunctive relief on behalf of a real estate developer against neighbors seeking to stop construction of an apartment complex
- Preserving the stock option rights of a retired executive against a large publicly-traded company
- Recovering damages for breach of fiduciary duty of loyalty and oppression in an LLC member dispute
- Successfully arbitrating access rights necessary to the development of a gravel quarry
- On appeal, preventing the destruction of a coastal vacation home due to encroachment into an easement Reported Case: Vossen v. Forrester, 155 Or.App. 323 (1998)
Noncompetition / Trade Secrets / Duty of Loyalty Litigation
Randall has considerable experience enforcing noncompetition agreements and obtaining injunctions against former employees who have sought to sabotage and step into the shoes of their former employer. These are often high-stakes “Save the Company” cases, where unfair competition by the former employees threatens survival of the business. Randall has obtained TROs and preliminary injunctions to provide emergency relief and ongoing protection. These efforts have helped his clients’ businesses survive and thrive. Randall applies this experience as a litigator when drafting enforceable noncompetition and non-piracy agreements, and by advising employers of risks when hiring and terminating key employees.
The Carriage Works v. Ikonic Manufacturing: Key employees of national manufacturer sabotaged and diverted employees and customers. Obtained ex parte order to preserve electronic data through sheriff-assisted data retrieval efforts without prior notice to competitor. Obtained preliminary injunction preventing former employees’ company from doing business with key customers.
Action Truss v. Salem Truss: Key management employees took customer files, diverted customers, and hired away employees. Obtained sheriff-assisted ex parte claim and delivery order for the return of trade secrets necessary to continue client business operations. Obtained preliminary injunction preventing use of trade secrets and imposing customer protections. Secured court-ordered receiver, who was instructed to liquidate the former employees’ newly formed company.
MegAvail v. Market Specific Media: Former key employees sabotaged and sought to step into shoes of former employer. Obtained ex parte court order to preserve electronic data and preliminary injunction preventing former employees from engaging in competitive efforts.
Willamette University College of Law
San Diego State University
B.A., Political Science, 1984
Randall is a frequent author and public speaker on employment legal issues. He began his career as a personnel analyst for the City of San Diego. Randall is admitted to practice law in both Oregon and Washington and assists clients across the Northwest.
Randall serves as the Legislative Affairs Director for Oregon SHRM. He also serves on the Oregon Business & Industry (OBI) Employment Practices Advisory Committee. Randall supports the Salem community on the Board of Directors for the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce and as an officer and founding director of the McLaran Leadership Foundation. Over the years, he has been involved in many community nonprofit efforts, including serving as an officer on the Board of Directors for the Salem Art Association and the Salem Art Association Endowment Foundation, the Chair of the Pacific Coast Invitational marching band competition, and past President of the Job Growers Incorporated tri-county workforce investment board for Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties.
Randall is a member of the Oregon Association of Defense Counsel (OADC) and is a member of the Marion County Bar Association. Randall has written a monthly column on employment law for the Salem Business Journal. In recent years, he has supported the Litigation, Labor Relations, and Business Litigation sections of the Oregon State Bar and the Litigation section of the Washington State Bar.
Off the Job
Randall is a car guy, who can often be found enjoying the back roads of Oregon with fellow sports car enthusiasts. He is thankful that his wife Tari has remained a good sport through many twisty and narrow mountain roads. Randall is an avid photographer and occasional world traveler. Most of his free time is spent working on his property, where various John Deere implements make the process so much more enjoyable. He wishes that the quality of his golf game reflected all of the effort he has put into it, and he is a great admirer (and sometimes creator) of perfectly smoked beef brisket.