Chris Kitchel

Chris Kitchel

Retired Partner
Portland, OR

About Chris

Chris Kitchel was a trial lawyer with Stoel Rives for over 30 years. As a result of her successful courtroom experience and her business background, Chris offered her clients proven insight into all phases of the business litigation process. “Preparation, preparation, preparation” was her motto. Chris strongly believed her role is to understand her client’s overall business objectives and to align case management accordingly. She strived to provide clients with a clear understanding of their strategic options for each step of the legal controversy at issue. Her goal was “no surprises.”

Chris traditionally focused on employment law matters, primarily counseling and employment litigation. She also has deep experience working with health organizations on physician peer review and related proceedings. Her work won her many plaudits from her clients and peers. Named an Oregon Top 25 Women Super Lawyer by Oregon Super Lawyers, Chris is praised in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2011 for her “very good client relationship skills and extensive litigation experience.”

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  • Secured a jury defense verdict in a retaliation case. Plaintiff’s employment was terminated after a coworker reported that plaintiff had threatened to shoot his supervisor.
  • Secured a jury defense verdict in a claim of gender and age discrimination asserted by the former in-house employment lawyer for a manufacturing firm.
  • Secured a jury defense verdict in a claim of gender and age discrimination asserted by the EEOC and former long-term employee who was laid off by a transportation firm.
  • Obtained a motion to dismiss a $2 million gender discrimination case. The matter was subsequently settled in mediation on very favorable terms for the client.
  • Obtained summary judgment dismissing a wrongful discharge and retaliation case based on alleged “whistle-blowing.”
  • Obtained summary judgment dismissing employment claims (discrimination and wrongful discharge) and inventorship/ownership rights in four pending patent applications.
  • Obtained summary judgment dismissing a series of employment claims involving a physician whose medical privileges application had lapsed. Subsequently secured summary judgment on all of the client’s counterclaims, including breach of covenant not to sue, breach of promise to release and provide immunity, indemnity and attorneys’ fees.
  • Received an arbitration decision dismissing former employee’s ADA and FMLA claims and awarding attorneys’ fees.
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Honors & Activities

Professional Honors and Activities

  • Named by Best Lawyers® as Litigation – Labor & Employment Law “Lawyer of the Year,” Portland, 2014
  • Included in The Best Lawyers in America© (currently: Employment Law – Management, Litigation – Labor & Employment), 1995-2020
  • Selected as one of “America’s Leading Lawyers for Business” (Oregon) by Chambers USA (currently: Labor and Employment), 2006-2017
  • Selected as one of the Top 25 Oregon Women Lawyers by Oregon Super Lawyers®, 2006-2015
  • Selected as one of the Top 50 Oregon Lawyers by Oregon Super Lawyers®, 2006-2009, 2012
  • Listed in Oregon Super Lawyers® (Employment & Labor, Employment Litigation: Defense), 2006-2019
  • Named 2010 Mentor of the Year by the Multnomah Bar Association
  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers; Former Chair, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
  • Past President, Oregon Association of Defense Counsel
  • Member, Washington Association of Defense Trial Lawyers
  • Member, Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Former Instructor of Accounting, Portland State University and Lewis & Clark College
  • Former C.P.A., Oregon

Civic Activities

  • Travelled to Kenya as part of the Lawyers Without Borders program, Spring 2011. During her stay, Chris interacted with multiple non-government agencies, including Portland-based Ray of Hope and Mercy Corps. You can read about her experience at
  • Former Officer, Board of Trustees, Oregon Episcopal School
  • Former Director, Southwest Washington Independent Forward Thrust (“SWIFT”)
  • Former member, Research Board of Portland City Club
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Insights & Presentations
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