Overview

About Crystal

Crystal Chase helps clients navigate all stages of litigation, including motions practice, discovery, trial, and appeal. She focuses on providing strategic and practical advice to assist her clients in effectively resolving disputes.

Crystal concentrates her practice on environmental and natural resources litigation, condemnation and real property litigation, and administrative and appellate matters. Crystal represents clients in the manufacturing, natural resource, agribusiness, and energy industries. She also represents municipal and quasi-municipal clients, including irrigation districts and local mass transit districts. She has significant experience representing clients in challenges of orders issued by state agencies under the Oregon Administrative Procedures Act.

Crystal serves on the Portland Coaching and Mentoring Committee and is a member of Stoel Rives’ Agribusiness, Food, Beverage, and Timber industry group. Before joining Stoel Rives, Crystal was a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Robert D. Durham at the Oregon Supreme Court.

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Experience

Experience

Environmental and Natural Resources Litigation

  • Lead lawyer on arbitration involving $2.5 million in dispute relating to characterization of costs incurred by client in connection with Portland Harbor Superfund Site (“PHSS”) cleanup. 
  • Assist manufacturing client in navigating multiple litigation fronts to resolve historic environmental liabilities associated with industrial property, including pursuit of insurance recovery for environmental cleanup costs, resolution of underlying environmental liabilities, and resolution of CERCLA cost recovery and contribution claims alleged by co-liable party. 
  • Obtained dismissal of Clean Water Act claims and summary judgment on nuisance and trespass claims on behalf of utility client.
  • Represent forest products trade association in federal litigation brought by advocacy group alleging ESA section 9 challenge against state authorization of timber practices in two Oregon counties.
  • Represent mining client in challenge to mineral prospecting on national forest lands, including claims under NEPA, NFMA, and federal lands laws.
  • Obtained dismissal of Clean Water Act action following remand from federal appellate courts in action on behalf of forest products client. 
  • Represent multiple clients in defense of citizen suits under the Clean Water Act. 
  • Represent forest product clients in advice and litigation matters relating to forest fire liability.
  • Represent manufacturing clients in litigation to obtain insurance coverage for environmental claims under Oregon Environmental Cleanup Assistance Act, ORS 465.475, et seq.

Oregon Administrative Procedures Act Litigation

  • Obtained summary judgment for hydropower company in defense of instream lease issued by Oregon Water Resources Department. 
  • Obtained dismissal of circuit court actions challenging issuance of air contaminant discharge permit to manufacturing client.
  • Obtained dismissal of circuit court action challenging issuance of air contaminant discharge permit to energy developer client.
  • Represented irrigation district in two-week contested case proceeding involving challenge to approval of district’s water storage permit application.
  • Second-chair lawyer in contentious week-long bench trial involving challenge to state agency’s order requiring clients to pay additional $4 million.
  • Represented manufacturer in challenge of state agency order erroneously setting client’s recycling obligations; obtained favorable preliminary ruling that facilitated negotiated resolution of dispute.
  • Assisted utility client in successful resolution of dispute with state agency involving terms of client’s Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification.
  • Assist energy client in obtaining summary judgment compelling issuance of tax credit from state agency. 
  • Assist energy client in contested case proceeding before Energy Facility Siting Counsel relating on client’s application for construction of a 650 MW natural gas-fired power plant.
  • Represent clients in defense of enforcement actions by state agencies, including citations issued by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

Commercial Litigation and Advice Matters

  • Second-chaired federal jury trial involving claims for fraud and violations of the Oregon Unlawful Trade Practices Act in which plaintiff sought over $5 million in economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. Jury returned a complete defense verdict.
  • Represent manufacturer client in defense and resolution of complex multi-party litigation arising out of shipment of material subsequently involved in fatal accident at third-party facility. Litigation involved wrongful death claims by plaintiffs; crossclaims and counterclaims for contractual indemnity, common-law indemnity, and CERCLA liability; and defense of state and federal agency investigations and subpoenas.
  • Member of trial team that successfully obtained jury verdict for $8.6 million against insurer on environmental insurance claim.
  • Represent renewable energy clients in negotiation and resolution of commercial disputes.
  • Represent health care and consumer financial service companies in litigation of class actions alleging violations of Fair Credit Reporting Act.
  • Advise businesses in responding to Civil Investigative Demands issued by Civil Enforcement Division of Oregon Department of Justice.
  • Advise public entity clients on disputes and litigation involving Oregon public records laws.

Condemnation and Real Property Litigation

  • Represent Tri-County Metropolitan District (“TriMet”) in multiple condemnation actions in connection with expansion of light rail and bus service in the Portland metropolitan area.
  • Member of a trial team that obtained favorable jury verdict for TriMet following week-long condemnation trial; responsible for drafting trial submissions and arguing substantive matters to the court.
  • Represented irrigation district in state court litigation to secure access to potential reservoir site for purposes of pre-condemnation surveying and testing.
  • Assisted with defense of property owner in Washington condemnation action involving dispute over damages arising out of condemnation of subsurface easement.
  • Represent property owners in connection with eminent domain matters.
  • Obtained favorable summary judgment ruling for Lake Oswego Corporation in easement dispute involving public trust doctrine overlay.
  • Obtained favorable preliminary injunction and summary judgment rulings for seafood processor in boundary dispute with competitor.
  • Represent individuals and mortgage holders in property boundary and other real property disputes.

Appellate Law
Oregon Court of Appeals and Supreme Court

  • Obtain written opinion from Oregon Court of Appeals affirming favorable trial court decision for hydropower client in case involving an issue of first impression under Oregon water law.
  • Obtained affirmance without opinion from Oregon Court of Appeals on appeal from a jury verdict on a breach of contract action.
  • Obtained dismissal of multiple appeals of favorable trial court rulings on jurisdictional grounds. 
  • Briefed appeal before Oregon Court of Appeals on behalf of irrigation district involving issues of Oregon water law and interpretation of Bureau of Reclamation contract. 
  • Briefed and argued appeal before Oregon Court of Appeals involving issues of first impression under the Oregon APA. 
  • Briefed and argued multiple appeals defending favorable summary judgment rulings.
  • Briefed certified question to Oregon Supreme Court involving constitutional question of first impression.
  • Drafted multiple petitions for review, briefs on the merits, and briefs of amicus curiae before Oregon Court of Appeals and Oregon Supreme Court.

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

  • Obtained affirmance of favorable trial court decision in appeal involving alleged violations of Oregon consumer protection regulations.
  • Successfully briefed and argued matter before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal involving questions of first impression in bankruptcy law.
  • Obtained summary disposition of matter before Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals involving multiple claims of error from trial court summary judgment decision.
  • Drafted multiple briefs and motions before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Honors

Honors & Activities

  • Board Member, U.S. District Court of Oregon Historical Society, 2019–present
  • Board Member, Classroom Law Project, 2019–present
  • Coach, Central Catholic High School Constitutional Law Team, 2011–present
  • Member, Stoel Rives Portland Coaching and Mentoring Committee 2016–present
  • Member, Stoel Rives Firmwide Coaching and Mentoring Committee, 2016–2019
  • Member, Owen M. Panner Inn of Courts, 2012–2016
  • Representative, Portland Associates Committee, 2013–2015
  • Recipient, Stoel Rives Pro Bono Award, 2013
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Insights & Presentations

Insights & Presentations

  • Co-Author, “Verdicts and Findings,” Oregon State Bar Litigation Manual, 2020 (forthcoming)
  • Co-Presenter, “Depositions,” Multnomah Bar Association Young Lawyers Section, 2019
  • Co-Presenter, “Navigating the DEQ Enforcement Process,” NEBC Cascade Chapter Luncheon, Feb. 2016
  • Co-Presenter, “Using Insurance to Recover Investigation, Remediation and NRD Costs in Oregon and Washington,” Stoel Rives Lunch Workshop Series, 2015
  • Co-Presenter, “FCRA Compliance,” Internal Client Presentation, April 2015



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