Michelle Rudd

Michelle Rudd

Portland, OR

About Michelle

Michelle’s practice focuses on property development resulting in place making and increasing urban resiliency. Her work includes property acquisition through and in lieu of eminent domain, due diligence prior to purchase and property development through land use permitting. Michelle works with municipal agencies, private utilities, property owners and the community and on projects requiring their partnerships. She achieves client goal-oriented resolutions in condemnation actions and in land use permitting, including zone and comprehensive plan changes, use permits and variances, development of conditions of approval, and responses to notices of violation.

Michelle is licensed in Oregon, Washington and California. Prior to becoming an attorney, she worked as a civil engineer and obtained a Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning and draws on that background in her legal approach.

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  • Faced with public project designed in manner adversely impacting client’s business operations, developed alternative legal theory and alternative appraisal approach resulting in expert determination of compensation owed client more than 14 times that offered by public entity and resulting in redesign of public project to address business objective resolution of operational concerns.
  • Identified inexpensive engineering modification to address  property owner concern and resolve over $300,000 claim for compensation from client with $5,000 design change.
  • Developed legal argument and factual support and used to obtain city staff concurrence that what land use city staff initially told client was not allowed was in fact allowed as a conditional use under the city code.
  • Developed theory and obtained city staff concurrence that city-issued notice of building permit violation should be rescinded and use recognized as legal nonconforming use.
  • Represented property owner in successful sale of chemical facility to California city in part by challenging underlying land use assumptions in government appraisal.
  • Successfully negotiated with governmental entities concerning removal of conditions of permit approval imposing exactions requiring dedication of roads and easements not proportionate and lacking nexus.
  • Successfully represented public entity in denial of relocation benefit award including responding to a twofold increase in claimant’s demand on day of hearing, resulting in $0 award to claimant affirmed by Oregon Court of Appeals.
  • Developed manual regarding suggested changes to rules and processes reflecting lessons learned after successfully defending agency relocation benefit determination. Created tools to assist front-line staff in selecting correct process for triaging future claims, and provided advice on legislative efforts to consider.
  • Co-led preliminary investigation into costs and benefits associated with increasing flood storage in area with diverse population and naturally occurring affordable housing as well as employment sites within the flood plain and guided discussion of  analysis challenging initial assumptions regarding ultimate work product. Successfully advocated for expansion of project funding.
  • Introduced diversity and inclusion training in multi-state law firm and developed structure for affinity groups within firm. Brought in outside consultant to assist with evaluation of current climate and developed regular newsletter advising firm members of diversity and inclusion activities within the firm. Advised governing members of firm of requests for firm participation on relevant issues.
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Honors & Activities

Professional Honors and Activities

  • Named by Best Lawyers® as Eminent Domain & Condemnation Law “Lawyer of the Year,” Portland, 2014
  • Included in The Best Lawyers in America© (currently: Eminent Domain & Condemnation Law, Land Use & Zoning Law), 2010‑2019
  • Selected by Savoy Magazine as one of the Most Influential Black Lawyers, 2015
  • Seattle District Council member, Executive Committee, Urban Land Institute, 2009-2010, ULI Oregon Program Chair, 2011-2014
  • Member and past member at large, Board of Directors, American Planning Association – Oregon Chapter, 2003-present
  • Diversity Lead Partner, Stoel Rives, 2010-2014
  • Member, Real Estate and Land Use section, Oregon State Bar; Diversity and Inclusion Committee, 2011-2014
  • Member, State Bar of Oregon
  • Member, State Bar of California
  • Member, State Bar of Washington
  • Member, Oregon Minority Lawyers Association
  • Member, Oregon Women Lawyers, 2012 Robert Deitz Awards Nomination Committee

Civic and Other Activities

  • Oregon Solutions Project – Lents Stabilization and Job Creation Collaborative, Co-Convener, 2016-2018
  • City of Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission, 2010-present, Vice Chair, 2010-2014, 2018-present
  • Member, City of Portland Development Regulatory Advice Committee, 2008-2015
  • Oregon Operating Committee, Urban Land Institute, 2009-2010, Program Chair, 2011-2015
  • Co-Chair, Central City 2035 Advisory Group
  • Member, City of Portland Economy, Alternative Fuels, Future Utilities Committee, Local Energy Assurance Project, 2012
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Insights & Presentations

Insights & Presentations

Related News & Publications

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