About Ryan

Ryan Kunkel is a trial attorney who litigates employment-related disputes in federal and state court, and counsels employers to help mitigate risk and prevent disputes from reaching litigation in the first place. Ryan specializes in pursuing and defending cases involving employee non-competition, non-solicitation, and trade secret obligations, especially in the financial and manufacturing industries. His practice also includes litigating before the National Labor Relations Board and helping management navigate and resolve complex labor disputes, including organizing drives and work stoppages.

You can find Ryan frequently contributing to the award-winning blog Stoel Rives World of Employment.

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Representative Employment Experience

  • Obtained summary judgment in federal court with “undue hardship” defense in case alleging failure to accommodate a disability for small Oregon branch of national hardware distributor; affirmed by Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Successfully resolved claims of misappropriation of trade secrets and violation of non-competition and non-solicitation covenants for semi-conductor manufacturer and its Chief Financial Officer before preliminary injunction hearing.
  • Assisted in bringing victorious claim in arbitration that a financial advisor breached non-solicitation obligations in taking our client’s customers; client was awarded liquidated damages pursuant to non-solicitation agreement.
  • Awarded costs after prevailing at summary judgment on race discrimination claim in federal court for international retailer.
  • Successfully defended agency charges against numerous employers in manufacturing, health care, and other industries.
  • Assisted timber industry client with WARN Act compliance in an acquisition.
  • Assisted in obtaining dismissal of a $1 million lawsuit against a healthcare industry client that alleged race, national origin, and disability discrimination and whistleblower retaliation.
  • Obtained favorable result at arbitration for an insurance company defending claims of unlawful payment of final wages and wage deductions.

Representative Labor Experience

  • Regularly represent national health care provider in labor arbitrations to defend contract and discharge grievances.
  • Defended numerous unfair labor practices charges for regional grocery store during and after unionizing campaign.
  • Part of a team that successfully opposed a union’s motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction that would have delayed or blocked the sale of an insolvent company.
  • Advised long-term care and skilled nursing facility in withdrawing recognition from a union and defeated related unfair labor practice charges before the NLRB.
  • Assisted construction client in defeating unfair labor practice charges related to an alleged unlawful termination.
  • Obtained favorable result for a construction industry client that was the target of union salts.
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Honors & Activities

Professional Honors and Activities

  • Included in Best Lawyers®: Ones to Watch in America (Litigation—Labor and Employment), 2021–2024
  • Listed among Rising Stars (Labor & Employment), Oregon Super Lawyers®, 2021–2023
  • Best Appellate Brief and Outstanding Oral Advocate Awards, First-Year Moot Court Competition, 2013

Civic Activities

  • Board Member, Hoyt Arboretum Friends
  • Board Member and Coach, Southeast Portland Little League
  • Judge, Lewis & Clark Law School Moot Court
  • Coach, Lincoln High School and Wood Middle School Constitution Teams, 2013
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Insights & Presentations

Insights & Presentations

Related News & Publications

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