Douglas G. Houser

Senior Counsel, Portland Office

Direct Dial: 503.499.4415
Fax: 503.295.0915
doug.houser@bullivant.com



Practice Areas

Industries

Bar Admissions

  • Oregon, 1960

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of International Trade

Peer Recognition

Education

  • Stanford University, School of Law - J.D., 1960
  • Willamette University - B.A., 1957

Practice Experience

Doug Houser's practice focuses on large "bet-the-company" type major disputes where his years of experience, practical common sense, and negotiating skills can be maximized to obtain effective and imaginative solutions to complex problems. The National Law Journal has named Doug as one of the outstanding defense lawyers in the United States. Doug has tried 140 punitive damages and/or extracontractual claims cases.

As a complement to his standing as a litigator, Doug has also played a significant role as an arbitrator in insurance/reinsurance and commercial disputes. He was an arbitrator in the "Big Dig" – Boston, Ted Williams Tunnel Collapse dispute.

Doug has handled cases in 21 different states by means of pro hac vice admission and has appeared in many Federal Trial and Appellate Courts throughout the U.S.

Chambers USA named Doug as an outstanding commercial litigator in Oregon. He has been designated a Super Lawyer and selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® since 2006. Doug is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, and past President of the Oregon Association of Defense Counsel. Doug is an international and domestic commercial arbitrator with the London branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, as well as a certified arbitrator with the AIDA Reinsurance and Insurance Arbitration Society (ARIAS U.S.).

Practice Areas
Insurance & Reinsurance Issues
Commercial Litigation
Arbitration of Disputes
Intellectual Property
Product Liability 

Professional and Civic Involvement

  • American College of Trial Lawyers (Fellow; Member, Special Problems in the Administration of Justice Committee, 2013-2015; Member, Complex Litigation Committee; Liaison, American Law Institute, Restatement of the Law of Torts: Apportionment of Liability; Observer, Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery of Documents Act, National Conference of Commissioners of Uniform State Laws)
  • American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel (Fellow)
  • Nike, Inc. (Member, Board of Directors, Executive Committee, Since Incorporation-September 2015; Member, Corporate Responsibility Committee and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee; General Counsel, First 12 Years; Served as Chair and Member of the Audit Committee for Many Years)
  • AIDA Reinsurance and Insurance Arbitration Society (Certified Arbitrator)
  • American Arbitration Association (Former Arbitrator, International & Domestic)
  • American Bar Association (Member, Standing Committee on Judicial Independence, 2001-2004; Member, Standing Committee on Continuing Legal Education, 1995-2001; Former Chair, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Property Insurance Law Committee; Former Chair of the Board of Directors for the Approximately 35,000 Lawyers That Then Made up the Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section; Member, National Programs on Punitive Damages and Extra-Contractual Damages)
  • American Bar Foundation (Life Fellow)
  • American Board of Trial Advocates (Member)
  • American Judicature Society (Former National Director)
  • American Law Institute (Consultant on Several Restatements)
  • Arlington Club (President, Board of Directors, 2012-2013)
  • Association of Defense Trial Attorneys (Member)
  • Beta Theta Pi (President, General National Fraternity, 2011-Present; Member, Board of Directors, 2007-2014; Chairman & Director, Board of Trustees, Beta Theta Pi Foundation)
  • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Commercial Arbitration International and Domestic, London)
  • Defense Research Institute (Chair, 50 National CLE Programs; Member, Commercial Litigation Committee; Member, Product Liability Committee ; Member, Former Chair & Founder, Insurance Law Committee; Former Chair, International Law Committee; Former Chair, Administration of Civil Justice Committee; Former Vice Chair, National Law Institute Committee; Treasurer, 1997; Member, Board of Directors, 1990-1997)
  • Episcopal Diocese of Oregon (Senior Warden, All Saints Episcopal Church ; Former Member, Board of Trustees; Former Vice Chancellor)
  • Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel (Member, Insurance Coverage Section; Member, Property Insurance Section; Former Chair, Property Insurance Section; Member, Board of Directors, FDCC Foundation, 1993-1999; Dean & Founder, Litigation Management College, 1994-1996; Chair, Board of Directors, 1991-1992; President, 1990-1991)
  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers (Fellow)
  • International Association of Defense Counsel (Former Member, International Committee; Former Chair, Property Insurance Committee)
  • International Association of Insurance Law/Association Internationale de Droit des Assurances (Member, United States Chapter; Former Director, President's Council, United States Chapter)
  • International Bar Association (Member)
  • Loss Executives Association (Member)
  • Multnomah Bar Association (Member)
  • National Center for State Courts (Member, Lawyers Committee)
  • National Crime Victim Law Institute (Member, Board of Directors, 2007-Present; Chair, Development Committee)
  • National Judicial College (Member, Council for the Future, 1988-2005)
  • Oregon Association of Defense Counsel (Member; Past President and Former Member, Board of Directors)
  • Oregon Judicial Department (Member, Commission on Reorganization of Oregon Courts; Former Chair, Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability; Pro Tem Judge, Circuit Courts, 1977-1981)
  • Oregon Law Commission (Member, 2000-2004)
  • Oregon State Bar (Former Chair, Judicial Administration Committee; Former Chair, MCLE Committee; Former Member, Board of Bar Examiners; Former Member, Board of Governors; Former Secretary, Antitrust, Trade Regulation Section; Former Treasurer)
  • Oregon State Bar Foundation (Life Fellow)
  • Pacific Northwest Life Insurance Co. (Former General Counsel)
  • People to People Ambassador Programs (Leader, Three International Insurance Law Exchange Programs to Europe and Asia)
  • Property & Liability Resource Bureau (Member, Advisory Board)
  • RAND Institute for Civil Justice (Member, Board of Overseers, 1998-2004)
  • Society of Registered Professional Adjusters (General Counsel; Member, Board of Directors)
  • Stanford Law School (Former President, Stanford Law Society in Oregon; Former Member, Board of Visitors, Three-Term; Former Chairman, Regional Annual Fund, 25 Years)
  • Waverley Country Club (Vice President; Member, Board of Directors, 2010-2013)
  • Willamette University (Member, Board of Trustees, 1971-Present; Member, Board of Visitors, Willamette University College of Law; Chair, Development Committee; Former President, Alumni Association)

Awards and Honors

  • AV® Preeminent™, Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Annual speaker and recipient of the 25 Years of Service Award for the Property Loss Research Bureau (PLRB)
  • Recipient of the Defense Research Institute's Louis B. Potter Lifetime Professional Service Award (2013)
  • Named one of Oregon's top commercial litigation lawyers and Senior Statesman by Chambers USA
  • Selected for inclusion in Oregon Super Lawyers (2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006 — Insurance Coverage)
  • Selected by Oregon Super Lawyers, one of the top 50 attorneys selected (2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006)
  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© (2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006 — Commercial Litigation; Insurance Law; Arbitration)
  • Named the Best Lawyers® Portland-OR "Lawyer of the Year" (2011 — Insurance Law)
  • Named as a "Local Litigation Star" by Benchmark Litigation (2016 & 2015 — General Commercial; Insurance; Intellectual Property; Product Liability)
  • Selected for inclusion in Expert Guides (2009 — Insurance and Reinsurance Lawyers)
  • Frequently selected as monitoring counsel by Reinsurance and Excess carriers
  • Recipient of the Lestle J. Sparks Medallion Lifetime Service Award at Willamette University (2007)
  • Recipient of the Defense Research Institute's Lifetime Community Service Award (1999)
  • First recipient of the American Bar Association Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section's Andrew C. Hecker Memorial Award (1996)

Publications and Presentations

  • Chair and/or Speaker, 50 National CLE Programs on Insurance Coverage Issues and/or Extra-Contractual Damages, Defense Research Institute (DRI)
  • Co-Speaker, "Burden of Proof Issues," American Bar Association, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS), Property Insurance Law Committee Spring CLE Meeting (2013)
  • Co-Speaker, "Leaves Between the Pages: ILC Chairs Look Back 50 Years and Peer into the Crystal Ball," Defense Research Institute (DRI) Insurance Coverage and Practice Symposium (2010)
  • Author & Speaker, "Punitive Damages with Property Claims," Property & Liability Resource Bureau (PLRB) Claims Conference (2006)
  • Author & Speaker, "What Can Be Done to Minimize Bad Faith Exposures and Bad Faith and Extra-Contractual Damages: The Complex Case," Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel (FDCC) Litigation Management College (2006)
  • Co-Author, "Expert Witnesses on Insurance Issues: Locating Them, Retaining Them and Presenting Their Testimony," Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel (FDCC) Quarterly, Vol. 56, No. 1 (2005)
  • Co-Author, "Good Faith as a Matter of Law: An Update on the Insurance Company's Right to Be Wrong," 39 Tort Trial & Ins. Prac. L.J. 1065 (2004)
  • Speaker, "Mold Litigation: The Defense Perspective," Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel (FDCC) & National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) Mold Summit (2003)
  • Speaker, "Practice Tips on Limiting Punitive Damages," Defense Research Institute (DRI) Damages Seminar (2003)
  • Co-Author, "Causation Issues in Mold Claims," Mealey's™ Litigation Report (2002)
  • Speaker, "Mold: Another Four-Letter Word Every Coverage Attorney Needs to Know," American Bar Association, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS), Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee Mid-Year Program (2002)
  • Speaker, "Practical Tips for Adjusting Mold Claims," American Bar Association, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS), Property Insurance Law Committee Mid-Year Meeting (2002)
  • Speaker, "Sick Building and Sick People – The Leading Cases," Institute for International Research Managing Toxic Mold Liability Seminar (2002)
  • Speaker, "Valuable Papers," Property & Liability Resource Bureau (PLRB) Impact of Terrorism on Claims Seminar (2002)
  • Speaker, "New Trends in Causation and Concurrent Causation Case Law," Defense Research Institute (DRI) Insurance Coverage and Claims Institute (2001)
  • Speaker, "Special Causation Problems in North America," FICC Annual Meeting (2001)
  • Author, "A 'Fortuitous' Loss?" Willamette L. Rev. Vol. 36, No. 1 (2000)
  • Co-Author, "Y2K Update – Sue and Labor Claims," Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter Claims Quarterly (2000)
  • Co-Author, "Effective Claims Handling and the Importance of Good Communication between Claim Representatives and Underwriting Personnel, Parts 1 and 2" (1999 & 1998)
  • Co-Author, "Business Owners Coverage Problems," Property & Liability Resource Bureau (PLRB) Claims Conference (1999)
  • Co-Author, "Reinsurer Does Not Have to Reimburse Surety for Settlement Arising out of Surety's Misconduct," International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC) Property Insurance Committee Newsletter (1999)
  • Author, "Y2K: A Covered Property Loss?" Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter Claims Quarterly (1999)
  • Speaker, "Y2K: A 'Fortuitous' Loss?" American Bar Association, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS), Y2K Property Insurance Law Committee Seminar (1999)
  • Co-Author, "Material Misrepresentations – A Lie Is a Lie Is a Lie," International Association of Special Investigation Units (IASIU) Conference (1998)
  • Co-Author, "Special Causation Issues in Property Coverage Disputes: For Want of a Horseshoe Nail…," American Bar Association, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS), Property Insurance Law Committee (1998)
  • Co-Author, "Special Problems in Good Faith Claims Handling – How to Navigate through the Minefield of Punitive and Extracontractual Claims," Mealey's™ Bad Faith Litigation Conference (1998)
  • Author, "The Y2K Claim: Is There Property Coverage?" FICC Property Committee Annual Meeting & 51 International Insurance Monitor, No. 41, 4th Quarter (1998)
  • Co-Author, "Minimizing the Cost of Litigation: Settlement May Be a Good Choice," ILS Japanese Magazine (1997)
  • Co-Author, "For Want of a Horseshoe Nail: Causation in First-Party Property Cases," Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel (FDCC) & Property Loss Research Bureau (PLRB) Property Insurance Executives Meeting
  • Co-Author, "Good Faith as a Matter of Law: The Insurance Company's Right to Be Wrong," 27 Tort Trial & Ins. Prac. L.J. 665 (1992)
  • Author & Speaker, "Appraisals-Fire Insurance: ‘When and How'" (1988)
  • Co-Author, "Comparative Bad Faith: The Two-Way Street Opens for Travel," 23 Idaho L. Rev. 367 (1987 & 1986)