Katherine S. Somervell

In Memoriam



Education

  • Northwestern School of Law, Lewis & Clark College - J.D.
  • University of Virginia - M.A.
  • University of California, Berkeley - B.A.

Practice Experience

With heavy hearts, we regret to tell you that our friend, mentor, and colleague, Katherine Somervell, passed away on Friday, February 17, 2017, after a 10 year battle with Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor (GIST) Cancer. Katherine's fight was courageous and inspirational; through it all, she maintained her quick wit and sharp mind. Katherine is survived by her husband, son, daughter, and sister.

Katherine had more than 20 years of experience practicing solely in the employment and employee benefits arena where she was able to draw on those years of specialized experience to provide her clients with creative yet pragmatic solutions designed to ensure compliance with state and federal laws and minimize exposure to litigation or investigation. She enjoyed being able to help her clients solve issues as diverse as dealing with problem employees to ensuring that the documents setting forth their employee benefit plans are were compliant with ERISA.

We are committed to her legacy of advocacy for her clients and the matters that were entrusted to her. If you have questions about representation, please contact Laura Taylor, Practice Group Leader of Bullivant's Business Law Group, at 503-499-4602 or laura.taylor@bullivant.com.

If you would like to share a memory with or leave a message for her family, we invite you to sign the online guestbook that has been created which can be accessed by clicking here.

Memorial Service:

Katherine's memorial service will be held on Thursday, April 27, 2017, 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church, SW 12th and Taylor Street, 900 SW 11th Avenue,Portland, Oregon  97205. First Baptist Church Information

A short reception will follow the memorial celebrating Katherine's life and loves.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made in her memory to:

Portland Baroque Orchestra
All gifts to PBO are tax-deductible deductible as the law allows. FEIN: 93-0901924. 1020 SW Taylor St Ste 200, Portland, OR 97205. pbo.org

Gist Cancer Research Fund
All gifts tax deductible as the law allows. Tax ID# 13-4182988. 3905 NE 167th Street, North Miami Beach, Florida 33160. gistinfo.org

Her family would like to thank her friends and the Portland Baroque Orchestra for their kindness and support.

Professional and Civic Involvement

  • American Bar Association (Co-Chair, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Health and Disability Insurance Law Committee, 2005-2006; Program Chair, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Life Insurance Law Committee, Midwinter Meeting, 2006)
  • Defense Research Institute (Former Member, Life, Health & Disability Committee)
  • Federal Bar Association (President, Oregon Chapter, 2004-2005)
  • International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (Former Member)
  • Multnomah Bar Association (Former Member)
  • Oregon State Bar (Member, Board of Bar Examiners, 2005-2008)
  • Portland Baroque Orchestra (Member, Board of Directors, 2009-2014)
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon (Member, Local Rules Advisory Committee, 2000-2007; Judicial Law Clerk for the Honorable Magistrate Judge Janice M. Stewart)

Awards and Honors

  • Selected for inclusion in Oregon Super Lawyers (2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 & 2012 — Employment Litigation: Defense)
  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© (2017, 2016, 2015 — Employment Law - Management)

Advisories and Insights

Publications and Presentations

  • Contributor, "ERISA Survey of Federal Circuits, 2016 Edition," American Bar Association, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) (2016)
  • Speaker, "FLSA Wage and Hour Issues," "The ACA/Obamacare: What Employers Need to Know," Fundamentals of Employment Law, Sterling Education Services (2015)
  • Co-Speaker, "ERISA Benefits Litigation: Basics and Hot Topics," Multnomah Bar Association (2015)
  • Chapter Author, "Misrepresentation in the Life, Health, and Disability Insurance Application Process: A National Survey, Second Edition," American Bar Association Publications (2015)
  • Speaker, "How Minimum Wage Laws Impact Your Business," Metropolitan Business Association Lunch Meeting (2014)
  • Speaker, "What Employers Need to Know about the Affordable Care Act and about State Marijuana Laws," Western Ice Association Annual Convention (2014)
  • Co-Speaker, "Affordable Care Act: What Does It Mean for Your Business?" Western Grocers Trust Seminar (2013)
  • Speaker, "Non-Disclosure, Non-Competition & Non-Solicitation Agreements," Multnomah Bar Association Young Lawyers Section Business Law CLE Series (2013)
  • Author, "Weighing the Options of the Affordable Care Act," Daily Journal of Commerce (2013)
  • Speaker, "ERISA Benefits Litigation: Basics and Hot Topics," Multnomah Bar Association (2012)
  • Speaker, "ERISA Hot Topics," American Bar Association, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) Midwinter Symposium (2012)
  • Contributor, "ERISA Survey of Federal Circuits, 2012 Edition," American Bar Association, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) (2012)
  • Speaker, "Discovery in ERISA Cases Post MetLife v. Glenn: Is It Really Wide Open?" American Conference Institute Advanced Forum on Litigating Disability Insurance Claims (2010)
  • Co-Author, "ERISA Claims Administrators and the Fiduciary Exception to the Attorney-Client Privilege," American Bar Association, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS), The Brief (2010)
  • Panelist, "Fundamentals and Current Issues of Fiduciary Duty Litigation," Defense Research Institute (DRI) Life, Health, Disability and ERISA Claims Seminar (2010)
  • Co-Speaker, "The Ins and Outs of Plan Amendment and Vesting," Defense Research Institute (DRI) Life, Health, Disability and ERISA Claims Seminar (2010)
  • Co-Speaker, "Unique Strategies for Recurring Issues in the ERISA Claim Process," Defense Research Institute (DRI) Life, Health, Disability and ERISA Claims Seminar (2010)