Leta E. Gorman

Of Counsel, Portland Office

Direct Dial: 503.499.4634
Fax: 503.295.0915

Practice Areas


Bar Admissions

  • Oregon, 1998
  • Washington, 1994
  • Idaho, 2021

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of Oregon
  • U.S. District Court, District of Idaho
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Washington
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Peer Recognition

  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™
  • Best Lawyers© 
  • Super Lawyers©


  • Seattle University, School of Law - J.D., cum laude, 1994
  • University of Washington - Jackson School of International Studies, U.S. Foreign Affairs and Diplomacy, B.A., with honors, 1989

Practice Experience

Leta Gorman returns to Bullivant Houser after serving as General Counsel for a national non-profit in Memphis, Tennessee. She is an experienced trial lawyer who has personally tried as first chair more than 25 bench and jury trials in state and federal courts in Oregon and Washington. She has handled hundreds of class actions, arbitrations, and mediations. If a case cannot be resolved without a trial, her clients know they have a skilled, competent, and talented trial lawyer on their side.

Leta has extensive experience handling matters involving contract, product liability, complex business, employment, and construction defect claims, and has represented manufacturers of component parts, asbestos-containing products, automobiles, pesticides, heavy equipment, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices.

Leta also represents men, women, and children in cases involving hazing, bullying, and harassment. Leta has travelled significantly throughout the country for the last 30 years discussing issues of values, safety, and leadership.

Representative Matters
  • Obtained summary judgment for defendant in asbestos dispute based on premises liability grounds.
  • Successfully resolved bullying dispute involving six students against the Roseburg School District.
  • Obtained verdict for hazed high school student in case involving the Lake Oswego School District.
  • Represented La Noue Development LLC in a construction defect action in Multnomah County Circuit Court, the Oregon Court of Appeals, and the Oregon Supreme Court. Favorable verdict, which affects the interpretation of indemnity clauses.
  • Represented Deere & Company in a lawsuit involving allegations of a defective tractor. Obtained directed verdict on one claim and a defense verdict on the remaining claims at trial.
  • Served as local counsel for litigation involving an ephedra dietary supplement.
  • Represented developer of two multi-unit condominium conversion projects in lawsuits filed by the respective homeowner associations. Favorable settlements reached in both cases.
  • Represented developer and general contractor in a lawsuit involving allegations of defective construction on multi-unit townhomes.
  • Obtained verdicts in favor of the developer and general contractor and against three subcontractors following a five-week trial.
  • Defended chemical plant in a case involving the accidental release of hydrochloric acid. Obtained defense verdict at trial.
  • Served as local counsel to General Motors in cases involving side-saddle fuel tanks.
  • Served as local counsel to Dow Agrosciences in cases involving pest management products.
  • Successfully defended the Ford Motor Company against claims brought by a plaintiff who alleged the vehicle he purchased had either a design defect or was damaged during manufacture or transport.

Professional and Civic Involvement

  • American Field Service (AFS) (Volunteer, Host Family to Foreign Exchange Students)
  • American Bar Association (Member, Litigation Section; Member, Products Liability Committee, 2004-2011; Co-Chair, Consumer Products Subcommittee, 2008-2009; Co-Chair, Joint Environmental and Products Liability Committees' Annual Meeting, 2006; Co-Chair, Women in Products Liability Subcommittee, 2004-2007)
  • Defense Research Institute (Member, Drug and Medical Device Committee; Member, Product Liability Committee)
  • International Association of Defense Counsel (Member, Audit Committee, 2019-Present; Board of Directors, 2009-2013; Secretary-Treasurer, 2014-2017; Treasurer-Elect, 2013-2014; Member, Audit Committee, 2009; Member, Investment Subcommittee, 2007-Present; Convention Chair, 2012; Chair, State and Regional Membership, 2007-2017; Faculty, Trial Academy, 2010; Chair, Products Liability Committee, 2009-2011; Vice-Chair, Products Liability Committee, 2005-2009; Vice-Chair, Drug, Device and Biotech Committee, 2006-2009; Board of Editors, Defense Counsel Journal, 2008-2017; Defense Counsel Journal Task Force, 2008-2009)
  • International Association of Defense Counsel Foundation (Vice President, 2013; Secretary-Treasurer, 2009-2013; Board of Directors, 2008-2013)
  • Kappa Delta National Sorority (Transitional National Council Nominating Committee, 2010-2013)
  • Multnomah Bar Association (Member, Judicial Screening Committee, 2008-2011; Vice-Chair, 2009-2010)
  • National Panhellenic Conference (National Speaker, "Something of Value" Program)• Oregon Association of Defense Counsel (Member)• Oregon Ballet Theatre (Board of Trustees, 2010-2013; Vice-Chair, 2012-2013)

Awards and Honors

  • AV® Preeminent™, Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Selected for inclusion in Oregon Super Lawyers (2011–20201; 2013 [Top 25 Women List] — Product Liability Defense)
  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© (2011- 2021 — Product Liability Litigation) 
  • Included in the Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers™ by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Recipient of the International Association of Defense Counsel's Joan Fullam Irick Award for exceptional work as a Committee Chair (2011)
  • Award of Merit recipient from the Multnomah Bar Association (2009)
  • Recognized as a Volunteer of Distinction by the AFS (2013)

Advisories and Insights

Publications and Presentations

  • Speaker, "Ethical Responsibility: Making a Difference," Oregon State University (February 2020)
  • Author, "The Era of the Internet of Things: Can Product Liability Laws Keep Up?" IADC: Defense Counsel Journal, Vol. 84, No. 3 (2017)
  • Co-Author, "Model Jury Instructions: Product Liability," American Bar Association (2017)
  • Author (Chapter 3, Section 2), "Responding to the Complaint - Answer and Affirmative Defenses," Defense Counsel Journal
  • Speaker & Author, "Using Effective Remedies to Combat Rambo Litigation," How to Deal with the Rambo Litigator, National Business Institute (December 2015)
  • Speaker & Author, "Dirty Tricks That You Need to Look Out For," How to Deal with the Rambo Litigator, National Business Institute (December 2015)
  • Speaker & Author, "Current Trends in Insurance Coverage & Litigation of CD's," Construction Defect and Dispute Conference (September 2015)
  • Author, "Prejudice Required or Presumed? Proposed Amendment to FRCP 37(e) versus Sekisui American Corp. v. Hart" (October 2013)
  • Author & Moderator, "What Civil Court Judges Want You to Know" (October 2010)
  • Speaker & Author, "Preserving Attorney-Client Privilege and Controlling Discovery," IADC Corporate Counsel College (April 2010)
  • Faculty Member, International Association of Defense Counsel Trial Academy (2010)
  • Author & Moderator, "What Civil Court Judges Want You to Know" (May 2008)
  • Author, "RxFor The Times?" IADC Committee Newsletter (March 2009)
  • Author & Moderator, "Attorney-Client Privilege: How In-House Counsel and Multi-National Companies Can Protect Privileged Conversations," IADC Webinar (January 2009)
  • Author, "'Don't Point the Gun at the Jury' and Other Practical Tips for Presenting Demonstrative Exhibits at Trial," Defense Research Institute Trial Tactics Committee Newsletter (Fall 2007)
  • Author, "West Virginia Rejects Learned Intermediary Doctrine," IADC Newsletter (December 2007)
  • Co-Author, "Does the 'Preemption Preamble' Preempt State Law Product Liability Claims?" American Bar Association, Section of Litigation, Hot Topics (October 2006)
  • Co-Author, "Spoliation of Medical Devices: The Case for Dismissal," IADC Newsletter (February 2006)
  • Speaker & Co-Author, "Construction Law and Litigation, Casualty Insurance and Product Liability, Defective Products Incorporated into a Construction Project: Who's Left Holding the Bag?" IADC Midyear Meeting (2006)
  • Co-Author, "Warnings Monograph," American Bar Association (2005)
  • Co-Author, "Extraordinary Damages Monograph," International Association of Defense Counsel (2005)
  • Speaker & Co-Author, "Getting Your Evidence and Expert Testimony Admitted into Court in Oregon," National Business Institute (2005)
  • Co-Author, "Voluntary Medical Device Recalls: How To and Why," IADC Newsletter (2004)

Outside the Firm

When Leta is not practicing law, she enjoys working on causes that empower young men and women to make a difference in their communities, their countries, and in the world. She loves travelling, cooking, hiking, and spending time with her husband and two pugs.