The Law Offices of Jeffrey S Mutnick

About Jeffrey S Mutnick

Introduction

Mr. Mutnick is a graduate of Tulane University, receiving a Bachelor of Arts with special honors in 1969. He then attended Northwestern University Law School in Chicago, where he was selected a member of the Board of Editors of the Journal of Criminal Law, Criminology and Police Science. While in law school, he published his first bar review article in the Journal.

Upon graduation, Mr. Mutnick moved to Portland, Oregon, where he became a member of the newly formed public defender office. His first assignment was to establish a new program representing individuals in involuntary commitment proceedings. This unique program not only afforded him the opportunity to represent hundreds of individuals in mental health-related proceedings, but also resulted in his being selected, at age 26, as a member of the Oregon Governor’s Task Force on Mental Health. While a member of the Mental Health Task Force, Mr. Mutnick participated in the drafting of a completely revised mental health code, affording greater rights to those involved in mental health proceedings, and, more significantly, requiring the use of alternative resources within the mental health community.

During the time of his active involvement with civil commitments, Mr. Mutnick published his second law review article. This article was in the Willamette University Law Review and was entitled “A Practical Guide to Civil Commitments.” He also became an adjunct faculty member at the Northwestern University School of Law, Portland State University, and a lecturer and author for the Department of Human Resources, training mental health workers in the evaluation of individuals in involuntary commitment proceedings.

In 1974, Mr. Mutnick was one of the founders of the public defenders office in Washington County. While in Washington County, he represented individuals in criminal, mental health and juvenile proceedings.

As a result of his expertise in the area of mental health, Mr. Mutnick, upon returning to the public defenders office in Multnomah County, was appointed to the Governor’s Task Force on Corrections. While on the Corrections Task Force, he participated in the drafting of unique legislation establishing the Psychiatric Security Review Board, a parole board for the evaluation of the release status of people who pled not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.

Mr. Mutnick was appointed the first chairman of the Psychiatric Security Review Board, a multi-disciplinary panel appointed by the Governor. His responsibilities included establishing the office and developing procedures and standards to implement the new legislation, as well as conducting hearings. In March 1978, while still holding that position, Mr. Mutnick began his employment with the prominent firm of Pozzi Wilson & Achison.

The firm had been in existence since 1960, and its predecessor firm, Peterson Pozzi & Lent, had represented individuals in civil litigation matters since the early 1950s. Pozzi Wilson & Atchison was known for its zealous representation of injured workers in civil litigation and its dedication to providing access to the civil justice system for people who would not otherwise be able to be represented.

Mr. Mutnick was at Pozzi Wilson Atchison from 1978 until 1998. While at the firm, he represented hundreds of injured workers, tried over 100 civil lawsuits in a variety of practice areas, and became well known as a civil litigator in both Oregon and Washington.

In 1980, Mr. Mutnick filed the first lawsuit in the Northwest for a person with asbestos related disease. He actively participated in the change of the statute of limitations under the Oregon Workers Compensation statute, to allow injured workers to pursue claims for exposures that occurred many years before the manifestation of their disease.

The initial cases in which Mr. Mutnick was involved were filed in Seattle and Tacoma, Washington, due to the statute of limitations in the State of Oregon. The early asbestos cases were not favored by the courts, and as a consequence as many as 20 cases were rescheduled for trial on the same date. Mr. Mutnick, along with his associated counsel Jim Burns in the State of Washington, would prepare up to 20 cases for trial every four months.

After three years of litigating asbestos cases in the State of Washington while maintaining an active trial practice specializing in construction related injuries in the State of Oregon, Mr. Mutnick participated in the revision of the products liability statute of limitations, allowing victims of asbestos disease to file lawsuits against the manufacturers and distributors of asbestos products for remote injurious exposures.

Between 1980 and the present Mr. Mutnick evaluated and/or participated in over 1,000 cases for asbestos victims, and was a prominent participant in the national asbestos litigation movement. Mr. Mutnick’s activities nationally involving asbestos litigation included lecturing and writing articles on the subject, as well as participating in bankruptcy trusts, multi-state depositions, and significant appellate decisions.

While maintaining his practice in the area of asbestos related disease, Mr. Mutnick also developed expertise in construction litigation. He has represented workers injured in construction accidents, including all of the building trades and commercial divers. Because Pozzi Wilson & Achison was closely affiliated with the maritime industry, Mr. Mutnick also secured significant verdicts for tugboat employees and fishermen injured in the Bering Sea, and represented hundreds of injured workers under the Longshore and Harbor Workers Act, a compensation procedure unique to maritime workers. He has been recognized on many occasions for his expertise and contribution in the area of maritime law and was selected as the most prominent speaker at the Pacific Admiralty Institute.

As a result of his interest in both maritime and asbestos litigation, Mr. Mutnick wrote his third law review article for the University of San Francisco Maritime Law Journal, entitled “Epidemic-Type Claims in the Maritime Industry.”

Mr. Mutnick left Pozzi, Wilson & Achison in 1998, shortly before the firm closed, and over the next ten years has continued with his practice, emphasizing the representation of injured workers in construction and maritime industries, and remaining the most prominent lawyer representing asbestos victims in the State of Oregon. He has continued as a member of the Trust Advisory Committee for the EJ Bartells Company. His work regarding the Raybestos Manhatten bankruptcy has been nationally recognized.

Throughout his career, Mr. Mutnick has had the opportunity to be on the faculty of many trial practice training institutes. These include the American Trial Lawyers, the Oregon Law Institute, and many others including the Oregon State Bar. He has authored various sections of the Oregon State Bar handbook series, including criminal law, occupational disease, and damages, and was an original member of the Uniform Trial Court Rules committee, and participated in the Oregon State Bar’s jury instruction committee.

As a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, Mr. Mutnick has been recognized for having tried over 200 cases. His recognition by various other peer evaluation organizations such as Best Lawyers in America, Million Dollar Advocate’s Forum, Litigation Counsel of America, American Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers, Best Lawyers in Oregon, Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers in Portland, and his participation in trial practice seminars as both a lecturer and author, provide him with the ability to evaluate and successfully prosecute personal injury cases.

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