Law Practice:

Ken Abere joined Cosgrave in 1994 as an attorney.  His litigation practice focuses on real estate, business litigation, personal injury, and premises liability.  Ken is the chair of the firm’s Complex Tort Litigation practice group.  He has represented his clients at more than 36 jury trials and over 200 arbitration hearings.  Since July 2013, Ken tried nine jury trials to verdict and obtained four defense verdicts.   

Prior to joining Cosgrave, Ken worked as a personal insurance underwriter for Chubb Insurance and a commercial insurance underwriter for Safeco Insurance.

Recent Trials:

  • A 60-year-old plaintiff suffered a mild traumatic brain injury in a car accident and sought more than $2 million in damages for ongoing cognitive problems.  After a three day trial the jury awarded $104,000 in damages after accepting our medical expert’s testimony that plaintiff’s cognitive problems were related to early onset Alzheimer’s, not the car accident.
  • Plaintiff claimed that an independent contractor of a transportation company groped her and caused her emotional distress. Plaintiff sought $1 million in damages, and after a three day trial in which defendant presented extensive social media evidence of plaintiff’s post-incident activities, the jury awarded plaintiff $130,000.
  • Plaintiff filed an underinsured motorist claim against State Farm. He claimed he needed neck surgery as result of an accident. Plaintiff demanded payment of the full policy limits. After a two day trial, the jury found plaintiff was not entitled to the policy limits.
  • Plaintiff filed a tort lawsuit claiming she needed neck surgery as the result of an accident. We admitted liability on behalf of our client. Plaintiff claimed more than $100,000 in damages, but the jury found plaintiff failed to prove medical causation and awarded no damages.
  • Plaintiff sued our client to get additional security for payments due under a promissory note related to the sale of a business. After a trial to the court, the court adopted the majority of our proposed findings on terms favorable to our client.
  • In a disputed liability intersection case, plaintiff claimed more than $500,000 in damages for sacroiliac joint dysfunction and post-traumatic stress disorder. We obtained a defense verdict on behalf of our client.

Business Litigation:

  • Business shareholder disputes
  • Unfair competition
  • Commercial lease disputes
  • Enforcement of non-compete employment agreements
  • Conversion of customer client lists
  • Wrongful foreclosure

Tort/Casualty Litigation:

  • Employer Liability Act
  • Product liability
  • Premises liability
  • Personal injury
  • Uninsured/Underinsured motorist claims

Real Estate:

  • Buyer and Seller earnest money disputes
  • Residential and Commercial landlord/tenant disputes
  • Boundary line and easement disputes
  • Drafting easements, lot line adjustments, and land sale contracts
  • Realtor professional liability
  • Mortgage broker professional liability
  • Risk management and consulting for real estate professionals

Representative Cases:

  • Defended a $25 million Employer Liability Act claim filed against a property owner for severe injuries to a construction worker who fell off a scaffolding during a building project.  After completing more than 15 depositions and extensive document discovery, Ken received a favorable settlement for his client.
  • Plaintiff filed an ORS 20.080 tort claim and the arbitrator found in plaintiff’s favor and awarded her more than $10,000 in attorney fees. Ken’s client appealed the arbitrator’s award and requested a jury trial.  Following a 1.5 day trial, Ken obtained a defense verdict and eliminated plaintiff’s attorney fee award.
  •  Defended a $4.6 million lost profits claim filed against a major NW food processor for alleged damage to the construction site of an adjoining business as a result of water flooding their building forms.  After an eight day trial, the jury found in favor of Ken’s client on all claims.
  • Successfully helped a local mortgage broker enforce a non-compete employment agreement against a former employee who attempted to steal the company’s customers.
  • Defended a claim against a local insurance broker for failing to procure the proper limits of liability for product recall coverage.  After completing extensive document discovery and depositions, Ken obtained a favorable settlement for his client.
  • Represented a homeowner who purchased what he thought were two buildable lots on a piece of vacant land, but later found out there was only one.  After a two day real estate arbitration, Ken’s client recovered $50,000 in damages for the diminished value of the land and a majority of their attorney fees.
  • Represented a home buyer who attempted to get his earnest money deposit back after learning that the home seller had failed to disclose relevant information regarding the pending construction of an adjacent subdivision.  After a one day arbitration hearing, Ken’s client was awarded his earnest money, the transaction costs he incurred in attempting to purchase the property and his attorney fees.
  • Defended a transportation company driver against a claim of sexual assault by a passenger who sought $250,000 in damages for emotional distress.  After a two day trial, the jury found in favor of the driver.
  • Defended a residential landlord against a personal injury claim under the Oregon Residential Landlord Tenant Act arising out of an alleged fall down a set of exterior stairs.  After a three day trial, the jury found in favor of Ken’s client and she also recovered her attorney fees.
  • Obtained favorable settlement of a claim by an individual who slipped and fell in the parking lot of a shopping center.

 

Education & Bar Admissions:

Ken received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Trinity College (CT) in 1986 and his law degree from Willamette University in 1994.

He became a member of the Oregon State Bar and the United States District Court for Oregon in 1994, and the Washington State Bar in 2004.

Professional:

Ken is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, the Trial Lawyer Honorary Society.  He is a member of the Oregon Association of Defense Counsel and the Multnomah County Bar Association.

Ken has provided pro bono representation to low income clients at the St. Andrew Legal Clinic.

Personal:

Ken coached his sons’ basketball teams for 15 years and currently enjoys watching from the stands.  In October 2006, Ken was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame.  He held the Trinity College Men’s Basketball all-time scoring record from 1986 until 2006. Ken was also named a 3rd Team NCAA Division III All-American in 1985.

Presentations:

“Social Media in Claims Handling and Litigation”
Presented to State Farm Insurance claim professionals on June 19, 2014

“Real Estate Case Studies”
Fidelity National Title Company and the Hasson Company, November 2013

“Real Estate Case Studies”
Coldwell Banker Lake Oswego office, May 2012

“Risk Management for Realtors”
Keller Williams Realty Portland Premier, February, 2012

“Seller Repair Obligations”
The Meadows Group, August, 2011

“Real Estate Case Studies”
ReMax Realty, April, 2010

“Seller’s Obligation to Disclose”
Chicago Title, March, 2008

“Seller’s Obligations to Complete Repairs and Disclosure Requirements”
Chicago Title Seminar for Real Estate Agents, February, 2008

“Arbitration of Real Estate Claims”
Realty Trust Group, May, 2007

 

Client Comments:

“Thank you, Ken. You are very gracious.  It was a learning experience for me as well as our organization. We felt it was important to be present for the proceedings and appreciate the support Cosgrave Vergeer Kester provided us to do so. To you & your entire staff: a note of Thanks and Appreciation should be extended to all who worked on this case.”

“Thanks a million Ken, I heard both you and Paul did a fantastic job!
We truly appreciate all your hard work!!”

“Again, THANKS for the FANTASTIC RESULT!”

“Ken, I just want to thank you. You were a blessing in a dark time. I had faith that I would be given access to a good attorney.”

“Excellent! Thanks, Ken! You continue to uphold your reputation! We appreciate all you have done on this claim.”

“Thank you! You have a very engaging presentation, everyone found it to be very interesting. Normally when agents attend this kind of meeting it is easy to come away discouraged, but that wasn’t the case here.”

“I also appreciate your willingness to speak with agents who may have a legal question. Those do come up from time to time!”

“Thank you Ken for all that you did and the ease in which you work your cases and your clients. Wow. Thanks!”

“We really appreciated all you did for us and just knowing you were on it gave a measure of relief- you’re great!”

 “At the realty presentation today…”you were very good and quite informative.”

“CONGRATULATIONS on your defense verdict….  As we have all discussed on numerous occasions, this case was an enormous challenge on so many levels.  Your coordinated efforts to focus on the key issues in presenting the case obviously worked very well with the jury.  Kudos to you.  It is a very impressive victory! Also thanks to Sonia, MaryAnn, Jane, Pam and everyone else with the firm who worked on this case.  The management of the huge number of documents/exhibits was quite an undertaking, and your coordination and organization of all of the moving parts was quite impressive as well.”

Thank you so much for taking the time to present to our office.  It was fabulous.  If I can help you in the future, please let me know.”

“I wish to extend my sincere thanks to Ken, yourself and the attorney’s office for your help in this matter.  All your efforts and concern were greatly needed and appreciated.”

“Ken/Wally/Paul

I want to thank you guys for all of the hard work on long hours that you put in with this case.  Your preparation and professional approach really came through at the trial and is what I think impressed the jury.  I appreciate your time and patience with me in explaining the process and answering my questions.  Please thank your staff for all of their hard work….”

“On behalf on everyone in the office and especially those that attended our meeting this morning, thank you for taking the time to share with us your experiences and expertise.  It was very informative.”

“Thank you for all your hard work on the case and for your belief in the strength of our defense.  Let me know…any good tips for winding down from this rollercoaster ride.”

“We enjoyed working with you.  You made a difficult time easier for us to deal with and we truly appreciate that.”

“Thank you so very much for speaking at my open house last Tuesday.  You brought a great turnout as well as sparked a lot of discussion and thought.  I heard nothing but compliments!”

“Thanks for the fantastic job – you are on my speed dial for any future Oregon matters!”

“THANKS for another EXCELLENT resolution on a very complicated case!”