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Randall P. Sutton

Randall P. Sutton

Phone (503) 399-1070


Best Lawyers Sutton, Randall P
AV Peer Review Rated


Randall serves as Chair of the firm's Employment Litigation Practice Group. In his 20 years of law practice, Randall has focused on advising employers and handling employment and business litigation matters. Randall is highly regarded for his expertise in employment law.

  • Rated AV Preeminent by his peers in the Martindale-Hubbell directory
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America for the practice area of Employment Law - Management
  • Recognized by Chambers USA in its upcoming edition as a Leader in the field of Employment Law

The key areas in which Randall focuses his practice are:

Advice and Representation of Employers in Litigation & Administrative Proceedings

Randall advises management with difficult employee relations issues and helps employers stay complaint with state and federal employment laws. Randall defends employers in litigation brought by current and former employees. He has handled a wide variety of harassment, discrimination and retaliation cases alleging violations of age, sex, disability, race, family leave, national origin, and other laws. He also defends employers against wage & hour, breach of contract, wrongful discharge and other employment-related claims.  Randall has particular expertise in leave and disability laws under FMLA, OFLA, and the ADA. Randall frequently works with his clients’ Employment Practices Liability (EPLI) insurance carriers to provide a strong defense under the terms of the EPLI policy.

“Save the Company” – Corporate Raiding Litigation

Randall has considerable experience prosecuting claims against former employees who have sought to sabotage and step into the shoes of their former employer. These actions have threatened the survival of the client company through the loss of trade secrets, diversion of employees, and solicitation of customer relationships. Randall has obtained TROs and preliminary injunctions to provide emergency relief and protection. To secure the return of stolen customer information and preserve electronic data from destruction,  Randall has obtained court orders on an ex parte basis without prior notice to the opposing party. These efforts have helped his clients’ businesses survive and thrive, by obtaining necessary emergency legal protections.

Representative Cases:

The Carriage Works v. Ikonic Manufacturing: Key employees of national manufacturer sabotaged and diverted employees and customers. Obtained ex parte order to preserve electronic data through sheriff-assisted data retrieval efforts without prior notice to competitor. Obtained preliminary injunction preventing former employees’ company from doing business with key customers.

Action Truss v. Salem Truss: Key management employees took customer files, diverted customers, and hired away employees. Obtained sheriff-assisted ex parte claim and delivery order for the return of trade secrets necessary to continue client business operations.  Obtained preliminary injunction preventing use of trade secrets and imposing customer protections. Secured court-ordered receiver, who was instructed to liquidate the former employees’ newly formed company.

MegAvail v. Market Specific Media: Former key employees sabotaged and sought to step into shoes of former employer. Obtained ex parte court order to preserve electronic data and preliminary injunction preventing former employees from engaging in competitive efforts.

Complex Business Litigation Matters

Randall represents business clients in varied complex litigation matters. His clients have included large manufacturers, call centers, physicians’ offices, farms, professional service providers, franchisees, artists, retailers, financial institutions and many others in a wide variety of fields and occupations. These cases have litigated a wide variety of claims, including claims for antitrust, intellectual property rights, breach of contract, ERISA, breach of fiduciary duty of loyalty, shareholder disputes, and minority shareholder oppression to name a few.

Professional Involvement

Randall is a frequent author and public speaker on employment legal issues. He began his career as a personnel analyst for the City of San Diego. Randall is admitted to practice law in both Oregon and Washington and assists clients across the Northwest.

Randall has served for many years as the Oregon Legislative Director for the Society for Human Resource Management (“SHRM”), and was the 2012 Director of the SHRM Oregon State Council.  Randall also serves on the Associated Oregon Industries (AOI) Employment Practices Steering Committee where he plays a part in helping to shape laws affecting Oregon employers. Randall is the Past President of the Job Growers Incorporated tri-county workforce investment board.  For the past three years, he has supported the Sprague High School Band Boosters as Chair of the Pacific Coast Invitational statewide marching band competition.

Industry Focuses


Willamette University College of Law
J.D., 1993

San Diego State University
B.A., Political Science, 1984


Bar Admissions

  • Oregon
  • Washington

Professional Activities

Randall has served as a Legislative Affairs Director for the Oregon State Council of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), and currently serves as the State Director. SHRM is the world's largest association devoted to human resource management with more than 200,000 members. Randall also serves on the Associated Oregon Industries (AOI) Employment Practices Council and is a member of the AOI Employment Practices Steering Committee. He has also served on a statewide Drug Free Workforce legislative workgroup. Randall has been involved in many community nonprofit efforts, including serving as an officer on the board of directors for the Salem Art Association and the Salem Art Association Endowment Foundation. He is a past President of the Job Growers Incorporated tri-county workforce investment board for Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties. Randall is a member of the Oregon Association of Defense Counsel (OADC) and is a member of the Marion County Bar Association. Randall has written a monthly column on employment law for the Salem Business Journal. He is also a member of the Litigation, Labor Relations, and Business Litigation sections of the Oregon State Bar and the Litigation section of the Washington State Bar.


The following is a selected list of seminars presented by Randall:


February 2013   Legislative Update Mid-Willamette HR Association Albany


November 2012   Duty of Care for Directors of Nonprofit Boards SHRM Oregon State Council Eugene
November 2012   Viva Lost Wages In House for Clients Salem
September 2012   Effective Workplace Investigations In House for Clients Salem
August 2012   Legislative Roundtable Portland HR Management AssociationPortland
June 2012   HR Basics SHRM Salem Chapter Salem
February 2012   Legislative Update Albany SHRM Chapter Albany


December 2011   Protecting Your Practice - Hot Topics in Employment Law Marion Polk Dental Society Salem
September 2011   Management & Harassment Training & Social Media Issues Oregon Bankers' Association Salem
September 2011   Saw You on Facebook . . . . "You're Fired!" In House for Clients Salem
January 2011   Employment Law 101 Professional Land Surveyors of Oregon 2011 Conference  
May 2011   HR Basics SHRM Salem Chapter Salem


June 2010   HR Basics SHRM Salem Chapter Salem
January 2010   Tips to Keep Employers Out of Trouble & 2010 Legislative Update Seminar co-presented with Moss Adams CPAs Salem


September 2009   What's New in Employment Law In House for Clients Salem
July 2009   New Employment Laws- Panel Discussion with BOLI Commissioner Brad Avakian Salem Chamber of Commerce Public Policy Forum Salem
June 2009   HR Basics SHRM Salem Chapter Salem
April 2009   Viva Lost Wages! . . . with Lilly Ledbetter & the Fair Pay Act In House for Clients Salem
February 2009   2009 Legislative Event Portland Human Resources Management Association & Oregon Staffing Association Tualatin
January 2009   Employee Free Choice Act Salem Chamber of Commerce Public Policy Forum Salem


December 2008   Update on FMLA Regulations, ADA Amendments and EFCA In House for Clients Salem
December 2008   Updates on the Employee Free Choice Act Salem Chamber Public Policy Committee Salem
July 2008   Employment & I-9 / SSN Mismatch Update Farm Credit Seminar Salem
June 2008   Protecting your Business with Noncompete & Confidentiality Agreements Legislative Changes for 2008 Professional Insurance Agents Annual Conference Bend
June 2008   HR Basics - SHRM Salem Chapter   Salem
April 2008   Family Leave - New Rules & Challenges In House for Clients Salem
January 2008   Employment Legal Issues Chemeketa Small Business Development Center Salem


December 2007   New Employment Laws for 2008 In House for Clients Salem
October 2007   SSN No-Match Letters & Other Issues Facing Nursery Growers   Salem
October 2007   New Rules for Noncompetes In House for Clients Salem
September 2007   2007 Legislative & Legal Update OSPMA/SHRM Fall Conference Silverton
August 2007   2007 Employment Law Report - New Laws & New Challenges for Business Salem Economic Development Corporation (SEDCOR) Salem
June 2007   Disaster Preparedness - Progressive discipline, Documentation, and that magical happy place called "Summary Judgment" In-House for Clients Salem
June 2007   HR Basics SHRM Salem Chapter Salem
April 2007   Bermuda Triangle Workshop: Advanced Level Strategies to Evaluate & Solve Leave of Absence Issues SHRM Salem Chapter Salem


November 2006   Employment Legal Issues for Food Processors Mid-Willamette Valley Food Processors' Training Consortium Salem
November 2006   2006 Legal Update Oregon Bankers' Association Human Resources Committee Salem
October 2006   Employment Law in the Internet Age - "IMs & tattoos & blogs . . . . Oh My Space!" Willamette Valley Inns of Court Salem
September 2006   Medical Marijuana & the ADA Interactive Process In-House for Clients Salem
July 2006   Medical Marijuana & the ADA Interactive Process MHRMA Chapter Albany
June 2006   HR Basics SHRM Salem Chapter Salem


November 2005   Legal Hiring Practices In-House for Clients Salem
October 2005   Viva Lost Wages! - How to Keep your Employees from Hitting the Wage Claim Jackpot NHRMA Regional Conference & Trade Show Sunriver
June 2005   HR Basics SHRM Salem Chapter Salem
February 2005   Medical Marijuana - Is the Workplace Going to Pot? In-House for Clients Salem


June 2004   HR Basics SHRM Salem and Klamath Falls Chapters Salem and Klamath Falls
May 2004   Managing Employee Conflict Bend Chamber of Commerce Bend


October 2003   Advanced HR - Legal Update & Employee Leave & Absenteeism Workshop SHRM Salem Chapter Salem
October 2003   Protecting your Company from Corporate Raiding - Trade Secrets, Noncompetition, and Hiring NHRMA Regional Conference & Trade Show Portland
September 2003   Protecting Your Dental Practice - Strategies to Avoid & Win Employee Lawsuits Dental Practice Seminar Eugene
September 2003   Employment Policies Revisited In-House for Clients Salem
June 2003   Bermuda Triangle of Employee Leave and Absenteeism Employer Council / SHRM Klamath Falls
May 2003   Speed Traps, Potholes and Red Flags: Safely Navigating the Rough Roads of Employment Law Mid-Valley Tax Forum Salem
April 2003   Understanding the ADA Employer Council / SHRM Klamath Falls
March 2003   Understanding Family Leave Employer Council / SHRM Klamath Falls
February 2003   Harassment Defense In-House for Clients Salem
February 2003   Arbitration & Conflicts Bend Chamber Bend


July 2002   Employee Theft and Embezzlement In-House for Clients Salem
June 2002   HR Basics SHRM Salem Chapter Salem
October 2002   2002 Legislative Update OSPMA Salem
October 2002   Garnishments & Wage Deductions In-House for Clients Salem
September 2002   Highly Effective Chapter Boards NHRMA Regional Conference Tacoma, WA
September 2002   Legislative & Legal Update SHRM Salem Chapter Salem
May 2002   Recent Developments in Leave and Disability Laws SHRM Central Oregon Chapter Bend


October 2001   Protecting Business Information In-House for Clients Bend
September 2001   Protecting Business Information In-House for Clients Salem
March 2001   Legislative Update SHRM Statewide Legislative Conference Salem


April 2000   Hot Issues in Employment Law Lorman Seminars Portland
January 2000   Employment Law Overview Multnomah Dental Society Portland


August 1999   Employment & Labor Law Lorman Seminars Salem
April 1999   Hot Issues in Employment Law Lorman Seminars Portland
March 1999   Family & Medical Leave Laws Lorman Seminars Salem

Off the Job

Randall can frequently be found enjoying road trips and track events with fellow sports car enthusiasts. He is thankful that his wife Tari has remained a good sport through many twisty and narrow mountain roads. Randall is an avid photographer and occasional tennis player. He enjoys hanging out with his teenage sons and frequent travel with his lovely wife. Randall wishes that the quality of his golf game reflected all of the effort he has put into it, and he is a great admirer (and sometimes creator) of perfectly smoked beef brisket.