James Oberholtzer, Chartered

Firm Overview

Oliver Wendall Holmes, Jr. famously said "The life of law has not been logic, it has been experience." Experience adds a knowledge of people to a knowledge of the law. This makes the difference between mediocre legal advice and great advice. Most lawyers either know or can find out what the law says. Good lawyers know the law and can apply it to a client's benefit. Great lawyers know the law, know people and apply both to a client's benefit. We give great legal advice.

Our law firm focuses on meeting the legal needs of entrepreneurs, small and medium size businesses, especially family owned or closely held businesses, estates, trusts, and charitable organizations. The Firm's attorneys strive to provide affordable solutions uniquely suited to their clients' needs.

Philosophically, the Firm believes "it is a gift to be simple" and strives for the virtues of a simple solution with the rare exception where complexity serves an essential purpose.

Main Office
1500 SW 1st Avenue
Suite 800
Portland  OR  97201
  • (503) 345-0652
  • (503) 546-6376


Free Initial Consultation?
Yes, for enough time to get an understanding of the basic issues in the matter; usually between 15 to 45 minutes.
Services Offered For Fixed Fees?
Sliding scale depending on complexity of matter and ability to pay.
Hourly Rates

Office Information

Office Hours
Monday to Friday 9:00 am to 5:30 pm
Office Manager
Quincie Christenson
Emergency After Hours
Languages Spoken
Modest French and Spanish

Is your firm willing to help a client with one discrete part of a case, without taking on the whole case?

Yes; although this must be handled carefully to retain the benefits being sought without jeopardizing the success of the effort.

What are your policies about dividing work within the firm to make the process most cost-effective for the client?

We assign the legal work to the lowest cost professional who can do an efficient and effective job. Often this requires a collaboration between attorneys, legal assistants and support staff.

How frequently does your firm use mediation, arbitration, or collaborative law to resolve cases?

We use mediation, arbitration and collaboration whenever it appears to be the best method for reaching a just and fair resolution of the matter. In practice, this does not occur very often as we are able to resolve many disputes or disagreements by direct communication.

Does your firm provide pro bono legal services or otherwise participate in your community?

We advise not for profit charities and low income individuals on a reduced or no fee basis pro bono publico. In addition, James Oberholtzer serves in the House of Delegates for the Oregon State Bar Association.

What distinguishes your law firm from others?

Our ability to bring big city (Chicago) skills and experience to all the matters we handle and a commitment to finding simple, creative solutions to our clients' needs.

What is your firm's point of view regarding clients educating themselves on legal issues?

We relate to our clients as individuals. Each has their own strengths and weaknesses. We work collaboratively with our clients and encourage them to do as much and contribute as much time and effort to their projects as they wish.

We find that the more knowledgeable a client is concerning legal requirements and opportunities, the more successful we are in working together and the better the outcomes.

Is your firm willing to review documents prepared by clients?

Yes. In some situations this can be a valuable cost savings to the clients. In others it can take more time and be more costly. We advise the clients whenever the potential cost savings are being overcome by the additional work.

Is your firm willing to coach clients who want to represent themselves?

Yes; although it is an unusual legal matter where we are consulted and the clients can make court appearances on their own behalf.

James Oberholtzer

Our firm was founded in 1995 in Chicago, Illinois. In 2001, we established a satellite office in Portland, Oregon while maintaining the main office in Chicago, Illinois. In 2011, we moved the main office to Portland while maintaining a satellite office in Chicago, IL.

We assign the legal work to the lowest cost professional who can do an efficient and effective job. Often this requires a collaboration between attorneys, legal assistants and support staff.

  • Bar Number: 021268
    Oregon , 2002

* Nolo has confirmed that every member attorney has a valid license and is in good standing with the state agency that licenses lawyers. Any past disbarments and suspensions (with possible exceptions for minor violations or nonpayment of dues, in our discretion) will be indicated accordingly in the badge. Member attorneys are required to notify Nolo immediately if they become the subject of any disciplinary action by any state licensing agency.