Sumner Law focuses on effective resolution to disputes. The lawyer and client are a team that only functions well when both are working together to achieve the desired result. That relationship is built through mutual respect. The lawyer's job is to provide expertise and experience to the team, counseling the client in both the strengths and weaknesses in the case so that the client can ultimately make an informed decision on how to prosecute the case.
Sumner Law opened its doors on April 15, 2009. Its founder, Ted Sumner, has been a lawyer since 2000. He started his career representing plaintiffs, and then moved to insurance defense. His experience allows him to evaluate the claims from both perspectives, giving his clients a distinct advantage in formulating a strategy for case resolution.
Death Case (plaintiff): Ted's client swerved into on-coming traffic to avoid debris on the roadway and was killed in a head on car crash. The client had no significant earnings history and no medical bills, so the economic damages were limited and the non-economic damages were capped at $500,000. Ted learned through investigating the defendant company that it had a long history of citations for failing to secure its loads on commercial trucks. The case settled for just under one million dollars.
House Fire (defendant): Ted defended a property owner against a claim by a renter. The renter moved into rental house, which caught on fire the first night he was in the home. The renter suffered significant burns and about a quarter of a million dollars in medical bills. The case was dismissed while a motion for summary judgment was pending based on negotiation with the plaintiff's lawyer.
Sumner Law does offer free initial consultations. The first step with a new client is to gather just enough information about the case for a conflict of interest check. Once it has been established that there is no conflict of interest, then more case information is gathered, typically over the phone. Clients are then scheduled for an appointment if it appears that it is a case that Ted is interested in. This process may be very short or may take some time depending upon the case.
The initial in-office consultation is free for all cases if you mention Nolo.
The fees charged depend upon the type of case. Some cases are hourly, some are flat fee, and some are contingency fee cases. The initial consultation is free.
$225. Sumner Law will reduce the normal hourly rate by $25 if you mention Nolo for hourly cases.
Monday through Friday
8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
After hours and weekends by arrangement only.
Spanish and Korean can be arranged.
Litigation is the perfect complement to Ted's interest in helping other people. Litigation is always very stressful for both the plaintiff and defendant. Regardless of what side you are on, you should insist on a lawyer that you trust and will have a good relationship with.
Clients should educate themselves as much as possible. The best attorney-client relationships are based on mutual trust between the lawyer and client. A primary function of the attorney is to help the client understand both the strengths and risks of her case. When choosing a lawyer, make sure you choose one who will take the time to educate you on your case.
Only under very limited circumstances. While a client should be educated, legal documents are usually very technical and have significant implications. It is often less expensive to hire a lawyer to create a document than to hire a lawyer to fix a document that the lawyer did not create. This is particularly true in Oregon because Oregon is one of the only, if not the only, state that still requires code pleading.
Only under very limited circumstances. Any clients interested in this should call so that Ted and the client can determine whether such a relationship is appropriate.
Ted started his career with Rosenthal & Greene, a noted plaintiff's law firm in Portland. While there, he gained valuable experience in prosecuting large claims in a wide variety of cases. Those cases included automobile accidents, legal negligence, medical malpractice, civil rights, wage and hour disputes, and a variety of other claims.
After about four years with Rosenthal & Greene, Ted moved to an insurance defense practice. His practice there was even more diverse. Among other cases, he defended a board of directors against oppression claims, a company against a piercing the corporate veil claim, premises liability claims, herbicide application and migration claims, employment disputes, construction defect claims, accounting malpractice and ethics claims, and a variety of other claims.
Ted has also done appellate work. He has prepared briefs for and argued in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Oregon Supreme Court, and Oregon Court of Appeals.
Ted Sumner believes that our entire lives shape us into the people that we are. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Ted was enlisted and then commissioned in the U.S. Coast Guard. His military experience taught him many valuable personal lessons, such as honor and accountability. After he left the Coast Guard, Ted and his wife moved back to Beaverton, where he has lived ever since.
After moving back to Oregon, Ted gained experience as a production manager at a company in Northwest Portland, giving him insight into the challenges faced by businesses. He quit his position to attend law school at Lewis and Clark College in Portland. After law school, he took jobs that have afforded many opportunities not common for attorneys who have had many of experience.
Litigation and negotiation are fluid. Sometimes a hard line negotiation is necessary while other times a more conciliatory approach is more appropriate. And while negotiation strategies may change, everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. Ted's strength is the ability to adopt appropriate negotiation strategies while still treating everyone professionally.
Ted had significant experience in the U.S. Coast Guard and private industry prior to becoming a lawyer. This experience has given him the ability to understand a perspective beyond that of just an attorney.
Family is very important. In addition to spending time with his family, Ted enjoys racing sailboats around Oregon and Washington and playing racquetball in Beaverton.
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