HENRY J. KAPLAN
I have a simple rule; I only work for good folks. My practice includes public and private sector labor law, collective bargaining, employment litigation, individual employment contracts, wage litigation, employment benefits litigation, and workplace technology and privacy issues.
I was born in Brooklyn, New York and grew up in North Bergen, New Jersey. As a youth, I suffered from an unhealthy obsession with math and science, but my blue-collar upbringing and empathy for the little guy eventually drove me to law. I graduated cum laude from Princeton University in 1977 with a degree in Philosophy of Science, did graduate work in philosophy at University of Pittsburgh, and received my law degree from New York University School of Law in 1981. Needing a break from the Big Apple, I found a one-year clerkship in Oregon for U.S. District Judge Gus Solomon, who taught me to not waste words, and to answer my own phone. Following his clerkship, I was admitted to both the Oregon and New York Bar Associations. But after a year in Portland I could think of no good reason to return to New Jersey, so I have answered my own phone in Portland ever since.
I have especially extensive experience in wage and pension class action litigation, union contract negotiation, interest arbitration, and contract litigation. I pride myself on seeking practical solutions, when feasible, to resolve the problems of my union and employee clients through negotiation or mediation. I’ll often provide my clients with a risk/benefit analysis to help them decide whether to litigate.
I serve as the firm’s managing partner only because I can handle spreadsheets. I still read too much math and science for a lawyer. In my (occasional) free time, I will go for a hike or ride my bike, but only if the weather is okay; otherwise I head indoors to play racquetball. I’m a labor lawyer, not a corporate tax attorney – so I only golf rarely, and never take the game seriously. My clients like to win – both on the golf course, and in the courtroom.
Admitted to Practice
- New York Bar: 1983
- Oregon State Bar: 1983
- Oregon Federal Bar: 1984
New York University School of Law (J.D., 1981) University of Pittsburgh, Department of Philosophy (Teaching Fellowship; Doctoral Candidate 1977-78)
Area of study: Philosophy of Science, Mathematical logic
Courses taught: Introductory Logic, Philosophy and Public Issues Princeton University (B.A., cum laude, 1977)
Major: Philosophy of Mathematics. Special degree certificate in History and Philosophy of Science. Honors Thesis on Intuitionist Mathematics
Metropolitan Public Defenders, Staff Attorney: Felony and misdemeanor cases, civil commitments, juvenile delinquency and dependency, and criminal appeals. 1985-1987
LaBarre & Associates, Associate Attorney: complex litigation, class actions, securities litigation, personal injury 1983-84
Hon. Gus. J. Solomon, U.S. District Judge District of Oregon, Law Clerk: District Court cases in Oregon, Washington, Nevada, and California, and appellate cases for the the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. 1981-83