Laura Salerno Owens

Shareholder, Firm President

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Laura Salerno Owens is a trial lawyer with broad experience representing employers and executives in single and class actions lawsuits. She represents clients in a variety of employment law issues including noncompetition/nonsolicitation agreements and trade secrets, wage and hour disputes, discrimination charges, sexual harassment allegations, and whistleblower claims. She also has experience litigating claims in state and federal court arising under the Equal Pay Act, Family Medical Leave Act, the Oregon Family Leave Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act and representing clients before the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Laura is equally adept at advocating for her clients in the courtroom and advising them in the boardroom. She brings a trial lawyer’s perspective to employment disputes, which enables her to quickly get to the heart of legal issues and develop a strategy to solve often-complex problems.  A natural “people person,” Laura communicates effectively with business owners, opposing counsel, and judges.  One of her clients recently said "Laura provided good counsel in the negotiation of a complicated retirement agreement.  Her assistance was done in a timely manner, on budget, with outstanding client service.  Her advocacy led to a successful outcome for my case."  Another business owner Laura represented in enforcing a noncompetition agreement commented, "We got a speedy resolution that met our objectives. I am so impressed with the help she provided." Laura is also an ardent advocate. As one client put it "When life throws you a curve ball, grab a bat and swing! Thanks Laura for being our bat."

Laura has significant experience in state and federal courts, mediations, and arbitrations.  She has first-chair jury trial experience, has taken and defended numerous depositions, and has argued key pretrial and dispositive motions. 

Laura has given more than 75 presentations and continuing education courses on various topics, including general employment law, anti-discrimination and harassment, social media in the workplace, and pay equity. She has served as the keynote speaker at large conferences such as Oregon Health & Science University’s Women in Academic Medicine and she presents to various business groups ranging from Disrupt HR, Rotary, and others. She has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America, named a Super Lawyer by Oregon Super Lawyers, honored by the University of Oregon School of Law as an Outstanding Young Alumnus in 2016, selected by the Portland Business Journal as a “Forty Under 40” in 2018, and recognized as a Woman of Influence by the Portland Business Journal in 2019. Recently, The Portland Business Journal's parent company, The Business Journals, recognized Laura as one of the top 100 Legal Influencers in the U.S.

Representative Litigation

  • Lead plaintiffs' counsel in equal pay and gender discrimination class action against Nike, Inc. 
  • Lead defense trial lawyer in wage and hour case tried to a jury
  • Appointed by federal Judge Anna Brown to represent the jury in the high-profile litigation, United States v. Bundy, when, following the October 2016 Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation trial, a group of media moved the Court to learn the identities of the jurors
  • Lead counsel on corporate espionage case, successfully obtaining injunctive relief to protect client’s trade secrets and enforce terms of nonsolicitation agreements
  • Represented group of salespeople in challenging terms of their former employer’s noncompetition/ nonsolicitation agreements
  • Represented numerous executives in negotiating severance packages or terms of employment agreements
  • Successfully enforced numerous noncompetition agreements on behalf of employers and challenged restrictive covenants of behalf of employees
  • Filed and defended numerous agency complaints filed with the Bureau of Labor and Industries
  • Represented clients in judicial and private mediations and arbitrations
  • Defended national agribusiness and food producer in two Oregon class actions brought by workers alleging violations of wage and hour laws related to donning and doffing protective equipment
  • Defended national debt collection agency in defense of wage and hour class action
  • Conducted interviews of numerous putative class members in connection with defense of state agency in multiple class action suits brought by the U.S. Department of Labor alleging overtime violations

Awards and Honors

  • Recognized, Top 100 Legal Influencers in the U.S., The Business Journals, 2019
  • Women of Influence Honoree, Portland Business Journal, 2019
  • Forty Under 40 Honoree, Portland Business Journal, 2018
  • Best Lawyer, Best Lawyers in America, 2017 – present
  • Outstanding Young Alumnus Award, University of Oregon School of Law, 2016
  • Super Lawyer, Oregon Super Lawyers magazine, 2019; Rising Star, Oregon Super Lawyers magazine, 2012 – 2018
  • Member Services Award, Oregon State Bar New Lawyers Division, 2013
  • Up & Coming Lawyer Honoree, Daily Journal of Commerce, 2012
  • Volunteer of the Year Award, Oregon State Bar New Lawyers Division, 2012
  • National Service to the Bar Award, American Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division, 2012

In the News

Laura Salerno Owens

Shareholder, Firm President

contactsvCard
printPrint

Laura Salerno Owens is a trial lawyer with broad experience representing employers and executives in single and class actions lawsuits. She represents clients in a variety of employment law issues including noncompetition/nonsolicitation agreements and trade secrets, wage and hour disputes, discrimination charges, sexual harassment allegations, and whistleblower claims. She also has experience litigating claims in state and federal court arising under the Equal Pay Act, Family Medical Leave Act, the Oregon Family Leave Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act and representing clients before the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Laura is equally adept at advocating for her clients in the courtroom and advising them in the boardroom. She brings a trial lawyer’s perspective to employment disputes, which enables her to quickly get to the heart of legal issues and develop a strategy to solve often-complex problems.  A natural “people person,” Laura communicates effectively with business owners, opposing counsel, and judges.  One of her clients recently said "Laura provided good counsel in the negotiation of a complicated retirement agreement.  Her assistance was done in a timely manner, on budget, with outstanding client service.  Her advocacy led to a successful outcome for my case."  Another business owner Laura represented in enforcing a noncompetition agreement commented, "We got a speedy resolution that met our objectives. I am so impressed with the help she provided." Laura is also an ardent advocate. As one client put it "When life throws you a curve ball, grab a bat and swing! Thanks Laura for being our bat."

Laura has significant experience in state and federal courts, mediations, and arbitrations.  She has first-chair jury trial experience, has taken and defended numerous depositions, and has argued key pretrial and dispositive motions. 

Laura has given more than 75 presentations and continuing education courses on various topics, including general employment law, anti-discrimination and harassment, social media in the workplace, and pay equity. She has served as the keynote speaker at large conferences such as Oregon Health & Science University’s Women in Academic Medicine and she presents to various business groups ranging from Disrupt HR, Rotary, and others. She has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America, named a Super Lawyer by Oregon Super Lawyers, honored by the University of Oregon School of Law as an Outstanding Young Alumnus in 2016, selected by the Portland Business Journal as a “Forty Under 40” in 2018, and recognized as a Woman of Influence by the Portland Business Journal in 2019. Recently, The Portland Business Journal's parent company, The Business Journals, recognized Laura as one of the top 100 Legal Influencers in the U.S.

Representative Litigation

  • Lead plaintiffs' counsel in equal pay and gender discrimination class action against Nike, Inc. 
  • Lead defense trial lawyer in wage and hour case tried to a jury
  • Appointed by federal Judge Anna Brown to represent the jury in the high-profile litigation, United States v. Bundy, when, following the October 2016 Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation trial, a group of media moved the Court to learn the identities of the jurors
  • Lead counsel on corporate espionage case, successfully obtaining injunctive relief to protect client’s trade secrets and enforce terms of nonsolicitation agreements
  • Represented group of salespeople in challenging terms of their former employer’s noncompetition/ nonsolicitation agreements
  • Represented numerous executives in negotiating severance packages or terms of employment agreements
  • Successfully enforced numerous noncompetition agreements on behalf of employers and challenged restrictive covenants of behalf of employees
  • Filed and defended numerous agency complaints filed with the Bureau of Labor and Industries
  • Represented clients in judicial and private mediations and arbitrations
  • Defended national agribusiness and food producer in two Oregon class actions brought by workers alleging violations of wage and hour laws related to donning and doffing protective equipment
  • Defended national debt collection agency in defense of wage and hour class action
  • Conducted interviews of numerous putative class members in connection with defense of state agency in multiple class action suits brought by the U.S. Department of Labor alleging overtime violations

Awards and Honors

  • Recognized, Top 100 Legal Influencers in the U.S., The Business Journals, 2019
  • Women of Influence Honoree, Portland Business Journal, 2019
  • Forty Under 40 Honoree, Portland Business Journal, 2018
  • Best Lawyer, Best Lawyers in America, 2017 – present
  • Outstanding Young Alumnus Award, University of Oregon School of Law, 2016
  • Super Lawyer, Oregon Super Lawyers magazine, 2019; Rising Star, Oregon Super Lawyers magazine, 2012 – 2018
  • Member Services Award, Oregon State Bar New Lawyers Division, 2013
  • Up & Coming Lawyer Honoree, Daily Journal of Commerce, 2012
  • Volunteer of the Year Award, Oregon State Bar New Lawyers Division, 2012
  • National Service to the Bar Award, American Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division, 2012

In the News