Gene Mechanic began his legal career as a New York State Deputy Assistant Attorney General. He focuses his practice on employment, labor, health care, and civil rights litigation. During the past forty years, Gene has argued and tried hundreds of cases throughout the country in federal and state trial and appellate courts, as well as administrative agencies. He has won many jury verdicts and court and administrative decisions for his clients, including complex, class action lawsuits.

Gene is also a mediator, applying his experience, knowledge and negotiation skills to assist parties in resolving the most complex to the more routine lawsuits.

Gene is creative, incisive, and tenacious in achieving his clients’ goals. The Oregonian newspaper has recognized Gene’s “history of legal success.” Oregonian columnist Steve Duin has referred to Gene as “one of the great names in the history of the bar.” Gene has received the Martindale-Hubbell® AV preeminent attorney peer rating, the highest rating given for professional skill and ethics. He is listed in Oregon Super Lawyers® and Best Lawyers in America®. He is also a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, an association honoring leading labor and employment lawyers nationwide.

Gene has authored numerous articles and bar association book chapters on employment, labor, health care, employee benefits law, and legal ethics. He is also is a frequent speaker at lawyer conferences on those subjects.


  • Naples Community Hospital, 355 NLRB No. 171 (2010) (Hospital committed unfair labor practices by restricting pro-union speech in organizing campaign)
  • American Federation of Teachers v. Oregon Taxpayers United PAC, 345 Or. 1 (2008) (upheld $2.5 million racketeering verdict and court injunction against non-profit for laundering money to anti-tax, anti-union political committee)
  • Campbell v. Safeway, Inc., 332 F.Supp. 2d 1367 (D. Or. 2004) (employee coercively interrogated by her retail employer about alleged thefts stated claim for false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress)
  • Furrer v. Southwestern Oregon Community College, 196 Or App 374 (2004) (faculty stated breach of contract claims for employer’s unilateral change of retirement plan)
  • Thompson v. Standard Insurance Company, 167 F. Supp. 2d 1186 (D. Or. 2001) (applying ERISA, federal court overturned insurer’s denial of disability benefits)
  • King Broadcasting Company, 329 NLRB 378 (1999) (television station assignment editors and news producers are not supervisors)
  • Liberty Northwest Insurance Company v. Urness,138 Or. App. 388 (1996) (family of flagger killed on the job entitled to proceeds of lawsuit settlement without workers compensation insurer first enforcing lien against proceeds)
  • PCUN v. Goldschmidt, 790 F. Supp. 216 (D.Or. 1990) (state statute prohibiting farmworkers union from picketing at farms during harvest time violates First Amendment)
  • Whitley v. Albers, 475 U.S. 312, 106 S.Ct. 1078, (1986) (challenge to use of force during prison disturbance, argued liability standard before the United States Supreme Court)
  • International Union of Operating Engineers, Local No. 701 v. Grant County Road Department, 8 PECBR 6735 (1984) (union entitled to election on unit of County road department employees)
  • Harris v. Oregon Board of Parole, 288 Or. 495, 47 Or. App. 289 (1980) (Parole Board decisions can be appealed to Court of Appeals)
  • Ohlinger v. Watson, 652 F.2d 775 (9th Cir. 1978) (mentally disturbed prisoners are constitutionally entitled to treatment)
  • Smith v. O.F.F.E.R., 431 U.S. 816, 97 S.Ct. 2094 (1977) (constitutional rights of foster families before removal of children; filed amicus brief)
  • Lora v. Board of Education, 74 F.R.D. 585 (E.D.N.Y. 1977), 456 F. Supp. 1211 (1978) (discriminatory disciplinary treatment of minority students in New York City public schools violates federal law)
  • McRedmond v. Wilson, 402 F. Supp. 1087 (S.D.N.Y. 1975), rev. in part, aff’d in part, 533 F.2d 757 (2d Cir. 1976) (constitutional challenge to conditions in juvenile institutions; successfully settled)
  • King v. Carey, 405 F. Supp. 41 (W.D.N.Y. 1975) (forced labor of institutionalized juveniles violates 13th Amendment)
  • Polansky v. Department of Transportation, 344 N.Y.S. 2d 1018 (1974) (administrative law and environmental law)


  • Marijuana and the Workplace, Oregon State Bar Labor and Employment Conference, Gleneden Beach, Oregon (September 2015)
  • The Interplay between Employment and Labor Law, Oregon Trial Lawyers Seminar, Portland, Oregon (December 2014)
  • The Affordable Care Act and Oregon Health Insurance Exchange, Oregon State Bar Health Law Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon (October 2013)
  • Recent Cases of the National Labor Relations Board, Oregon State Bar Labor and Employment Conference, Sunriver, Oregon (September 2013)
  • Bargaining for Health Care Benefits in the Age of the Affordable Care Act and Oregon Health Care Reform, University of Oregon Labor Education and Research Center, Portland, Oregon (May 2012).
  • Identifying the Client and Conflict of Interests When Representing Unions, National Organization of Lawyers for Education Associations Conference, Portland, Oregon (May 2011)
  • Influenza Vaccination of Health Care Personnel – Should It Be Mandatory; Highlights of Legal and Ethical Considerations? Infectious Disease Society of America 48th Annual Meeting, Vancouver, B.C. (October 2010)
  • “Ethics and Settlement Issues in Wage and Hour Litigation,” Service Employees International Union Attorneys Conference, Washington, D.C. (October 2007)
  • Legal Ethics: Identifying the Client When Representing Unions, Union Officers and Union Staff, AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana (May 2006)
  • Discipline and Discharge of Employees, Society of Human Resources Management Conference, Portland, Oregon (May 2004)
  • The Legal and Practical Aspects of Picketing, AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee Conference, Chicago, Illinois (April 2002)
  • Representation Proceedings in the Health Care Industry, Service Employees International Union Attorneys Conference, Washington, D.C (February 2002)
  • ADA/FMLA/OFLA, Public Employment Relations Board Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon (April 2000)
  • An ERISA Primer, Oregon Trial Lawyers Continuing Legal Education Program, Portland, Oregon (November 1999)
  • Litigation of Tort Actions in Labor Disputes, AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee Conference, Chicago, Illinois (April 1986)


  • Co-Author, Labor Disputes, Labor and Employment Law: Private Sector, Oregon State Bar (2011 and 2004 editions)
  • Co-Author, Arbitration under Oregon’s PECBA, University of Oregon, Labor Education Research Center (2003)
  • Contributing Editor, Labor and Employment Law: Public Sector, Oregon State Bar (1997)
  • Author, Legal Challenges to Drug Testing in the Public Sector, Problems in the Workplace: Aids, Drug Testing, Sexual Harassment, and Smoking Restrictions, University of Oregon, Labor Education Research Center (1988)


  • University of Rochester, B.A.
  • George Washington University Law School, J.D.
  • Straus Institute of Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University Law School,Certificate in Mediating the Litigated Case


  • New York State Bar (1973);
  • Oregon State Bar (1977);
  • Florida State Bar (2008)


United States Supreme Court; United States Courts of Appeals for the Second Sixth and Ninth Circuits; United States District Courts for the Southern District of New York, Eastern District of New York, Western District of New York, District of Oregon, District of Colorado, Southern District of Florida


  • Best Lawyers in America®, (2014-2016); “Lawyer of the Year,” 2016, Labor & Employment Law, Portland, OR
  • Oregon Super Lawyers®, (2013-2016)Preeminent AV Peer Rating (highest legal ability and ethical standard rating) by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Martindale-Hubbell®, AV Preeminent Rated, highest rating by peers for skills and ethics
  • Fellow, College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
  • Labor Practitioner of the Year, Oregon Labor and Employment Association (2006)


  • Member, Board of Directors, AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee (2002-2005)
  • Chairman, Oregon State Bar Labor and Employment Law Section (1991-1992)
  • Member, Advisory Board, AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee (1983-1985)
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Oregon Trial Lawyers Association
  • Member, Multnomah Bar Association
  • Former chairperson of Portland, Oregon public high school advisory council
  • Former member of Portland, Oregon public middle school site council
  • Member, Oregon State Bar Health Law Section Executive Committee (2012-2013)
    • 65 S.W. Yamhill Street, Suite 200, Portland, OR 97204
    • Phone: 503-384-2070
    • Fax: 503-894-5022