Scott T. Cliff

Labor and Employment Law, Mediation, Arbitration

Contact Information

The Law Office of Scott T. Cliff
7307 SW Beveland Street, Suite 213
Portland, OR 97223
(503) 922-2071

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Professional Awards, Experience & Civic Involvement

  • Oregon State Bar (Member, Labor and Litigation Sections, 1987 – present; Executive Committee Member; Sole and Small Firm Practitioners' Section, 1996-1998, Chair Elect, 1999; Civil Rights Section, 1989 - 1990)
  • Court-appointed Arbitrator: Circuit Courts of Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties (1999-present)
  • Portland State University, Instructor, Legal Writing, (Spring Term 1993)
  • American Jurisprudence Award, Employment Discrimination (1987)
  • Regional Moot Court Finalist and National Qualifier, National Moot Court Competition, (1985)
  • Recipient: American College of Trial Lawyers Medal for Excellence in Advocacy, National Moot Court Competition (1985)
















About Scott T. Cliff

After clerking three years, while in law school, for Multnomah County's then-presiding Circuit Court Judge, Charles S. Crookham, Scott began his practice in 1987 with Portland's preeminent labor department at the Spears Lubersky law firm (the core group of which later broke away to form Barran Liebman, LLP). Since then, his practice has focused on litigation, arbitration and mediation of labor and employment disputes. Scott has represented numerous employers in state and federal courts, at trial and on appeal.

An accomplished writer, Scott briefed the Oregon Supreme Court on behalf of Associated Oregon Industries and the Association of Defense Counsel in the landmark employment case of Sheets v. Knight, helping to preserve "at-will" employment in Oregon. Scott has contributed his writing talents to various legal treatises, including The Developing Labor Law, 2nd Ed., 5th Supp., 1982-1989 (BNA) and the Oregon State Bar's: Insurance, Evidence and Labor and Employment Law publications. Scott has also taught legal writing at Portland State University and guest-lectured on employment litigation at Lewis & Clark Law School.

Scott has been selected for inclusion in the 2012 list of Oregon Super Lawyers for Employment Law and the 2013 Super Lawyers Business Edition of the nation's top attorneys in the business practice areas of Employment & Labor.


Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ "AV" (Labor & Employment, Alternative Dispute Resolution and Business Law)*  

* "AV Preeminent® (4.5-5.0) - AV Preeminent® is a significant rating accomplishment - a testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence."


University of California, San Diego, 1975-1977
Lewis and Clark College, B.S., 1979
Northwestern School of Law, Lewis & Clark College,  J.D., 1987

Admitted to Practice

Oregon Bar
U.S. District Court, District of Oregon
Washington Bar
U.S. District Court, Eastern & Western Districts of Washington
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
U.S. Supreme Court

Articles & Presentations

  • Author and presenter, “Compensation Issues Under the FLSA and Oregon Law,” Sterling Educational Services (February, 2009)
  • Co-Presenter, "Behind the Truth--Two Opposing Sides of a Lawsuit," Portland Human Resource Management Association (April, 2008)
  • Presenter, "1099 versus W-2," Annual Convention of the Oregon Association of Mortgage Professionals (September 2005)
  • Author and presenter, "Employment Related Records in Oregon," Lorman Educational Services (January 2005)
  • Guest Lecturer, "Strategic Human Resources Management," Concordia University MBA Program (March 2003; March 2004)
  • Author and presenter, "Payroll Management in Oregon," Lorman Educational Services (October 2003)
  • Author and presenter, "Litigation of Wage Claim Cases," Lorman Educational Services (March 2003)
  • Author and presenter, "Mandatory Arbitration of Employment Law Claims," Sterling Educational Services (January 2003)
  • Author and presenter, "Documentation of Performance, Discipline and Discharge From a Litigator's Perspective," Lorman Educational Services (October 2002)
  • Co-Author, "Equal Employment Opportunity: Disabilities," OSB Labor & Employment Law, Private Sector (2002 Revision)
  • Author, "Settlement of Wage Claims" and "Overtime Pay," The Oregon Labor Letter  "I've Got a Question" Column (December 2000)
  • Author, "Mediation—Just A Fancy Word For Surrender?" Feature Article, The Oregon Labor Letter (November 2000)
  • Guest Lecturer, "Litigation of Workplace Torts," Northwestern School of Law (November 1999)
  • Co-Presenter, "Effectively Using Mediation to Resolve Employment Disputes: A Mock Mediation," Managing A Work Force In 1999, Sponsored by The Oregon Labor Letter (April 1999)
  • Author, "There's Big Money In Not Getting Paid," Feature Article, The Oregon Labor Letter (March 1999)
  • Contributor and Quoted Source, "Weighing the risks: The do's and don'ts of hiring, firing," The Business Journal/Work Force Management Edition (August 1993)
  • Co-Author, "Standard Provisions & Conditions," Oregon Insurance CLE (1992)
  • Author, "Regulation of Agents and Adjusters," Oregon Insurance CLE (1992) 
  • Contributing Editor, The Developing Labor Law, 2nd Ed., 5th Supp., (BNA) (1988)
  • Contributor, "Admissions," Oregon State Bar Evidence CLE (1984)


Testimonials are not intended to imply that similar results can be obtained for all clients in all matters; each matter is unique, as is each client.

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  1. “From my personal experience as an executive director of a business reporting to a board of directors, Scott Cliff provided thorough guidance and professional expertise beyond our expectations in an employment dispute. He defended us in an employment-related lawsuit in federal court, which we won. Thereafter, he counseled us in numerous smaller matters during my time as executive director and has continued to counsel the organization since my departure. He provides excellent advice and corrections for employment policies. His personal care and follow-through are exceptional. Scott has a demonstrated ability to "win" cases in court, but is also wise in the use of other conflict resolution techniques (in which he is also trained and experienced as a mediator and arbitrator). Hopefully reconciliation will be your goal as you seek Scott's leadership, advice and council working through a legal process. He will become part of your leadership team as you partner with him. I wholeheartedly recommend Scott Cliff without any reservations.”

    --LinkedIn recommendation, former Executive Director of a retirement community

  2. "Scott has helped me with several issues. One was when an employee sued us and the other issues have been small issues we needed advice on. Each time Scott was quick to respond, brief with his answers so my bill would not be to high and also very helpful. He gave us advice as to how to deal with the issue for the least cost. I think about calling him anytime something comes up that I think I need legal advice for."

    --LinkedIn recommendation, Kathy Linderman, Owner SERVPRO of Tigard / Tualatin

  3. "I experienced an adverse labor issue that I felt was not justified. As a new business owner I lacked legal knowledge and was very frustrated with the situation. Scott added an air of calmness and confidence. He had great knowledge of labor law and was straight-forward with me on my options.  His contacts in the legal system proved valuable.  He explained terms, conditions, and legal parameters in layman terms. His fees for the work involved were very reasonable. He was able to resolve a difficult situation in a rapid and professional manner thru the court system. Yes I would definitely use him again." review, small business owner