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William E. Gaar

Shareholder, SPHR

William Gaar


Bill Gaar is an advocate and litigator for his business and employer clients, providing practical solutions to everyday concerns and protecting his clients’ rights in state and federal court, private arbitration and mediation, and before state and federal agencies. Well versed in all areas of employment and commercial/consumer law, he has assisted every size of organization.

As the current chair of the Employment Law and Litigation Practice Group, Bill is a frequent guest lecturer at Portland State University, speaker and author on employment law topics providing important information to clients through seminars and individual training.

Bill is a Senior Fellow with the Litigation Counsel of America, an invitation-only trial lawyer honorary society. The Litigation Counsel of America limits membership to 3,500 Fellows. Bill is also certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources by the HR Certification Institute.

  • General employment counsel for all types and sizes of business in daily human resource management as well as production of key employee agreements and compensation packages for sales and other employees.
  • Representation of automobile dealerships, Assisted Living, and Agricultural businesses, in all areas of employment, consumer, commercial law and general litigation.
  • Representing, drafting, and negotiating trade secret/confidentiality and non-competition agreements as well as providing litigation services for the enforcement of such agreements to protect business assets.

Professional Recognition

  • Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), Society of Human Resource Professionals
  • Senior Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America (2013-present)
  • Notable® Peer Rated for Ethical Standards by Martindale-Hubbell®
  • Best Lawyers in America© in the field of Litigation – Labor and Employment (2024)

Professional & Community Activities

Publications & Presentations

  • Author — Employers Take Heed: The Oregon Workplace Fairness Act Goes Into Effect on October 1, 2020
  • Author – FMLA Expansion Act – FAQ  Updated 3/31/20
  • Author – Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act – FAQ  Updated 3/31/20
  • Speaker – How HR & Legal Team Up for Maximum Effectiveness, Portland State University, April 2019
  • Speaker – Working with Corporate or Retained Counsel, Portland State University, February 2018
  • Speaker – Bias in the Workplace, Portland State University, May 2017
  • Presenter- From Startup to Endgame: Form of Entity Considerations for Your Law Practice, OSB Professional Liability Fund Sponsored CLE Seminar, May 2017
  • Speaker – Employee Investigations, Portland State University, January 2016
  • Speaker – Social Media Practices for Employers, Buckley Law, October 2012

Practice Areas

Admitted to Practice

  • Oregon State Courts
  • Washington State Courts
  • United States District Court, District of Oregon
  • United States District Court, Western District of Washington
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals


  • Northwestern School of Law Lewis and Clark College, Juris Doctor (J.D.), Cornelius Honor Society nominee
  • Kansas State University, Bachelor of Arts degree in English

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