Mario D. Conte

Mario D. ContePractice Emphasis

Litigation
Construction Law
Creditors’ Rights
Employment Law
Licensed to practice in Oregon and Washington

Education

University of Oregon School of Law, J.D. (2007)
California State University Chico, B.A. (2003)

Mario is a partner in the firm’s litigation group.  He helps businesses and individuals resolve disputes involving: contracts, financial agreements, the sale of goods, real property, business organizations, wills and trusts, construction and the employer-employee relationship. He has significant experience in creditors’ rights related litigation as well. Since 2012, Oregon Super Lawyers has named Mario a Rising Star in business litigation. He has also been recognized by blue chip magazine as one of Eugene’s 20 under 40 Rising Business Stars.

Some of his representative matters include:

  • Defended an out-of-state client against allegations that he acted as a de facto trustee and breached his fiduciary duties.  The petitioner sought damages of approximately $300,000, plus attorney fees.  After a bench trial, the judge found in our client’s favor in all respects, including the award of attorney fees and costs.
  • Defended regional bank in action seeking over $2 million in damages and a preliminary injunction.  After our opening statement at the preliminary injunction hearing, the plaintiffs requested a recess and the case settled on favorable terms, including the dismissal of all claims against the bank.
  • In an arbitration arising out of our client’s customer’s refusal to pay for logging equipment, successfully defended our client against counterclaims of negligence and breach of warranty. The arbitrator found our client free from fault and awarded all the damages we sought. Acting quickly after the award, we were able to collect the full amount of damages through garnishment.
  • Defended our clients in state court against claims of fraud and financial elder abuse arising from commercial loan transactions. The plaintiffs sought over $2 million in damages. After three days of trial, the jury returned a verdict in our clients’ favor after less than an hour of deliberation.
  • As lead trial counsel, successfully defended a regional radio broadcaster against claims of age and sex-based employment discrimination for which the plaintiff originally demanded $2.5 million in damages (through motion practice, the total amount at trial was reduced to $500,000).  After a six-day trial and two hours of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict in our client’s favor.
  • As part of the firm’s litigation team, defended an industry-leading archery bow manufacturer against breach of contract claims arising from alleged trade secret violations. After a three-week trial in which the plaintiff initially sought in excess of $40 million, the jury returned a verdict in our client’s favor and an award of all of its attorney fees incurred through trial.
  • Defended a suit seeking to force the sale of our clients’ interests in real property that had been in their family for decades. After asserting counterclaims based on hundreds of thousands of dollars in lease payments that were never shared with our clients, the case settled on favorable terms.
  • Before an international arbitration panel, worked as co-counsel to successfully defend one of the world’s most prominent recycling system manufacturers against breach of warranty claims exceeding $40 million. The arbitration lasted four weeks and ended with an award in our client’s favor, including the recovery of over $1 million in unpaid purchase price and recovery of its attorney fees.
  • Obtained summary judgment in our client’s favor in an easement dispute that threatened public access to our client’s successful restaurant franchise. The court’s order included an award of our client’s attorney fees.
  • In a federal employment discrimination case against our client – a national bank – we settled on very favorable terms shortly after prevailing on summary judgment against the majority of the employee’s claims.
  • Represented and continue to represent various local, regional and national banking institutions in state and federal court in cases involving loan disputes and real property.

Mario is a member of the Oregon State Bar and is admitted to practice before all Oregon state and appellate courts, the United States District Court for Oregon and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Mario currently serves on the board of directors of CASA of Lane County.  Outside the office, Mario enjoys spending time with his wife, son and their ornery yet much-loved dog, Amos.

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mconte@hershnerhunter.com