Kaempf Law Firm PC: Oregon civil defense trial counsel.
Kaempf Law Firm PC is based in Portland, Oregon and defends civil litigation in Oregon's state and federal courts.
John Kaempf is a civil trial lawyer based in Portland, Oregon who specializes in defending lawsuits against churches and religious schools, including child abuse claims. He also defends individuals sued in Oregon for alleged child abuse. He further specializes in defending employment litigation against religious and secular corporations. He has successfully tried over 20 cases to Oregon juries and has won many other cases through pretrial motions. His practice encompasses both trial and appellate work.
John graduated cum laude from Lewis & Clark Law School in 1992.
He has more than 20 years’ experience defending civil litigation in Oregon’s state and federal courts. He has been selected as an Oregon “Super Lawyer,” an award given to the top 5% of Oregon attorneys, every year the award has been given. He is also recognized by Best Lawyers in America, and his law firm is one of America’s “Best Law Firms” according to U.S. News & World Report. He has an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given.
He is the author and publisher of Oregon Religious Law Update, a newsletter that addresses developments in Oregon and national law that affect churches, religious schools, and other religious organizations in Oregon. A link to the Oregon Religious Law Update Blog is above.
In 2016, John was appointed by Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Balmer to serve along with several judges on Oregon’s Uniform Trial Court Rules Committee. John’s term on the Committee will last from 2016 through 2018.
Before opening his own practice, he worked for more than 15 years at one of Oregon's largest civil defense firms. Thus, John combines big firm experience with the highly responsive approach of a small firm.
John Kaempf is an Oregon civil trial lawyer who specializes in defending churches, religious schools, and other religious entities sued in Oregon. This includes the defense of child abuse claims based on the alleged conduct of employees, including priests and teachers. John has expertise in First Amendment free exercise of religion defenses to civil claims against religious entities. He also defends claims by church members, church and religious school employees, and tort claims by third parties against religious organizations. John has nearly 25 years of experience defending child abuse claims against religious organizations and individuals in Oregon. This includes claims based on the alleged sexual abuse of a minor. He has extensive experience defending these cases based on the statute of limitations and an employer's lack of vicarious liability for its employee's alleged conduct. He has won many of these cases at both the trial court and appellate court levels in Oregon. He has defended some of the largest child abuse cases in Oregon's state and federal courts.
The Oregon Court of Appeals affirmed the summary judgment for John's clients in J.S. v. Franciscan Friars of Oregon, 215 Or. App. 500, 170 P.3d 8 (2007), a case involving alleged child abuse by a Catholic priest. The court upheld the trial court's rulings that the defendants were not vicariously liable for the priest's alleged sexual abuse of the plaintiff, and that plaintiff's claims were barred by the statute of limitations because the alleged abuse occurred decades earlier.
Obtained the pretrial dismissal of a multi-million dollar child abuse action filed against a major international church and one of its former pastors. The trial court ruled that, even assuming the alleged sexual abuse occurred, the case was barred by the statute of limitations. The case is JMS, et al. v. Roberts, et al., Multnomah County Circuit Court case number 0705-05015.
Defended a Catholic high school in an Oregon state court action where the plaintiffs, a former student and his parents, sued for readmission to the school and sought money damages after the school decided not to reenroll the student for his sophomore year. In February 2013, the trial court granted John’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed the case, holding that the school’s student handbook granted it the sole discretion to decide these matters and that plaintiffs’ claimed damages were speculative.
John represented the Multnomah Athletic Club (MAC) in its successful defense of a lawsuit brought by a club member expelled by the MAC who sought readmission to the club. The Oregon Channel televised John's oral argument of the appeal of this case. The Oregon Court of Appeals' decision in the MAC's favor, which affirmed the trial court's dismissal of the lawsuit based on the statute of limitations that John obtained, is published as Wiederhorn v. Multnomah Athletic Club, 215 Or. App. 392, 170 P.3d 1 (2007).
The Oregon Court of Appeals affirmed the summary judgment John obtained for his client, the Oregon State Snowmobile Association, in a $15,000,000 wrongful death case where the plaintiff died as a result of a snowmobiling accident. The court ruled that the lawsuit is barred by Oregon’s "recreational purposes" immunity statute. The case is reported as Stewart v. Kralman, 240 Or. App. 510, 248 P.3d 6 (2011).