About Karsten H. Rasmussen

Senior Judge and Mediator

Karsten H. Rasmussen is a senior Circuit Court Judge and recently transitioned into his new career as a full-time mediator. He served as a sitting Judge with the Lane County Circuit Court for 19 years, from 1999 to 2018, and as Presiding Judge for 6 years, from April 2012 to December 2017. He chaired the Chief Justice’s Court Re-Engineering and Efficiencies Workgroup from 2010 to July 2018. He was a member of the statewide managing panel for the Oregon Complex Litigation Court and co-creator and member of the 2nd Judicial District Commercial Court. He has adjudicated complex commercial, personal injury, medical malpractice, land use, Indian gaming, mold, business, employment, and construction cases. He has held over 850 formal mediations including multi-million dollar settlements in major neonatal medical malpractice claims, products liability cases, construction cases, and personal injury claims. Prior to joining the Circuit Court, he practiced civil litigation for 16 years throughout Oregon. He teaches Oregon Civil Procedure, legal history, and Insurance Law at the University of Oregon School of Law. He is a co-author of the textbook, “Oregon Practice and Procedure.”

Judge Rasmussen holds a B.A. from the University of Oregon (Phi Beta Kappa), an M.A. (with honors) from the University of Chicago, and a J.D. from the University of Oregon School of Law. He has been a member of the Oregon State Bar since 1983 and was a member of the Oregon State Senate from 1993-95.

JUDICIAL EXPERIENCE

  • Circuit Court Judge, Second Judicial District, 1999—2018
  • Presiding Judge, April 2012—December 2017
  • Associate Presiding Judge, 2008—2012
  • Civil Motions Judge and Civil Team Leader, 2007—2012
  • Criminal Team Leader, 2004—2007
  • Managing Panel, Oregon Complex Litigation Court, 2012—2018
  • Member, Lane County Commercial Court, 2008—2018

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

  • Adjunct and Courtesy Professor, University of Oregon School of Law, 2005—present
  • Insurance Law, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018
  • Oregon Practice and Procedure, Fall 2003—present
  • Law and the Development of the American West, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, and Spring 2015
  • Current Issues in Constitutional Law, undergraduate, Winter 2018

EDUCATION

  • J.D., University of Oregon School of Law, 1983
  • M.A., History, University of Chicago, 1980
  • Honors on the Master’s Degree Examination
  • Qualified for Ph.D. studies
  • B.A., History, University of Oregon, 1978
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Ry Folk School, Ry, Denmark, 1975—1976
ACADEMIC AWARDS

  • Honors, Masters Examination, University of Chicago, 1980
  • Phi Beta Kappa, University of Oregon, 1979
POLITICAL EXPERIENCE

  • Oregon State Senator, rural Lane and Douglas Counties, 1993—1995
PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS & ADMISSIONS

  • Oregon State Bar
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the District of Oregon
  • Lane County Bar Association
  • Ninth Circuit Historical Society
  • American College of Business Court Judges
OREGON JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Chair, Chief Justice’s Court Re-Engineering and Efficiencies Workgroup 2 (CREW 2), Oregon Judicial Department, 2010—2018
  • Chair, Chief Justice’s Work Group on Forms Consistency, 2013—2018
  • Chair, Lane County Circuit Court Security Advisory Committee, 2012—2018
  • Member, Lane County Family Law Advisory Committee, 2012—2018
  • Member, Court Re-Engineering and Efficiencies Workgroup (CREW), Oregon Judicial Department, 2010
  • Chair, Oregon Complex Litigation Court Drafting Committee , developing Uniform Trial Court Rule 23, 2010
  • Member, Judicial Conference Executive Committee, 2006—2010
  • Chair, Chief Justice’s Work Group on Statewide Commercial Courts, 2010
  • Chair, Chief Justice’s Collections Committee Task Force, Oregon Judicial Department, 2009
  • Co-Chair (with Chief Justice Paul DeMuniz), Strategic Planning Leadership Team, Oregon Judicial Department, 2008
  • Member, Budget Reduction Implementation Committee, Oregon Judicial Department, 2009—2011
  • Member, Judicial Council, Oregon Judicial Department, 2008—2012
OREGON CIRCUIT COURT JUDGES ASSOCIATION

  • Past President, 2007
  • President, 2005—2006
  • Vice President, 2004
  • Treasurer, 2003
  • Secretary, 2002
PUBLICATIONS
Books

  • Karsten H. Rasmussen, J. Aaron Landau, and Maurice Holland, Oregon Practice and Procedure (University of Oregon Press 3d Ed. 2016) (2010).
  • Karsten H. Rasmussen ed., Richard A. Lee ed., and Heather Bowman ed., 1 and 2 Damages (Oregon State Bar 2016) (1998).
    Awarded Best Award of Outstanding Achievement in Publications, Association for Continuing Legal Education, 2017.

CLE Compilations

  • Karsten H. Rasmussen, Judicial Practical Training Basics of Civil Litigation: A Primer forJudges (CLE Book) (Oregon Judicial Department Office of Education, Training, and Outreach 2016) (2008).

Articles and CLE Chapters

  • Karsten H. Rasmussen, 20 Tips From an Experienced Mediator, Oregon Trial Lawyer, Spring 2016.
  • Karsten H. Rasmussen, The Gift of Finality: One PJ’s Perspective, Oregon State Bar Litigation Section, February 2015.
  • Karsten H. Rasmussen, What Do Judges Want In Order to Grant Your Motions?, Oregon Association of Defense Counsel, Sunriver, Oregon, June 2013.
  • Karsten H. Rasmussen, What Civil Court Judges Want You to Know, National Business Institute, October 2011.
  • Karsten H. Rasmussen, How Do Judges Decide Cases?, Oregon Association of Defense Counsel, Sunriver, June 2010.
  • Karsten H. Rasmussen, Make or Break Medical Issues in Litigation, Medical Malpractice Dockets: The Ins and Outs, Part B: The Lane County Approach, Oregon State Bar, 2008.
  • Karsten H. Rasmussen and Lyle C. Velure, Medical Negligence Mediation, Oregon Law Institute, 2005.
  • Karsten H. Rasmussen, Good Court System and Good Judges Good for Your Business, Associated Business Viewpoint, March/April 2005.
  • Karsten H. Rasmussen and Rohn Roberts, Effective Discovery, Oregon State Bar, 2003.
  • Karsten H. Rasmussen, Sex, Murder, and Civil Litigation, Oregon Trial Lawyer, Winter 2002.
  • Karsten H. Rasmussen and Mustafa T. Kasubhai, Compensatory Damages, 1 Damages, Chapter 1, Oregon State Bar, 1998.
  • Karsten H. Rasmussen and Lyle C. Velure, The Standard Automobile Policy, Insurance Law, Chapter 4, Oregon State Bar, 1992.
REVIEWS

  • Karsten H. Rasmussen, 20 Western Legal History, nos. 1 & 2, 122 (2007) (reviewing Harry H.
  • Stein, Gus J. Solomon: Liberal Politics, Jews, and the Federal Courts (2006)) *actually published 2010
  • Karsten H. Rasmussen, 15 Western Legal History, vol. 2, 218 (2002) (reviewing Maria E. Montoya, Translating Property: The Maxwell Land Grant and the Conflict over Land in the American West, 1840—1900 (2002)) *actually published 2004
  • Karsten H. Rasmussen, 12 Western Legal History, vol. 1, 108 (1999) (reviewing Herbert A. Johnson, The Chief Justiceship of John Marshall, 1801—1835 (1997))
  • Karsten H. Rasmussen, 9 Western Legal History, no. 2, 229 (1996) (reviewing William G. Ross, A. Muted Fury: Populists, Progressives and Labor Unions Confront the Courts, 1890—1937 (1994)
BAR-RELATED ACTIVITIES

  • Council on Court Procedures, 1995—2003
  • Oregon State Bar, Procedure and Practice Committee, 1995—1999
  • Federal Judicial Selection Advisory Committee, 1995
  • Board of Governors, Oregon Trial Lawyers’ Association, 1992—1993
  • Oregon State Bar Task Force on Affirmative Action, 1991
PRESENTATIONS
Teaching Judges

  • “Case Management—Jury; Trial Management; Dockets,” Salem, June 2015, 2016, and 2017.
  • “Civil Litigation for New Judges,” Salem, March or April 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018.
  • “Civil Litigation for Newer Judges – Part 2,” Gleneden Beach, October 14, 2008.
  • “Civil Litigation for Newer Judges – Part 1,” Newport, August 1, 2008.
  • “Governance in Oregon Judicial Department” – Salem, June 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018.

Alternative Dispute Resolution and  Insurance Law

  • “Best Practices for Construction Mediations” – Oregon Construction Law – Portland, September 22, 2017
  • “View From the Bench: 20 Tips for Successful Mediation” – Insurance in the Construction Industry – Seattle, October 5—6, 2017
  • “The Man in the Mirror: The Most Important Person in Mediation May Not be the Mediator” –Oregon Construction Law – Portland, September 22—23, 2016
  • “20 Tips of an Experienced Mediator” – Lane County Bar Association/New Lawyers Division – March 15, 2016
  • “Resolving the Complex Construction Case: Mediator and Advocate Perspectives” – Portland, September 25, 2015
  • “What the Practitioner Needs to Know About Ethics for Settlement Conference/Mediation and Arbitration” – Lane County Women Lawyers – Eugene, November 22, 2013
  • “Litigating Auto Accident Cases” – Oregon Law Institute CLE – Portland, April 19, 2013
  • “Medical Negligence Mediation” – Portland, September 30, 2005
  • “A View From the Bench: Trial Alternatives” – Portland, November 15, 2002
  • “Assessing and Proving Damages: Settlement Conferences” – Portland, May 18, 2000
  • “Settlement in Fender Bender Cases” – Eugene, January 28, 2000
  • “Insurance Law for Plaintiffs: Hot Issues and Recent Developments” – Eugene, October 26, 1996

Complex Civil Litigation

  • “What is in the Oregon Complex Litigation Court and when do I want to use it?” – Bend, August 11, 2011
  • “The Vanishing Civil Jury Trial: Are Commercial Courts the Answer?” – Portland, May 12, 2010
  • “Introduction to Lane County Commercial Court” – Eugene and Portland, January 11, 2007

Civil Procedure

  • “Fee Waivers” – Access to Justice Forum, Portland, September 8, 2016
  • “Jury Trials” – Oregon Law Institute CLE – Eugene, February 18, 2011
  • “Motions in Limine – Why Wait?” – Sunriver, June 19, 2010“
  • Civil Litigation for Newer Judges – Part 2” – Gleneden Beach, October 14, 2008
  • “Civil Litigation for Newer Judges – Part 1” – Newport, August 1, 2008
  • “Effective Discovery” – Portland, October 17, 2003
  • “State Court Practice and Procedure in Oregon” – Bellevue, WA, March 22, 2002
  • “Motion Practice” – Sunriver, August 2, 2001
  • “Playing by the Rules: Recent Developments in ORCP” – Lake Oswego, November 8, 1997
  • “The Nuts and Bolts of Pre-Trial Civil Litigation: Expert Witnesses and Investigations” – Eugene, November 17, 1995

Trial

  • “Local Judges’ Perspective on Judicial Decision-Making” – Sunriver, June 19, 2010
  • “Courtroom Practice Behind the Scenes” – Portland, April 20, 2007
  • “First Amendment and Tort Liability” Panel – “Music in the Digital Era: Intellectual Property,
  • Entertainment, and Media Law” – University of Oregon – Eugene, February 22, 2003
  • “A View From the Bench: Trying the MVA Case” – Sunriver, August 23, 2002; Portland, November 14, 2002
  • “Practical Tips for New Litigators” – Eugene, November 7, 2001
  • “Judges Panel” – Eugene, May 10, 2001
  • “Scientific and Expert Evidence” – Eugene, January 26, 2001
  • “A Judge’s View of Juries” – Eugene, January 11, 2001

Judicial Management Legislative Overview

  • “State of the Courts” – Eugene, September 2012, October 2013, September 2015, October 2016, October 2017
  • “Q and A with the PJ”
  • Lane County Criminal Defense Bar, Public Defender Services – May 2013
  • Lane County District Attorney’s Office – June 2013
  • “Collections – Best Practices for Judges” – Salem, October 21, 2009
  • “Introduction to the Oregon Judicial Branch” – Salem, January 17, 2005
  • “Maintaining the Integrity of the Criminal Justice System” – Bend, October 25, 2002
  • “Implementation of SB 133” – Salem, November 28, 2001
  • “Legislative Year in Review” – Portland, 1993
NATIONAL LEGAL CONFERENCES ATTENDED

  • American College of Business Court Judges, Annual Meeting in conjunction with the Judicial Symposium
  • on the Economics and Law of Public Pension Reform, September 2014, San Francisco, CA
  • Jury Summit, American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), Annual Meeting, 2011, Chicago, IL
  • American College of Business Court Judges, November 2008, Chicago, IL
  • American Business Court Conference, October 2007, Washington D.C.
  • Brookings Institute, March 2008, Orange County, CA
  • Conference of Chief Justices Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference on Business Courts, October 2008, Delaware
  • American College of Business Court Judges Conference, November 2008 and November 2009, Chicago, IL
AWARDS

  • Recognition from Lane County Commissioners for outstanding volunteer service to the Budget Committee, 1991
  • Lane County Recognition Award, 1989
  • Best Award of Outstanding Achievement in Publications (for Damages), Association for Continuing Legal Education
CIVIC INVOLVEMENT

  • Churchill Baseball, Inc. Board of Directors, 2004—2008
  • Churchill Area Babe Ruth Baseball Board of Directors, 2001—2005
  • Citizens for a Safe Community, 1995
  • Lane County Budget Committee, 1985—1993, Chair 1988—1993
  • Co-chair, Citizens for Community Safety, 1992
  • Lane County Revenue Task Force, Chair 1991
  • Emerald P.U.D. Finance Committee, 1984—1987
  • Board of Directors, Junction City Scandinavian Festival Association, 1984—1987
RATINGS

  • Martindale Hubbell – AV rated
NOTABLE WRITTEN OPINIONS

  • Olivia Chernaik et al v. Kate Brown, Lane Co. Case 16-11-09273, May 11, 2015: A suit in which Plaintiff sought, inter alia, a declaratory judgment that the atmosphere and water resources are public trust assets that the State of Oregon has a fiduciary duty to protect. Plaintiff also sought to order the state to prepare a fully accounting of carbon dioxide omissions within the state and implement a carbon emissions reduction plan.
  • In the Matter of the Petitions of the Eugene Water & Electric Board, Lane Co. Case 16-10-09774, October 27, 2010 Petitioner requested the Court to exercise its authority to validate utility board’s right to sell surplus water to neighboring municipality, Veneta, under ORS 33.720(3).
  • City of Eugene v. Comcast of Oregon II, Inc., Lane Co. Case 16-08-03280, Aug. 25, 2010 A challenge to certain license and registration fees imposed by the City of Eugene; also at issue was
    whether those fees constituted “internet taxation” in violation of the federal Internet Tax Freedom Act.
  • State ex rel. Susan Dewberry et al. v. Theodore Kulongoski et al., Lane Co. Case 16-03-23044, May 3, 2010 A challenge by writ of mandamus to the Governor’s authority to allow tribal gaming in Oregon. In the Matter of the Petition of Rainier Economic Development Council v. Columbia 911 Communications District et al., Lane Co. Case 16-07-11671, Oct. 30, 2007 A petition to determine the enforceability of a proposed Intergovernmental Agreement between Economic Development Council and nine municipal entities.