Thomas H. Tongue, Senior Counsel

Since joining the firm in 1968, Tom Tongue has served as the Litigation Group Practice Leader and managing partner. His practice has centered around complex civil litigation and health law. Tom is Past President of the American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL), the most distinguished group of trial lawyers in America and Canada.   Tom was elected a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers in 1993.

Tom was selected by his peers to be included in The Best Lawyers in America under Commercial Litigation, Bet the Company litigation, Securities Litigation and Trusts and Estates Litigation. In 2014-2015, he was named the Portland, OR Bet-the-Company Litigation “Lawyer of the Year.” Only a single lawyer in each practice area, in each community is being honored as a “Lawyer of the Year.”   In 2004-2014, Tom was recognized as a top litigator in Oregon in the Chambers and Partners USA survey of America’s Leading Business Lawyers. According to the survey, “Peers acknowledge that Thomas Tongue is ‘one of the finest: he has all the right attributes you want in a lawyer.'”  In November 2006 the first Oregon Super Lawyer poll selected Tom as an Oregon Super Lawyer. He received the second highest number of “points” (votes by peers) of any lawyer in the state.  He was featured in the cover story, The Lawyerly Lineage of Thomas H. Tongue, in the 2010 Oregon Super Lawyers publication.  In 2012, Tom was featured in this Portland Business Journal article, Portland Lawyer Leads Eminent Trial Lawyers Group.

Both the Multnomah County Bar Association and the Oregon State Bar Litigation section have awarded Tom their prestigious Professionalism Awards in recognition of his style of practice as an example for others. In 2011, Tom received the Judge Learned Hand Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oregon Area Jewish Committee. Award recipients are people who embody much of what Judge Hand represented: the rights of the individual and the importance of democratic values in an orderly society.  A highly respected fourth generation Oregon attorney, Tom represents the highest level of skill and professionalism in the practice of law.


  • University of Wisconsin, J.D., 1968
  • University of Oregon, B.S., History, 1965

Bar Admissions

  • Oregon, 1968
  • U.S. District Court District of Oregon, 1970
  • U.S. Court of Appeals Ninth Circuit, 1971
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1973


  • Oregon Association of Defense Counsel Summer and Fall Meetings, Panelist, 2015
  • Professional Liability Fund (PLF) Trial College, 2010
  • Oregon State Bar, Trial Advocacy College, 2008, 2009
  • Oregon Association of Defense Counsel (OADC), Trial Advocacy, 2007
  • PLF Defense Panel conference, 2007 and 2009, 2011, 2013
  • Trial of Complex Professional Liability Issues, Professional Liability Fund, August 2005
  • Hot Litigation issues affecting Estate Planning, Oregon State Bar, June 2005
  • Ethical Issues Applicable to Professional Liabilties Defense, Professional Liability Fund, 2003
  • Defending Punitive Damages Cases, Oregon State Bar 2002
  • Ethics Issues in Settlement of Cases, Professional Liability Fund, 2001
  • Protecting and Challenging Attorney Fee Applications, Oregon State Bar, 2000
  • Defense of Complex Cases, Oregon Association of Defense Counsel, 1999

Honors and Awards

  • Professionalism Award, Multnomah Bar Association, 1990
  • Oregon State Bar Board of Governors’ President’s Membership Service Award, 1992
  • Defense Research Institute Exceptional Performance Citation, 1999
  • Oregon State Litigation Section, Owen Panner Professionalism Award, 2002
  • American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow, 1993-Present
    • State Chair Committee, 2000-2002
    • Regent for Northwest Region, 2003-2007
    • Secretary, 2008-2009
    • Treasurer, 2009-2010
    • President-elect, 2010-2011
    • President, 2011-2012
  • American College of Trial Lawyers Foundation Board, 2015-Present
  • American Bar Foundation,  Life Fellow
  • Recommended for U.S. District Court Judge by Merit Selection Panel, 2003
  • Best Lawyers in America, 2005-2015 (2014-15 Bet-the-Company Litigation “Lawyer of the Year”)
  • Chambers and Partners, USA Survey, 2003-2015
  • Oregon Super Lawyers, 2006-2015 (top 10 in 2015)
  • Judge Learned Hand Lifetime Achievement Award, 2011

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Oregon Association of Defense Counsel, Board of Directors, 1993-1998, President, 1998, member 1968-2016
  • Oregon Supreme Court, Civil Law Advisory Committee to Chief Justice, 1998-1999
  • Multnomah County Bar Association, Past President, Past Chair Committee on Judicial Selection
  • U.S. District Court, Merit Selection Panel for Selection of U.S. Magistrate Judges, Chair, 1997
  • U.S. District Court, Merit Selection Panel for Selection of U.S. Magistrate Judges, Member, 1993
  • Oregon State Bar, Past Chair, Committee on Function and Organization of Bar
  • Oregon State Bar, Past Chair, Committee on Disciplinary Rules and Procedures
  • Oregon State Bar, Past Chair, Committee on Prepaid Legal Insurance
  • Oregon State Bar, Past Chair, Committee on Professional Responsibility
  • Oregon State Bar, Past Chair, Joint Committee on New Judgeships
  • Oregon State Bar, Elected Delegate, House of Delegates, 1996-2008
  • International Association of Defense Counsel,  1983-Present
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Delegate, Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, 1992-1994
  • Past Member of YMCA of Columbia-Willamette Board of Directors


Married for 45 years to Dr. Andrea Tongue, a pediatric ophthalmologist.  They have two children, son Thomas M. Tongue, a fifth generation Portland lawyer, and daughter Kathryn Watts, Law Professor at the University of Washington.  Kathryn previously clerked for Justice Stevens of the U.S. Supreme Court.


Fly fishing, golf and hiking.

Best Lawyers Award Badge
tongue_super_lawyers_badgetongue_best_lawyers_badge Chambers USA 2014 Leading IndividualACTL

Thomas H. Tongue


  • Tel: 503.306.5330
  • Fax: 503.224.7324

Practice Areas

Litigation and Appeals

Professional Liability



Health Care Law