503 224 2165 info@msmlegal.com


MacMillan, Scholz & Marks delivers a half century of proven skill in representing insurance companies and their insureds across the Pacific Northwest. We have litigated practically every type of insurance defense and subrogation claim, including complex and high stakes claims in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana.

Our firm has deliberately and carefully grown with the insurance industry. We are dedicated to conserving client resources, adopting payment disbursement technology, and maximizing favorable outcomes. We have earned our place as the go-to practice in the region for insurance companies of all sizes because we:

  • Analyze and understand insurance issues from every angle
  • Adapt to each client’s particular needs and financial imperatives
  • Are fluent in advising clients on settlement value and exposure
  • Employ risk analysis to assess litigation outcomes
  • Determine strategies that mitigate risk, minimize cost, and leverage success


We defend insurance companies and their insured parties, insurance service organizations, and self-insured businesses at every stage, from pre-suit investigation through the appeals process, in practically every conceivable type of first party and third party claim, including the full range of civil liability exposures underwritten in the market and self-insured environment. We aggressively defend insurance carriers in coverage disputes with insured parties and guide them through arson, misrepresentation, fraud, and major catastrophic claims.

Our insurance defense experience includes:
  • Car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents
  • Airplane and helicopter accidents
  • Employment claims
  • Product defects and premises liability
  • Food-borne illness
  • Sexual molestation
  • Land use and property line disputes
  • Defamation, slander, and libel
  • Assault and battery
  • False arrest/shopkeeper liability
  • Fire and explosion
  • Industrial accidents
  • Sports and recreational accidents
  • Timber trespass
  • Professional liability defense
  • Municipalities defense
  • Dog bites
  • Construction and premises accidents
  • Catastrophic injury and wrongful death
  • Dram shop claims


Subrogation is a fast-evolving field of law where experience matters. Our team offers a full-service subrogation practice. With decades of experience representing insurers in all major areas of subrogation, from auto cases to workers’ compensation subrogation and large loss property matters throughout the region, we deliver efficiency and results. We know how to maximize recoveries even where achieving any recovery at all may at first seem doubtful. We share that knowledge in web-based and on-site seminars and CLE presentations.

Our subrogation practice ranges from the most simple to the most complex, including:
  • Auto claims involving PIP and UM
  • Any manner of property loss and related damages
  • Both Residential and Commercial claims
  • Product liability claims
  • Construction disputes
  • Workers’ compensation claims

Construction Defense

Our team defends developers, contractors, subcontractors, construction managers, product suppliers, and design professionals involved in general and heavy industrial, commercial, and residential construction. We successfully litigate through trial and appeal claims involving defective/negligent design, product liability, and installation defects that cause catastrophic failure. Our specialized skill in handling civil infrastructure, geotechnical, structural, and mechanical design claims in the development and construction of hospitals, schools, manufacturing facilities, and public works gives us the edge in complex litigation.

Our defense of design professionals, developers, contractors, and their employees span a wide variety of projects, such as:
  • Single family homes
  • Large-scale condominium projects
  • Office buildings
  • Shopping centers
  • Restaurants
  • Industrial manufacturing facilities
  • Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Athletic facilities
  • Public works, including public buildings, transport infrastructure, and public service facilities

Insurance Coverage

Our firm is called upon to analyze insurance coverage issues on a routine basis. We investigate, clarify, and litigate insurance claims and assist clients to comply with regulatory requirements. Whether through an informal consultation on a policy clause or a detailed evaluation of complex commercial coverage matters, we work diligently with insurance carriers to ensure reliable coverage opinions.

We advise on coverage issues involving all lines, including:
  • Commercial general liability
  • Automobile liability
  • PIP and UM/UIM
  • Professional liability
  • Workers’ compensation
  • Employment practices liability
  • Commercial property
  • Environmental risk
  • Homeowners, disability, accident, health, and life
  • Excess and umbrella liability policies
  • Declaratory judgment actions
  • Examinations under oath


MSM delivers the depth of skill in appellate advocacy that our clients need to safeguard their interests at the highest levels. Led by Leslie Kocher-Moar, an attorney with over 30 years in practice, our appellate experience includes appellate consultation from the inception of litigation through pre-trial, trial, post-trial motion practice, and litigating an appeal through the highest courts in Oregon and Washington. Principal Megan Ferris and associate Mark Firmin also support the MSM Appellate Practice Group.

MSM can provide evaluation and candid assessment of the likelihood of prevailing on appeal. We handle any necessary appellate work pertaining to cases we have previously litigated, as well as take over cases that have been litigated by others in the lower courts. We are experienced in appeals before the Oregon Court of Appeals, Oregon Supreme Court, Washington Court of Appeals, Washington Supreme Court, and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

A sampling of our important appellate cases include:
  • Koch v. Spann, 193 Or. App. 608, rev den, 337 Or. 547 (2004) (implied waiver of subrogation)
  • Davis v. Cnty. of Clackamas, 205 Or. App. 387, rev den, 341 Or. 244 (2006) (summary judgment standard)
  • Bonneau v. Centennial Sch. Dist. No. 28J, 666 F.3d 577 (9th Cir. 2012) (abuse statute of limitation)
  • Braun-Salinas v. Am. Fam. Ins. Grp., 665 F. App’x 576 (9th Cir.  2016) (bad faith)
  • Lunsford v. NCH Corp., 285 Or. App. 122, rev den, 362 Or. 38 (2017) (product liability statute of repose)
  • VanderStoep v. Guthrie, 200 Wash. App. 507 (2017), rev den, 189 Wash.2d 1041 (2018) (setting aside default judgment)
  • Thompson v. Marshall, 309 Or. App. 640 (2021) (adverse possession and timber trespass)
  • Haas v. Est. of Carter, 370 Or. 742 (2023) (causation jury instructions)






4640 S Macadam Avenue, Suite 100

Portland, OR 97239