Roger K. Harris


Roger’s focus in private practice has been on complex business and personal injury litigation; regulatory, licensing and compliance issues; and commercial, financing and real property transactions. While corporate counsel at Portland General and Evergreen, Roger conducted litigation and dispute resolution on a wide array of matters, including tax appeals, toxic torts, personal injury and wrongful death actions. Additionally, he negotiated and documented aircraft sales/leases, insurance claims, hydroelectric power supply contracts, fuel purchase agreements, and warranty claims for power plant equipment and avionics. Roger is A/V rated by Martindale-Hubbell.


  • Oregon State Bar, 1978
  • U.S. District Court, District of Oregon, 1985
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, 1987
  • U.S. District Court, Northern California, 1994
  • Supreme Court of the United States, 2015


  • Northwestern School of Law at Lewis & Clark College, J.D., 1977. Cornelius Honor Society: Superior Scholarship, Leadership and Contribution to the Law School; Moot Court Board
  • Oregon State University, B.S., 1973. Recipient: Academic Scholarship

Professional Experience

  • Harris Berne Christensen LLP, Partner, 1998–present
  • James, Denecke & Harris, P.C., Shareholder, 1989–1997
  • Portland General Corporation, Associate General Counsel, 1984–1989
  • Evergreen International Aviation, Inc., Vice President, Legal Affairs, 1982–1984
  • Deputy District Attorney, Multnomah County and Linn County, 1977–1982

Representative Cases

  • Breach of Contract/Unfair Trade Practices: Successfully settled claims (after filing lawsuit) for retail gasoline dealer against major oil company for wrongful franchise termination and unfair business practices
  • Partnership Accounting/Securities Violations: Successfully defended primary investor in aseptic juice packaging plant against claims under equipment leases and for partnership breach, and prosecuted counter-claims recovering full investment and attorney fees in 10 week court trial
  • Wrongful Death: Successfully defended, at week long jury trial, a wrongful death (by electrocution) claim by construction worker involved in underground boring operation
  • Quiet Title: Successfully established possession and title rights in agricultural tract against claims by heirs of seller in week long court trial
  • Construction Defect: Successfully settled (after filing lawsuit) claims for water intrusion damages on behalf of homeowners association
  • Personal Injury: Successfully settled (after lawsuit removal to federal court) claim against national trucking company following head-on collision at intersection
  • Regulatory: Successfully represented applicants and licensees before state pharmacy, nursing, accounting, psychology and construction contractors boards


Representative Transactions

  • Business Buyout: Advised, negotiated and drafted documentation in connection with closely held stationery and printing company buyout and stock exchange by national, publicly traded corporation.
  • LLC Membership Interests: Provided counsel, research and documentation re: exercise of option rights and financing of acquisition.
  • Franchises: Advised clients and documented franchise start-up re: leases, financing, franchisor contracts and business structure.
  • Asset Sales: Advised, negotiated and prepared documentation for sale of ongoing retail gasoline station, carwash, convenience store and lube center business assets including real property, buildings, fixtures, inventory, customer lists, trade secrets and related blue sky.
  • Software Start-up: Advised and guided management of industry specific software company re: formation, asset protection, employee confidentiality and non-compete, financing, stock option plan, etc.

Appellate MattersRoger appeared as trial court counsel and assisted on appeal in the following:

  • Ballard v. City of Albany, et al., 221 Or App 630 (2008)
  • Black, et. al v. Arizala, et al., 182 Or App 16 (2002), affirmed 337 Or 250 (2004)
  • Southern Wasco County Ambulance Service, Inc., et al. v. State of Oregon, 156 Or App 543 (1998), rev. den. 328 Or 330 (1999).
  • Alto, et al. v. State Fire Marshal, 121 Or App 543 (1993), reversed 319 Or 382 (1994)
  • Inn at Otter Crest v. Farwest Federal Bank, et al., 120 Or App 125 (1993)
  • Bretz v. Portland General Electric Co., 882 F.2d 411 (1989)
  • Portland General Electric Co. v. Oregon Department of Revenue, 11 OTR 78 (1988)
  • State v. Swee, 51 Or App 249 (1981)


Roger is married and has five grown children. He served nine years on the Board of Directors of the Sherwood School District, including two years as chairman. Roger is most comfortable in his Levis and cowboy boots enjoying the St. Paul Rodeo or working the BBQ in his backyard. He was a founding director of the Voices for the Performing Arts Foundation. With Merla, his wife of 40+ years, Roger served as a volunteer director of an inmate chorus at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility.