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Burl L. Green

Burl L. Green
Status: Deceased

(1921 - 2003)

Burl Green was one of Oregon's foremost trial lawyers. He was loved and respected by all who knew him. He was a great lawyer and an outstanding human being

Burl attended Portland public schools graduating from Grant High School. He then attended and graduated from Occidental College in Los Angeles. He was a philosophy major who considered an academic career before ultimately going to law school. He served as an officer in the U.S. Navy in the South Pacific during World War II. After the war in 1948 he graduated from Stanford Law School and began practicing law in Portland.

Burl has been described as "the trial lawyers trial lawyer" who loved the law and felt that the civil justice system was the best and perhaps only way for the average person to stand equal to large companies and corporations. For Burl, practicing law was about doing the right thing; he felt he could help make an injured persons life whole again and at the same time hold the wrongdoer accountable.

Burl's stellar career included many highlights and "firsts" such as the largest verdict in Oregon in the 1960s and receiving the first million-dollar verdict in Oregon at a time when there were fewer than 75 attorneys in the U.S. to have done so. His 1976 case, Koch v. Southern Pacific Transportation, abolished the rule which had immunized railroads from liability for failing to install flashing lights and gates at crossings unless plaintiffs could establish that a crossing was "extra-hazardous." He not only handled large cases with big verdicts; he handled cases for average people involving modest injuries because they were important to the injured person.
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