Ivan Karmel

Attorney at Law

Ivan Karmel began his career as a “certified law student” for the Washington County Public Defender’s Office 37 years ago, gaining substantial jury experience before Washington County juries before even graduating law school. Following that stint, Ivan worked for a top notch civil litigator specializing in complex tort litigation. While there, Ivan worked on cases involving the wrongful death and injury of persons due to aviation, maritime accidents, as well as persons injured by defective products. Ivan’s product liability experience includes successful results against bicycle manufactures and machinery manufacturers. Two years out of law school, Ivan co-counseled a scuba diving wrongful death case to a six figure verdict that withstood appeal. Ivan has considerable experience dealing with the complexities of insurance and coverage issues.

Ivan has been named as a top Oregon litigator by Super Lawyers for five consecutive years. Ivan has been a panel attorney for the Western Conference of Teamsters for 27 years, counseling members in various practice areas. Ivan is admitted to practice in both Oregon and Washington and is admitted to the Federal courts in both jurisdictions. Ivan has been named as a “preferred attorney” by the National Organization of Women by the Lambda Legal network and is one of the few Oregon attorneys with experience dealing with transgender parenting issues.

As a family law litigator, Ivan’s goal is to have a solid foundation with each client to better help navigate the divorce process. Ivan believes that open and authentic communication is essential for working together to develop a strategic plan. Ivan is adept at handling contentious family law matters and intricate financial issues in cases involving complicated marital estates. He works closely with a network of experts who are highly regarded in their fields, from custody evaluators, forensic accounting experts, business valuation experts to parenting time coordinators. Ivan takes the tough cases and is highly experienced in all forms of resolution from simple settlements to mediated and litigated resolutions. Ivan has been a featured speaker before the Oregon State Bar Family Law Section sharing his considerable experience in obtaining monetary compensation for battered women and other the victims of abuse.

With 35 years of trial and civil litigation practice, Ivan has obtained millions of dollars of compensation for his clients. As examples, Ivan obtained the largest slander jury verdict in Oregon history for a nonpublic figure, the largest slip and fall jury verdict in Multnomah County history, and has settled numerous cases on behalf of persons injured in vehicle accidents, persons injured on premises, the victims of medical and legal malpractice and domestic violence. Examples include a recent six figure settlement against a downtown Portland dance club for injuries inflicted on a young woman by another patron, a six figure settlement against a hospital for a young man involuntarily sterilized by a physician, another six figure settlement for a young migrant worker injured by a defective ATV, and a six figure settlement for the widower of an elderly woman who fell and died as a result of hospital negligence. Ivan has developed a network of experts in various fields who he can readily call upon to assist him in pursuing compensation and justice for victims of negligence and wrongful conduct.

Ivan also has considerable experience in the litigation and settlement of contested probate matters, including obtaining a $2.0 M verdict in Multnomah County for the victim of financial elder abuse, contested guardianship proceedings, litigation to contest wills that are the product of undue influence and recovery of funds from dishonest trust administrators.

Ivan is “of counsel” to a number of successful Oregon and Washington business enterprises and in that connection employs a preventative approach designed to keep businesses out of harm’s way. Ivan’s business clients include real estate developers, construction firms, environmental service companies, medical and dental practices, electrical contractors, nursing homes, restaurateurs, and hoteliers. Ivan has considerable experience in dealing with employment related issues, and has counseled business regarding severance agreements and claims of discrimination or harassment made by employees. Ivan also has considerable experience dealing with the regulation of nursing and adult homes and has represented clients before various administrative agencies, including the Oregon Medical Board, the Oregon State Board of Nursing, the Oregon Department of Human Services, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission and the Oregon Lottery Commission. Ivan has represented both employee and employer before the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, and appeared before various professional boards defending the licenses of the professional.

Ivan has a commitment to serve the community he lives and works in. Ivan has served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Transition projects, as President of the Sun Creek Little League, and as a board member of TransActive, an advocacy group for transgendered youth.

Ivan has coached youth sports for 17 years on a volunteer basis through the Tualatin Hills Park and recreation district and little league. Ivan is married and the proud father of two adult children. In what little spare time he has, Ivan enjoys hiking, cooking, traveling and cave diving which he is certified for by multiple agencies.

Located in a beautiful, historic building in downtown Portland, lvan tries cases throughout the State of Oregon with a focus on Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas counties. lvan is licensed to practice in both Oregon and Washington state and federal courts. With a broad yet nuanced range of experience with matters of individuals, families, and businesses, lvan Karmel is a well-rounded champion of the law.
After completing his undergraduate studies at State University of New York at Binghamton, Mr. Karmel went on to obtain his law degree from the Lewis and Clark College Northwestern School of Law. He was admitted to practice in Oregon and the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon in 1980, followed by his admission to practice in Washington and the U.S. District Court for the District of Western Washington in 2002.

  • Lewis and Clark College Northwestern School of Law, Portland, Oregon, 1980 Doctor of Jurisprudence
  • State University of New York at Binghamton, Binghamton, New York, 1976 B.A., Bachelor of Arts

Mr. Karmel is a member of the American Association for Justice and of both the Oregon and Washington State Trial Lawyers Associations. He also belongs to the Oregon Academy of

Family Law Practitioners and has served for 27 years as a panel attorney for the Western Conference of Teamsters. Recognized in the legal community for his insight and experience, he has been a featured speaker at the Oregon State Bar Family Law Conference and serves on the Multnomah County arbitration panel in addition to being a member of the Board of Directors of Transactive.

  • Admitted to the Oregon State Bar: 1980
  • Admitted to the Washington State Bar: 2002
  • Admitted to the US District Court for the District of Oregon: 1980
  • Admitted to the US District Court for the District of Washington: 2002


  • American Trial Lawyers Association
  • Oregon Trial Lawyers Association
  • Washington State Trial Lawyers Association
  • Oregon Academy of Family Law Practitioners
  • Western Conference of Teamsters Panel Attorney

Representative Cases

  • City of Portland v. Johnson, 651 P.2d 1384 (Or App 1982)
  • Hay v. Motor Vehicles Div., 713 P.2d 641 (Or App 1986)
  • Hetfeld and Boswick, 136 Or App 305, 901 P2d 986 (Or App 1995)
  • Rossi and Rossi, 128 Or App 536, 876 P2d 820 (Or App 1994)
  • Muresan v. Philadelphia Romanian Pentecostal Church, 154 Or App 465, 962 P2d 11 (Or App 1994)
  • Mcinnis and Mcinnis, 338 OR 681, 115 P3d 246 (2005)

Representative Clients

  • AC&E Electric
  • PAJ Telecom
  • Esther Short Properties
  • Tucker Enterprises
  • Old Wheeler Hotel
  • Clopton Excavation
  • Western Conference of Teamsters (panel attorney)
  • 3B Family lnvestments, LLC
  • DMI lnvestments Corporation
  • Portland Music Company
  • MRP Services, lnc.
  • Fettig Concrete, lnc.
  • Paragon Tile
  • Astor Venture, LLC
  • Capitol Properties, LLC
  • Alberta Body & Paint, lnc.
  • Ellsen, lnc.
  • Red Dog Enterprises, LLC


  • Super Lawyers (2009-2020)
  • North Star Award, Trans Active Gender Center (2017) – “for defending the legal, civil, and human rights of children, youth and their families”

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