Brian D. Chenoweth

Brian D. Chenoweth

Managing Partner
Portland, Oregon

Brian Chenoweth is the founder of Chenoweth Law Group, P.C., where he represents clients in all aspects of complex commercial litigation in state and federal courts.

His practice emphasizes environmental, real estate, land use, business, construction, injury, insurance, estate litigation and administrative law. With over 20 years of experience, Brian is recognized for his litigation work with plaintiffs and defendants alike throughout Oregon and Washington.

Brian's environmental clients include property owners and businesses facing regulatory compliance and cleanup costs for all types of contamination. His specific experience includes cases involving gas stations, oil bulk facilities, dry cleaners, chrome plating facilities, auto wrecking facilities, ship repair yards, underground storage tanks, landfills, gas pipelines, PCB contamination and wood treatment facilities. In addition, Brian represents clients in matters regarding environmental consultant and contractor negligence, water quality, wetlands, landslides, and bodily injury and property damage related to chemicals, lead, asbestos and mold.

During his career Brian has negotiated complex settlements with state and federal agencies, advised clients on their legal responsibilities, and pursued recovery of cleanup costs from other responsible parties. Brian has also defended businesses and individuals regarding environmental claims. He also represents neighboring property owners who are impacted by pollution.

In addition to his environmental litigation practice, Brian advises clients in business and real estate transactions with respect to environmental liability and regulatory compliance. Other work includes brownfield redevelopment and agency enforcement matters. Brian’s environmental practice brings him face to face with government agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and the Washington Department of Ecology.

Brian also represents clients regarding real estate transactions and disputes, land use law, business formations, sales, and purchases, business disputes, insurance disputes, disputes with administrative agencies and construction law.

Representative clients include food processing companies, outdoor advertising companies, real estate brokerages, insurance agencies, construction companies, small- and medium-size business of all types, attorneys seeking to co-counsel on complex cases, municipal housing authorities, insurance companies, personal representatives and trustees, trucking companies, environmental consultants and clean-up contractors, testing laboratories, private universities and individuals.

Licensed to practice law in Oregon and Washington, Brian received his law degree (cum laude) from the American University, Washington College of Law in 1994, and a Bachelors of Arts in political science from the University of Oregon in 1989.

Brian has given lectures to industry professionals, governmental agency staff and other lawyers on environmental, insurance, real estate and land use law.

Away from the office, Brian enjoys playing music, boating (on the firm's boat -- "Short Sale"), hiking, traveling, and spending time with his children.

Brian's paralegal is Annicca Jones (

Areas of Practice

  • Environmental Law
  • Insurance
  • Real Estate
  • Land Use
  • Business Litigation
  • Personal Injury/Toxic Torts
  • Construction Litigation
  • Wills, Trusts, and Estates Litigation

Litigation Percentage

  • 95% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • Oregon, 1994
  • Washington, 1996
  • U.S. District Court District of Oregon
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Washington
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 2009


  • American University, Washington College of Law, Washington, District of Columbia
    • J.D. cum laude - 1994
  • University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon
    • Bachelors of Arts - 1989
    • Major: Political Science

Published Works

  • Insurance Coverage in Environmental Law Deskbook, Oregon State Bar, 2002
  • Environmental Issues affecting Land Use in Major Land Use Laws in Oregon, Oregon Law Institute, 2002
  • Recent Case Finds the "Absolute Pollution Exclusion" Not So Absolute When Gasoline Involved, Oregon Petroleum Marketers Association, May, 1998
  • Not Just for "Environmental Lawyers," In Brief, Professional Liability Fund, January, 1998
  • "Litigating Lost Policies, Insurance Coverage for Environmental Cleanup Costs", Environmental Law Education Foundation, December, 1997
  • Case Note: Martin v. State Farm, Environmental and Land Use Section Newsletter, Oregon State Bar, May, 1997
  • "Liability and Insurance Coverage for Heating Oil Tank Releases," Environmental and Land Use Section CLE, Oregon State Bar, May, 1997

Representative Cases

  • MacDonald v. Sonoco
  • Douglas Ridge

Representative Clients

  • Lamar Advertising
  • Farmers Insurance
  • Rapid Funding Group
  • VM Properties, Inc.


  • Mastering Land Use & Planning Processes, 2007
  • Ethical Considerations in Insurance Practice, National Business Institute, 2005
  • What to Do When Construction Projects Go Bad, Lorman Education Services, 2005
  • Bad Faith Litigation in Oregon, National Business Institute, 2004
  • Litigating Lost Policies, Environmental Issues in Real Estate Transaction, Oregon State Bar, 2002
  • Environmental Issues affecting Land Use, Major Land Use Laws in Oregon, Oregon Law Institute, 2002
  • Insurance Coverage for Environmental Cleanup Costs, Lane County Bar Association, 1998
  • Litigating Lost Policies, Insurance Coverage for Environmental Cleanup Costs, Environmental Law Education Foundation
  • Liability and Insurance Coverage for Heating Oil Tank Releases, Oregon State Bar, Environmental and Land Use Section, 1997

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Oregon State Bar, Environmental and Natural Resources Section
  • Washington State Bar, Environmental and Land Use Section
  • Owen M. Panner Inn of Court, Barrister, 1997 - 2010
  • Northwest Environmental Business Council
  • Owen M. Panner Inn of Court, Program Committee

Past Employment Positions

  • Rycewicz & Chenoweth, LLP, Partner, 1997 - 2006
  • Detlefsen Law Office, P.C., Attorney, 1995 - 1997


  • Sigma Alpha Epsilon