William A. Barton

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
William A. Barton
Residence Newport, Oregon
Nationality  United States American
Education Pacific University
Willamette Law
Occupation attorney, author

William (Bill) A. Barton is an American attorney in the state of Oregon. A personal injury lawyer and author,[1] he successfully argued to allow litigation to proceed against the Vatican in the priest sex scandal, despite sovereign immunity that is normally applicable to foreign governments.[2] This is the first time courts in the United States have allowed the Vatican to be sued.

Bill's son, Brent Barton, was elected to the Oregon House of Representatives in November 2008.


Bill Barton graduated from Pacific University, in Forest Grove, Oregon, with a Bachelor of Science in 1969.[1] He went on to law school in Salem, Oregon at Willamette University College of Law, graduating with a JD in 1972.[1]

Barton is a member of the Oregon Law Institute's faculty.[3] The OLI, at Lewis & Clark College’s law school in Portland, is a continuing legal education (CLE) center.[4] Barton also teaches several legal courses for The Professional Education Group including, The Art of the Courtroom, Advanced Jury Selection, and Alternative Dispute Resolution.[5]


With his law firm's office in Newport, Oregon,[6] Barton is listed in three categories of the Best Lawyers in America: Medical Malpractice Law, Non-White-Collar Criminal Defense, and Personal Injury Litigation.[7] William Barton is a past president of the Oregon Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates, past governor of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA), a fellow in the International Society of Barristers, former president of the Oregon Trial Lawyers, fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and a past president of the Western Trial Lawyers.[5]

For several years Barton represented a plaintiff against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland and the Rev. Maurice Grammond for claims of child molestation. The $135 million lawsuit helped prompt the diocese to file for bankruptcy in 2004, and delayed the case until 2006.[8] Previously, Barton won cases in Oregon against the Children's Farm Home School, and the Oregon Trail Council and the Boy Scouts of America on sex abuse claims.[9] In 1994, he served as mediator in a civil settlement between former Oregon governor Neil Goldschmidt and his sex-abuse victim.[10]

In 2005, the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association named Barton as Distinguished Trial Lawyer.[11] The partner at Barton & Strever, PC in Newport was[1] named to the Super Lawyers Top 50 for Oregon based on research of Law & Politics magazine for 2006.[12] Barton successfully sued the leaders of the Rajneesh movement.[13]

Barton is the author of Recovering for Psychological Injuries, (1985, ISBN 0941916367).


  1. ^ a b c d William A. Barton. Legalspan. Retrieved on February 21, 2008.
  2. ^ Doe v. Holy See, 434 F. Supp. 2d 925 (2006)
  3. ^ Mediation and Arbitration in Oregon, 2005. Oregon Law Institute. Retrieved on February 21, 2008.
  4. ^ Litigation Strategies and Tips. Oregon Law Institute. Retrieved on February 21, 2008.
  5. ^ a b William A. Barton. Professional Education Group. Retrieved on February 21, 2008.
  6. ^ William A. Barton. West Legal Directory. Retrieved on February 21, 2008.
  7. ^ William Barton. Best Lawyers. Retrieved on May 1, 2007.
  8. ^ Green, Ashbel. 85 plaintiffs seek federal trial against archdiocese. The Oregonian, April 18, 2006.
  9. ^ Duin, Steve. The threat is closer than you think. The Oregonian, September 19, 1999.
  10. ^ Jaquiss, Nigel (December 15, 2004). "Who Knew". Willamette Week. Retrieved July 24, 2011. 
  11. ^ Sidebar. Oregon Trial Lawyers Association, July 2005. Retrieved on February 21, 2008.
  12. ^ WUCL Alumni Named Oregon Super Lawyers. Willamette Lawyer, Fall 2007, p. 30.
  13. ^ 1985 WL 651471, 1 Nat. J.V.R.A. 3:12