William A. Barton
William A. Barton is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 attorney in the state of Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

. A personal injury lawyer and author, he successfully argued to allow litigation to proceed against the Vatican
Vatican City
Vatican City , or Vatican City State, in Italian officially Stato della Città del Vaticano , which translates literally as State of the City of the Vatican, is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, Italy. It has an area of...

 in the priest sex scandal
Roman Catholic sex abuse cases
The Catholic sex abuse cases are a series of convictions, trials and ongoing investigations into allegations of sex crimes committed by Catholic priests and members of religious orders. These cases began receiving public attention beginning in the mid-1980s...

, despite sovereign immunity
Sovereign immunity
Sovereign immunity, or crown immunity, is a legal doctrine by which the sovereign or state cannot commit a legal wrong and is immune from civil suit or criminal prosecution....

 that is normally applicable to foreign governments. This is the first time courts in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 have allowed the Vatican to be sued
Legal status of the Holy See
The legal status of the Holy See, both in state practice and according to the writing of modern legal scholars, is that of a full subject of public international law, with rights and duties analogous to those of States....


Bill's son, Brent Barton
Brent Barton
Brent Barton is a Democratic politician from the US state of Oregon. He was elected in 2008 to the Oregon House of Representatives, representing District 51, which encompasses parts of Clackamas County and Multnomah County, and includes all or part of the cities of Boring, Clackamas, Damascus,...

, was elected to the Oregon House of Representatives
Oregon House of Representatives
The Oregon House of Representatives is the lower house of the Oregon Legislative Assembly. There are 60 members of the House, representing 60 districts across the state, each with a population of 57,000. The House meets at the Oregon State Capitol in Salem....

 in November 2008.


Bill Barton graduated from Pacific University
Pacific University
Pacific University is a private university located in Oregon, United States. The first campus began more than 160 years ago and is located about 38 km west of Portland in Forest Grove...

, in Forest Grove, Oregon
Forest Grove, Oregon
Forest Grove is a city in Washington County, Oregon, United States, west of Portland. Originally a small farm town, it is now primarily a bedroom suburb of Portland. Settled in the 1840s, the town was platted in 1850 and then incorporated in 1872 and was the first city in Washington County...

, with a Bachelor of Science in 1969. He went on to law school in Salem, Oregon
Salem, Oregon
Salem is the capital of the U.S. state of Oregon, and the county seat of Marion County. It is located in the center of the Willamette Valley alongside the Willamette River, which runs north through the city. The river forms the boundary between Marion and Polk counties, and the city neighborhood...

 at Willamette University College of Law
Willamette University College of Law
Willamette University College of Law is a private law school located in Salem, Oregon, United States. Founded in 1842, Willamette University is the oldest university in the Western United States...

, graduating with a JD
Juris Doctor
Juris Doctor is a professional doctorate and first professional graduate degree in law.The degree was first awarded by Harvard University in the United States in the late 19th century and was created as a modern version of the old European doctor of law degree Juris Doctor (see etymology and...

 in 1972.

Barton is a member of the Oregon Law Institute's faculty. The OLI, at Lewis & Clark College’s law school
Lewis & Clark Law School
Lewis and Clark Law School is a private American law school located in Portland, Oregon. In the last ten years, L&C's Environmental Law program has been the highest-rated in the United States eight times....

 in Portland
Portland, Oregon
Portland is a city located in the Pacific Northwest, near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 Census, it had a population of 583,776, making it the 29th most populous city in the United States...

, is a continuing legal education
Continuing Legal Education
Continuing legal education is professional education of lawyers that takes place after their initial admission to the bar. In many states in the United States, CLE participation is required of attorneys to maintain their license to practice law...

 (CLE) center. Barton also teaches several legal courses for The Professional Education Group including, The Art of the Courtroom, Advanced Jury Selection, and Alternative Dispute Resolution.


With his law firm's office in Newport, Oregon
Newport, Oregon
Newport is a city in Lincoln County, Oregon, United States. It was incorporated in 1882, though the name dates back to the establishment of a post office in 1868...

, Barton is listed in three categories of the Best Lawyers in America: Medical Malpractice Law, Non-White-Collar Criminal Defense, and Personal Injury Litigation. 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
Association of Trial Lawyers of America
The American Association for Justice , formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America is the leading organization for lawyers representing plaintiffs in the United States...

 (ATLA), a fellow in the International Society of Barristers
International Society of Barristers
The International Society of Barristers is an honor society for the best trial lawyers.-Overview:It was created in 1965. Its members are mostly from the United States, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Australia, Canada, England, Scotland, and Mexico...

, former president of the Oregon Trial Lawyers, fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and a past president of the Western Trial Lawyers.

For several years Barton has represented one plaintiff against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland
The Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon is an archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It encompasses the western part of the state of Oregon, from the summit of the Cascades to the Pacific Ocean...

 and the Rev. Maurice Grammond for claims of child molestation. The 135 million dollar lawsuit helped prompt the diocese to file for bankruptcy in 2004, and delayed the case until 2006. Previously, Barton won cases in Oregon against the Children's Farm Home in Corvallis
Corvallis, Oregon
Corvallis is a city located in central western Oregon, United States. It is the county seat of Benton County and the principal city of the Corvallis, Oregon Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Benton County. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 54,462....

, and the Oregon Trail Council and the Boy Scouts of America
Boy Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America is one of the largest youth organizations in the United States, with over 4.5 million youth members in its age-related divisions...

 on sex abuse claims. In 1994, he served as mediator in a civil settlement between former Oregon governor Neil Goldschmidt
Neil Goldschmidt
Neil Edward Goldschmidt is an American businessman and former Democratic politician from Oregon who held local, state, and federal offices over three decades. After serving as the governor of Oregon, Goldschmidt is widely considered the most influential figure in the state's politics, both as an...

 and his sex-abuse victim.

In 2005, the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association named Barton as Distinguished Trial Lawyer. The partner at Barton & Strever, PC in Newport was named to the Super Lawyers Top 50 for Oregon based on research of Law & Politics magazine for 2006. He is the author of Recovering for Psychological Injuries, (ATLA Press, 1990.) and successfully sued the Rajneesh group
Osho (Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh)
Osho , born Chandra Mohan Jain , and also known as Acharya Rajneesh from the 1960s onwards, as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh during the 1970s and 1980s and as Osho from 1989, was an Indian mystic, guru, and spiritual teacher who garnered an international following.A professor of philosophy, he travelled...

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