Van M. White, III’s practice focuses on construction law and business litigation. His legal work regularly includes construction liens and collections; contract drafting and negotiating; the prosecution and defense of construction defect claims; bond claims; and general counsel to construction contractors, material suppliers, and small business owners.
Van’s clients include property owners, general contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers, and developers involved in residential, commercial and public works projects. He has also represented commercial lenders, title insurance companies, and investors in foreclosure and priority disputes. Significant matters recently handled include the defense of apartment developers in multiple lien foreclosure cases; the representation of a national lender in a lien foreclosure case (priority dispute involving major Central Oregon resort); and the foreclosure of an Oregon Coast property being developed as a resort.
Because Van understands that legal fees can add up quickly, he strongly advocates upfront risk management so that issues can be addressed before a project begins. He also regularly employs a cost-benefit analysis when helping a client make a decision, especially those involving payment disputes. He prides himself on being very hands-on with his cases and being a good communicator. By working with clients in a prompt, decisive manner, Van establishes solid channels of communication that allow the client to get the most out of his representation.
Van has authored a number of articles on Oregon construction law and related issues. He has also contributed to several articles in national publications. Some may recognize Van from his “Ask the Expert” column, which ran in the Sunday Oregonian real estate section and discussed how residential property owners should protect themselves with construction contracts. Van has also actively participated in construction trade associations over the years, including regular speeches and articles relating to construction law issues.
Van was a hearings advocate and law clerk at the Oregon Construction Contractors Board (“CCB”) from 1990-1992, while he attended law school at Willamette University College of Law in Salem, Oregon. While at the CCB, Van prosecuted numerous enforcement cases on behalf of the State of Oregon. He also performed legal research while he clerked at the CCB.
Prior to graduating from Willamette University College of Law, Van began teaching prerequisite CCB education classes to contractors. Since 1992, Van has instructed hundreds of prerequisite CCB education classes to thousands of contractors in a wide variety of areas, including contract law, construction lien law, the CCB, and laws and business practices. Van still regularly instructs classes and CCB electives to contractors in areas related to contract law and lien law. He has also given numerous speeches over the years to construction companies, lawyers, and at trade shows.
Van is a member of the CCB’s Training and Education Advisory Board. Van has also assisted the CCB with the instruction and education of contractors, including editing and updating of the ninth edition of the Oregon Contractor’s reference manual.
Van is a graduate of Washington State University and a huge Cougar fan. Van is involved with the Cougar Business Alliance in Vancouver as well as a WSU networking group in Pullman.
- American Bar Association
- Contractor Ed (Instructor & Consultant, 1997–present)
- Multnomah County Bar Association
- Oregon State Bar Association (Member, Sections on Construction Law, Real Estate & Land Use, Labor & Employment, Business Litigation)
- United States District Court for the District of Oregon
- Washington State Bar Association (Member, Construction Section)
- Willamette University College of Law (J.D., 1992)
- Washington State University (B.A., 1984)
- Admitted to Washington State Bar (1992)
- Admitted to Oregon State Bar (1993)