Van M. White III has more than 20 years of experience as a lawyer in Oregon and Washington. Van has been a partner at Samuels Yoelin Kantor since 2001 and has served on the firm’s management committee since 2010.
Van’s practice emphasizes construction, real estate, and business litigation. His legal work regularly includes the drafting, review, and negotiation of construction and real estate contracts; construction liens and collections; the prosecution and defense of claims relating to construction projects; business disputes; bond claims; and general counsel to construction contractors, material suppliers, property owners, landlords, and business owners.
Van’s clients include contractors (including general contractors, subcontractors, remodeling and restoration contractors), material suppliers, property owners, small to mid-size business owners, landlords, and developers involved in residential, commercial and public works construction and real estate projects. He has also represented commercial lenders, title insurance companies, and investors in foreclosure and priority disputes.
Significant matters recently handled include the successful defense of a national contractor in one of the Oregon Construction Contractors Board’s largest enforcement actions; successful defense and dismissal of a construction lien foreclosure action related to a fire restoration project; collection of past due amounts owed for construction defect repairs at a local condominium complex; defense of apartment developers in multiple lien foreclosure cases; successful defense of a real estate investment company and one of its shareholders in a lawsuit brought by another shareholder; the representation of a national lender in a lien foreclosure case (priority dispute involving major Central Oregon resort); obtaining insurance coverage for a contractor sued for performing defective construction work; 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 and due diligence so that issues can be identified and addressed before a dispute develops. He often employs a cost-benefit analysis when helping clients make decisions, especially those involving payment disputes. He prides himself on being very hands-on, a good communicator, and promptly responding to calls and e-mails from clients. By working with clients in a prompt, decisive manner, Van establishes solid channels of communication that allow clients to get the most out of his representation.
Van has authored a number of articles on construction law for regional and national publications. Van has also actively participated in construction trade associations through the years, regularly giving speeches and contributing articles relating to construction law issues. He currently serves as president of the Building Material Dealers Association.
In addition to his law practice, Van instructs classes to contractors and material suppliers in areas related to contract law, lien law, and collections. Van has been teaching Oregon Construction Contractors Board (CCB) education classes since 1992. He has instructed hundreds of CCB education classes to thousands of contractors in a variety of areas, including contract law, construction lien law, the CCB, and business practices. Van has delivered numerous speeches to construction companies, lawyers, and at trade shows, as well. Recent presentations include: Construction Liens and Collections at the 2016 JLC LIVE Residential Construction Show; Oregon and Washington Lien Law Seminar for the Building Material Dealers Association; and, a Construction Lien Law instructional video for the Oregon Home Builder’s Association.
Van was a hearings advocate and law clerk at the CCB from 1990 to 1992, while he attended Willamette University College of Law in Salem, Oregon. At the CCB, Van prosecuted numerous enforcement cases on behalf of the State of Oregon for issues such as working as a contractor without a license; having employees while not maintaining workers’ compensation insurance; and, contractors acting fraudulently or dishonestly.
Van is a graduate of Washington State University and a huge Cougar fan.