Molly Jo is an ardent believer in mediation as an advocate and trial attorney. During her 25 years of trial practice, she successfully mediated hundreds of cases with clients ranging from large corporations to individuals bringing claims against their former employers. The kinds of cases that ultimately resolved, represented a wide variety of matters (catastrophic workplace injuries, professional negligence, insurance disputes, employment matters and environmental claims), but the process of mediation typically resulted in more favorable outcomes for the participants than on-going litigation. Mediation is cost effective and allows the parties to craft a final resolution that is mutually beneficial - something that doesn't often happen in the courtroom.
Molly Jo has hundreds of hours of mediation and arbitration specific training through the Oregon State Bar, the United States District Court of Oregon as well as AAA, and the International Academy of Mediators. Molly Jo has completed training to mediate probate matters, provided by Multnomah County. She serves as a pro bono mediator for Columbia County, Oregon Circuit Court. In 2014, she was certified as a mediator through the Oregon Patient Safety Commission's program for early resolution of adverse medical events. Molly Jo is also a panel mediator for Resolute Systems, a provider of mediation services nationwide. Molly Jo is currently working with the International Academy of Mediators to continue her mediation education and takes advantage of those training and learning opportunities by attending its meetings each year. Molly Jo has mediated numerous cases involving employment disputes, catastrophic personal injury, medical malpractice and insurance disputes. She is experienced mediating with both represented as well as unrepresented parties.
Molly Jo is a court appointed arbitration panel member in the following Oregon counties; Multnomah, Washington, Columbia and Jackson. She serves as a panel arbitrator for insurance disputes in Oregon as well as private arbitrations pursuant to arbitration provisions in employment and commercial contracts. Molly Jo is also a member of the Multnomah County Arbitration Commission which is responsible for working with the Multnomah County Court to insure new arbitrators are trained and that seasoned arbitrators are aware of procedures and practices governing arbitration. Her arbitration experience includes contract disputes, personal injury, products liability and landlord tenant act matters.
Molly Jo started her legal career working for Multnomah Defenders, Inc, providing legal services to indigent criminal defendants. As a new lawyer, the opportunity to try cases and represent real people struggling with the criminal system gave her direct experience explaining the criminal justice system to the often uninitiated accused, as well as the chance to get into a court room in front of a jury. That experience also required creativity in negotiating with opposing attorneys, judges and staff to try and craft sentences and outcomes that ultimately worked for each defendant. She also had the opportunity to represent juveniles charged with serious crimes as well as parents facing the loss of their children through dependency proceedings. The last case she tried in juvenile court was a termination of parental rights case brought by the State of Oregon to permanently remove a child from her mother. These are the trial skills as well as interpersonal skills Molly Jo brought with her into private civil practice after more than 75 jury and bench trials.
Molly Jo joined Bodyfelt, Mount, Stroup and Chamberlain as an associate in 1995. She became a partner, January of 2000. During her years at Bodyfelt Mount LLP, she handled and tried cases all over the State of Oregon, from Astoria to Medford; Portland to Baker City. Her trial experience includes medical malpractice defense of hospitals in Pendleton and Baker City, Oregon; defense of manufacturers of agricultural fencing in Bend, Oregon and grain supply bags in Eugene under products liability theories; a lawsuit against Clackamas County for road maintenance negligence resulting in environmental damage from an oil spill; and cases in Medford, Oregon involving wrongful termination as well as a property dispute alleging negligence, trespass and nuisance. She has tried cases to verdict in federal courts in Medford, Eugene and Portland, Oregon. Throughout her career she has continued to represent individuals with claims as well as small business owners and corporations.
Professional and Community Activities:
Molly Jo is a member of the Oregon State Bar and admitted to the United States District Court - Oregon. She is long time member and supporter of Oregon Women Lawyers, Oregon Minority Lawyers as well as various local bar associations. She has served as a pro bono attorney accepting appointments to represent children involved in custody disputes in Multnomah County. She currently serves on the Multnomah Bar Association - Diversity and Equality Committee. She continues to advocate for increased representation of women and minorities in the law.
Molly Jo also supports organizations and causes that benefit youth and particularly young women. She has coached mock trial and civic engagement in local schools. She is also an advocate and supporter of organizations that provide exposure to the arts and community involvement such as Maverick Main Stage Productions, a youth theater program in N/NE Portland as well as 4H. Molly Jo supports women and girls in athletics, specifically Women in Flight, the University of Oregon's program to support women's athletics. Molly Jo has developed a particular interest in Title IX and its current application to support women and girls in sports equity as well as its application to women's access to a safe and appropriate education. Molly Jo is a member of Rocker Chixx, a terrific group of women and girls who get together to sing and perform rock songs.