P.K. Runkles-Pearson

Partner

P.K. helps higher education institutions, public, nonprofit, or mission-driven entities, and progressive employers address "messy human problems."

Education Law Experience
Before joining Miller Nash Graham & Dunn, P.K. served as in-house counsel at Portland State University, managing litigation, student, and employment matters. She handles counseling and litigation involving students, including issues of disability accommodation, discrimination, Title IX/sexual assault/sexual harassment, due process, student conduct, and student privacy. She also assists with issues unique to faculty, including faculty rank, tenure, and promotion; faculty discipline; and academic freedom.

Employment Law Experience
P.K. has more than a decade of experience counseling employers and managers and representing them in litigation and before administrative bodies on a full array of employment issues, including discrimination, harassment, retaliation, accommodation, family/medical leaves, whistleblowing, wage and hour, employee classification and independent contractor issues, and workplace torts such as defamation, wrongful discharge, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. P.K. counsels employers on all those issues, prepares and reviews employment handbooks and policies, and supervises or conducts workplace investigations.

P.K. enjoys helping mission-driven and progressive entities respond to and lead on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion, and implicit bias while managing legal risk.

Public / Constitutional Law Experience
P.K. understands the unique issues that public entities face. She is comfortable in the legal framework where public entities operate, including public ethics, fiscal responsibility, transparency, and working with governing boards. Her work includes counseling and litigation involving Oregon and federal constitutional issues such as free speech, due process, equal protection, searches and seizures, free exercise of religion and establishment of religion, and the right to bear arms, among other things.

Appellate Law Experience
P.K. is an accomplished appellate practitioner in Oregon and federal courts. Her experience includes appellate motions, merits briefing, and oral argument; amicus briefs; petitions for review to the Oregon Supreme Court; and petitions for writs of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court. She served as law clerk to Justice Thomas A. Balmer of the Oregon Supreme Court. She is the co-chair of Miller Nash Graham & Dunn's appellate specialty team.

Education

  • J.D., New York University School of Law,
    • Executive Editor of the NYU Law Review
  • B.A., Pacific University,
    • University Honors
    • Residence Life Staff
    • Speech and Debate

Bar Admissions

Oregon
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