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Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt

William J. Ohle

William J. Ohle



  • Litigation & Dispute Resolution
  • Professional Liability
  • Energy

WSG Practice Industries



Bill Ohle brings a strong industry background to representing public utilities and industries in state and federal regulatory matters. Before joining Schwabe, Bill served as in-house counsel for a publicly owned electrical, water and wastewater utility company. Currently, he represents both private and public clients before the Bonneville Power Administration, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Oregon Public Utilities Commission. He also assists with transactions between private interests and investor-owned and publicly owned utilities, including negotiating power purchase agreements involving renewable energy resources and conventional energy resources. Bill also has experience in telecommunications and cable television regulation.

Bill has more than 20 years of experience representing clients in construction defect and housing accessibility claims, with an emphasis on claims involving design defects by architects and engineers. He defends design professionals against professional malpractice claims and drafts professional service contracts to minimize the risk of construction disputes and meet the needs of specific design disciplines and projects. Bill has litigated nearly two dozen Fair Housing Act and Americans with Disabilities Act claims in federal and state courts and agencies.

Professional clients rely on Bill’s advocacy when their livelihood is on the line. He has represented numerous clients before regulatory boards—including the Oregon Board of Architect Examiners, Oregon Board of Examiners for Engineering and the Oregon Electrical and Elevator Board—in contested case hearings, appeals, and negotiated settlements.

Bar Admissions

  • Oregon State Courts
  • Washington State Courts
  • Commonwealth Courts for the Northern Mariana Islands
  • United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • United States District Court, District of Oregon


  • Willamette University College of Law, Juris Doctor degree, cum laude (1991)
  • Warner Pacific College, Bachelor of Arts degree (1986)
Areas of Practice

Energy | Litigation & Dispute Resolution | Professional Liability

Professional Career

Significant Accomplishments

  • Successfully represented a large investor-owned utility in complex federal litigation over the constitutionality of a city franchise ordinance.
  • Briefed and argued Grays Harbor PUD v. Idaho Power Company (9th Cir. 2004), one of the first cases arising from the 2000-2001 West Coast Energy Crises to reach the federal appellate courts, and obtained a favorable remand.
  • Advised a large investor-owned utility in ongoing efforts by cities to form municipal utilities and condemn utility facilities.
  • Tried numerous court litigations and administrative contested cases as first chair, including matters before state and federal courts and professional licensing boards such as the Oregon Board of Architect Examiners and the Oregon Electricians Board.
  • Drafted and negotiated hundreds of architectural, engineering and construction contracts and subcontracts, including custom forms based on specific client needs and knowledge of AIA design and construction forms.
  • Advise design professionals in areas of business organization, including matters of state incorporation and professional licensing and drafting of corporate documents.


  • OP-ED: Design-Build Pitfalls for Owners, contractors and Design Professionals
  • Does OR COVID-19 Emergency Extensions Give Time to Notice, Perfect, and Foreclose Construction Liens? 
  • OP-ED: Design Professional Standard of Care in Rapidly Changing Times
  • Op-Ed: Pitfalls for Design Businesses Amid Promotion on the Internet
  • OP-ED: Standard Form Construction Contracts: Uses and Misuses
  • OP-ED: Construction documents: Know what to keep and what to toss
  • OP-ED: At what point must a developer hire an architect?
  • A New Wrinkle Affecting Construction Defect Battles
  • Contractor House of Horrors: What to do When Subs go Bad
  • Don't Panic if Licensing Board Starts to Dig


  • DJC Oregon Builder Breakfast Series: PAE Living Building: Lessons Learned from the First
  • Oregon Construction Law: The Design Persepctive on Traditional Design-Bid-Build and Design-Build 
  • Oregon Construction Law: The Design Perspective on Traditional Design-Bid-Build and Design-Build
  • The Owner/Architect Relationship

WSG's members are independent firms and are not affiliated in the joint practice of professional services. Each member exercises its own individual judgments on all client matters.

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