John E. Hart

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John Hart is a Portland native who has represented a wide variety of clients involved in civil litigation over his distinguished legal career. For the past 30 years, John’s practice has primarily focused upon defending medical malpractice lawsuits and, to a lesser extent, other complex civil litigation involving products liability and catastrophic injuries.

Law Practice Continued

John is one of the few lawyers in our region who has tried over 360 civil lawsuits through to a jury verdict in Oregon and Washington state courts as well as federal court. He regularly defends doctors, midwives, nurses, hospitals and medical institutions in cases involving alleged birth trauma injuries, cancer misdiagnosis, surgical mishaps, etc. Known for his thoroughness, fairness and integrity, John Hart is uniformly held in high regard by trial judges, opposing lawyers, and especially his clients.


Lewis and Clark College
Northwestern School of Law
J.D., 1974

Portland State University
B.S., 1971

Oregon State University
Undergraduate Study, 1965-66


Hart Wagner LLP
Partner, 1992-present

Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt
Attorney, 1974-1992

Admitted To Practice

Oregon State Courts
U.S. District Court: District of Oregon
U.S. Court of Appeals: Ninth Circuit

Awards and Recognition

Best Lawyers in America (every year since 1989)

Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants (30 years)

Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants (30 years)

Portland Lawyer of the Year, Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants, 2010, 2013

Portland Lawyer of the Year, Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants, 2012

Portland’s Top Lawyers

Portland Monthly Magazine, 2007 – present

Super Lawyers

Personal Injury Medical Malpractice: Defense, 2006 – 2021

Who’s Who in America

Listed in “Who’s Who in American Law,” 1997

Professional Activities and Associations

American College of Trial Lawyers

American Board of Trial Advocates, Oregon Chapter President, 1994-1996

Oregon Council on Court Procedures, Chair, 1993-1995

Oregon Association of Defense Counsel, President, 1989

Uniform Civil Jury, Instruction Committee, 1985

Professional Publications

“Loss in Value of Chance,” American Bar Association, TIPS, Medicine and Law Committee, Toronto, Canada, 1988

“Wrongful Birth Cause of Action,” American Bar Association, TIPS, Medicine and Law Committee, San Francisco, 1982


“Shark Tank,” Oregon Association of Defense Counsel Annual Convention, 2015

“Jury Selection,” Oregon Trial Advocacy College, 12th and 13th annual events, 2010-2011

“The Art of Cross-Examining Experts,” Oregon Law Institute seminar, 2007

“Mediation and Arbitration,” Oregon Law Institute seminar, 2004

“Women’s Health Conference,” Oregon Academy of Family Physicians, 2003-2004

“Basics of Trial Practice,” Oregon Law Institute seminar, 2000

“Understanding and Litigating Cancer and Coronary Heart Disease–Litigating Breast Cancer,” Oregon State Bar Continuing Legal Education seminar, March 1999

“Understanding Admissibility of Scientific Evidence,” Bench and Bar Breakfast, 1996

“OB-GYN Liability Issues,” Oregon Section of American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 1996

“Liability Issues in Managed Care,” Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems conference, 1996

“Panel-Jury Selection,” Oregon State Bar seminar, 1993

“Psychological Injuries,” Oregon State Bar seminar, 1992

“Expert Witness,” Oregon Law Institute seminar, 1988

Community Activities

Lines for Life, Board of Directors, 2012-present

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