Q&A With Our Sponsor: Charley Gee, Human Powered Lawyer

Q&A with Student Board member Anna Laird

About Charley Gee: Charley runs his own law firm representing people in personal injury claims against insurance companies, corporations, and the government. Charley’s practice focuses on representing cyclists, pedestrians, and other collision victims. He only represents the injured and takes pride in being there to help people after the worst has happened.

Charley has lived in the PNW his whole life. Born and raised in Dallas, OR, he started his life working hard in a factory after high school, thinking he would not go to college. After his company subsidized his attendance of community college, he made the move up to Portland to attend PSU. While at PSU, he worked as a file clerk at the Portland firm Thomas, Coon, Newton, & Frost. Charley then attended law school at University of Oregon, transferring to Lewis & Clark for his final semester to be able to live in Portland. After continuing work as an associate at Thomas, Coon, Newton, & Frost, he decided to leave and start his own firm in 2016.

Q: How would you describe your practice now? What do you want people to know about your practice?

A: The important part about my practice is that we stand up for people against huge, powerful insurance corporate apparatuses that are designed to help people and companies keep their money even when an injury has occurred. I think of myself as really just here to help, to be there to step in when people have had their whole world turned upside down. It feels like a David and Goliath fight every day, but I love it.

Q: What is your favorite part of being a bike lawyer specifically?

A: I am a biker, I am a part of the Portland biking community and my favorite part of this job is being able to help the people in my community. Everyone who is a cyclist has that base-level of fitness and capability to cycle around, so after an injury they can bounce back quicker than you would think. I like being there to help them get back on their bikes.

Q: You represent the biking community a lot in litigation, are there other aspects of your practice that allow you to extend beyond litigation?

A: Since representing cyclists and pedestrians is a specialized sub-set of personal injury law, it is cool to be one of the “experts” in the field. Because of that, I have been called in to help work on legislative advocacy for the biking community and that is a fun way to diversify what I do on a daily basis.

Q: What is some legislation you have been working on recently?

A: One of the last projects I’ve been on is autonomous car legislation in Oregon. The interesting thing about working on these issues is that there are a lot of big actors working to get this type of legislation passed in Oregon, some of which include Google, Uber, Freightliner, and GM. But typically the programming of autonomous vehicles is created and based around California laws, so when the industry tries to transfer that approach to Oregon, it is problematic since our laws can be totally opposite. It has been interesting to work on projects like this and be a voice for the safety of the biking community.

Q: What do you value about NEDC that made you decide to be a sponsor of Pedal Pursuit?

A: I am a native Oregonian and I love spending time outdoors. I am happy to support anyone who can stand up and defend the wilderness of Oregon.

Q: So what are your favorite activities outside of work?

A: I am a big fly fisherman, I love getting out on the river and taking a break. But since having kids my ability to get out there has drastically diminished! Aside from that, I love hiking, riding my bike, and reading. I usually am reading 5-6 books at a time.