Elden is one of Oregon’s most respected and successful trial lawyers. Since graduating Stanford Law School in 1972, Elden’s peers and colleagues have honored him with the most prestigious awards given out by the Oregon State Bar, the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association and the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon.
Elden received the Oregon State Bar’s highest honor, the Award of Merit, in 1991, and that same year the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association honored Elden as the organization's first recipient of its Public Justice Award. In 2007 Elden received the A.C.L.U. of Oregon’s top honor, the E.B. McNaughton Award, and in 2008 the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association gave Elden its top award, the Distinguished Trial Lawyer Award.
Elden is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers - an organization that admits less than 1% of the eligible lawyers in any state. He has been listed in Best Lawyers in America since 1993. In 2008, Portland Monthly listed Elden as one of "Portland's Best Lawyers," and SuperLawyers.com listed him as one of Oregon's top 10 lawyers. Elden has also received the highest Peer Review Rating (AV) awarded by Martindale-Hubbell, the nation's first and most prestigious lawyer peer rating firm. In 2008 Elden was chosen to be the commencement speaker for the University of Oregon Law School graduating class. You can read Elden’s commencement address at: www.law.uoregon.edu/news/article.php?show=542. In 2012, Elden was elected to serve on the National Board of Directors of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Elden practices personal injury and civil rights law in the state and federal courts of Oregon and, with associated local counsel, in other states across the country. Elden has won substantial verdicts and settlements for clients injured in automobile accidents, by defective products, by medical and nursing home malpractice, by sexual misconduct, and in numerous other ways. Elden has also successfully represented clients who have been injured or had their civil rights violated by government officials and private citizens in cases ranging from wrongful death to sexual abuse to wrongful prosecution.
In 1991, Elden received national attention when he served as co-counsel in the landmark case of Seraw v. Metzger. Tom Metzger, leader of the White Aryan Resistance, was accused of inciting members of his organization to violence leading to the death of Mulegeta Seraw, a black Ethiopian. A jury ordered Metzger and his co-conspirators to pay the family $12.5 million in civil damages. Click here for article.
In 2006, Elden again made national headlines for his work as co-counsel in settling claims on behalf of Oregon attorney Brandon Mayfield against the FBI. After incorrect fingerprint identification, Mayfield was wrongfully arrested and detained by the FBI. The federal government was forced to pay Mayfield and his family $2 million and apologize for his ordeal. Click here to read Mayfield opinion.
In addition to serving on bar committees, Elden is actively involved in teaching and mentoring law students and other lawyers. Elden is an adjunct faculty member of the Lewis & Clark Law School, where he teaches tort law to law students in the night school.
Elden is married to Margie Rosenthal, and they have two daughters who live in Portland. He is an avid fly fisherman, skier and baseball fan.