Ryan T. O’Connor
O'Connor Weber LLC
1500 SW First Avenue
Portland, OR 97201
Ryan O’Connor is a co-founder of O’Connor Weber LLC, a leading boutique litigation law firm based in Portland, Oregon. He represents clients in appeals in state and federal court, in criminal cases in the state and federal trial courts, in post-conviction challenges to criminal convictions, and in state administrative cases.
A former employee of the Office of Public Defense Services’ Appellate Division, Ryan spent years representing indigent clients as they challenged convictions through appeal and requested their parole board decisions be under judicial review.
Ryan has a long history of protecting clients from the media and other adverse consequences that come from a conviction. His appeals have led to new agency hearings, new trials, reductions of the sentence of the convicted and reversals of criminal convictions. These include cases involving the death penalty, eyewitness identification, violation of a client’s constitutional rights by a police officer and reckless endangerment.
Ryan was born and raised in Olympia, Washington. He graduated cum laude from the University of Portland with a Bachelor of Arts in political science with a German minor. He then attended Notre Dame Law School, where he graduated cum laude with his Juris Doctor.
After being admitted to the Oregon State Bar, Ryan worked at the Appellate Division of the Office of Public Defense Services (OPDS) in Salem, Oregon. Ryan and Jason Weber started O’Connor Weber in 2012. Since then, Ryan has represented clients on appeal in the Oregon state courts, in the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and in the United States Supreme Court.
For two years, Ryan served as a Board Member of the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (OCDLA), an advisor to the Oregon Innocence Project, and presented at conferences throughout the state about appeals, criminal law, and post-conviction law. In 2022, OCDLA awarded Ryan a President’s Award for his work representing clients on appeal in challenges their convictions based on non-unanimous jury verdicts.
- JESSE JOHNSON V. PREMO, 315 OR APP 1 (2021) – Jesse Lee Johnson was convicted of aggravated murder and sentenced to death in Salem, Oregon in the early 2000s. He has maintained his innocence throughout his case and Ryan worked with the Oregon Innocence Project on behalf of Mr. Johnson. Ryan represented Mr. Johnson in a post-conviction appeal and won the reversal of Mr. Johnson’s aggravated murder conviction and death sentence based on the ineffective assistance of Mr. Johnson’s original trial attorneys. Mr. Johnson’s case is now pending a new trial.
- STATE POST-CONVICTION TRIAL – REVERSAL OF “SHAKEN BABY” CONVICTION – Ryan, Lindsey Burrows, Janis Puracal of the Forensic Justice Project, and the Oregon Innocence Project represented a man who had been convicted of assault for allegedly physically abusing his infant in a state post-conviction relief trial in the Malheur County Circuit Court. The man maintained his innocence throughout the case. Ryan and the legal team won the post-conviction trial and obtained the reversal of the man’s conviction based on the original criminal defense attorney’s ineffective assistance in failing to present expert witnesses testimony from a medical doctor who would have testified that the child likely suffered a medical crisis and was not abused.
- STATE V. NORGREN, 287 OR APP 165 (2017) – Ryan represented Mr. Norgren on appeal of his criminal convictions for attempted murder and three counts of second-degree assault. Mr. Norgren had experienced a mental health crisis and injured a hunter he encountered in a rural, forested area. The convictions were based, in part, on incriminating statements that Mr. Norgren made to police while in the midst of the mental health crisis. The Court of Appeals reversed Mr. Norgren’s convictions because his acute mental health crisis made his waiver of his Miranda rights invalid.
- OREGON STATE BOARD OF NURSING MATTER – Ryan represented a nurse before the Oregon state board of nursing who had been charged with driving under the influence of intoxicants. Ryan worked with the nurse’s criminal defense attorney to ensure that the nurse retained their nursing license throughout the criminal case and even after the nurse was convicted of DUII.
- PARDON OF OREGON STATE CRIMINAL CONVICTION – Ryan and O’Connor Weber attorney Meg Huntington obtained a pardon from the Governor of Oregon for a non-citizen who was subject to deportation because of an Oregon state criminal conviction for delivery of marijuana. The pardon will allow the man to remain in the United States and have a pathway to citizenship.
- STATE V. LAWSON/JAMES, 352 OR 724 (2012) – The Oregon Supreme Court significantly altered Oregon law on the admissibility of eyewitness identification in criminal trial based on Ryan’s arguments on behalf of Mr. James. The new approach received praise nationwide, including from the New York Times and the Innocence Project.
O’Connor Weber’s experienced appellate attorneys can help a party evaluate whether to file an appeal by reviewing the record and providing a preliminary evaluation of the merits of an appeal. The lawyers at O’Connor Weber will consult with a party and prior attorneys, independently review the record of the trial or hearing, and provide a detailed preliminary evaluation of potential issues for appeal.
The lawyers at O’Connor Weber represent clients before the Oregon Court of Appeals and the Oregon Supreme Court in criminal appeals, on judicial review of administrative agency decisions, on appeal of judgments in civil cases, in post-conviction relief appeals, and in state habeas corpus appeals. They specialize in appellate law. Their skill and experience helps give a person or organization the best chance of winning on appeal.
The lawyers at O’Connor Weber can help protect you and your business in criminal or regulatory matters. They have litigated hundreds of criminal and administrative cases, from the initial investigation through successful appeals to the Oregon Supreme Court. They can advise you or your business on compliance with state and federal regulations so that you can avoid problems before they arise. In the unfortunate event that the state or federal government begins an administrative or criminal investigation, O’Connor Weber will work intelligently and tirelessly to minimize your exposure.
Our practice focuses on preventing problems before they arise saving you time and money in the long run. We also offer billing options customized to suit your specific needs. Our focus on cost-effective and practical solutions equals value for our clients.
We are committed to building lasting relationships that help our clients achieve their personal and professional goals. We believe that this is the best way to provide true legal counsel because it allows us to understand the unique issues that you face. Our goal is to help you prepare for uncertainty and protect you if problems do arise; so that you can focus on your business and your life.