Practice Areas


Wendell L. Belknap
411 5th Street
Oregon City, OR 97045

Tel: 503-657-8946
Fax: 503-655-2775

Email Wendell


Practice Areas

Personal Injury & Wrongful Death


Oregon law allows you to recover money when you have been injured by another person’s negligence. Oregon law also allows the spouse, children, and parents of a person whose death is caused by the negligence of another to recover for their losses. Usually, the recovery is from the negligent person’s insurance company. The negligent party also may also have to pay money out of their own pocket for your injuries or death if that person has too little or no insurance.

If you believe you or a loved one have been injured or lost a life due to the negligence of another person, be it by an automobile accident, truck accident, bicycle accident, medical malpractice, animal attack (such as a dog or cat bite), slip / fall, or in any other manner, please call for a free consultation.

I have been handling most kinds of negligence and/or death cases since 1985, and for the unusual ones that I do not, I usually can refer you to an attorney who handles that kind of case. I handle these cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that you will be charged a fee only upon the case being resolved, and then the fee is based on a percentage of the amount for which the case was resolved, either by settlement or trial. In the unlikely event there is no recovery, you do not owe me anything for my time. Please contact my office if you would like to schedule a free consultation.

Family Law

Family law has been a large part of my practice since 1985. “Family Law” is a broad, general term which is used to cover many areas of law involving people and their relationships with one another. The areas of family law that I see or am asked about the most are:

Because “Family Law” is such a broad term and includes so many areas, each has its own link and is discussed separately on this web site. As a family law lawyer, generally, I strive to provide clients effective, yet compassionate representation at what frequently is a very difficult time in their lives. I have been involved in hundreds, if not thousands of family law matters through the years and I understand the processes for each. I work hard to communicate with you every step of the way so that you too will understand the process in which you are involved. Please feel free to contact me should you wish to discuss any particular family law legal issue with me.

Real Estate

I provide a broad range of legal services regarding real estate matters, and have done so since I began practicing in 1985. While not limited to the following, most often I am asked to be involved with the following real estate matters:

Please call to schedule an appointment if you are presented with a real estate issue.

Probate & Estate Planning


Estate planning involves managing your assets so they will be distributed consistent with your wishes after your death. These assets may be owned by you alone or jointly with others, such as your spouse. An estate plan should consider all assets owned by the client, including, but not limited to, real property, business interests, investments, insurance proceeds, personal property, and even your personal effects. Estate planning generally is accomplished through a variety of methods, which may include one or more of the following:

While some people do not do enough estate planning, others tend to over-plan. A properly-coordinated estate plan will be no more than you need to achieve an orderly transition of your estate assets to those persons you want to receive them, while minimizing inheritance taxes. Please contact me to schedule a consultation, regardless of whether you are just beginning your estate plan or if you have already started one, but want to refine or improve it.



Advising Businesses in Oregon

I help set up and advise small and modest-sized businesses. These include sole proprietorships, as well as corporations or companies with multiple employees. Often, forming these businesses is the culmination of a lot of time, effort, money, and planning, and represents a dream come true for the client. It is rewarding to be part of that dream coming true. I enjoy the long-lasting business relationships clients and I have established with one another, many of whom I have represented for over twenty (20) years.

The first, and probably the most important issue for many businesses, is deciding which form of business entity to use, e.g., corporation, LLC, or something else. For most clients the determination as to which business they should form centers on which business provides the greatest tax advantages. As such, I work closely with clients and their financial advisors (usually the company CPA, or one of the several CPAs I work with if the company does not have its own CPA) to determine which business entity will best meet the client’s needs. With the exception of the documents which are properly prepared by the accountant, I handle most aspects of forming the entity. After the business entity is formed, I provide ongoing legal support to the company and maintenance of the entity after formation.

Aspects of Providing Business Entity Advice

  • Entity Selection: In today’s world there are many different kinds of entities available. Due to recent, favorable tax treatment of these, most clients opt for either a corporation or a limited liability company (LLC).
  • Entity Formation: Once the client, attorney, and accountant confer, and based upon the advice given, the client will choose an entity type. Once the type of entity is selected, I draft all of the documents needed to complete the formation process. In addition, if the client wishes, I will address issues such as potential restrictions on the transfer of business interests by preparing documents such as Buy-Sell Agreements and Shareholder Agreements.
  • Annual Maintenance: With any business, it is advisable to conduct periodic meetings and to prepare minutes of those meetings. In the case of corporations, annual meetings are required. If the client requests, I prepare annual minutes and send them to the client to sign at the time they are due. Keeping current on "housekeeping" matters such as Minutes is important, as it can help protect the client in the event of litigation or an audit. Also, most of my clients find it to be helpful if they have an attorney they work with on a consistent basis, as they invariably will have sticky legal questions that will pop up from time-to-time, and they can benefit by having an attorney who is familiar with their business who is only a phone call away.
  • Contract Negotiation & Preparation: Often, as part of their day-to-day operations, business clients need assistance with negotiation, interpretation, and/or preparation of important contracts with customers, suppliers, etc. I regularly help clients with such matters.
  • Termination or Transition: In the event that a business is terminated, sold, or merged, I can and usually do assist with the planning, structuring, and proper documentation of such actions.

I graduated from law school in 1985 and immediately went to work for a mid-sized law firm in downtown Portland, Oregon. I have been involved in forming and representing businesses on a consistent basis ever since. Please feel free to call if you would like to schedule a consultation to discuss your business’s needs.


Litigation is when a person resorts to the courts to resolve a legal question or dispute. The court system is not user-friendly, in that non-lawyers seldom understand how it works, as well as the time and form restrictions that it places upon them. As such, it is almost always advisable for a person involved in litigation to retain counsel to protect that person’s interest. Unfortunately, the legal system is cumbersome and expensive, and even though the client has a meritorious case, the costs of retaining an experienced attorney often outweigh the potential value to the client even if the case is won. I assure you I will evaluate your case both from a merit perspective, as well as from the perspective as to whether I think it will be cost effective to bring the action, no matter how meritorious your case is. While no ethical attorney can guarantee he will win or that the attorney’s fees will not outweigh the amount won, I will not take your case unless I believe I can win your case, and that I can do so in a cost effective manner. If you would like to discuss your litigation matter, please feel free to call to schedule an appointment for a consultation.


I practice in many areas of law, not all of which I have listed here as a practice area. It simply is not possible to write something about every area of law in which I work, and some areas do not need a separate blurb written about them. Please feel free to contact me about your specific legal issue, whatever it is. You will not be charged for the initial phone call to see if I practice law in the area about which you are calling. If I do and I can help you, we can schedule an appointment for a consultation. If I do not practice in the area about which you are calling, I usually know another attorney who practices in that area and will be happy to make the referral. I will not take your case simply because I could make money by doing so. I am far too busy to take cases in areas of law I am either not knowledgeable about, or cannot handle efficiently. Accordingly, whether I handle your case or refer you to another attorney, you will know that your case is being handled by an attorney who has the time and experience to handle your specific legal matter efficiently.