Jennifer J. Middleton
Shareholder Jennifer Middleton brings over twenty years of distinctive legal service, advancing and defending the rights of individuals in employment and civil rights matters including constitutional claims, discrimination, Title IX, whistleblowing, False Claims Act, sexual harassment, disability rights, and medical leave.
Jennifer represents employees and individuals in discrimination and civil rights claims against employers, schools, and governments. She was co-lead counsel on the 2014 case winning the right to marry for same-sex couples in Oregon. In Jane Doe v. The University of Oregon, she represented the student who reported a gang rape by three members of the Ducks basketball team, pursuing Title IX claims against the University for its inadequate response. She has represented victims of abuse at the hands of police, jails, and prisons; female athletes in securing equal treatment by their schools; and transgender people seeking equal access to health care and jobs.
Jennifer maintains an active practice representing whistleblowers, assisting them to report wrongdoing and responding to any retaliation they may experience. This includes claims under the federal False Claims Act ("qui tam" cases) and other statutes providing incentives for whistleblowers to report illegal activities. Jennifer strives not only to secure fair compensation for her clients but also to maintain high ethical and legal standards in the workplace, schools, and public entities.
Prior to joining Johnson Johnson Lucas & Middleton, Jennifer served as a public interest lawyer with the Employment Law Center in San Francisco and later as a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union at its New York headquarters, prosecuting civil rights claims nationwide. She has authored numerous amicus briefs before the U.S. Supreme Court and has represented individuals in groundbreaking claims. In 2002, for example, Jennifer represented the surviving same-sex partner of a victim of the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center attack and forced the federal government to grant formal recognition to a same-sex relationship for the first time ever. After her public interest career, Jennifer became a partner in the boutique labor and employment firm Levy, Ratner in New York before making a lifestyle choice to move to Eugene.
Jennifer is licensed to practice in federal and state court in Oregon, California and New York, the Second and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeal, and the United States Supreme Court. She is the immediate past President of Oregon's ACLU Board of Directors. She also serves on the District of Oregon's Federal Local Rules Committee, is an Executive Board member of the Oregon State Bar's Constitutional Law Committee, and a former appointed Lawyer Representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference.
The Oregon Women's Lawyer Association nominated her in 2017 for the Federal Bar Association's Sarah Hughes Award, recognizing her work advancing civil and human rights. In 2014, she won the Fighting Spirit Award from Basic Rights Oregon as well as the American Immigration Lawyers Association's Outstanding Leadership for Civil Rights Award.
Named 2012 Super Lawyer, Jennifer received her Bachelor's Degree from Yale University (Summa Cum Laude) and her J.D. from Harvard Law School (Magna Cum Laude), where she was Editor in Chief of the Harvard Women's Law Journal.
In her free time, Jennifer is an avid cyclist, a connoisseur of Oregon's many wonderful microbrews, and serves on the board of Planned Parenthood of Southwest Oregon.
- Civil Rights
- Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts
- Honors: magna cum laude
- Law Journal: Harvard Women’s Law Journal, Editor in Chief
- Yale University
- Honors: summa cum laude
- ACLU, Oregon, Board of Directors
- Federal Local Rules Committee, Member
- Executive Board of the Oregon State Bar Constitutional Law Section, Member
- Appointed by Senator Merkley to serve on the Federal Judicial Selection Committee
- New York
- U.S. District Court District of Oregon
- U.S. District Court Northern District of California
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York
- U.S. District Court Southern District of New York
- U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
- U.S. Supreme Court
- Oregon Lawyer Chapter of the American Constitution Society’s Hans A. Linde Award, 2018
- Basic Rights Oregon’s Fighting Spirit Award, 2014
- American Immigration Lawyers Association’s Outstanding Leadership for Civil Rights Award, 2014
- SuperLawyer, 2012
- Board of Planned Parenthood of Southwest Oregon
- Co-Author, “Civil Rights and Employment Discrimination,” Chapter 13, 2 DAMAGES (OSB Legal Pubs, 2016) Winner of the 2017 Association for Continuing Legal Education (ACLEA) Best Award for Outstanding Achievement in Publications