About Gilion Dumas
“So many times, I’ve listened to a woman in her 30s or 40s tell me, through tears, how she was raped and abused when she was still a child – 11, 12, 13, sometimes younger. When she finishes, she apologizes – for her tears, for struggling, for leaving out most of the details – but she explains that it is the first time she ever told anyone what happened. It’s like a dam of shame and embarrassment that kept her silent for decades finally breaks. It is really a good moment, because that is when her healing can finally begin – when she sees that it is OK to come forward and talk about what happened and know the sky won’t fall, that she will be heard and treated with respect.”
For Gilion Dumas, there is nothing more rewarding than helping abuse survivors gain control over their lives. So often, people who lost their innocence because of abuse feel they are alone – the only person who suffered what they suffered. It is painful to think about what happened, let alone to tell someone. But Gilion understands that pain and will listen with respect and sympathy. By hearing their stories, standing by them during litigation, and arguing for them in court, Gilion helps survivors set aside the burden that weighs them down so that they can heal and move forward.
Gilion has substantial litigation experience, most recently representing survivors of child sexual abuse, elders abused in care facilities, and crime victims. She is known for her diligent advocacy and compassion for her clients, bringing legal savvy, clear communication, and common sense to the stressful and often confusing experience of civil litigation. Gilion knows her way around the courtroom, having tried many cases, both on her own and as “second chair.” In her most recent trial as lead counsel, Gilion obtained a judgment of over $4.5 million for a young Oregon woman who had been sexually molested as a child. She was also actively involved in a recent child sexual abuse trial in Portland against the Boy Scouts that resulted in a $19.9 million verdict for the plaintiff. She is currently involved in dozens of cases around the country against companies and organizations that allowed children to be abused by employees or volunteers.
Gilion’s other trial victories include establishing quiet title to disputed property in an adverse possession case and successfully establishing a prescriptive easement against the City of Portland, a decision upheld by the Oregon Court of Appeals. Other cases involved successfully prosecuting trade secret claims on behalf of a privately-held company; defending the estate of a magazine publisher against complex tax and probate claims; and successfully litigating against the manufacturer of a defective automated cherry sorting system.
She graduated cum laude from Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland in 1992, where she was an editor on the law review. She is an active member of the state and federal bars in Oregon, Washington, California, and Idaho. She is a former Chair of the Oregon State Bar’s Business Litigation Section and a former President of the Oregon Chapter of the Federal Bar Association. Gilion is also active in her community, including serving on the Board of Directors of the Cascade Policy Institute and volunteering for Oregon Abuse Advocates & Survivors in Service. She is an avid reader and the author of a popular book blog, Rose City Reader.
Check out Gilion’s video explaining child sexual abuse: