"It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen." - John Wooden
He’s only flown an airplane upside down – on purpose – three times.
Rod has lead a distinguished legal career spanning more than three decades. Prior to joining FP Transitions, his private practice emphasized commercial transactions and civil litigation, including the sale of businesses, emerging technology companies, and the needs of individuals and families, including wills, trusts, probate and business succession. Rod has managed mergers, acquisitions and succession plans for businesses valued from $400k to $40m.
Outside of his private practice, Rod is active in the community, applying his legal expertise in numerous charitable and civic positions in the arts, clinical research, and humanitarian aid. Rod has chaired several sections and committees of the Oregon State Bar. Since 2003, he serves as an Oregon Circuit Court Judge pro tem, a role he continues to fill in addition to his consulting with FP Transitions. He was given the Oregon State Bar Public Service Award, and has been on faculty of the Oregon Trial Advocacy College for 11 years.
Growing up in Alaska, he staked a mining claim before he was old enough to drive. As a member of the Anchorage Bicentennial Commission, he led the team that built the banana split that once topped the list in the Guinness Book of World Records. Now he is a private pilot, avid cyclist, and coastal sailor on both sides of the Equator – although flying a Cirrus SR-22 across the Pacific northwest and his Litespeed Tuscany down the country roads near Lake Oswego leaves precious little time for being on the water.
Rod is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College and Northwestern School of Law.
Assistant General Counsel
Ericka is a Nebraska native who moved to Oregon—for the weather.
Ericka is part of FP Transitions’ brain trust. Prior to joining our legal team, Ericka worked as an Associate in private practice for a general civil litigation firm. She has experience in the areas of corporate law, torts, professional negligence, real property, estate planning, and probate. In addition to her law degree, she also holds a BS in business with a focus on economics.
As is befitting a legal professional and trusted consultant, Ericka has a calm, even-tempered personality. She comes from a family of high-achieving academics, which collectively boasts two JDs, a PhD, a DDS, an MBA, and one ND. She continues in the academic community through volunteer work, and has participated in the Multnomah Bar Association Imprint Program and acted as attorney-judge for Classroom Law Project’s High School Mock Trial State Finals. She is a member of Oregon Women Lawyers and served for the last three years on the board of Clackamas Women Lawyers, including a term as chapter president.
Originally from Nebraska, Ericka is happily settled into her Oregon home. Not only is the weather perfect for weekends of reading, but also hiking, playing miniature golf or just spending quality time with family and friends. She is a talented baker, a skill which can make her very popular in the FP Transitions office.
Stuart finds opportunity in dysfunction: he landed his first job at Charles Schwab the day after the 1987 stock market crash.
Stuart contributes over three decades of leadership and experience to the FP Transitions team, as both a lawyer and a licensed securities professional. First hired in 1982 to sell stocks in a boiler room (he left as soon as he passed the series 7), Stuart went on to manage multiple domestic and foreign branch offices for Charles Schwab. In addition to many years working with individual investors, he developed a business that provided clearing and custody services to financial advisers, banks and brokers worldwide.
Looking for another challenge, Stuart completed law school. A pilot and aviation aficionado, Stuart spent time at a law firm specializing in Aviation Law before becoming a partner in a boutique Seattle firm. There, he worked the transaction side of the business helping clients buy and sell corporate jets.
Back on the ground at FP Transitions, Stuart is part of the Succession Planning team, where his experience makes him uniquely qualified to understand the challenges of financial business owners and the solutions to help them accomplish their goals.
Stuart lives in Lake Oswego where he and his wife are active in the community. Stuart serves as VP of the Lake Oswego Corporation (it manages the namesake lake), and is on the board of the Lawyer Pilot Bar Association. In his spare time, Stuart serves as an adjunct professor at Lewis and Clark Law School where he teaches aviation law.
Stuart has a business degree from Washington University in St. Louis and a law degree from the University of San Diego. He is a member of the Oregon State Bar and the Washington State Bar. He has formerly held Series 7, 8, and 63 licenses.
A native Nebraskan, Stuart is hopeful that the Cornhuskers won't implode again this season.
Kelsey is our hurricane survivor. She left Leawood, Kansas, to study at Tulane University in New Orleans. With one semester as a Kansas Jayhawk – thank you, Katrina – she graduated cum laude with a double major in Psychology and Spanish. After working at a non-profit in New Orleans, tending bar in jazz clubs on Bourbon Street, teaching English in Argentina, and volunteering on farms in Brazil, she abandoned her nomadic ways for law school.
In 2015, Kelsey graduated from Lewis & Clark Northwestern School of Law. While in law school, she volunteered as a Project Coordinator for the Northwest Environmental Defense Center and served on the editorial board of the Animal Law Review. She also received several honors and awards, including the Pro Bono Honors Award, induction into the Cornelius Honor Society, and a competitive fellowship from the Lezak Legacy Program.
Kelsey joined the FP Transitions legal team after completing a judicial clerkship with the Hon. Jeffrey S. Jones at the Clackamas County Circuit Court. She loves problem solving, and looks forward to the challenge of developing individualized planning solutions for each of our clients.
Kelsey made her way to Portland after living in several other countries, including Chile, Spain, Argentina, Brazil, and India. However, she has found her permanent home in Oregon, where she loves the beautiful Pacific Northwest geography, the excellent food and music scenes, and even the rainy weather. On the weekends you can find her road tripping to the farthest corners of the state, going to live bluegrass shows, camping, and working on her gardening skills.
From flying seaplanes, shipwreck diving, riding a gondola in Hong Kong to see the Tian Tan Buddha statue, or standing inside the pyramid of Khafre in Egypt, James is always ready for the next great adventure.
James was a Financial Enforcement Officer for the State of Oregon’s Division of Finance and Corporate Securities (now the Division of Financial Regulations), where he was tasked with, among other things, enforcing Oregon’s statutes and administrative rules relating to securities and commodities.
Prior to joining FP Transitions, James was an attorney at a mid-sized law firm, primarily litigating cases involving airplane and helicopter crashes nationwide. After a chance seat assignment next to our President, David Grau Sr., on a flight from Minneapolis, James decided to trade in the courtroom for greater adventures of assisting FPT’s clients. As part of the Transactions Team, his experience navigating complex legal issues and as a securities regulator allows him to quickly understand and resolve any client concerns and challenges that may arise.
James, who is a commercial pilot, flight instructor, certified scuba diver, amateur mechanic, and general tinkerer, loves talking airplanes, classic cars (including the 1966 Mustang he and his wife are rebuilding in their garage), and his life growing up in the Florida Keys. When not up in the clouds, working on the Mustang, or dreaming of the island life, James enjoys exploring Oregon’s trails and beaches with his wife, daughter, and their German Shepherd/Golden Retriever shelter dog. In his spare time, James also teaches aviation law as an adjunct professor at two of Oregon’s three law schools and serves as legal counsel for a local aviation nonprofit.
James has a business degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a law degree from Willamette University. He is a member of the Oregon State Bar.