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Best Best & Krieger LLP Partner Kurt Barker’s practice emphasizes the counsel and defense of clients in most all employment-related matters, including discrimination, harassment, wage and hour, tort, noncompete enforcement and trade secret obligations. Kurt also serves as Co-Chair of the firm's Labor & Employment practice group.

He frequently lectures on employment law topics around the state and has been featured at the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries Annual Conference. Kurt also thrives on conducting trainings for managers and employees on topics such as anti-harassment, medical leave and more.

Litigation and Fiduciary Disputes
In addition to representing employers, Kurt’s practice involves representing clients in a variety of other disputes in both state and federal courts. His experience includes a variety of fiduciary, will and trust-related litigation, as well as disputes between businesses and business partners.

Intellectual Property
Kurt handles a variety of competition and trade secret disputes. He also counsels clients on their intellectual property protection strategy and works with clients to enforce those rights.

Before moving to Bend, Kurt practiced employment law with Stoel Rives LLP in Portland, Oregon where his practice focused on employment litigation and counseling employers in all aspects of employment issues.
Kurt previously served as a campaign aide to U.S. Senator Ron Wyden and as a legislative aide to Oregon Secretary of State Phil Keisling.
He is a board member and past president of Central Oregon SHRM, an affiliate of the Society of Human Resources Management. He serves on the boards of both Saving Grace, Central Oregon’s domestic violence prevention, intervention, and support center and the Oregon Employer Council, Central Oregon. He also volunteers as an Emeritus Director for the board of Volunteers in Medicine, Clinic of the Cascades. He also previously served on the Bend Chamber’s Leadership Bend Steering Committee.

Kurt is a member of the Deschutes County Bar Association and is admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon and the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

When Kurt finds time, you might catch him backcountry skiing, biking or backpacking. An Eagle Scout himself, he continues to volunteer for his son’s former Boy Scout Troop and teaches outdoor leadership skills.

  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Employment Law – Management, Litigation – Labor and Employment, 2012–2024
  • HR Professional of the Year – Central Oregon SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management), 2020
  • Oregon Super Lawyers Rising Stars, Employment Law, 2008-2011
Professional & Community Involvement
  • Saving Grace – Board Member
  • Deschutes County Bar Association
  • Central Oregon chapter of the Society of Human Resources Management, board member and past president
  • Oregon Employer Council – Central Oregon, board member
  • Volunteers in Medicine Clinic of the Cascades, Emeritus Director
Thought Leadership


  • "Labor & Employment Law Update," Central Oregon Society for Human Resource Management May Membership Meeting, May 15, 2024
  • "Tales from the Legal Trenches: The Top 6 Tips Every New (or Rising) Manager Should Know," Bend Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals, June 23, 2023
  • "Labor & Employment Law Update," Central Oregon Society for Human Resource Management, Apr. 19, 2023
  • "Labor & Employment Law Update," Central Oregon Society for Human Resource Management Chapter Meeting Webinar, Oct. 19, 2022

Education & Admissions

Stanford Law School
J.D., with distinction
University of Oregon, Robert D. Clark Honors College
B.A., mathematics, cum laude
Bar Admissions



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