- Complex Litigation
- Family Law
- Criminal Defense
- Personal Injury
- Civil Litigation
- Stalking/Restraining Orders
- Estate Planning
Emilia is an experienced trial attorney with expertise in coordinating complex litigation teams, involving voluminous discovery, multiple expert witnesses, and numerous attorneys and co-counsels.
Attorney Practice Philosophy
Emilia focuses on providing effective, client-centered service to individuals in civil and criminal matters. She feels strongly that cases achieve the best resolution possible when the client has shared all of their issues, worries and expectations with their lawyer, and has been involved and fully informed about the facts, the law, viable options for settlement and the potential risks of trial. Emilia knows that consistent and clear communication with her clients (along with a lot of hard work) are the keys to success in every case.
Background and Education
Emilia was born and raised in Oregon. She is a 1998 graduate of Thurston High School. She obtained her bachelors degree from Oregon State University in 2002, where she was also a coxswain on the OSU Men’s Crew Team. After graduation, she traveled extensively, in the United States and beyond to South America, Europe and Asia.
In 2004, Emilia returned to Eugene to attend law school at the University of Oregon, where she took advantage of courses that provided useful professional experience. Through the prosecution clinic, she worked for the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office, where she appeared regularly in court as a certified law student and obtained her initial jury trial experience. Through the mediation clinic, she trained as a mediator, and helped resolve small claims cases at the Lane County Circuit Court. After her graduation in 2007, she served as the judicial clerk to Honorable Mustafa T. Kasubhai at the Lane County Circuit Court. She then joined Arnold Law as an attorney in 2008.
Emilia has built a very broad and useful base of legal knowledge and ability in her years with Arnold Law. She has assisted clients in many practice areas, including:
Criminal Law (State and Federal, including DUI, Reckless Driving, Drug Crimes, Theft, Assault and Sex Offenses)
Personal Injury (Motor Vehicle Collisions, Vehicle/Pedestrian Collisions, Motor Vehicle/Motorcycle Collisions, Product Injuries, and Slip/Trip/Falls)
Stalking Protective Orders (Trial and Appeals)
Estate Planning (Wills and Trusts)
Civil (Breach of Contract, Defamation, Fraud, Conversion)
Family Law (Dissolution, Paternity, Custody, Modification, and Family Abuse Prevention Act restraining orders)
Clients with “messy” issues benefit from her experience, because she can more accurately troubleshoot potential problems and answer “outside of the box” questions, such as: “How will a conviction impact my abilities to exercise parenting time with my children?”
Emilia also regularly teams up with managing partner Mike Arnold on the firm’s complex civil and criminal cases. The trial skills she honed in her busy, broad practice make her an ideal attorney in complex cases. She has managed voluminous, technical and electronic discovery consisting of 50,000+ pages. She has engaged and fielded the aggressive and extensive motion practice of a complex case. She knows when to hire an investigator and when to be one. She has interviewed witnesses, engaged and prepared experts for trial and examined witnesses in bench and jury trials.
Hobbies and Interests
Emilia is married and has two sons. She spends most of her free time chasing her children, gardening, and doing chores with her husband on their rural property. When Oregon weather, mosquitoes, and the kids allow, she enjoys hiking, camping, and backpacking around the southern, coastal and central parts of Oregon. She is also a voracious reader and avid photographer.
Product Liability/Wrongful Death - G-Max Motorcycle Helmet
Husband and wife were on their motorcycle when negligent driver pulled out in front of them. Wife's helmet strap webbing failed and her helmet came off. She died of head trauma. Six figure settlement with G-Max distributor.
Nursing Home Death
Complex litigation involving a CNA who failed to give anti-seizure medication to Vietnam War veteran several times. He died from seizure. Result: Confidential settlement.
ODOT dump truck crashes into car in work zone
An elderly woman was following a dump truck into a work zone. The flagger failed to stop traffic as they entered the work zone and the truck failed to radio ahead that there was traffic with him. The truck pulled off the road while in the work zone and then re-entered the roadway without looking and struck the car causing injuries to her shoulder (requiring surgery on both). ODOT denied liability and paid for expensive litigation with tax funds before paying a reasonable settlement amount. Our firm employed a civil engineer with years of work zone experience to analyze the lack of a proper safety plan.
Wrongful Death - Drunk Driver Kills Teenage Girl
After a party in the hills, a drunk driver rolls his car off of an embankment, seriously injuring his passengers and killing our client's teenage daughter. The car's severely intoxicated owner and surviving passengers claim the decedent was driving. Our investigation uncovered a possible conspiracy between the kids to blame the girl who couldn't speak for herself. The DA's Office convicted the car owner for Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor but refused to have the blood in the car analyzed for DNA to establish who was driving. Arnold Law was able to seize the blood evidence, had DNA tests performed, and hired a passenger kinesiologist to determine the locations of the occupants based on blood location. The discovery of the car owner's blood on the steering column led to a negotiated settlement between the injured occupants and the owner's insurance company.
DUII (Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants)
DUII - Eugene Railroad Tracks
Client accused of driving on to railroad tracks when officer finds client exiting from the driver's side of a vehicle stuck on tracks 1/4 mile from the nearest road. Case dismissed after jury trial after discovery that law enforcement failed to investigate homeless witnesses who remember a woman driving a car through bedroom at 3 a.m.
DUII - Springfield Tavern Collision
Client accused of driving his truck into the side of the bar causing damage and then fleeing scene. Law enforcement arrested him later at his home after he had some drinks at home. After a two-day Springfield Municipal Court jury trial, where cross-examination focused on the police officers flawed investigation (by failing to investigate client's claims of drinking at home), and after less than thirty minutes of deliberation, the jury found him not guilty of DUII. Client did not testify.
Harassment - Self-defense after being threatened by baseball bat and pepper spray
A Eugene Municipal Court jury found client not-guilty of physical harassment after 21 minutes of deliberations. Client accused of tackling a man in his estranged wife's home and throwing him into the bushes after man confronted client with baseball bat and pepper spray. Accusations stemmed from a child custody dispute between the client and his estranged wife. Client did not testify.
DV/Felony Assault IV - Menacing with Bag of Potatoes
Client facing several years in prison for second assault conviction against his wife. Global settlement included less than one-year in prison and future parenting time with his children.
Rural Easement Dispute - Defense of easement obstruction
Mike Arnold and Emilia Gardner defended a rural couple in a complex easement and breach of contract dispute with several counterclaims and third-party claims involving a non-profit and corporate landowner. After several site visits with expert witnesses, Arnold Law petitioned the court to force the unreasonable plaintiff to a settlement conference when plaintiff was stating that there was no way to settle the claims. After site visits with Arnold Law's expert witnesses, we were able to boil down this complicated case with several years of relevant facts to only a few salient factual and legal issues. This analysis proved crucial in resolving the claims with a settlement several weeks before trial, saving the clients tremendous amounts of attorney fees.
Father’s Rights—Parental Alienation with a Bumpy Past
Emilia Gardner obtained custody for Father after Mother filed a frivolous restraining order against Father and absconded with the children from Oregon to prevent Father from having contact with the children. Of special importance in this case was Mother and Father’s history of domestic violence and drug abuse. Father had completed his probation and treatment, and had achieved many months of sobriety. We were able to show the court through multiple hearings that he had been rehabilitated, had prepared to be the primary parent and was acting in the children’s best interests by seeking custody. We were able to get the restraining order dismissed, safely retrieve the children and return them to Oregon, and obtained orders to both safeguard Father’s relationship with the children and protect the family from future drug use and domestic violence.
Father’s Rights—Abusive Wife Flees with baby
Emilia Gardner obtained custody for Husband and a safety focused parenting plan restricting Wife’s access after Wife disappeared from the marital home with the parties’ one-year old child. Wife had a history of drug and alcohol use, and had previously physically abused both Husband and the child. Ms. Gardner helped Father obtain emergency custody of the child under the Immediate Danger statute, located the child, and coordinated with law enforcement agencies and the Department of Human Services to safely bring the child home.
Father flees with children to Oregon—conflicting jurisdiction
In a contentious California divorce, Husband took the children for a short visit and then fled in secret with the children to Oregon, where he filed for divorce and custody of the children despite a pending divorce case in California and previous orders from the California court granting mother physical possession of the children while the case was pending due to past abuse by Husband against Wife. We helped the frantic Wife safely retrieve the children, and convinced the Oregon court after multiple days in trial to stay the custody proceeding in Oregon pursuant to the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), allowing the California case to proceed. Wife returned to California safely with the children.
Special Needs Parenting Time
The years of physical and verbal abuse against Mother by Father adversely impacted the parties’ high functioning special needs child, who as a teenager began to exhibit alarming violent and sexualized behaviors at school as well as regression in communication and hygiene when Father sought to enforce his parenting time after an absence of several years. At trial, Father disputed the child’s diagnosis and blamed Mother for the child’s sexualized behavior. With the support and information provided by the child’s school teachers, therapists, community support group and friends called by Arnold Law to testify at trial, the Court crafted a child-centric parenting plan for the benefit of this troubled teen and ended Father’s cyclical aggressive contact with the child.