|Art Tarlow, a well-known Portland business and construction trial lawyer, was found dead Friday, fatally shot at his winter home in the Dominican Republic. He was 68. |
The founder of Tarlow Naito & Summers LLP was alone in the oceanfront home, according to his business partner Brent Summers. Police are treating the case as a homicide. Investigators said they found no sign of forced entry and have not said whether they have any suspects, Summers said.
Tarlow, who also had a home in Southwest Portland, had telecommuted half of the year from the small town of Sosúa since buying the home in 2002.
A Portland native, Tarlow graduated from Grant High School in 1960, Whitman College in 1964 and the University of Oregon Law School in 1966. He began his career as a Multnomah County prosecutor before going into private practice.
"This is a huge loss for the legal community in Portland -- Art was a lion, a champion for many important real estate and construction companies," said R. Miles Stanislaw, a fellow construction lawyer with Watt, Tieder, Hoffar & Fitzgerald LLP in Seattle. He also was Tarlow's debate team partner at Whitman
"Art and I argued more with each other than we did with the team we were debating. That's what made it so exciting and so much fun," said Stanislaw, who remained close friends with Tarlow and continued to work with him periodically.
Tarlow's friends and colleagues described him as a focused and ferocious trial lawyer, who was funny and fiercely loyal. Focused, aggressive and always energetic, Tarlow's law school pals lovingly nicknamed him "The Rat."
"Art used to scoff at people who asked what his hourly rate was as they shopped around for a lawyer," Summers said. "He'd say, 'You're not asking the right question. Ask me how much I get done in an hour.'"
Tarlow began his private practice work with high-net divorces, but the challenge of learning -- and his love for it -- led him to construction.
"He spent hours and hours learning the construction business from the experts," Summers said. "He soaked it up. Not just the legal aspects... but how things got built."
And though dogged in the courtroom, Tarlow took great satisfaction helping clients reach settlements, colleagues said.
In one of his more well-publicized cases, Tarlow represented Bill Naito's branch in one of Portland's most protracted family feuds. Tarlow helped the family reach a settlement after eight years of legal wranglings that split up the Naitos' company and gave his clients the bulk of the real estate assets.
Tarlow wrote one of the first articles on construction mediation, which former classmate and retired Judge Lyle Velure said he'd use to teach his law classes at UO. Every year Velure taught, Tarlow drove to Eugene to discuss mediation -- once delaying a trip to Sosúa to speak to 25 law students.
Tarlow knew exactly when to employ mediation and encouraged his clients to speak up in such proceedings, guiding them in such a way they felt more in control of decisions being made, Velure said.
"He was one of the best and most effective lawyers in the use of mediation," Velure said. "He had the timing and knew how to get a client involved. He was an artist at it."
A former all-city basketball star at Grant, he'd grown to love travel, choosing to spend his adventures getting to know the locals and their culture, instead of simply seeing the sights.
Survivors include his sons, Griffin and Damin, both of Portland.
Summers said the family plans to celebrate Tarlow's life later this month.
Read also: Too many tourists killed in the Dominican Republic
Local news update:
Two arrests in murder of US lawyer at Dominican resort town
DominicanToday.com - Police arrested two suspects in the Friday night murder of US lawyer and businessman Arthur Lee Tarlow, in his villa in the resort town Sosúa.
The crime shocked locals and foreign residents of the tourist community, who are used to spending months in the country´s Atlantic coast.
The Police said the body of Tarlow, 65, was found in his bedroom with four bullet wounds. As of last night investigators didn’t reveal the names of those arrested, nor other details of the murder.
Tarlow was reportedly a sucessful corporate attorney from Portland, Oregon.
It´s the second murder which rocks the town Sosua this year, after the Canadian woman Jean Gagne, 42, was killed with one gunshot to the chest in her villa near the resort village.
Dominican Watchdog Update 2 June 22th 2010:
According to local media reports in Spanish Art Tarlow won a law suit of USD 3,9 Million against a powerful and very unplesent business group in Sosua - read the following background article of the last 4 years troubles which could have led to the murder of Art Tarlow: Lawsuit was releted to Sosua Bay Resort and Casino.
National media SIN/24 did a video from the crime scene of the body laying in a pool of blood(however they got the name of the victim wrong but all the other details right in the article!)
This again proves that the Dominican Republic is a very dangerous place to do business!
Dominican Watchdog Update 3 June 27th 2010:
Bodygard and driver of Italian owner of Sosua Bay Resort detained for the murder.
DominicanToday.com – Dominican police awaits analysis of two guns recovered this week as part of the investigation into Portland lawyer Art Tarlow's slaying. Police want to know whether the death was connected to a legal battle waged by Tarlow and a group of investors against a Sosua businessman after a failed attempt to build a luxury casino.
According to Eddie Bueno Disla, the lead investigator on Tarlow's killing, Sosua police carried out a search warrant Thursday and confiscated a pistol and a revolver, and detained the driver and security guard of Sosua businessman Armando Casciati.
Tarlow, 68, a prominent Portland business and construction lawyer, was shot to death June 10 inside his winter home in Sosua, a small town on the north coast.
Read more about the details and comments from Armando here