Oregon State Bar Bulletin — APRIL 2004

In Memoriam

Retired Oregon lawyer Stanley J. Mitchell died Feb. 7, 2004 in Portland at the age of 99.

Mitchell was born July 2, 1904 in Yakima, Wash. After serving in the Navy, he moved to Oregon and in 1926 earned a law degree from Northwestern School of Law. He had a private practice in Oregon in the days that preceded the Oregon State Bar’s formation in 1935. In 1936, he joined the OSB, went to be a district attorney for Clackamas County for eight years and later a justice of the peace in Florence. He retired in 1968.

Survivors include a son and a daughter. His wife, Bertha, died in 2001.

• • • • •

Longtime utilities and energy lawyer Richard W. Sabin died Feb. 21, 2004, the day of his 75th birthday.

Sabin was born Feb. 21, 1929. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean conflict and afterward attended and graduated from Willamette University College of Law. After admission to the bar in 1957 he was an associated at the Salem firm of Rhoten, Rhoten & Sperstra. In 1959 he joined Marion County as a deputy district attorney, handling criminal prosecutions. He later joined the Oregon attorney general’s office, where he was assigned to the Public Utility Commissioner’s office, an assignment that would lead to a long career in utilities and energy law. At first, he handled cases dealing with the development of natural gas pipelines and the transportation of fuel to Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. He was acknowledged for his expertise in the new emerging area of law, and gained additional familiarity with the workings of the companies involved and the interests and needs of customers in the Western states.

In 1966, he was appointed chief counsel of the PUC, and in 1974, Gov. Tom McCall appointed him commissioner of the state agency. After this appointment ended in 1977, he continued with the PUC as a senior hearing officer, and in 1978 he joined Northwest Pipeline Co. as vice president of legal affairs, in Salt Lake City. In 1984, he returned to Oregon, where he became an industry representative for natural gas distribution companies in Oregon and Washington, a position he held until his retirement.

He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Katie, and their two daughters.

• • • • •

Portland lawyer Donald C. McClain died March 5, 2004 at age 68.

Martin was born March 4, 1936 in Salem and was raised in Portland, graduating from Cleveland High School. He served in the U.S. Air Force and then went on to graduate from the University of Oregon and the U.O. Law School He joined the OSB in 1966, and until very recently was an attorney in Portland, most recently with Duden Neiman.

Survivors include his wife, Anita (Bell), and a daughter.

• • • • •

McMinnville lawyer and civic leader Robert A. (Bob) Payne died Feb. 20, 2004 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 58.

Payne was born Dec. 19, 1945, in Sacramento, Calif., and was raised and educated nearby. He graduated from the University of California-Davis in 1970 and the law school at the University of Georgia in 1975.

In 1971-72, he served as a VISTA volunteer in northern Georgia, and returned there later as a legal aid attorney. In 1976, he moved to Coos Bay to practice as a legal aid attorney.

Payne moved to McMinnville in 1978 to serve as director of Yamhill County Legal Aid until 1983. From 1983 to 1985, he lived in Germany, where he taught business law to the U.S. military. He returned to McMinnville in 1985 to open a private practice.

Payne was a member of the city planning commission for four years, and served 12 years on the McMinnville City Council until retiring from council last year for health reasons.

Payne was a generous contributor of his time to local agencies, including the McMinnville Cable Commission, Oregon Legal Aid board, the Habitat for Humanity board and the board of YCAP, a Yamhill County program that provides a food bank, assistance to poverty-level families, shelter and many other health and emergency services. He was a founding board member of the Henderson House family crisis shelter and was active in the North Willamette Valley Investment Club. He also taught business law at Linfield College.

Survivors include his wife, Nancy, a daughter and two sons.


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