Oregon State Bar Bulletin — FEBRUARY/MARCH 2005

In Memoriam

Richard J. McNerney died July 17, 2004 in Newport, Ore., at age 55 of Huntington’s disease. He was born in Portland and graduated from Franklin High School. He was a 1981 graduate of the University of Oregon Law School. McNerney practiced law in Hermiston and Newport. The former district attorney of Morrow County also worked in the Lincoln County District Attorney’s office in Newport.

He is survived by his mother, May Jane Moon, three sisters and a brother.

• • • • •

Douglas Alan Swanson died on Oct. 19, 2004, the victim of a homicide. He was 51.

Swanson was born in Los Angeles on March 21, 1953. He grew up in the Chicago area and attended the Laboratory Schools of the University of Chicago. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of New Mexico and obtained his J.D. degree from Lewis & Clark Law School. He joined the Oregon bar in 1980.

Swanson was a founding member and principal of the law firm of Swanson, Thomas and Coon in 1982. While in law school, Michael Royce, Ray Thomas and Swanson had a vision of starting a firm with a unique focus on social justice. After graduating, they started the law firm of Royce, Thomas & Swanson. Royce later retired from the firm and former classmate Jim Coon joined the partnership.

Swanson practiced workers’ compensation law, representing workers who were injured or disabled through their jobs. His firm is also noted for its personal injury work on behalf of plaintiffs, winning cases in the areas of product liability and tobacco litigation.

Swanson had many interests and enthusiasms beyond his law practice. He was a noted joke-teller. Recently he was called into service to help a friend who walked a marathon. His duty, which he carried out with style and enthusiasm, was to walk with her during the last hour and tell jokes and stories to keep her spirits up through the final tiring miles.

Swanson was outgoing and friendly and widely known throughout many of Portland’s communities, including those of city and county employees, the legal community, and the soccer world, in which he was a player, coach, soccer dad and enthusiastic fan.

Swanson was active in charitable, humanitarian and political work. He was on the board of a local non-profit, Green Empowerment, which provides support for renewable energy projects around the world. He was on the board of the Brain Injury Association of Oregon and did volunteer political and legal work for Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste, representing Willamette Valley farmworkers.

He was a former president of Oregon Workers’ Compensation Attorneys (OWCA). In 2001, he received the Douglas W. Daughtry Professionalism Award from the OSB Workers’ Compensation Section.

He is survived by his wife, Jane Ediger, their two sons, a brother, a sister, and his father and stepmother.

• • • • •

Deborah Dealy-Browning, 54, died Oct. 31, 2004, after a long battle with alcoholism. She was born in Florida and grew up in a variety of locations, including Okinawa, Albuquerque, Denver and Los Angeles, as her father was a career Air Force officer. Dealy-Browning graduated from McMinnville High School with honors, then attended Oregon State University and graduated from Willamette Law School in 1981.

The former assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Oregon (1989-1998) worked both in the Eugene branch office and the main office in Portland. In 1992 she served a six-month temporary detail to the U.S. Sentencing Commission in Washington, D.C. Previously she served as a deputy city attorney for the City of Salem and spearheaded the Mid-Willamette Valley Task Force as its first special assistant U.S. attorney in 1988, prosecuting a wide variety of major drug cases for the regional task force. As a federal prosecutor, she quickly gained a reputation for toughness and tenacity and became a favorite of federal agents, especially from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, for her commitment and dedication to their firearms prosecutions. At the time of her death, Dealy-Browning was in solo practice in North Portland.

Dealy-Browning had a soft side, too. She loved animals (especially her cat Maybe), listened to opera and was an accomplished knitter. She had a deep love of learning and the law, and nothing was too difficult or inconsequential for her. She is survived by her mother, Joan Browning, two brothers and a sister.

In her honor, the Oregon Attorney Assistance Program has established the Deborah Dealy-Browning Scholarship Fund to help Oregon attorneys needing financial assistance to obtain alcohol or other substance abuse treatment. (See http://www.oaap.org.)

• • • • •

Doris Rodman Jewett, a former public member of the Board of Bar Examiners, died Nov. 17, 2004, of cancer. She served on the board for four years in the mid-1990s. She was 77.

Jewett was born Dec. 9, 1926 in Metolius and raised in eastern Oregon and southern Idaho. Jewett had a long career in social work career and psychology. She earned an MSW degree in social work in 1957 from the University of Washington and was associated over the years with the Parry Center, the state hospital and Portland State University. She had a private practice in clinical social work for 25 years and maintained a busy and varied professional life, which included founding programs such as the Stepfamily Association (Oregon chapter), supervising many clinicians and consulting for the Children’s Psychiatric Unit at Cedar Hills Hospital. Jewett was also an adjunct professor at Portland State University.


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