Stephen B. Herrell, a retired Multnomah County circuit judge who championed the needs of children and families and who crusaded against domestic violence, died Feb. 12, 2006, after a three-year struggle with brain cancer. He was 67.
Herrell founded Oregon’s first chapter of Court Appointed Special Advocates in 1986 and was a vice president of its national organization. He was also president of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.
Herrell was born Oct. 25, 1938, in Rochester, Minn. After graduating from Vanderbilt, he and a friend traveled through Oregon and fell in love with the Northwest. After earning his law degree from Georgetown University, he joined the Black & Appicella law firm in Portland in 1966. He later was a partner in McMenamin, Joseph & Herrell until his appointment to the Multnomah County Circuit Court in 1981.
Herrell had a long involvement with the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, an association that inspired his work against domestic violence and the founding of the Oregon chapter of CASA. He served six years on the council’s board of trustees and was elected president in 1997-98. He was acting executive director in 2001. He was also the chairman of a national committee that developed material to educate police, judges and other professionals about sensitive treatment of victims of domestic violence. Herrell is credited with developing special domestic violence units in the district attorney’s office, the Portland Police Bureau and Multnomah County’s Department of Community Justice.
Herrell retired from the bench in 1999 and served as a senior judge.
He married Alice Malankowski in 1967. In addition to his wife, survivors include a son, two daughters and his mother.
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John Leigh Hilts of Medford died April 3, 2006, after a five-year battle with cancer. He was 61.
He was born Feb. 25, 1945, in Whitewood, Saskatchewan, Canada. His family migrated from Canada to the United States in 1954. He graduated from the University of Wyoming, where he met his wife, Cheryl "Cherie" Lang. They were married in September 1967. They then moved to Missoula, Mont., where he graduated first in his class from the University of Montana School of Law.
Hilts excelled in baseball and set several pitching records at the University of Wyoming. He then pitched professionally for the Baltimore Orioles organization in California and Florida. One of his joys was coaching, and he was the pitching coach for the Medford Mustang American Legion Baseball team when it won its first state championship in 1976.
He was a skilled and respected attorney and practiced in Oregon, Nevada, California and Montana. In addition to training with Gerry Spence in Jackson, Wyo., he and his family spent four months in Europe and Scandinavia in 1982 while he studied international law. Although the majority of his law career was spent in Medford, he practiced in Las Vegas for the last nine years.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, a daughter and his mother.
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Portland business lawyer William N. Stiles died unexpectedly on April 11, 2006.
Stiles was born in Portland on March 28, 1938. He graduated from Grant High School in 1956. During high school he worked at Riverside Country Club and developed a life-long love of golf, including a final round on the morning before his death.
Stiles attended Yale University, where he attained both his undergraduate and law degrees. After Stiles graduated from law school in 1963 he served as a law clerk for the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and was admitted to the California State Bar. Stiles returned to Oregon to practice law in 1965.
Stiles began his career in Oregon at the firm now known as Miller Nash. In 1972 he joined the firm now known as Sussman Shank and continued to practice as a partner at the firm until his death. Throughout his legal career, Stiles wrote and spoke on numerous legal issues including creditors’ rights, administering trusts, asset protection and insurance law. Stiles was a long-time member of the Debtor-Creditor section of the Oregon State Bar, served as the chairman of that section (1979-1980) and was the recipient of that section’s Award of Merit in 1996 for his many contributions. He was also a past president and board member of the Oregon Law Institute. Stiles was a lifetime member of Who’s Who in American Law. His vast knowledge, professionalism and ethical standards, combined with his generous spirit, made him an ideal mentor and role model to scores of lawyers over the years.
Stiles was an elder and deacon of Valley Community Presbyterian Church, a former president and current secretary of the Yale Alumni Association, a member of the reunion committee for Grant High School, a former tribal chief of Indian Guides and a former den leader for Cub Scouts.
Stiles is survived by his wife, Arlene Kelsay Stiles, a son and a sister. Another son died in 2003.
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Sidney I. Lezak, a decorated World War II aviator, civic leader and "godfather" of dispute resolution who was also the country’s longest-serving U.S. attorney, died April 24, 2006. He was 81.
From 1961 to 1982, Lezak served as U.S. Attorney for Oregon, serving under six U.S. presidents. He was a partner in Bailey, Lezak, Swink & Gates specializing in labor law and trials prior to his nomination as U.S. Attorney by President Kennedy.
Most of his professional activities since 1982 involved mediation and facilitation of disputes in all fields except domestic relations. He lectured extensively and taught courses in dispute resolution at Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College and Willamette University Law School. He received numerous awards for his work in encouraging mediation. He served on the executive committee of the 9th Circuit Judicial Council, as president of the Oregon chapter, and chaired various committees of the Federal Bar Association and Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution.
In 1987 he was appointed by Gov. Neil Goldschmidt to chair the Oregon Dispute Resolution Advisory Council, which successfully prepared and guided its program through the legislature. He served on the Oregon Dispute Resolution Commission established by the legislature.
He was the first chair of Dispute Resolution Committees of the OSB and the Oregon Federal Bar Association. He served on panels of the American Arbitration Association and the Arbitration Service of Portland and mediated primarily through U.S. Arbitration and Mediation in Portland.
He was the co-editor of the OSB publication on arbitration and mediation and has published articles in that field and on the subject of prosecutorial discretion.
From 1942 until 1945, he served in the Army Air Corps and after combat, in the Air Transport Command. He became a 1st lieutenant as a navigator on B-17s in the 8th Air Force and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with three clusters for that service.
A partial list of his community service includes: president of the City Club of Portland, trustee of the Foundation for Public Broadcasting and commissioner on the Metropolitan Human Relations Commission. He also served on the boards of the Nature Conservancy, Planned Parenthood and Actors Production Company.
He is survived by his wife, Muriel, a retired professor of neurology, psychiatry and neurosurgery at Oregon Health & Science University, a son and two daughters.