Oregon Judicial Vacancies



Recent Vacancies


Wyden, Merkley Announce Timeline for Nominations to Fill Upcoming Judicial Vacancy on U.S. District Court in Oregon


Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today announced that applications are being accepted through April 7, 2023 to fill an upcoming federal judicial vacancy in Oregon created by the recent announcement from U.S. District Court Judge Marco Hernandez that he will take senior status in August 2024.

“Judge Hernandez has dedicated his career to justice, serving with distinction as a federal judge in our state for more than a decade after coming to the U.S. District Court with a diverse history of representing farm workers for Oregon Legal Services and then going on to work as a prosecutor in Washington County before becoming a state court judge,” Wyden and Merkley said.

“We thank Judge Hernandez for his stellar service on the federal bench and for all that he’s done to advance the cause of justice for all Oregonians,” the senators said. “In consultation with the White House, we will work with a judicial selection committee in Oregon to provide a strong field of nominees for President Biden to consider for this upcoming vacancy.”

Interested applicants for the judicial vacancy should send a letter of interest, resume and completed application – link is here -- to Wyden’s office by the April 7 deadline.

Wyden and Merkley will be forming a selection committee to consider applicants who submit their materials by the April 7 deadline.  

A web version of this release is here.





Governor Tina Kotek Announces Coos County Circuit Court Vacancy


The following candidates have submitted materials to the Governor’s Office for this vacancy. Comments on any of the candidates can be made to General Counsel at Governor Tina Kotek’s Office, Richard Lane, (503) 378-6246, or richard.lane@oregon.gov.

Cougar, Michael
Inokuchi, Rick
MacNeille, Joe
Manske, Robert
Muenchrath, Matthew
Pritchard, Nicole
Thomas, Jason




Governor Tina Kotek Announces Jackson County Circuit Court Vacancy


The following candidates have submitted materials to the Governor’s Office for this vacancy. Comments on any of the candidates can be made to General Counsel at Governor Tina Kotek’s Office, Richard Lane, (503) 378-6246, or richard.lane@oregon.gov.

Bartholomew, Alyssa
Collins, Sara
Davis, Joseph
Harris, Jacob
Krant, Susan
Pietila, Johan
Thomas, Jason
Zammetti, Jennifer




Governor Kate Brown Announces Jackson County Circuit Court Vacancy


(Salem, OR) — Governor Kate Brown announced today that she is accepting applications for a judicial vacancy on the Jackson County Circuit Court created by the planned retirement of Judge Lorenzo A. Mejia. The Governor thanked Judge Mejia for his dedicated judicial service, and announced that she will fill the position by appointment. Judge Mejia’s retirement takes effect December 31, 2022.

Interested applicants should address their completed application forms to Dustin Buehler, General Counsel, Office of the Governor, and email (no mail or hand delivery) those completed forms to Shevaun Gutridge at shevaun.gutridge@oregon.gov. Forms must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 20, 2022.

ORS 3.041 and 3.050 provide that at the time of appointment to the court, the candidate must be a citizen of the United States, a resident of Oregon, and a member of the Oregon State Bar. SB 977, recently passed by the Legislature, creates a new requirement. It amends ORS 3.041 and requires that these vacancies must be filled by persons who are residents of or have principal offices in the judicial districts to which they are appointed or adjacent judicial districts.

For questions about the appointment process, or to request an interest form, contact Shevaun Gutridge at 503-378-6246 or shevaun.gutridge@oregon.gov.
 
The judicial interest form is also available online.

Governor Brown is committed to a diverse and inclusive judiciary. The Oregon Asian Pacific American Bar Association (OAPABA), OGALLA, the LGBTQ Bar Association, the Oregon Chapter of the National Bar Association (OC-NBA), and the Oregon Hispanic Bar Association (OHBA) have created the Oregon Judicial Diversity Coalition (OJDC) to conduct interviews for applicants interested in receiving endorsements from those specialty bars. Applicants interested in participating in the OJDC's interview process can find information and application materials here (http://oapaba.org/judicial-endorsements). All applications to OJDC are due no later than the deadline for the application forms to the Governor.





Governor Kate Brown Announces Jackson County Circuit Court Vacancy


The following candidates have submitted materials to the Governor’s Office for this vacancy. Comments on any of the candidates can be made to General Counsel at Governor Kate Brown’s Office, Dustin Buehler, (503) 378-6246, or dustin.e.buehler@oregon.gov.

Davis, Joseph
Herbert, Christine
Krant, Susan
Lull, Benjamin
Markiewicz, Jeremy
Rowan, Matthew
Smith-Norton, Terry
Zammetti, Jennifer
Governor Brown is committed to a diverse and inclusive judiciary. The Oregon Asian Pacific American Bar Association (OAPABA), OGALLA, the LGBTQ Bar Association, the Oregon Chapter of the National Bar Association (OC-NBA), and the Oregon Hispanic Bar Association (OHBA) have created the Oregon Judicial Diversity Coalition (OJDC) to conduct interviews for applicants interested in receiving endorsements from those specialty bars. Applicants interested in participating in the OJDC's interview process can find information and application materials here (http://oapaba.org/judicial-endorsements). All applications to OJDC are due no later than the deadline for the application forms to the Governor.





Governor Kate Brown Announces Jackson County Circuit Court Vacancy


The following candidates have submitted materials to the Governor’s Office for this vacancy. Comments on any of the candidates can be made to General Counsel at Governor Kate Brown’s Office, Dustin Buehler, (503) 378-6246, or dustin.e.buehler@oregon.gov.

Idiart, Damian
Watson, Janice
Wente, Nathan
Zammetti, Jennifer
Governor Brown is committed to a diverse and inclusive judiciary. The Oregon Asian Pacific American Bar Association (OAPABA), OGALLA, the LGBTQ Bar Association, the Oregon Chapter of the National Bar Association (OC-NBA), and the Oregon Hispanic Bar Association (OHBA) have created the Oregon Judicial Diversity Coalition (OJDC) to conduct interviews for applicants interested in receiving endorsements from those specialty bars. Applicants interested in participating in the OJDC's interview process can find information and application materials here (http://oapaba.org/judicial-endorsements). All applications to OJDC are due no later than the deadline for the application forms to the Governor.





Governor Kate Brown Announces Klamath County Circuit Court Vacancy


The following candidates have submitted materials to the Governor’s Office for this vacancy. Comments on any of the candidates can be made to General Counsel at Governor Kate Brown’s Office, Dustin Buehler, (503) 378-6246, or dustin.e.buehler@oregon.gov.

Blain, Mika
Carter, Scott
Cook, Amy
Hedlund, Stephen
Governor Brown is committed to a diverse and inclusive judiciary. The Oregon Asian Pacific American Bar Association (OAPABA), OGALLA, the LGBTQ Bar Association, the Oregon Chapter of the National Bar Association (OC-NBA), and the Oregon Hispanic Bar Association (OHBA) have created the Oregon Judicial Diversity Coalition (OJDC) to conduct interviews for applicants interested in receiving endorsements from those specialty bars. Applicants interested in participating in the OJDC's interview process can find information and application materials here (http://oapaba.org/judicial-endorsements). All applications to OJDC are due no later than the deadline for the application forms to the Governor.





Governor Kate Brown Announces Linn County Justice Court Vacancy


The following candidates have submitted materials to the Governor’s Office for this vacancy. Comments on any of the candidates can be made to General Counsel at Governor Kate Brown’s Office, Dustin Buehler, (503) 378-6246, or dustin.e.buehler@oregon.gov.

Cerda, Coleen
Flinn, Michael
Hernandez, Tomas
Plagmann, Teri
Stein, Keith
Williamson, Leonard
Governor Brown is committed to a diverse and inclusive judiciary. The Oregon Asian Pacific American Bar Association (OAPABA), OGALLA, the LGBTQ Bar Association, the Oregon Chapter of the National Bar Association (OC-NBA), and the Oregon Hispanic Bar Association (OHBA) have created the Oregon Judicial Diversity Coalition (OJDC) to conduct interviews for applicants interested in receiving endorsements from those specialty bars. Applicants interested in participating in the OJDC's interview process can find information and application materials here (http://oapaba.org/judicial-endorsements). All applications to OJDC are due no later than the deadline for the application forms to the Governor.





Governor Kate Brown Announces Yamhill County Circuit Court Vacancies


The following candidates have submitted materials to the Governor’s Office for this vacancy. Comments on any of the candidates can be made to General Counsel at Governor Kate Brown’s Office, Dustin Buehler, (503) 378-6246, or dustin.e.buehler@oregon.gov.

Kaufman Noble, Cynthia
Kimberly, Jayme
Matusko, Amie
Riedel, Mike
Governor Brown is committed to a diverse and inclusive judiciary. The Oregon Asian Pacific American Bar Association (OAPABA), OGALLA, the LGBTQ Bar Association, the Oregon Chapter of the National Bar Association (OC-NBA), and the Oregon Hispanic Bar Association (OHBA) have created the Oregon Judicial Diversity Coalition (OJDC) to conduct interviews for applicants interested in receiving endorsements from those specialty bars. Applicants interested in participating in the OJDC's interview process can find information and application materials here (http://oapaba.org/judicial-endorsements). All applications to OJDC are due no later than the deadline for the application forms to the Governor.





Recent Appointments


Governor Kate Brown Appoints Judges to Oregon Supreme Court, Oregon Court of Appeals, and Multnomah County Circuit Court


(Salem, OR) — Governor Kate Brown today announced five appointments to fill judicial vacancies, all effective January 1, 2023. The Governor appointed Judge Stephen Bushong and Judge Bronson James to the Oregon Supreme Court, Judge Megan Jacquot to the Oregon Court of Appeals, and Bryan Francesconi and Rima Ghandour to the Multnomah County Circuit Court. In total, Governor Brown has appointed 112 judges during her time in office, including eight appointments to the Oregon Supreme Court––more than any other Oregon governor––representing a diversity of backgrounds and life experiences.
 
“Throughout my time as Governor, I have sought to appoint highly-qualified individuals with deep connections to their communities, extensive courtroom experience, and professional and lived experiences that are representative of all of Oregon,” said Governor Brown. “The people I am appointing today, including to our highest courts, represent the best of those qualities, and I am grateful they are willing to answer the call to service.”

With these appointments, Governor Brown will have filled Oregon’s remaining court vacancies from retirements announced earlier this year.

Oregon Supreme Court
Stephen Bushong, a judge on the Multnomah County Circuit Court since 2008, will fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by the planned retirement of Justice Thomas Balmer. Bushong has served as Multnomah County’s presiding judge and its chief civil judge, and previously litigated civil cases as an attorney at the Miller Nash law firm and as chief trial counsel and attorney-in-charge of the Special Litigation Unit at the Oregon Department of Justice. He received his bachelor’s degree and his law degree from the University of Michigan. Bushong also serves on the Oregon Law Commission and the Uniform Trial Court Rules Committee, and coaches Franklin High School’s “We the People” team.
 
Bronson James, a judge on the Court of Appeals since 2017, will fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by the planned retirement of Chief Justice Martha Walters. James previously served as a trial judge on the Multnomah County Circuit Court. Prior to his judicial service, he practiced as an appellate public defender in the Oregon Office of Public Defense Services, and represented injured plaintiffs and criminal defendants at his own firm. James is a graduate of Reed College and Lewis & Clark Law School. In addition to his time on the bench, he serves on Oregon’s Ad Hoc Committee on Unconscious Bias and the Judicial Leadership and Education Committee, and coaches mock trial through the Classroom Law Project.

Court of Appeals
Megan Jacquot, a judge on the Coos and Curry County Circuit Courts since 2016, will fill the Court of Appeals vacancy created by Judge James’s elevation to the Supreme Court. A lifelong Oregonian who grew up in Klamath Falls, Jacquot practiced as a juvenile defense attorney and appellate attorney in Coos Bay before taking the bench. She is a graduate of Pacific Lutheran University and Tulane University Law School. An enrolled member of the Chocktaw Nation, Jacquot will be the first tribal member to serve on an appellate court in Oregon and, as a Coos County resident, she also will be the only sitting Court of Appeals judge from outside of the Willamette Valley. Jacquot currently serves on the Governor’s Foster Care Advisory Commission, and previously served as a part-time municipal judge in Reedsport and a member of the North Bend School Board.

Multnomah County Circuit Court 
Bryan Francesconi, a public defender, will fill the Multnomah County Circuit Court vacancy created by the planned retirement of Judge Eric Bloch. Francesconi began his legal career in 2007 at the Metropolitan Public Defender’s Office, where he managed both the misdemeanor unit and the felony unit. In 2018, he transitioned to the Oregon Federal Public Defender’s Office. Francesconi is a graduate of Santa Clara University and Lewis & Clark Law School. In addition to his legal practice, he serves on the Oregon Uniform Trial Court Rules Committee and the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association board of directors.

Rima Ghandour is a civil litigator and will fill the Multnomah County Circuit Court vacancy created by Judge Bushong’s elevation to the Supreme Court. Ghandour, a Muslim Arab American who immigrated to the United States at age 18, practiced at Dorband Law Group in Lake Oswego, later joined the Wiles Law Group in Portland, and then started her own general civil litigation practice in 2013, focusing on construction defect litigation, class action lawsuits, insurance defense, and personal injury claims. A graduate of Colgate University and the University of San Diego Law School, Ghandour is heavily involved in her community. She currently serves on the board of directors for Oregon Women Lawyers, Oregon Law Foundation, the Arab American Cultural Center of Oregon, and several other organizations, and also previously served as president of the Multnomah Bar Association.


Governor Brown’s Judicial Appointments
Under Oregon’s Constitution, governors have the duty of filling judicial vacancies. Including the appointments announced today, Governor Brown has appointed 112 judges to Oregon’s trial, appellate, and tax courts, during her time in office.
 
Those appointments include: 

  • 56 judges who are women, 55 who are men, and one who is non-binary
  • 27 judges who are people of color
  • 2 judges who are Native American
  • 8 judges who openly identify as LGBTQ+

These judges bring with them to the bench a diversity of lived experiences and professional backgrounds, as well as a deep understanding of our criminal justice and legal systems––including the inequities that persist within those systems––and the people they serve.

Throughout the Governor’s time in office, members of the bar and communities across the state have helped to bring forward talented individuals to fill judicial vacancies. The Governor extended her thanks today to everyone who has participated in the judicial appointment process, as well as to all Oregon judges for their critically important service to the people of Oregon.





Governor Kate Brown Appoints Judges to the Lane County Circuit Court


(Salem, OR) — Governor Kate Brown announced today that she will appoint two judges to positions on the Lane County Circuit Court. Governor Brown will appoint Michelle Bassi to a vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Charles Carlson (Position 2), and Beatrice Grace to a vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Lauren Holland (Position 11). Both appointments are effective immediately.
 
“Michelle Bassi and Beatrice Grace are skilled lawyers with impeccable qualifications that match exactly what the Lane County Circuit Court needs right now,” said Governor Brown. “For years, both women have served their community with compassion and integrity, helping individuals navigate challenging circumstances. I have no doubt that Michelle and Beatrice will hit the ground running, ensuring that our justice system continues to serve people with fairness and equity.”
 
Michelle Bassi has been a civil litigator at the law firm of Thorp, Purdy, Jewett, Urness & Wilkinson in Springfield since 2013 and a partner since 2018. Bassi’s practice focuses primarily on complex plaintiff-side civil litigation and, until 2019, she also represented criminal defendants in misdemeanor cases. Recently, she began conducting employment investigations and serving as a Decision-Maker for Title IX administrative cases. Bassi received her bachelor’s degree in art history from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, and her law degree from the University of Oregon. While in law school, she clerked for the Southern Environmental Law Center and Earthjustice. After graduation, Bassi clerked for Judge Douglas Mitchell and Judge Josephine Mooney on the Lane County Circuit Court and then served as a public defender for the Umpqua Valley Public Defender in Roseburg. Bassi also has been involved in her community, including serving on the board of the Springfield Education Foundation, the Oregon Law School Alumni Association, the Lane County Bar Association, and the Oregon Elder Abuse Prevention Work Group. She is a member of the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association, Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and American Association for Justice.
 
Beatrice Grace is currently a civil litigator who represents plaintiffs in personal injury and medical malpractice cases. She received her registered nursing degree in 1991, and was an emergency room nurse for over 20 years. While working as a nurse and raising her two young children as a single mother, Grace attended law school and obtained her law degree from the University of Oregon. Immediately after, she clerked for Judge Mustafa Kasubhai when he was on the Lane County bench. Grace worked at a Eugene civil rights and injury litigation firm before returning to clerk for Judge Kasubhai and assist him with establishing his chambers after he was appointed as a U.S. Magistrate Judge. Grace then continued her work as a plaintiff’s lawyer in Eugene, drawing on her nursing, judicial clerk, and litigation experience to again represent injured individuals. In addition to her legal work, Grace has volunteered her time with the Trauma Healing Project Board, the Campaign for Equal Justice, and is a member of the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association and Oregon Women Lawyers. 





Governor Kate Brown Appoints Miranda Summer to the Washington County Circuit Court


(Salem, OR) — Governor Kate Brown announced today that she will appoint Beaverton Municipal Court Judge Miranda S. Summer to the Washington County Circuit Court. Summer will fill the Washington County vacancy created by Judge Ramón Pagán’s recent elevation to the Oregon Court of Appeals. Her appointment is effective immediately.

“Miranda Summer is a talented and compassionate judge, who has earned the respect of litigants and lawyers alike,” Governor Brown said. “She brings an invaluable set of professional and lived experiences to the bench, and will serve the people of Washington County well.”

Summer currently serves as a judge on the Beaverton Municipal Court, where she adjudicates criminal and traffic violation cases. She also has served as a pro tem judge on the Washington County Circuit Court and as an administrative law judge for the Office of Administrative Hearings. Previously, Summer practiced as a family law attorney, representing individuals in domestic relations and dependency cases. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Regis University, and her law degree from the University of Oregon.

In addition to her judicial experience and legal practice, Summer is involved in her community and the bar. Among other things, she currently serves on the boards of the Washington County Bar Association and the Oregon Minority Lawyers Association, and has served as a member of the Oregon State Bar’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Summer was interviewed and fully vetted last year by the Governor’s Office and the local bar association as a finalist for Governor Brown’s most recent judicial appointment on the Washington County Circuit Court.