Oregon State Bar Bulletin — FEBRUARY/MARCH 2007
In Memoriam

OSB member Paul W. Robben, a longtime Seattle lawyer, died Oct. 17, 2006, in Sequim, Wash. He was 84.

Robben was born July 30, 1922, in Baker, Ore. He graduated from La Grande High School in 1940, where he discovered a love of writing, photography, acting and radio. He was living in Seattle when he joined the Coast Guard in June 1942. He served until March 1946. During part of this time he was port security in Astoria, Oregon where at a USO dance he met Lois C. Maunula, whom he married in August 1946.

Robben did undergraduate studies in San Francisco and Seattle and graduated with a law degree in late 1950 from the University of Washington. He passed the bar and was admitted into practice in Washington in early 1951, and to the Oregon State Bar two years later. Robben practiced law in the Seattle area until his retirement.

Friends remember Robben as one for helping others without any expectation of return. He would generously help people who had legal problems that did not have the ability to pay for a fine lawyer. He is remembered for taking time to tutor
his bookkeeper in the law, who then passed the bar exam and went on to practice in Seattle.

All his life Robben went hunting, fishing and camping. In retirement he enjoyed gardening and traveling with his wife, Lois, until she passed away in 2003.

He is survived by a son and daughter and a granddaughter.

Doreen Stamm Margolin, a Portland attorney and longtime champion of education, died Jan. 8, 2007, of cancer. She was 59.

Doreen Stamm was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. She attended New York University, where in 1967 she met her future husband, Phillip Margolin, then a student at the NYU law school. They married in 1968, and she graduated from NYU the following year with a degree in mathematics. The Margolins later moved to Oregon, where Phil Margolin had a clerkship at the Oregon Court of Appeals.

Doreen Margolin quit her career as a computer programmer and systems
analyst after becoming pregnant with a son in 1975. She later decided to attend what is now called Lewis & Clark Law School and graduated in 1981. Halfway through her first term, she gave birth to a daughter.

She joined a law firm and later opened a solo practice. In 1987, she and her husband formed Margolin and Margolin, which lasted until 1996, when Phil Margolin retired from the law to write books full time. Doreen Margolin continued as a sole practitioner, focusing on family law.

In addition, she served as a pro tem judge from 1994 to 2000 and served on a variety of boards, including the OSB Professional Liability Fund board of directors and the Multnomah Bar Association judicial selection committee. Margolin worked on behalf of Oregon community colleges at the state and national levels for 20 years. She was appointed in 1986 to the first board of the then newly formed PCC Foundation. She chaired the Oregon Community College Association board from 2000 to 2002 and served on its legislative committee in 2002 and 2003. On the national level, she was elected to the board of directors for the Association of Community College Trustees in 2003. She served on the ACCT finance
committee, governance committee and the ad hoc board services audit and was a highly respected member of the organization’s leadership team.

In 1999, she was appointed to the Portland Community College board. She was later elected and re-elected to the position and had served as chairwoman since 2005, a position she held until her death.

The Oregon Community College
Association recently honored Margolin with the Howard Cherry Award, the
association’s highest honor, for outstanding accomplishment on behalf of community colleges.

Survivors include her husband, OSB member and bestselling author Phillip Margolin, as well as their son, a daughter, a brother and one grandchild.

Seattle lawyer and OSB member Barney J. Mason died in November 2006, shortly before Thanksgiving. He was 46.

Mason was born Oct. 26, 1960. He attended college at the University of California, Berkeley, and law school at the University of Oregon. He was a legal writing instructor at the University of Oregon in the 1980s before deciding to attend law school. He was admitted to the bar in 1986. For two decades Mason was an active member of the Seattle legal community and gave his time unsparingly to those in need. He served on the boards of two local school-related organizations.

His proudest achievement, though, was being a single father to his two sons, Zachary and Benjamin, both of whom survive him.

Long time Portland real estate lawyer Lois Portnoy died Dec. 16, 2006, at St. Luke’s Hospital at the Texas Medical Center of cardiac amyloidosis.

Portnoy attended Bryn Mawr College where she graduated cum laude in 1968, with special honors in political science. During those years, she was the recipient of a public affairs research grant to study Japanese politics in Japan.

She studied architecture at Columbia University graduate school, was a professional ceramicist in Colorado, apprenticed to Betty Woodman, and attended the Kansas Art Institute, before traveling to Oregon to attend law school at the
University of Oregon. While in law school, Lois received the Gus J. Solomon Award for effective legal writing and drafted House Bill 2370, later adopted by the Oregon legislature, controlling criminal justice information systems in Oregon. Lois was a Reginald Herber Smith Fellow in 1974.

Portnoy began her legal career at the Metropolitan Public Defender’s Office, where she was a trial attorney from 1974 to 1977. She was appointed to the board of directors for the defender’s office in 1985 and served on the board from 1985 to 1991. She also served on the board of Multnomah County Legal Aid Services.

She went into private practice in 1978 and was managing partner in a Portland law firm before becoming a sole practitioner, specializing in the acquisition, development, financing, leasing and selling of multifamily housing complexes, commercial retail sites, industrial parks and office buildings. She enjoyed particular satisfaction working with public entities in Oregon, in public/private partnerships on projects meaningful to the community.

Portnoy participated as a speaker and author in many continuing legal education matters, for the Oregon State Bar, OLI and other organizations, including multiple aspects of commercial real estate transactions. She was the editor in 1978 of Getting Ours, A Handbook of Women’s Legal Rights in Oregon, and was a lecturer at Northwest School of law at Lewis and Clark College regarding constitutional principles of criminal Law in 1978.

She was a member of many OSB committees, including the Real Estate and Land Use Section’s legislation committee, committee on opinions in real estate transactions, the education committee and the financial institutions committee, among others. She was also active in the loss prevention program at the Professional Liability Fund for real estate attorneys.

Portnoy was also the co-founder, with Madelyn Wessel, of the Chapman Education Foundation and was instrumental in convincing the superintendent of the Portland Public Schools to create a similar foundation for Portland Public Schools. She deeply touched many lives in Oregon and elsewhere, both professionally and personally, and will be missed by all who knew her.

In addition to her busy law practice, Portnoy traveled to Brazil in 1985 with her future husband to adopt an infant daughter, Anna, who will graduate from the University of Oregon this spring. She is survived by her daughter and her
husband, OSB member Dean Richards.

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