Oregon State Bar Bulletin — OCTOBER 2012

Bar People

Among Ourselves

Smith, Freed & Eberhard attorney Brian Weeks has been elected president of the board for Community Pathways, a not-for-profit support services brokerage serving people with disabilities and their families in the Portland area. The organization assists eligible individuals in planning their support, training and technical assistance and provides fiscal intermediary services.

Jeffrey Jones, of counsel at Barran Lieb-man and an associate professor of law at Lewis & Clark Law School, has joined the board of Partners in Diversity, an organization that works with companies to help recruit and retain professionals of color to the Portland region, as well as cooperatively support diversity in the workplace and community.

Bruce Howell, a shareholder in the Portland office of Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, was recently appointed to two high-profile positions within the ABA’s Health Law Section. Howell will chair the healthcare policy task force and vice chair The Health Lawyer editorial board. Howell has extensive experience with physician practice issues, fraud and abuse and reimbursement.

Nancy Erfle, a shareholder in the Portland office of Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, recently was named to the board of directors of the International Association of Defense Counsel, a 2,500-member, invitation-only professional association for corporate and insurance defense lawyers around the world. Erfle is the co-chair of Schwabe’s products liability litigation group. She focuses her practice on litigation, specifically on the defense of pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, automotive manufacturers, agricultural chemical manufacturers, aviation manufacturers, as well as companies involved in business disputes.

Aaron Felton, chair of the Oregon Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision, was elected Polk County district attorney in the May primary election. Felton previously served as an assistant city attorney for the city of Salem and a deputy district attorney in Polk County. He will assume office in January 2013.

Todd Lyon and Traci Rayof Barran Liebman have recently joined two local-area boards. Lyon is the newest member of the Classroom Law Project board, and Ray now sits on the Oregon Women Lawyers Foundation Board. Lyon represents public and private sector employers in labor negotiations, labor arbitrations and employment litigation. Ray acts as Barran Liebman’s director of marketing, client services and events.

Eighteen Portland Public School students participated in the Youth Leaders for Sustainability (YLS) Camp, held August 13-17, 2012, thanks to scholarships provided by Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt. The camp is organized by Portland State University’s College of Urban and Public Affairs and Oregon State University 4H Extension Service and is designed to teach middle school youth sustainability concepts through experiential learning.

Mark Johnson Roberts of Gevurtz, Menashe, Larson & Howe has been selected to serve on two key diversity committees with the American Bar Association. Newly elected ABA president Laurel Bellows appointed Johnson Roberts to the ABA Center for Racial and Ethnic Diversity, which serves advocates for racial and ethnic diversity within the ABA and provides the framework for the association’s many diversity initiatives. In addition, Johnson Roberts was named as the National LGBT Bar Association’s liaison to the ABA’s Commission on Women in the Profession. The LGBT Bar is an official affiliate of the ABA, and works closely with the ABA’s Section on Individual Rights and Responsibilities and its Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity to promote LGBT diversity in the legal profession. Johnson Roberts, a past president of the Oregon State Bar, is a member of the legal advisory team for Basic Rights Oregon, a past president of the National LGBT Bar Association, and a founder and past president of the Oregon Gay and Lesbian Law Association.

Román D. Hernández, a shareholder in the Portland office of regional law firm Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, received the Ohlti award from the government of Mexico during the Hispanic National Bar Association’s national convention in August. The award is the official recognition of Mexico’s Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior (Program for Mexican Communities Abroad), and is the highest award bestowed by the Mexican government to a non-Mexican citizen. It is awarded to those who have contributed to the empowerment of Mexican and Mexican-American communities in the United States.

Catherine Travis was recently re-elected chair of the board of SAIF Corp. A commercial arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association, Travis was appointed to SAIF’s board by Gov. Ted Kulongoski and has been serving on the board since 2005.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization known for its lawsuits against violent hate groups, has named Portland lawyer Elden Rosenthal to its board of directors. Rosenthal worked with the SPLC on one of its most famous cases, a lawsuit on behalf of the family of Ethiopian student, Mulugeta Seraw, who was murdered by racist skinheads in Portland in 1988. The case resulted in a landmark $12.5 million verdict against the White Aryan Resistance, then the nation’s most notorious hate group, and its leaders for promoting skinhead violence. Neither Rosenthal nor the SPLC took a fee for their work.

OSB member Miriam Feder is producing her latest play, Ephemory: a coming of age/falling through age story of memory, legacy, family, immigration, war and love. The play opens Nov. 9 at The Headwater’s Theatre, 55 N.E. Farragut St., Portland, and will have performances through November. Check for dates and ticket information at http://miriamfeder.com and http://www.facebook.com/The OnlyWayOut.

The Deschutes County Bar Association has elected new officers for 2012-13: Peter A. Christoff, Merrill O’Sullivan, president; Danielle Lordi, Legal Aid Services of Oregon, vice president; David M. Rosen, Dwyer Williams Potter, secretary; Caroline Ponzini-Beck, Stahancyk, Kent & Hook, treasurer; and Andrea K. Malone, Legal Aid Services of Oregon, immediate past president.


Lindsay Hart Neil Weigler celebrates its 75th anniversary in October 2012. Founded in 1937 as a small Portland litigation firm, Lindsay Hart evolved during the 1970s and 1980s into a full-service, regional firm. Among its alumni, five former Lindsay Hart lawyers now serve on Oregon’s highest courts: on the Oregon Supreme Court are Chief Justice Thomas Balmer and Associate Justice Jack Landau; and on the Oregon Court of Appeals are Chief Judge Rick Haselton, Judge Robert Wollheim and Judge Rex Armstrong. The firm has also produced a number of trial courts judges, including Judge Janice Wilson, currently serving on the Multnomah County Circuit Court. Cliff Collins has written an interesting story about this legacy, “Stocking the Judiciary,” which is available at www.lindsayhart.com/75years.


Daniel A. Cross, past president of the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, has relocated his practice to 330 N.E. Lincoln St., Suite 200, Hillsboro, OR 97124. His practice will continue to focus exclusively on criminal and juvenile defense with a special emphasis on DUII representation in both the trial and appellate courts. The office telephone number remains (503) 640-9509 and the fax number is still (503) 640-8450. The email address of crosslaw@msn.com is also unchanged.

Shaun Jillions, vice president of public policy for the Oregon Association of Realtors, has joined the government relations & public policy practice at Tonkon Torp’s Portland office. Jillions will continue to serve as chief government affairs specialist for the 13,000-member association, which has signed on as a client of the firm. He has been with the Oregon Association of Realtors since 2008. He previously worked as a lawyer and government affairs specialist in Nevada.

Wendy J. Paris and Amy J. Heverly have joined Ball Janik’s construction litigation practice. Paris joins the firm as of counsel in the Portland office. She represents individual and corporate policyholders in insurance coverage disputes specific to commercial and residential construction defect cases. An accomplished litigator with more than 23 years of experience, she has prosecuted and defended construction defect, product liability and general liability claims. She previously was an appellate judicial clerk for the Hon. Rebecca A. Duncan and the Hon. Walt I. Edmonds at the Oregon Court of Appeals.

James A. Underwood and Eddie D. Medina announce the opening of a new law firm, Underwood Medina, effective June 21. They will focus on civil litigation and transactional services in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. The new office is located at 10260 S.W. Greenburg Road, Suite 400, Portland, OR 97223; phone: (503) 535-8802; email: jim@underwood medina.com and eddie@underwoodmedina.com. Referrals are welcomed.

John J. Marandas and Matthew W. McClellanhave formed a new firm, Marandas & McClellan. Together with attorneys Chanpone P. Sinlapasai and Kenny R. Kennedy, the firm serves a wide variety of client needs, including business immigration, family immigration, naturalization, removal defense, assistance to victims of crime or abuse, domestic relations and appeals.

Gevurtz, Menashe, Larson & Howe has added Samuel J. Kuzma as an associate attorney in the firm’s Portland office. Kuzma will focus his practice on divorce, custody/parenting time and child support. He received his J.D. from Wake Forest University School of Law. Kuzma is a member of both the Multnomah County and Tillamook County bar associations.

Bullard Law, a Portland law firm, is proud to introduce the firm’s new partner, Jennifer A. Sabovik. Her practice focuses on labor relations law, with specialties in NLRB and ERB representation, counseling businesses on union avoidance strategies, contract administration, processing and arbitrating grievances, and compliance with state and federal labor laws.

Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt recently added Michael Moore as an associate in its Portland office. Moore focuses his practice in the area of intellectual property, including patent and trademark prosecution, patent valuation and analysis, standards analysis, licensing support and other related transactional matters. Moore earned his J.D. from the George Washington University Law School.

Wyse Kadish announces the addition of attorney Meagan Robbins as an associate with the firm. She received her J.D. from Lewis & Clark Law School in 2011. She will focus her practice on family law with the firm’s family law team of Josh Kadish and David Bean.

Legal Aid attorney Chas. Horner has been named director of the Civil Practice Clinic at the University of Oregon School of Law. He will supervise third-year law students in the provision of legal services to Lane County residents who cannot afford lawyers, with a special emphasis on developing the students’ cultural competence around poverty. He has served as staff attorney with Lane County Legal Aid and Advocacy Center since 2008.

Matthew C. Ryan has been voted chair-elect of the Construction Law Section of the State Bar of Texas. He will step into his new role in June 2013. Ryan has extensive experience with construction disputes, including serving as lead counsel and appearing in federal court, as well as arbitration, administrative proceedings, and considerable mediation experience. Since 2006, he has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Texas School of Law.

Caroline “Cara” J. Ponzini-Beck has joined Stahancyk, Kent & Hook in the firm’s Bend office as an associate attorney. Ponzini-Beck graduated from Lewis & Clark Law School in 2009. She is a member of the Oregon Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Oregon Women Lawyers and National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. She was also recently elected as treasurer to the Deschutes County Bar Association.

Chris Lombard recently joined the Portland office of the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network as a financial representative. He was previously with the Professional & Career Development Center at Lewis & Clark Law School. In his new position, Lombard will advise and counsel individuals and businesses on financial issues related to risk management and wealth accumulation, as well as wealth preservation and distribution. He will have a particular focus on advising fellow attorneys. He can be reached at (503) 223-7335, or by email at chris.lombard@nmfn.com.

Craig O. Westhas relocated his offices to 415 N.E. Evans St., Suite A, in McMinnville. His new mailing address is P.O. Box 327, McMinnville, OR 97128. The new phone number is (503) 435-4900. His email remains craigowest@msn.com. Kenna L. West has joined the law office. Her new phone number is (503) 435-4901; email: countrylegal@hotmail.com.

Alec Shebiel has joined the government relations and corporate/business law practices at Lindsay Hart Neil Weigler in Portland. He will provide state representation and regulatory counsel, as well as continue his business law practice. Over the past 17 years, Shebiel has represented Oregon, national and international companies as attorney or general counsel, working at Garvey Schubert Barer and recently as corporate counsel for Vestas-American Wind Technology. He began his legal career at the firm in 1995 and is returning to the firm after gaining valuable business and international experience.

In Memoriam

Richard Aboussie, a lawyer with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., died April 1, 2012, at his home in northwest Washington, D.C. He was 64.

Richard Tanal Aboussie was born Dec. 29, 1947. He grew up in Wichita, Kan., and graduated from Chaplain Kapaun Memorial High School in 1965. He graduated from the University of Kansas in 1969 with a B.A., and received his J.D., from the University of Texas School of Law in 1973. He married Molly Holt in 1986.

Aboussie had a distinguished legal career spanning 27 years with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Resolution Trust Corporation, where he played a pivotal role in managing the response to the two most significant financial crises the nation has known since the Great Depression. He began his legal career as a Volunteer in Service to America (VISTA) at Multnomah County Legal Aid (now Legal Aid Services of Oregon). After completing a term position in emergency relief with the Small Business Administration, Aboussie joined the FDIC in 1985 as a senior attorney in the FDIC Consolidated Office in Portland, the beginning of a long career that took him to California, Denver and Washington, D.C. During the fall and winter of 2008-09, he played a key role as the FDIC worked through the largest failures and near failures in American banking history.

Survivors include his wife, Molly, an environmental lawyer in the office of the general counsel at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and their son, his parents and two sisters.


Nancy Smith died peacefully on June 16, 2012, after a brief illness, surrounded her family and close friends.

Nancy A. Smith was born May 15, 1957 in Hillsboro. She attended St. Matthew Elementary School in Hillsboro, followed by St. Mary of the Valley High School in Beaverton, where she was first introduced to musical theatre, which developed into a lifelong passion for the theatre arts. She entered University of Portland as an arts major, which honed her vocal talent and significant writing skills. She often sang in an on-campus venue called “Coffee House” and was a very popular artist there. In addition, she performed in many musical theatre productions at University of Portland such as Sondheim’s “Lovers, Liars and Clowns,” “Fiorello” and “Jesus Christ Superstar” among others. Sondheim quickly became a favorite composer.

Following college, she focused on a career in law, attending Lewis & Clark Law School and graduating with honors and a degree of juris doctor in May 1984.

Smith was a skilled lawyer, earning the moniker “The Barracuda” — deservedly so, according to her many friends. Licensed in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, she singlehandedly built a “boutique” law firm focused on consumer debt, long before that term had ever really been coined. Her firm became a standard bearer for other consumer debt law practices and she definitely set the bar high in that regard.

A lifelong supporter of any cause that helped abused, neglected or abandoned animals, she was passionate about making sure she did all she could to further those efforts.

Survivors include her parents, Don and Dorine Smith, two brothers, two sisters and numerous other relatives and close friends.


Senior Judge Tim Alexander, a retired Washington County Circuit Court judge who gained widespread attention recently for presiding over a prominent death penalty case, died unexpectedly on Sept. 7, 2012, at his home in Aloha. He was 65.

Timothy P. Alexander Sr. was born March 12, 1947, in Houston, Texas. He grew up playing baseball and pitched for Memorial High School in Houston. As a member of an award-winning debate team, he honed skills that would later serve him well in the courtroom. He graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1969, where he was a member of the Phi Psi fraternity. During his undergraduate studies, he spent summers working as a tour guide and usher in the Houston Astrodome. He went on to study law at the University of Texas in Austin, where he met his future wife, Lindy; they married in 1970. He earned his law degree in 1971 and remained a lifelong fan of the Commodores and Longhorns athletic programs.

Alexander’s legal career began in Houston as an assistant district attorney in 1972. He and Lindy moved to Oregon in 1975, where he worked as an assistant district attorney in Multnomah County. He transitioned to private practice at the Beaverton law firm of Myatt & Bell in 1979, and after a few years opened his own general practice law firm.

In the late 1980s, he began working as a pro-tem circuit court judge. He was appointed in 1990 as a judge in Washington County, where he served on the bench for 17 years. He retired at the end of 2007, but continued to hear selected cases as a senior judge.

Judge Alexander was highly regarded for his demeanor, intellect, commitment, character and fairness. He served as the presiding judge in Washington County, president of the Washington County Bar Association and president of the Senior Judges Association. He presented at schools and conferences and had established expertise on matters of court security.

Ann Rule’s real crime novel, Dead by Sunset, chronicled one of the many high profile cases that Judge Alexander handled over the years. Most recently, he issued a ruling on the reprieve of death row inmate Gary Haugen, which drew national attention.

His favorite pastimes included fishing, playing golf, watching sports, listening to live music and spending time with family. He coached his daughters’ teams when they were younger and was there for almost every one of their games and musical performances. He was a voracious reader with a lengthy list of favorite authors, and he shared his love of books by reading to his grandchildren.

Survivors include his wife, Lindy, two brothers, a sister, two daughters and four grandchildren. For more information about his life, go to http://www.judgetimalexander.com


Longtime Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Pro Tem Harold J. Blank died of cancer Sept. 9, 2012. He was 78.

Blank was born March 6, 1934, and attended Fernwood Grade School and Grant High School in Portland. He graduated from Lewis & Clark College with a degree in business administration and then from Willamette University College of Law in 1958.

He began a long career as Multnomah County deputy district attorney; by the time of his retirement in 1991 he had served under seven Multnomah County district attorneys. Soon after his “retirement,” he was appointed as judge pro tem in the Fourth Judicial District, where he served until his death.

For many years, Blank liked to fly airplanes and was a member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. He was a member of the Multnomah Bar Association, Multnomah Athletic Club, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Beaverton Elks Club and Tualatin Valley Elks.

Survivors include a brother, Leonard, a nephew and three nieces.



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