Oregon State Bar Bulletin NOVEMBER 2014
Christine Frost of Swanson, Thomas, Coon & Newton received the Doug Swanson Outstanding Workers’ Compensation Attorney Award from the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association at its annual convention in August. This award is presented to an OTLA member who exhibits the qualities and values that Swanson personified during his life and career. Swanson is remembered for his devotion to Oregon’s workers, the fellowship and dedication he brought to the OTLA workers’ compensation section and his unwavering commitment to injured workers.
With the October issue of the Real Estate and Land Use Digest, Jennie Bricker takes over as editor and Judy Parker as assistant editor. Bricker and Parker replace long-time editor Kathryn Beaumont and assistant Eric Shaffner, both retiring from the RELU digest, the flagship publication of the OSB Real Estate and Land Use Section since 1979. Bricker and Parker, both solo practitioners, bring editorial expertise as well as legal experience to the publication. Bricker, a former Stoel Rives partner, practices real estate and natural resources law; Parker’s law practice focuses on the wine industry.
Civil defense law firm Bodyfelt Mount has been named a “Partner in Sustainability” by the OSB’s Sustainable Future Section. Only nine other law firms in Oregon currently hold the same designation. The recognition follows closely on the heels of the firm’s relocation to a more efficient office space in the Spalding Building in downtown Portland. The Sustainable Future Section created the Partners in Sustainability Program in 2012 to encourage law firms of all sizes to adopt sustainable office practices and to honor those firms that satisfy the section’s sustainable office practices criteria.
Diane Peters, general counsel of Creative Commons, has been awarded the 2014 I.P. Vanguard Award for Academia/Public Policy. The award is presented by the Intellectual Property Section of the State Bar of California to an outstanding professional working at a legal or public policy organization and substantially involved in affecting intellectual property law. Formerly with Ater Wynne, Peters has since held several in-house positions with nonprofits at the leading edge of technology and Internet law, including Open Source Development Labs and Mozilla. The award will be presented at the 2014 I.P. Institute in November.
The Oregon Area Jewish Committee presented its Lifetime Achievement Award to Lisa Kaner of Markowitz Herbold at the annual Judge Learned Hand Awards Luncheon held Oct. 29 in Portland. The organization also recognized Amy Edwards of Stoel Rives with its Community Achievement Award.
Ater Wynne has been recognized by the OSB Sustainable Future Section as a “Partner in Sustainability.” The program’s criteria require the law firm adopt an office sustainability policy and implement an internal education program as wells as criteria related to paper management, energy and water reduction, waste and toxics reduction, transportation energy reduction and sustainable purchasing. Ater Wynne’s sustainable practices include: relocating the firm’s Portland headquarters to a new space with a Gold LEED certification; and designing interior space where small personal offices are the norm and surroundings are constructed of reused, recycled and renewable materials. The new building reduced the firm’s energy consumption by 25 percent.
Lane Powell Shareholder Jeffrey C. Wolfstone has been elected to serve a three-year term on the board of directors for the Boalt Hall Alumni Association, a group comprised of University of California, Berkeley, School of Law alumni.
Dunn Carney announces that estate planning attorney Melissa F. Busley was appointed to the Portland board of directors of the American Cancer Society. A cancer survivor herself, Busley appreciates the work of the American Cancer Society and has volunteered with the organization since 2007 to work on their local annual fundraising gala, the Portland Hope Ball, serving as the chair of the event in 2012 and 2013. All proceeds from the Portland Hope Ball support the society’s mission of funding cancer research, education and support programs.
The Deschutes County Bar Association has elected new officers for 2014-15: David M. Rosen, Dwyer Williams Potter, president; Caroline Ponzini-Beck, Stahancyk, Kent & Hook, vice president; Kirsten Naito, DeKalb and Associates, secretary; Stephen Eichelberger, treasurer; and Danielle Lordi, Bryant, Lovlien & Jarvis, immediate past president.
Lainie Block recently participated in the Clinton Global Initiative on behalf of Treehouse Island, an educational technology company that teaches job-ready skills for in-demand tech jobs. Treehouse recently launched Code Oregon (www.codeoregon.org) to train 10,000 Oregonians for high-paying jobs and build a tech talent pipeline. Block has nearly 20 years of legal experience focused on business and I.P. litigation, plus significant education and workforce policy experience running pro-school political campaigns to improve public education.
Adele Ridenour, a litigator in Ball Janik’s construction practice, was awarded the University of Oregon’s inaugural Outstanding Young Alumnus Award. Ridenour was one of three graduates being recognized for her achievements early in her career. The Oregon Law Outstanding Young Alumnus Award was created to recognize graduates who have made significant career, leadership and/or service contributions to his or her community, the law school or the legal profession within the first 10 years following graduation. She received the award at the university’s Alumni and Reunion Dinner in September.
Perkins Coie partner Tom Lindley, chair of the firm’s environment, energy and resources practice, recently led a series of pro bono workshops in China to assist the efforts of the American Bar Association to promote environmental rule of law in China. In cooperation with the All China Lawyers Association (ACLA), the ABA’s Rule of Law Initiative supports the Chinese citizens’ capacity-building to identify and begin to address legislative, structural, organizational, financial and other barriers to effective broad-based advocacy in a variety of substantive areas. One of these areas of concern is environmentally related health and safety. A team of Perkins Coie environmental attorneys worked with the ABA to summarize how the United States has addressed the environmental and health issues resulting from its own earlier development, and offered some ideas on how that U.S. model might have been improved. The team then helped create a series of workshops, meetings and information sessions to help Chinese citizens understand the U.S. system and to learn from both its successes and mistakes as they work to improve the Chinese public’s ability to protect health, safety and environmental resources.
Lawyers and staff from the Portland office of K&L Gates recently participated in the firm’s second annual Global Day of Service, which focused on building communities within the cities in which the firm has offices. Personnel from each of the firm’s offices worldwide volunteered around the theme of “building communities ... serving the underserved.” In Portland, lawyers and staff worked with Volunteers of America’s Family Relief Nursery last week to clean, paint, plant, repair and organize.
Stoel Rives partner Joel Mullin has been inducted as a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers. He was inducted during the college’s 2014 annual meeting in London, England. Membership in the college is by invitation only and limited to lawyers with a minimum of 15 years of litigation experience. Mullin joins Stoel Rives partner Chris Kitchel and senior counsel Gregory Mowe as current fellows of the college. He focuses his practice on business and energy litigation.
The OSB Litigation Section has selected James H. Gidley as the recipient of the 2015 Owen M. Panner Professionalism Award. The award, which recognizes and honors personal and professional qualities, reputation and conduct of lawyers and judges actively engaged in Oregon litigation, is named for U.S. District Court Judge Owen M. Panner, the recipient of the first award in 1998. In receiving the award, Gidley was described as a consummate professional, gentleman, mentor for younger lawyers, as well as a tough but considerate trial lawyer, who exemplifies the qualities described in the Oregon State Bar Statement of Professionalism. Presentation of the award will be at Skamania Lodge on the evening of Feb. 27, 2015.
Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Angel Lopez was honored in September by the Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. He was presented with the Latino Justice Bravo Award in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month.
Dawn Reynolds of Brissenden & Reynolds in Salem has been elected to serve a second term on the board of directors for the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE). Her election occurred at the organization’s annual conference in Kansas City, Mo., in September. The NACOLE membership is made up of attorneys, investigators and auditors who work in oversight as well as volunteer civilian review board members. It is ethnically diverse, committed to civil rights and to constitutional policing. Reynolds is the only board member from the Pacific Northwest; she chairs its strategic planning committee and organized three of the workshop’s legal updates.
Oregon Women Lawyers announces that the Portland firm of McDowell, Rackner & Gibson is the 2014 recipient of the Workplace Leader Award. The firm opened in 2006 and was founded by Katherine McDowell (pictured), formerly a partner at Stoel Rives, who was soon joined by Lisa Rackner, formerly a partner at Ater Wynne. They were joined by a third partner, Kirk Gibson, in 2010, also formerly a partner at Ater Wynne. The firm specializes in energy, environmental and administrative law. The firm is certified as a Women Business Enterprise by the Oregon Office of Minority, Women and Emerging Small Business. In forming their firm, the partners consciously sought to create a firm that fully reflected their values and identities, shedding some of the hierarchical structures common in traditional law firms, and created a practice that is more cooperative and collegial. For example, junior lawyers are encouraged to take on greater responsibility and to have more client contact as early as possible.
Cable Huston partner Laura Maffei has been appointed by Gov. John Kitzhaber and confirmed by the Oregon State Senate to serve a four-year term on the governing board of the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries. Maffei is a registered professional geologist with the state of Oregon.
Iayesha Smith announces the opening of her new firm, the Law Office of Iayesha Smith LLC. Her practice will focus on the representation of individuals and businesses in employment litigation and counseling, general civil litigation and insurance coverage. She can be reached at 319 S.W. Washington St., Suite 301, Portland, OR 97204; phone: (503) 715-5100; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alice Sayers Newlin has joined Martin Bischoff as an associate. Her practice will focus on civil litigation with an emphasis on products liability, defense of financial institutions and general insurance defense.
Miller Nash has added two prominent attorneys, Kay Abramowitz and June Wiyrick Flores, who join the firm’s trusts and estates practice. Both Abramowitz and Wiyrick Flores were previously with Portland firm Ater Wynne. They bring with them close to 50 years of experience in estate planning and estate and trust administration. Abramowitz, who focuses on advising family-owned businesses, is a frequent lecturer and is recognized for her experience in succession and transfer issues found in family-owned businesses. She also assists her clients with probate-avoidance trusts, tax-planning trusts, special-needs and special-purpose trusts, and charitable remainder trust and asset-protection strategies. Wiyrick Flores works with individuals, families and closely held and family businesses to develop and implement succession strategies. She provides personalized estate plans and is also experienced in estate, probate and trust administration, assisting both fiduciaries and beneficiaries. She helps her business clients with business formations, developing governance structures, reorganizations and dissolutions and mergers and acquisitions to achieve beneficial tax results. Wiyrick Flores is also a frequent speaker on family business and estate and tax planning topics.
The Portland city attorney’s office welcomes four attorneys. Simon Whangcomes to the city from the Oregon Department of Justice, where he was an assistant attorney general in the financial fraud consumer protection section, and as a prosecutor in Manhattan, Multnomah County and Oregon’s Division of Finance and Corporate Securities. He is a past president of Oregon Asian Pacific American Bar Association, an adjunct professor of Mock Trial/Moot Court at Lewis & Clark Law School, and serves on OSB Board of Governors. Tony García comes to the city from the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, where he was a prosecutor, tax attorney and most recently, brigade judge advocate for Oregon’s 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team. Prior to that, he worked on employment and general litigation matters at Bullivant Houser Bailey. He is involved with the Oregon Hispanic Bar Association and the Georgetown Alumni Admissions Program. Rebeca Plaza comes to the city from the Marion County office of legal counsel, where she was a general advice attorney and represented the county in tort and civil rights litigation and other matters in state and federal court. She previously was a prosecutor in Baker County, where she was asset forfeiture counsel for the Baker County Narcotics Enforcement Team and handled a misdemeanor and felony caseload. Dan Simon is inaugurating the city’s new honors attorney program. He was previously the judicial clerk to the Hon. Adrienne Nelson.
Cory Larvik and Jim Schaeffer have recently started the law firm Larvik & Schaeffer in La Grande. Larvik has been working as a sole practitioner in La Grande since 2002 and will continue practicing family law, business law, real estate and estate planning. Schaeffer recently relocated to La Grande from Minnesota, where he has worked as an assistant McLeod County attorney since 2006, doing criminal prosecution, juvenile law, civil commitments, and guardianships and conservatorships. Schaeffer has significant trial experience and will now focus his practice on criminal defense, elder law and general civil matters.
Barran Liebman welcomes Shayda Zaerpoor Le to the firm. She advises clients on a wide range of employment law issues and focuses on counseling higher education institutions with respect to faculty, students and staff, as well as Title IX and FERPA issues. Le is active with the Multnomah Bar Association Young Lawyers Section, serving as the 2014-15 chair for the New Lawyer Academy, and was honored with the MBA’s 2014 Award of Merit for her work coordinating the Wills for Heroes project. Le also serves on the Campaign for Equal Justice Associates Committee.
Broady Hodder, who served for nearly a decade as in-house counsel at Clearwire Corp., and Andrew Schultheis, who was until recently the general counsel at Sterling Financial Corp., have joined Davis Wright Tremaine as partners in the firm’s business and tax practice. Hodder has spent the past nine years navigating the telecommunications industry. At Clearwire, he served as senior vice president and general counsel, managing all legal and regulatory compliance functions and serving as a key member of the senior executive team. Previously, Hodder was an associate and then a partner in Davis Wright Tremaine’s Portland office. Schultheis joins the firm with nearly 20 years’ experience, most recently as executive vice president and general counsel of Sterling, a $10 billion bank holding company, where he was a member of the executive team that led Sterling’s turnaround. Schultheis was also responsible for enterprisewide management of legal risk and legal expense, and was centrally involved in the structure, negotiation and oversight of M&A and divestiture transactions, in addition to corporate governance and fiduciary issues. Schultheis came to Sterling from the law firm of Witherspoon Kelley.
The Oregon Board of Chiropractic Examiners welcomes Cassandra (Cass) Skinner as the agency’s executive director. Skinner brings a rich background in public health and public service, having held recent positions as general counsel and health equity officer for Trillium Community Health Plan and chair of the board of commissioners for the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. She has held board and leadership positions for multiple entities, including the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association, the Governor’s Council on Domestic Violence, the Lane County Human Rights Advisory Committee, Head Start of Lane County, several programs with the Oregon State Bar and Oregon Women Lawyers. She currently volunteers as a judge for West Eugene’s Teen Court and as a member of Womenspace’s Advisory Board. Skinner previously owned and operated her own law firm, specializing in family law and estate planning.
Marlene E. Findling returned to solo practice Sept. 1. She will remain in the same location, 2720 N.E. 33rd Ave., Portland, OR 97212; her telephone number is unchanged, (503) 288-3133. Her new email address is email@example.com, and her new fax number is (503) 546-5956. She will continue to represent clients in estate planning, low-conflict family law, adoption and alternative reproductive technology including surrogacy and egg donation.
Miller Nash announces the addition of Lori Murphy, who joins the firm as counsel in the Bend office. Most recently at Bean, Kinney & Korman in Virginia, Murphy focuses her practice in estate planning, estate administration and land use. She was recently added to the Bend Chamber’s Leadership Bend Class of 2015, a community leadership development program designed to identify, educate and train willing and committed citizens and connect them to leadership roles in the community. Murphy’s estate planning practice includes individual planning and business succession planning. She assists clients with wills, powers of attorney, living wills and many kinds of trusts, including special-needs trusts.
Elizabeth Polay has joined Wiscarson Law as an associate attorney. Polay graduated from Brigham Young University in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and worked as a high school teacher in both Mississippi and Illinois before completing her J.D. at Willamette University College of Law in 2014, where she was valedictorian of her class. Previously, she clerked in the Department of Justice Child Advocacy Section. She also clerked for one year at Wiscarson Law before joining the firm as an associate. Her practice will focus on assisting clients with special education and guardianships.
Ball Janik has added litigator Kyle Sturm to its construction defect and insurance recovery practice in the Portland office.
Melina LaMorticella has joined the business immigration practice group at Tonkon Torp. She previously practiced immigration law for several years at a boutique firm in Portland. LaMorticella represents regional and international companies in a wide variety of employment-based immigration and naturalization matters, from labor certifications and naturalizations to extraordinary ability petitions. A graduate of Lewis & Clark Law School, she worked for more than eight years as an immigration paralegal at Tonkon Torp and another firm before pursuing her law degree. Tonkon Torp associate Matthew Joseph has joined the business immigration practice group as well. Joseph has been a member of the firm’s business department for two years since his graduation from Lewis & Clark Law School in 2012.
John Witty has retired, happy and healthy, after 26 years as a lawyer. Witty enjoyed the benefits of working in various jobs before law school, including ranch-hand, cannery worker, two years operating a hunting lodge and nine years with Simpson Timber Co. at its sawmill in Blue Lake, Calif. Witty received his undergraduate degree in wildlife management from Humboldt State University in 1972 and graduated from the University of Oregon School of Law in 1988 (at age 40). He practiced labor and employment law, almost exclusively for public sector employers. He began his legal career under the guidance of Bruce Bischof and Nancy Hungerford and then spent 17 years as in-house counsel to numerous central and eastern Oregon school districts through the High Desert Education Service District’s Legal Services Program. He retired in June 2014 and offers sincere thanks to all of his many colleagues, clients and friends who were a part of 26 great years. He and his wife Joan and their four dogs will be splitting their time between travel, their home in Central Oregon and their cabin in the mountains of eastern Idaho. Reach them by email at jandjwitty@ gmail.com.
Bill Miner is the new partner-in-charge of the Portland office of Davis Wright Tremaine. Miner succeeds Carol Bernick, who is the new CEO of the Oregon State Bar’s Professional Liability Fund, following a very successful five-year stint leading the Portland office. During Bernick’s tenure, the firm substantially overhauled its profile in the Portland market. Miner, a native of Astoria, received his J.D. from the University of Washington School of Law. He is the immediate past chair of the Multnomah Bar Association’s Judicial Screening Committee and a member of the Oregon Uniform Trial Court Rules Committee. His many public service activities include regular volunteer work at St. Andrew Legal Clinic and serving as president of Oregon Lawyers Against Hunger. As a member of the Multnomah County Young Lawyers Pro Bono Committee, he helped create the Outside In Legal Clinic, which serves Portland’s homeless youth. In 2011, Miner received the Multnomah Bar Association’s Pro Bono Award of Merit. That same year he was honored with Davis Wright Tremaine’s Heart of Justice Award, presented each year to an associate who has exhibited exceptional pro bono commitment and performance.
Lane Powell recently announced that Charles W. Riley Jr., will be the firm’s president effective Jan. 1, 2015. Thomas W. Sondag was previously elected vice president, effective Jan. 1, 2014. The current firm president, Lewis M. Horowitz, will serve as chair of the board of directors but will immediately return full time to his tax and business practice. Riley has served as vice president since 2007 and as chair of the firm’s trusts and estates practice group since 2000. His practice focuses exclusively on tax-sensitive estate planning, and estate and trust administration for high net worth families. Sondag focuses his practice on appellate litigation, representing clients in state and federal courts. He is chair of the firm’s appellate practice group and its Portland litigation group. Horowitz will continue his legal practice, helping clients achieve their business objectives in a tax-efficient manner.
In Memoriam will return next month.