The U.S. District Court of Oregon Historical Society was created in 1984, following a picnic at the home of Hon. James M. Burns near the banks of the Willamette River. Our purpose is to preserve the unique history of the U.S. District Court of Oregon, established in 1859 with Matthew P. Deady serving as Oregon’s first district judge. Prior to statehood, Oregon’s territorial court was in operation beginning in 1849, following creation of the Oregon Territory in 1848.
The historical society presents a bi-annual “Famous Federal Cases” series on significant cases and events in the court’s history. These presentations are free, open to the public, and often allow continuing legal education credit. Our past presentations include a program on the FISA court (foreign intelligence surveillance act), Pennoyer v. Neff (a case all law school students read), and many others. Videotapes and materials for past presentations are available for purchase from the historical society, click on Contact Us to request more information.
In addition to these scholarly activities, we have an annual picnic, an annual awards dinner, and coffee and cookie socials following the Famous Federal Cases presentations. Our annual picnic has been hosted in years past at the farms of Judges Panner and Leavy, and is a fun, casual event for all. Our annual awards dinner is held in the Fall of every year, at which time we present our Lifetime Service Award.
The historical society is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Your membership and donations are appreciated. Members receive our quarterly newsletter, invitations to awards dinners, the annual picnic and other social functions, invitations to Famous Federal Cases presentations, and much more. The historical society is also a member of the Oregon Cultural Trust ( www.culturaltrust.org ). Members and donors may be eligible to receive a state tax deduction for their donations through the Oregon Cultural Trust (see www.culturaltrust.org for more details). To become a member or make a donation, click on Membership or Donation above.