Janice M. Stewart was appointed as a U.S. Magistrate Judge on October 13, 1993. To celebrate her 20 years of service, her staff and colleagues recently surprised her with a dessert fete in her honor. Judicial colleagues, current and former law clerks, courtroom deputies, and a cadre of other courthouse well-wishers enjoyed a noontime spread which featured homemade key lime pies made by courthouse staff.
Prior to her appointment, Stewart practiced law at the Portland firm of McEwen, Gisvold, Rankin & Stewart, where she became a partner in 1981. In 1993, Stewart was selected to replace Oregon’s first magistrate judge, the late George E. Juba, who was retiring after serving in that capacity for 22 years. She was the first woman to be appointed as a federal magistrate judge in the District of Oregon.
Mary Anne Anderson, who began working as a law clerk with Judge Stewart when she was appointed to the bench, describes Judge Stewart as “a gifted judicial intellect who really takes to heart the notion that litigants are entitled to timely decisions that explain the basis for the ruling.” Frequently ribbed for the lengthy opinions this philosophy engenders, Judge Stewart strives to make litigation efficient and transparent, erring on the side of letting litigators manage their cases, and methodically addressing the concerns raised in their multifaceted motions.