Portraits of Oregon Magistrates Unveiled

By Nell Brown

Family, friends, and colleagues of Magistrate Judges Janice M. Stewart and Dennis J. Hubel gathered on April 14, 2016, in the 16th-floor ceremonial courtroom of the Hatfield Courthouse for the unveiling of two judicial portraits.  Chief Judge Michael W. Mosman welcomed the crowd that included a gallery of active and retired judges of the Ninth Circuit, District Court, and Bankruptcy Court while Judges Stewart and Hubel sat with their families before two veiled portraits.  Judge Mosman noted Judge Stewart’s work with the pro bono panel and Judge Hubel’s work with the Historical Society, describing both judges as the “epitome of judging,” “incredibly hard working,” and “skilled truth tellers.”

Magistrate Judge Janice Stewart. Photo courtesy of Stephen Joncus
Magistrate Judge Janice Stewart. Photo courtesy of Stephen Joncus

Magistrate Judge John Jelderks spoke on behalf of Judge Stewart, recalling the interview he and her predecessor, Judge George Juba, conducted more than 23 years ago.  Judge Jelderks displayed the 1993 Oregonian headline announcing, “First Woman Named Magistrate in Oregon,” and noted Judge Stewart’s regimen of a mid-day run to clear her head to assist in dealing with “weighty constitutional issues in the afternoon.”  Describing her as “super smart,” he spoke of the parties she threw, including a dessert fete complete with “fine china.” During her remarks, Judge Stewart noted Judge Jelderks’ sweet tooth and credited her long-time clerk, Mary
Anne Anderson, for the parties.  Judge Jelderks wrapped up his remarks by sharing Judge Stewart’s own words, written before she joined the bench, about what makes a good judge: “A judge must be competent.  A good judge reads, understands, analyzes, listens to and questions the arguments presented.  A good judge is organized, prompt in ruling, yet courteous.  In conclusion, Judge Jelderks noted that Judge Janice Stewart “fits it to a tee.” [USDCHS thanks Portland attorney Bruce Rubin, one of many lawyers who worked on this important case, for passing on this Tribute to Judge Janice Stewart.]

Magistrate Judge Dennis Hubel. Photo courtesy of Stephen Joncus
Magistrate Judge Dennis Hubel. Photo courtesy of Stephen Joncus

Attorney Bill Gaylord made remarks on behalf of Judge Hubel, noting he was pleased to be a part of “Denny’s public hanging.”  He self censored tales of their many exploits dating back to their Portland Little League and high school days, as well as their time studying at Cornell.  After studying engineering, Hubel spent time in the Navy on a nuclear submarine under Admiral Hyman Rickover. A UW graduate degree in nuclear engineering propelled him to work in Richland, Washington where his volunteerism led him to conduct landlord-tenant research for the legal aid society and later, to the law.  He made the leap to Lewis and Clark Law School, clerking for a summer under Sid Lezak at the United States Attorney’s Office.  He settled into a successful career in private practice, eventually moving to Bend, before becoming a part-time magistrate in Eastern Oregon and eventually a full-time magistrate in Portland.

Noting that 40 years as a lawyer was “long enough,” Judge Stewart confided how she  missed the late Judge Donald C. Ashmanskas and that she would miss the courthouse family.  Judge Stewart also joked that she would not miss the discovery disputes and social security appeals.  She concluded, “It is time for the younger generation to take over” with a nod to her successor, Judge Youlee Yim You.

Judge Hubel quoted his favorite philosopher, Yogi Berra, thanking “all of you who made today necessary.”  He also quoted Judge Owen Panner, at whose former Bend firm he thrived as a litigator, observing: “Our profession has one reason for existence and that is to solve people’s problems.”  Judge Hubel thanked those who had influenced his career and supported him as a judge. A successor has not yet been chosen for his position.

The portraits, a photograph-painting hybrid, were the work of Keene Studio in Portland.  Ed Keene, Jr. shot and printed the photographs to canvas and artist Jeri Olson painted over the photo using primarily oils.  With Judge Mosman’s closing remarks, the crowd adjourned to the foyer for drinks and light fare.

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