Oral History: “As many different perspectives as possible”

By Joseph Carlisle

The Oral History Committee of the U.S. District Court of Oregon Historical Society embraced another busy and successful year in 2021. Grappling with the challenges of the continuing pandemic, we learned to work through remote means. Special thanks to recent Oral History Committee member Crystal Chase. Our success in 2021 would not have been possible without her contributions. Thanks to the continued generous support of the Attorney Admissions Fund and with the help of Libby Provost at Historical Research Associates, as well as oral historians Greta Wisniewski, Makaela Kroin, and Janice Dilg, we worked on a total of six oral histories. Some oral histories have been in process longer than others. Specifically, we completed beloved Magistrate Judge Dennis Hubel’s handwritten edits to his oral history transcript. He graciously provided those before his passing in September 2019. We hope to have his oral history transcript complete and published this year.

We transcribed, audited, edited, and formatted Magistrate Judge Thomas Coffin’s oral history and published it on our website.   We also completed the transcript for Bankruptcy Judge Randall Dunn’s oral history. The interviews for District Judge Anna Brown’s oral history, as well as the auditing and editing process, are complete. We have completed transcribing and auditing Magistrate Judge Paul Papak’s oral history interviews. We hope to publish these on our website in the near future.

Looking ahead to the second half of 2022, the Oral History Committee will continue its work on the oral histories of Bankruptcy Court Judge Frank Alley and Chief Deputy Federal Public Defender Stephen Sady. We will also undertake the oral histories of former AUSA Robert Weaver and Bankruptcy Court Judge Trish Brown. We continue our work of providing access to the USDCHS’ oral history collection. We look forward to adding oral histories of individuals with distinct perspectives of the court – judges, public defenders, private practitioners, U.S. Attorneys, and other members of the court’s staff. We are hopeful that our work in 2022 will help us further our mission to preserve the history of the court from as many different perspectives as possible.

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