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    Mary Jo Peters: 35 Years of Service to the District of Oregon

    By Gosia Fonberg Mary Jo Peters made Portland’s federal courthouses brighter places for over 35 years until her retirement on February 28, 2018. An Oregon native, Mary Jo was born in Gresham. Her paternal grandfather immigrated to Oregon from Germany in 1906 when he was 19 years old to work for his uncle in the brickmaking business. Her grandfather then built the Columbia Brick Works plant in Gresham, and her father and his three brothers continued the family business until it was sold in 1973. Mary Jo grew up in one of the houses within the 80-acre Gresham plant. The company made the bricks that built many of the buildings…

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    White House Appoints U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams to Continue to Serve the District of Oregon

    By U.S. Magistrate Judge Stacie F. Beckerman On March 13, 2018, Chief U.S. District Judge Michael W. Mosman administered the oath of office to U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams in Courtroom 16, shortly after Williams learned that President Donald J. Trump had signed his presidential commission. The U.S. Senate confirmed Williams’ nomination on March 7, 2018. A formal investiture will follow in June. Williams, an 18-year veteran of the U.S. Department of Justice, was named the Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon in May 2015, following the resignation of U.S. Attorney S. Amanda Marshall. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch appointed Williams as Interim U.S. Attorney in December 2015, and…

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    Oregon’s U.S. Attorney Charles H. Turner, 1936-2018

    The US District Court of Oregon Historical Society notes with sadness the passing of former U.S. Attorney for Oregon, Charles H. Turner (1936-2018), known to most as Charlie. Turner served as a federal prosecutor in Oregon beginning in 1967. He served as U.S. Attorney from 1982 to 1993.  Described as a titan of the Oregon legal community  by the Oregonian, we hope you will avail yourself of the opportunity to read his oral history, conducted in May and July 2015.

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    Lifetime Service Award 2017

    Jeffrey M. Batchelor: From “Tough” to “Batchelor is BACK” By Adair Law The U.S. District Court of Oregon Historical Society is pleased to honor Jeff Batchelor with a Lifetime Service Award for 2017. This article is based on research and conversations with Jeff, family members, and his colleagues. Like many transplants to Oregon, the Batchelor family became established in the state through a search for stable work. Lehi, Utah natives Mack Batchelor (1914-2003) and Wilmirth (Willie) Russon (1911-98) made their home in Portland in 1942. Married in 1933, Mack left school before graduating and Willie was a high school graduate. They had three sons, DeMar (1935), Nolan (1939), and Brian…

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    Famous Cases: The Story of Oregon’s Scandalous Senator Returns to the Pioneer Courthouse

    The Famous Cases series made an appearance on December 1, 2017 at the historic Pioneer Courthouse, the 1875-1933 home of the U.S. District Court. The three-hour program co-sponsored by USDCHS and Oregon Women Lawyers included an elder law presentation by Gabrielle Richards, of Martin & Richards, LLP, and a lecture on the 170-year history and origins of federal Indian policies in Oregon by Professor Stephen Dow Beckham, Emeritus Professor of History at Lewis & Clark College. The final presentation by Doug Pahl of Perkins Coie LLP was a biographical review of the colorful and infamous life of John Hipple Mitchell, Oregon’s four-term Republican U.S. Senator and lawyer to Marcus Neff…