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    Judge Owen M. Panner Passes Away (1924-2018)

    The USDCHS is saddened to hear of the death of a longtime and true friend, Judge Owen M. Panner in Medford, Oregon on Wednesday, December 19, 2018.  For more information about Judge Panner, please take a look at his oral history, or look at pp. 10-13 of this 2008 Oregon Benchmarks. In 1983, Judge Owen M. Panner he took part in the first organizational meeting for the U.S. District Court of Oregon Historical Society at the home of Judge James Burns. Judge Panner succeeded Judge Burns as chair of the Society and the Society was fortunate to enjoy his time, intelligence, and good humor over the decades. Judge Panner and…

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    Oregon Bankruptcy Court: From 1978 to the Present

    by Stephen Raher The Fall 1999 issue of Oregon Benchmarks featured an informative overview of Oregon’s bankruptcy system through 1978, a year of unprecedented structural change in the bankruptcy world.  With this summer’s USDCHS picnic honoring bankruptcy practitioners, it’s time to catch up on developments since the enactment of the Bankruptcy Code in 1978. Although the first lasting bankruptcy legislation was passed in 1898, specialized bankruptcy judges or adjudicators were not recognized on a national scale until the Chandler Act of 1938.  Under the Chandler Act, district court judges were able to appoint bankruptcy “referees” to oversee both administrative and adjudicative aspects of bankruptcy cases.  In 1973, when the Federal Rules…

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    Department of Homage: Wendy Koble and Volunteer Transcribers

    By Janice Dilg Our initial email exchange occurred in December 2011. On February 20, 2018, my email inbox contained a missive from Wendy Koble with a subject line of “Judge Lent Finished!!”. Wendy Koble is the Judicial Assistant to Senior Judge Owen M. Panner, a post she’s held for six years. Before that she worked in the James A. Redden Courthouse clerk’s office from 1997-2009 until her retirement. Claiming to have “flunked retirement,” she welcomed the opportunity to return to the courthouse as Judge Panner’s JA in 2011. Judge Panner’s previous JA, Margaret Hunt, had created a digital word document from the paper-only version of Judge John Kilkenny’s oral history…

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    A Practical Star for Oregon and the Country: U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth Perris

    By U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Peter McKittrick and Diane K. Bridge This article is based on an oral history conducted by Janice Dilg in 2015 and 2016 and some additional research. The oral history is on file with the Oregon Historical Society on behalf of the US District Court of Oregon Historical Society. The transcript of Judge Perris’s oral history can be found at https://usdchs.org/oral-histories/elizabeth-perris/. Elizabeth Perris served as a U.S. bankruptcy judge in the District of Oregon for 31 years. Her accomplishments are stunning. Respected judge, educator to judges, lawyers, and students, pro bono leader—Elizabeth Perris did it all. Her legacy through her work is both local and national. Family…

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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…