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    Open for Business, Waiting for the Flood

    By Stephen Raher While the COVID-19 pandemic took most people by surprise, Oregon’s bankruptcy court was actually well-prepared for the disruptions.  “We have been working on our emergency preparedness plans for years,” says Clerk of Court Charlene Hiss.  “While these contingency plans are usually implemented for weather-related disruptions, they have worked just as well during the current health-related lockdown.” According to Chief Bankruptcy Judge Trish Brown, “The court focused on three goals when we revised our operations and procedures: complying with public health guidelines, remaining open for all people and businesses who need our services, and protecting our staff and customers.” Complying with stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines has…

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    The Federal Defender Office Continues Operations During The Covid Pandemic

    By Nell Brown The Office of the Federal Public Defender kicked off teleworking on March 12 with our first ever 4 pm all-office conference call and the signing of telework agreements for our personnel files. Far from time off, the Federal Public Defender staff has worked long hours during the pandemic, tackling new work such as advocating for vulnerable clients in potential prison hot spots while maintaining normalcy in workflow as much as possible and keeping our staff safe. For two months, we have maintained a stellar skeleton crew of just a few employees in the office to staff the phones and work with the court on daily business. All…

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    On Liberty, During a Pandemic

    By U.S. Magistrate Judge Stacie F. Beckerman I enter the courtroom and sit behind the bench in silence, without the ceremonial “all rise.” Instead of greeting the defendant, defense lawyer, prosecutor, and a small crowd of onlookers in the gallery, I sit alone and turn on my computer. On the monitor, the split-screen captures video feeds from all over the state: an individual in custody in federal prison, a defense lawyer sitting at his kitchen table, the prosecutor sitting in her home office, a court reporter, an interpreter, and me, seated and robed at my courtroom bench, positioned in front of our federal court seal. Court is in session. Thanks to…

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    Arlene Schnitzer (1929-2020)

    We at the U.S. District Court of Oregon are sad this week. After learning of the loss of Judge James A. Redden on March 31, it is with heavy hearts that we pass along news that our former USDCHS Board member, 2012 Lifetime Service Award recipient, and philanthropist Arlene Schnitzer passed away April 4, 2020.  She was first person outside the legal profession to receive the Society’s Lifetime Service Award.  We hope you will take the opportunity to find out more about a woman who was so important to our organization. (Article starts on p. 4).   In particular, we take note of two excerpts from the article. “When asked…

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    Judge James A. Redden (1929-2020)

    We note with great sadness and profound respect the passing Senior U.S. District Judge James A. Redden. He passed away peacefully on March 31, 2020, age 91. According to the family, a public service will be held after restrictions on gatherings are lifted. We would like to direct your attention to this remembrance from U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Sidney R. Thomas, Judge Redden’s oral history conducted by Michael O’Rourke, and these excellent articles by Michele Friedman on pp. 8-9 and Justin Thorp.