About Us

To fulfill our mission, we take and transcribe the oral histories of judges, attorneys, employees, parties to litigation and other persons involved in the court’s history. These oral history transcripts are preserved for the historical record. We work with the Oregon Historical Society ( www.ohs.org ) to preserve this record and allow public access. We also collect photographs and other memorabilia essential to the court’s history.

The historical society presents a “Famous Cases” series on significant cases and events in the court’s history. These presentations are free, open to the public, and often allow continuing legal education credit. Our past presentations include a program on the FISA court (foreign intelligence surveillance act), Pennoyer v. Neff (a case all law school students read), and many others. Videotapes and materials for past presentations are available for purchase from the historical society, click on Contact Us to request more information.


The historical society publishes a newsletter with articles based on completed oral histories, articles on past and current events for the court, a record of the historical society’s activities and events, book reviews, and a calendar of upcoming events. The historical society also wrote and published The First Duty, a history of the U.S. District Court of Oregon.

In addition to these scholarly activities, we have an annual picnic, an annual awards dinner, and coffee and cookie socials following the Famous Cases presentations. Our annual picnic has been hosted in years past at the farms of Judges Panner and Leavy, and is a fun, casual event for all. Our annual awards dinner is held in the Fall of every year, at which time we present our Lifetime Service Award.

The organization is operated by a volunteer group of lawyers, judges, scholars, and lay persons interested in preserving the court’s history. To see the current list of board and executive committee members, see the current newsletter.

The historical society is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Your membership and donations are appreciated. Members receive our newsletter, invitations to awards dinners, the annual picnic and other social functions, invitations to Famous Cases presentations, and much more. The historical society is also a member of the Oregon Cultural Trust ( www.culturaltrust.org ). Members and donors may be eligible to receive a state tax deduction for their donations through the Oregon Cultural Trust (see www.culturaltrust.org for more details). To become a member or make a donation, click on Membership above.

Past Presidents

Lifetime Service Award

Amended and Restated Bylaws – Approved

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