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United States. District Court (Oregon)
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Oral history interview with James A. Redden

This oral history interview with James A. Redden was conducted by Michael O'Rourke in Redden's chambers at the U.S. District Court in Portland, Oregon, on January 27, 2006. In this interview, Redden discusses cases during his time as Oregon attorney general and as a U.S. District Court judge, including some involving treaties with Native Americans and fishing rights on the Columbia River, as well as the effects of the dams on salmon runs and other fisheries. He also discusses the history and impact of the U.S. District Court Historical Society; the war on terror, particularly the Patriot Act; and drug-related cases.

Redden, James A.

Oral history interview with Donal D. Sullivan

This oral history interview with Donal D. Sullivan was conducted by Michael O'Rourke in Sullivan's chambers at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Portland, Oregon, on July 6, 2006. In the interview, Sullivan discusses his early career as a lawyer in Salem, and as assistant district attorney with Sid Lezak in the Multnomah County district attorney's office in Portland, then as a clerk for the U.S. District Court of Oregon. He describes working with judges Gus Solomon and William East. Sullivan also talks about serving as a bankruptcy judge. He closes the interview by talking about his personal life and family.

Sullivan, Donal D. (Donal Dennis), 1931-2009

Oral history interview with Owen Panner

This interview with Owen Panner was conducted by Michael O'Rourke in Portland, Oregon, on December 19, 2005. In the interview, Panner discusses mandatory sentencing and the effect of politics on the judiciary. He also talks about his plan to move to the District Court in Medford, Oregon. In addition, he discusses the structure and procedures of the District Court; technology in the courts; his involvement with the U.S. District Court Historical Society; and life on his Medford ranch.

Panner, Owen Murphy, 1924-

Oral history interview with Alfred T. Goodwin

This interview with Alfred Goodwin was conducted by Michael O'Rourke at Goodwin's home in Sisters, Oregon, on August 26, 2006. In the interview, Goodwin discusses some of the topics that often come before the U.S. District Court, including immigration, fishing rights, and environmental law. He also discusses national legislation regarding terrorism; proposals to split the Ninth Circuit; technology in the court; and the War on Drugs. He closes the interview by talking about his personal life and family background.

Goodwin, Alfred T. (Alfred Theodore), 1923-

Oral history interview with Frank A. Bauman

This interview with Frank Anthony Bauman was conducted by Karen E. Saul at Bauman's office at the Carriage House and in the Standard Plaza Building in Portland, Oregon, from November 5, 2005, to May 15, 2007. In the interview, while looking at family photographs, Bauman discusses his early life and childhood in Northeast Portland, including attending Grant High School and delivering newspapers. He then discusses attending Stanford University, including studying economics and his recollections of the lead-up to World War II and the attack on Pearl Harbor. Bauman also talks about his experiences in the Navy during World War II, including learning Japanese; deployment to the South Pacific, particularly Peleliu; treatment and interrogation of Japanese prisoners of war; and visiting Hiroshima after the war. He goes on to describe studying at Yale Law School and establishing himself as a lawyer in Portland. He also discusses his wife, Mildred Bauman, and her involvement in the Great Books Program; studying international law at the University of London in England; and working at various law firms in Portland, including Veatch, Bauman & Lovett, and Keane, Haessler, Bauman & Harper. He goes on to talk about cases he argued before the Oregon Supreme Court and District Court, including Zucker v. Mitchell and Ritchie v. Lamb. Bauman also discusses volunteering as a civil rights lawyer in Mississippi; his involvement with the World Affairs Council; and his involvement with the United Nations, particularly focusing on UNICEF, General Paul Cullen, and his service as U.N. senior officer to Australasia.

Bauman, Frank A. (Frank Anthony), 1921-

Oral history interview with Robert C. Belloni

This oral history interview with Robert C. Belloni was conducted by Jim Strassmaier from September 19, 1988, to July 28, 1989. In this interview, Belloni discusses his family background and early life in Coos County, Oregon, including his education. He talks about studying pre-med at the University of Oregon and his service as a U.S. Army medical officer in the Pacific Theater during World War II. He describes landing in Japan just as it surrendered. He talks about returning to civilian life and deciding to go to law school, attending the University of Oregon, and his friendship with Ted Goodwin. He discusses his early law career in Coos County. He also talks about his early political career, holding the offices of chair of the Democratic Central Committee for Coos County and mayor of Myrtle Point. He also talks about his relationship with Wayne Morse. He discusses serving as a Circuit Court judge in Southern Oregon from 1957 to 1967, particularly presiding over juvenile cases. He then discusses serving on the U.S. District Court of Oregon from 1967 to the time of the interview, including the politics of his appointment. He discusses his fellow District Court judges, including Gus Solomon, John Kilkenney, and Otto Skopil. He also talks about the variety of cases that came before him, including on land fraud, asbestos, consumer protections, and several cases involving Native American rights. He discusses his law clerks, judicial process, and ethics. Belloni discusses serving as chief judge on the District Court from 1971 to 1976, and the duties and responsibilities of that position, including his work in establishing the magistrate system and the sentencing council. He closes the interview by discussing changes in the court systems over the 20th century, his experience as a senior judge, and his personal life.

In addition to the audio recordings of the interview, this collection includes several photographs of Belloni and a signed photograph of Robert D. Holmes.

Belloni, Robert C. (Robert Clinton), 1919-1999

Oral history interview with William G. East

This oral history interview with William G. East was conducted by Rick Harmon in East's chambers in Eugene, Oregon, from November 8 to 15, 1984. In this interview, East discusses his family background and early life in Salem, Oregon, including his education and interest in journalism and sports. He then discusses attending the University of Oregon from 1927 to 1932 and studying law. He talks about the Depression hitting in the middle of his studies, his social life, and his developing political outlook. He also talks about Orlando Hollis and Wayne Morse as law professors. He then discusses practicing law in Eugene from 1932 to 1942, including law firms he worked at and cases he tried. He describes his experience in the U.S. Army during World War II, including his training, service in Germany, and his involvement in the capture of Hermann Göring. He describes his return to civilian life and law practice, as well as his position as city attorney for Eugene. He talks about his service on the Oregon Circuit Court from 1949 to 1955, including his appointment, conflict with the press, and various cases he heard. East goes on to discuss his service on the U.S. District Court of Oregon from 1955 to 1967, including his appointment. He particularly focuses on a scandal that nearly derailed his appointment and on a meeting with President Eisenhower. He also discusses cases he heard, including a negligence case involving Booth-Kelly Lumber Company that he heard twice, and a case on public defender compensation. He describes the changes to court procedures implemented by Judge Gus Solomon. He then discusses his decision to take senior judge status in 1967, as well as his activities since then, including cases on Native American rights and sovereignty. He closes the interview with a discussion of his judicial philosophy, his involvement with various civic organizations, and his hobbies and family life.

East, William G., 1908-1985

Oral history interview with Alice Tomkins Fee

This oral history interview with Alice Tomkins Fee was conducted by Rick Harmon in Portland, Oregon, from February 8 to March 8, 1985. In this interview, Fee discusses her family background and early life in Portland and Cascade Locks, Oregon, including her education, her memories of World War I, and the lack of career options available to women. She discusses attending the Oregon Normal School in Monmouth, including her teachers and social life, and studying music at the University of Oregon. She then talks about her career as a teacher and principal at schools in Malin, Pine Grove, and Hood River, Oregon. She also discusses the numerous health issues she's had over the years. She speaks about working as a typist in the clerk's office for the U.S. District Court of Oregon, then as a stenographer for naturalization and bankruptcy cases, and then as a law clerk. She discusses the judges she worked with, the Pioneer Courthouse, and the procedures of the court. She speaks at length about her husband, Judge James Alger Fee, including his family background, early life, and judicial career, as well as cases he presided over and her work as his secretary. She discusses the circumstances surrounding Judge Fee's heart attack in 1959 and his funeral at Arlington National Cemetery. She closes the interview by talking about her activities since her husband's death, including traveling, cooking and reading.

Fee, Alice Tomkins (Alice Emma Tomkins), 1897-1995

Oral history interview with John F. Kilkenny

This oral history interview with John F. Kilkenny was conducted by Rick Harmon in Portland, Oregon, from June 12 to October 3, 1984. The original audio of the recording is incomplete due to irretrievable damage to Tape 14, Side 2. Tape 17 is a re-enactment of that audio. The re-enactment was created by Rick Harmon and Terence O'Donnell after the damage to the original tape was discovered. It was based upon a transcript created before the damage occurred, which no longer exists. The accuracy of the re-enactment cannot be verified.

In this interview, Kilkenny discusses his family background and early life on a sheep farm in Heppner, Oregon, and his education at Columbia Preparatory, a boarding school in Portland. He also briefly discusses his memories of World War I. He then talks about attending Notre Dame University in Indiana, including playing football under Knute Rockne; his social life; and preparing for the Oregon Bar by taking prep courses at Northwestern College of Law. He discusses his early law career in Pendleton and notable cases he worked on, including bankruptcy and Prohibition cases; his political views and Republican affiliation; and the effects of the Depression. He talks about serving as city attorney for Pendleton from 1930 to 1952. He talks briefly about how World War II affected his law practice, in the number and type of cases the firm handled. Also discussed is his involvement with the Oregon State Bar.

Kilkenny discusses his 1959 appointment to the U.S. District Court of Oregon. He briefly describes judges he worked with, including Hall Lusk and Gus Solomon. He discusses cases involving admiralty law, the first amendment, labor unions, and criminal law. He then discusses his 1969 appointment to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He discusses cases involving the draft, procedures of the court, and efforts to split the Ninth Circuit. He then discusses how his sentencing style has changed over time, new precedents set by recent courts, and his thoughts on the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal. He discusses his involvement in the preservation of the Pioneer Courthouse in Portland. He closes the interview by talking about his recent activities and family life.

Kilkenny, John F.

Oral history interview with Gus J. Solomon

This oral history interview with Gus J. Solomon was conducted by Rick Harmon at the U.S. District Courthouse in Portland, Oregon, from July 23 to October 18, 1984. In this interview, Solomon discusses his family background and early life in Portland, including his memories of World War I, his Jewish upbringing, his father's store, and his education. He then discusses attending Reed College, his interest in history, and his subsequent transfer to the University of Chicago. He discusses studying law at Columbia University, including his social life in New York, then transferring to Stanford University, including his developing political beliefs. He also discusses his family's financial difficulties during this time period. He talks about the difficulty in finding a job in a law office during the Depression, and about some of the cases he worked on, particularly cases involving civil rights. He also talks about his involvement with the Democratic Party, the Oregon Commonwealth Foundation, and the American Civil Liberties Union. He describes his work toward establishing a legal aid program in Oregon, his work on public power, and his efforts getting jobs for young lawyers, particularly those from underrepresented groups. He describes being rejected for military service in World War II and cases he worked on related to internment of Japanese-Americans, particularly after the war.

Solomon discusses serving as a judge for the U.S. District Court of Oregon. He talks about his election to the bench and the opposition he faced; the adjustment from lawyer to judge; and his relationship with his fellow judges. He describes in detail his techniques for speeding up the judicial process, with some case examples. He then discusses his activities as a senior judge, beginning in 1971, which he describes as being largely the same as when he was an active judge. He talks about hearing cases in other districts, particularly in Southern California; the McCarthy era; and cases with political implications, particularly cases regarding the draft. He talks about serving as chief judge from 1959 to 1971, and the changes he made to rules and procedures of the court. He describes some of the law clerks he's had over his career, including Jerome Kohlberg, Jr. He speaks briefly about his early opposition to clubs with discriminatory policies. Solomon provides advice to lawyers on how to win cases, and discusses lawyers he has worked with. He talks about sentencing, judicial activism, and interpreting law.

Solomon closes the interview by talking about his personal life and activities. He discusses the many organizations he has belonged to, including the Reed College Alumni Association and Amnesty International. He also talks about organizations he regularly donates to, including the Jewish Federation. He describes his family life and the activities of his children and grandchildren.

Solomon, Gus J. (Gus Jerome), 1906-1987

Oral history interview with Robert A. Leedy

This oral history interview with Robert A. Leedy was conducted by Anna J. Brown and Katherine H. O'Neil at Leedy's home in Milwaukie, Oregon, from September 10 to October 1, 1994. In this interview, Leedy discusses his family background and early life in the rural areas around Portland, Oregon, including his education and the family farm. He then discusses studying law at the University of Oregon, including his social life and working in a can factory to pay tuition. He also describes some of the members of his graduating class, including Otto Frohnmayer. He talks about getting started in law practice in Portland, including some of the lawyers he worked with and cases he was involved in. He also speaks at length about his interest in golf and how it led to his becoming a U.S. commissioner for the U.S. District Court of Oregon. He briefly discusses forming the law firm of Barzee, Leedy & Keene. He describes the duties and procedures of the U.S. District Court of Oregon commissioner, as well as some of the judges he worked with, particularly Judge James Alger Fee. He speaks at length about the bail process and several of the cases he heard. He then discusses his involvement with the Oregon State Bar, including administering the bar exam in the 1940s, and serving as president in the 1950s. He speaks at length about his children, their families, and their careers. He also describes in great detail several European trips he took, beginning in the 1950s, as well as trips to Hawaii and to Death Valley, California. He discusses his involvement with the Episcopal Church. He goes on to talk about some of the cases he worked on in private law practice, as well as the lawyers he's worked with. He closes the interview by discussing some of the changes in the law profession over the years.

Leedy, Robert A., Sr. (Robert Allan), 1909-2001

Oral history interview with Owen Panner

This oral history interview with Owen Panner was conducted by Michael O'Rourke in Panner's chambers in Portland, Oregon, from November 24, 1994, to June 1, 1995. In this interview, Panner discusses his family background and early life in rural Oklahoma, including his experiences during the Depression and the Dust Bowl, and his interest in playing golf. He also discusses the racism he observed during his childhood. Panner then talks about attending the University of Oklahoma and his service in the Army during World War II, including meeting his first wife, Agnes Gilbert, and moving to New York at the end of his service. He then discusses returning to the University of Oklahoma and studying law. Panner describes moving to Oregon and practicing law in Bend from 1950 to 1979, including his impressions of the area and people, and several cases he tried during his law career. He speaks at length about representing the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, particularly on cases regarding fishing rights at Celilo Falls, the development of Kah-Nee-Ta, and the termination of the Klamath tribe. Panner discusses national political events such as the Vietnam War, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and the Nixon administration, as well as local politics in Bend, including the divorce of Oregon State Representative Al Ullman. Panner then describes his experience as a judge on the U.S. District Court in Portland from 1980 to 2018, including cases on civil rights, federal power, financial regulations, electrical utilities, and Tonya Harding. He also discusses the O.J. Simpson trial, mandatory sentencing, and the war on drugs. Panner discusses working with judges Otto Skopil, Robert Belloni, Gus Solomon, Jim Redden, and Edward Leavy. He also describes the relationship between the District Court and the Court of Appeals; the law system on the Warm Springs Reservation; and the day-to-day workings of the District Court. Panner closes the interview by discussing the modernization of the courts and his life outside the courtroom.

Panner, Owen Murphy, 1924-