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Oral history interview with Otto Skopil

This oral history interview with Otto Skopil was conducted by Rick Harmon and Jim Strassmaier in Skopil's chambers at the Pioneer Courthouse in Portland, Oregon, from August 19, 1985, to November 27, 1989. The audio for this interview is incomplete; Tape 26 was discovered to be blank in 2020, but its contents are reflected in an incomplete transcript and in an index.

In the interview, Skopil discusses his family background and early life in Salem, Oregon, including his time at Salem High School and the effect of the Depression and the New Deal on the Salem area. Skopil talks about attending Willamette University in great detail. He discusses his World War II experience in the Navy from 1942 to 1945, between earning his bachelor's degree in economics and returning to Willamette earn his bachelor of laws. Skopil describes practicing law in Salem for 26 years, from 1946 to 1972, including partnering with his uncle, Ralph Skopil, and later with Bruce Williams. He discusses some of the cases he argued, particularly his only U.S. Supreme Court case, which involved State Farm Insurance. He then briefly discusses his personal life, including his two marriages, first to June Johnson, then to Jan Lundy, and his involvement in various religious and civic organizations, including the Board of Governors for the Oregon Bar. He also discusses his involvement with the Republican Party and his opposition to both the Korean and Vietnam wars, as well as how the draft affected his son, Ric Skopil. He talks about serving as a judge for the U.S. Circuit Court of Oregon, including his confirmation; the procedures of the court; sentencing; and the development of the magistrate system. He also discusses some of the cases he presided over on topics including the environment, white-collar crime, and securities. He talks at length about the case of Chuck Armsbury. He also discusses working with his fellow judges, particularly Gus Solomon and Robert Belloni, as well as his relationships with Mark Hatfield and Griffin Bell. Skopil then describes his time as a judge for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, including the relationship between that court and Congress; the increase of litigation during the 1980s; and the public perception of the court. He discusses some of the cases that came before the court on topics including mental health, capital punishment, timber, and drugs. He also talks about some of his fellow judges, particularly Ted Goodwin and James Browning. Skopil closes the interview by describing the importance of law clerks; discussing sentencing guidelines; and talking about his family life.

Skopil, Otto R. (Otto Richard), 1919-

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 Wendell Wyatt

This oral history interview with Wendell Wyatt was conducted by Randall Weisberg at Wyatt's office in Portland, Oregon, from January 28 to March 24, 1992. In this interview, Wyatt discusses his family background and early life in Eugene and Portland, including his childhood hobbies, his memories of the Depression, and his interest in journalism. He then discusses studying journalism at the University of Oregon, including writing for the student newspaper, the Oregon Daily Emerald. He then discusses attending the University of Oregon Law School, including some of his professors, particularly Orlando Hollis; his social life; and the various jobs he held throughout. He talks about his early interest in politics and getting a job with the FBI, including his training and the kinds of investigations he participated in. He then discusses his service as a bombardier in the U.S. Marine Corps in the Pacific Theater during World War II. He talks about practicing law in Astoria after his discharge, including getting involved in Republican politics. He talks about some of the cases he worked on, including some regarding commercial fishing. He speaks at length about his involvement in the 1952 presidential election and his relationship with U.S. Senator Wayne Morse.

Wyatt discusses his time in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1964 to 1975. He talks about his appointment to take over A. Walter Norblad's seat, as well as his later re-election campaigns. He discusses the Lyndon Johnson administration, including the legislation of the Great Society Era and the Vietnam War. He then discusses the Richard Nixon administration, including Nixon's resignation and some of the accomplishments of administration. He then describes legislation that he wishes were possible, including gun control. He reflects on what he accomplished on behalf of Oregon during his time in the House and his reasons for not running for re-election in 1975. He goes on to discuss returning to Oregon to practice law. He also talks about his involvement with the U.S. District Court of Oregon, and he briefly discusses many of the judges appointed to the various courts in Oregon. He closes the interview by discussing his opinions on recent environmental debates.

Wyatt, Wendell William, 1917-2009

Oral history interview with Libby Solomon

This oral history interview with Libby Solomon was conducted by Jim Strassmaier at Solomon's apartment in Portland, Oregon, from October 25 to November 22, 1989. In this interview, Solomon discusses her family history and early life in Russia and Portland, including assimilating to American culture as a young child; the death of her older sister, Roza Willer; her Jewish upbringing; and her education. She then discusses her brief education at Reed College and her love for microscopic work. She briefly discusses her Democratic politics. She talks about working in medical labs with various doctors, particularly Edmund Sears. She discusses her involvement in the Democratic Party and the Oregon Commonwealth Federation, as well as the people she met through those organizations, including Monroe Sweetland, Ruth Haefner, and Gus Solomon, who became her spouse. She speaks at length about Gus Solomon's appointment to the U.S. District Court of Oregon. She discusses some of her later activities, including taking classes at the Portland Art Museum School, and serving on the Portland art and zoo commissions. She also talks about her and Gus Solomon's decision to quit all clubs and organizations that had discriminatory admittance policies. She closes the interview by discussing her work on integrated housing.

Solomon, Libby (Elisabeth), 1909-2004

Oral history interview with James M. Burns

This oral history interview with James M. Burns was conducted by Clark Hansen at the U.S. District Courthouse in Portland, Oregon, in sessions from January 17, 1990, to August 25, 1998. Sandy Dixon and a person identified as Dan G. were also present for sessions in 1998. The audio is incomplete; Tape 8 is missing as of 2001.

In the interview, Burns discusses his family background and early life in Portland, including growing up in lumber camps, his mother's death in 1930 and his father's death in 1935, and being raised by his aunts. He also discusses his early education at Grant High School and the University of Portland. He then talks about leaving the university to join the Army in 1943 and his service in France during World War II. He discusses returning to Portland and finishing his undergraduate studies at the University of Portland, attending law school at Loyola Chicago University, and earning a law degree. He also briefly discusses cases that came up later in his career that law school did not prepare him for, including civil rights and malpractice lawsuits. Burns talks about meeting his wife, Helen Hogan, and starting a family while practicing law in Portland from 1950 to 1952; about serving as district attorney in Harney County from 1953 to 1955; and about practicing law again in Portland from 1956 to 1966. He also discusses his involvement in the Republican Party during this time period, as well as the Trumpeters; small-town life in Harney County; and the vice exposé published by the Oregonian newspaper and the political figures involved in the ensuing scandal.

Burns discusses serving on the Multnomah County Circuit Court from 1966 to 1972, and on the U.S. District Court of Oregon from 1972 until he took senior status in 1989. He talks about the history of the District Court and cases that came before him, including on topics such as environmental protection, particularly logging in national forests; Native American fishing rights; wiretapping; capital punishment; and conditions in prisons. He also talks about his colleagues on the courts: Owen Panner, James Redden, Otto Skopil, Helen Frye, Robert Belloni, Mike Hogan, Diarmuid O'Scannlain, and Ed Leavy. Burns discusses his duties as chief judge from 1979 to 1984; sentencing guidelines; plea bargains; law clerks; landmark Supreme Court cases; and the procedures of the District Court. He also describes his activities since taking senior status; his wife's career in medicine; and teaching at the judicial college in Reno, Nevada.

Burns, James M., 1924-

Oral history interview with Charles P. Duffy

This oral history interview with Charles P. Duffy was conducted by Sandra Duffy from May 20 to August 3, 1993. In this interview, Duffy discusses his family background and early life in Portland, Oregon; his service in the U.S. Army during World War II; and attending the University of Washington. He then discusses practicing law beginning in 1940. He describes arguing cases before judges James Alger Fee, Claude McColloch, and Gus Solomon. He describes some of the cases he worked on, particularly regarding tax laws. He also talks about arguing cases against U.S. attorneys; his involvement with various civic and social organizations; and his marriage to Patricia Ann McKenna and their children. He closes the interview by revisiting the topic of his family background and early life and discussing his retirement activities.

Duffy, Charles P. (Charles Patrick), 1915-2001

Oral history interview with Kernan H. Bagley

This oral history interview with Kernan H. Bagley was conducted by Brent E. Turvey from February 9 to March 17, 1993. In this interview, Bagley discusses his family background and early life on a farm near Portland, Oregon, particularly the experience of growing up black in a predominantly white area, as well as his early education and religious upbringing. He talks about the importance of role models for young African Americans, citing Multnomah County sheriff Don E. Clark as one of his own. He speaks at length about family and social values. He talks briefly about his college education; meeting his wife, Shirlene Peacher, and starting a family; and getting started in his law enforcement career. He discusses serving as a deputy Multnomah County sheriff and the discrimination he faced there. He then talks about serving as a U.S. marshal, the duties of the marshals, and the political process of his appointment to deputy U.S. marshal for the District of Oregon. He describes the popular perception of the U.S. marshals versus the reality; the process of prisoner transportation; and his thoughts on police brutality and the recent Rodney King video. He closes the interview by discussing the prison system, including its funding and effectiveness at rehabilitation.

Bagley, Kernan H., 1936-

Oral history interview with Charles E. Wright

This oral history interview with Charles E. Wright was conducted by Karen J. Park in the offices of Bullivant, Houser, and Bailey in Portland, Oregon, from April 29 to July 1, 1993. In this interview, Wright discusses his family background and early life in Portland, including his education, memories of World War I, social life, and working at First National Bank. He then discusses attending Yale, including his part-time jobs, his favorite subjects, and social life during Prohibition. He goes on to talk about attending Yale Law School. He describes some of his professors, including William O. Douglas, as well as some of his classmates. He talks about returning to Portland in 1933 and practicing law at Platt, Platt, Fales, Smith & Black, then later with the Bullivant firm in 1943. He describes the lawyers he worked with at the firms. He also talks about his marriage to Elisabeth Knowlton Strong and starting a family. He discusses working for the Securities and Exchange Commission in Seattle, Washington, from 1937 to 1943, including his frustration at the lenient sentences handed down for white-collar crimes. He also reflects on going to high school with Gus Solomon and on Solomon's later judicial career; passing the Oregon bar; and his involvement with the Portland Art Association. He speaks at length about practicing law at the Bullivant firm in Portland, including his clients, the firm's growth, and his interest in probate law. He also briefly talks about his feelings about the greater number of women practicing law since the women's movement of the 1960s and 1970s. He closes the interview by talking about his children and grandchildren, and his plans for the future.

Wright, Charles E. (Charles Edward Pares), 1906-1999

Oral history interview with Walter J. Cosgrave

This oral history interview with Walter J. Cosgrave was conducted by Timothy J. Coleman on November 26, 1993. In this interview, Cosgrave discusses his family background and early life in Calaveras County, California, including his education, childhood games, and the experience of being the son of the county sheriff. He the talks about moving to the San Francisco Bay Area and attending high school. He briefly discusses coming to Oregon and getting interested in the law.

Cosgrave, Walter J. (Walter John), 1910-1999

Oral history interview with Velma J. Jeremiah

This oral history interview with Velma J. Jeremiah was conducted by Youlee Yim You from February 19 to 26, 1994, and in 2006. In this interview, Jeremiah discusses her family background and early life in Eugene and Oregon City, Oregon, including her education and her memories of the Depression. She then talks about studying architecture at the University of Oregon from 1939 to 1940, and again briefly in 1941, as well as her dire financial situation. She describes her memories of World War II, including working at army camps in California, and rationing. She also talks about her marriage to Neil Jeremiah and living in Seattle, Washington, while he served in the Navy during World War II; starting an ill-fated business in San Francisco, California; and returning to Seattle after the war. She discusses Neil's teaching career, her own jobs, and their divorce in 1963.

Jeremiah discusses her decision to go to law school at the Northwestern College of Law in Portland. She then describes practicing law at Davies, Biggs, Strayer, Stoel & Boley, the firm now known as Stoel Rives, from 1975 to 1986, including some of the cases she tried, other women attorneys, and her retirement. She also discusses her involvement with the Oregon Bar Association, the Multnomah Bar Association, and the Queen's Bench. She briefly talks about some of the discrimination women faced in the law profession. She talks about her activities during her retirement, including travel, involvement with Mensa, and stand-up comedy. She also talks about jury duty; her son and his family; and playing piano.

In the second part of this interview, conducted on June 30, 2006, Jeremiah revisits some of the topics discussed earlier in 1994. She talks about taking the bar exam in 1968; professors at Northwestern College of Law; and the difficulties she faced trying to find a job as a woman lawyer. She then talks about working at Stoel Rives. She relates a few anecdotes about how women clients were sometimes treated by her male colleagues. She describes a typical workday at the law firm; early dress codes for women; and the partners of the firm. She talks about the support women lawyers in the firm gave to each other. She also discusses organizations she's been involved in, including NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and Mensa. She closes the interview by discussing her involvement with her condominium association.

Jeremiah, Velma J. (Velma Julia), 1921-2017

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-

Oral history interview with Herbert M. Schwab

This oral history interview with Herbert M. Schwab was conducted by John C. Beatty on January 17, 1994. In this interview, Schwab discusses his early life in Portland, Oregon. He discusses his early jobs and attending Northwestern College of Law. He also talks about his service in the U.S. Army Reserves in India during World War II under General George E. Stratemeyer. He then talks about practicing law in Portland from 1947 to 1959. He briefly discusses his other activities during that time, including serving on the Portland School Board. He talks about serving on the Multnomah County Circuit Court and the Oregon Court of Appeals. He briefly describes his fellow judges. He goes on to talk about his activities since his retirement in 1980, including serving on the Northwest Power Planning Council and as mayor of Cannon Beach. He closes the interview by talking about Governor Bob Straub, Monroe Sweetland, Dorothy McCullough Lee and Dick Neuberger.

Schwab, Herbert M., 1915-2005

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 courthouse in Portland, Oregon, from November 30, 1994, to January 14, 2002. The audio is incomplete; Tape 27 is missing as of 2015.

In this interview, Redden discusses his family background and early life in Massachusetts, including his memories of the Depression. He then talks about his Army service in the Pacific theater during World War II. He discusses his college experience at the Boston University College of Business Administration and the Boston College Law School, including his social life, his professors, and the evolution of his political views. He also talks about his marriage to Joan Johnson; his jobs after law school; and relocating to Oregon. He discusses practicing law in Medford, including some of the cases he tried and judges he argued before. He then talks about his involvement with the Democratic Party, including serving as central committee chair and his involvement in Oregon campaigns, particularly the 1960 Democratic presidential primary.

Redden discusses serving in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1962 to 1969. He describes each legislative session, including his campaigns; legislation that came up, including on pollution, insurance, electrical utilities, and taxes; and his fellow legislators, including Clarence Barton, Monte Montgomery, and Berkeley Lent. He also talks about balancing his legislative duties with his law practice and family life; working with lobbyists; and national politics contemporary to the interview in 1995. He also talks about the passage of the Beach Bill in 1967; his experience as a delegate to the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois; and his 1972 campaign for Oregon treasurer. He discusses serving as state treasurer from 1972 to 1976, including his duties and accomplishments. He then discusses serving as Oregon attorney general from 1977 to 1980, including his campaign and cases he prosecuted, particularly on Native American fishing rights.

Redden discusses serving as a judge on the U.S. District Court of Oregon from 1980 to 1995. He describes his appointment by President Jimmy Carter. He talks about his fellow judges, including Helen Frye and Owen Panner; the procedures of the court, particularly scheduling and the role of magistrate judges; and lawyers that argued before him. He discusses the selection and role of juries in federal court, as well as the increasing politicization of judicial appointments. He speaks at length about his role in and the background of The United States v. Loudhawk and the American Indian Movement. He closes the interview by discussing cases he heard regarding the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act in the late 1990s, and talking about his children, their careers, and their families.

Redden, James A.

Oral history interview with Hattie Bratzel Kremen

This oral history interview with Hattie Bratzel Kremen was conducted by Susan C. Glen from April 22 to June 10, 1995. In this interview, Bratzel Kremen discusses her family background and early life in Mulino, Gresham, Silverton and Salem, Oregon, including facing anti-German sentiment during World War I, working on the family orchard, and her education. She discusses the limited career opportunities open to women, her decision to pursue work as a secretary in law offices, and working as a court reporter. She then talks about attending Northwestern College of Law (which later became a part of Lewis & Clark College) at age 37, including her professors, her women classmates, and working full time as a court reporter while studying. She also describes serving as a court reporter for Judge James T. Brown at the Nuremberg Trials in 1947, as well as her travels around post-war Europe. She talks about her first race for the office of Marion County district attorney in 1951. She discusses practicing law in Salem, including representing mothers in custody cases. She then discusses her service as Marion County district attorney from 1956 to 1964, including cases she prosecuted and the long hours she kept. She briefly talks about her marriage to Leonard Kremen, as well as his family background and early life. She then discusses her return to private practice in 1964 and focusing largely on probate law. She closes the interview by talking about her travels.

Kremen, Hattie Bratzel, 1908-1996

Oral history interview with Helen J. Frye

  • SR 1249
  • Collection
  • 1981-03-19 - 1981-03-19

This oral history interview with Helen J. Frye was conducted by Linda Dodds in Frye's chambers in Portland, Oregon, on March 19, 1981. In this interview, Frye discusses her family background and early life on a farm in Klamath County, Oregon. She talks about the difficult experience of a huge change in her family situation as a child, when she was reunited with her mother and brother after having been raised entirely by her grandparents. She then discusses attending the University of Oregon, including influential professors, and meeting and marrying William Frye. She talks about raising a family and how postpartum depression drove her to start her teaching career. She also discusses her involvement in politics, including William Frye's political campaigns. She then talks about attending the University of Oregon law school in 1963, including other women in her class, balancing family life, and starting to practice law.

She describes becoming a judge for the Lane County Circuit Court, including her appointment by Governor Tom McCall and her later campaign. She talks about how her gender affected the way defendants perceived her. She also discusses how this new position affected her marriage and her divorce in 1975. She talks briefly about serving as a judge for the U.S. District Court of Oregon. She closes the interview by discussing her current family life in 1981 and her plans for the future.

Frye, Helen J. (Helen Jackson), 1930-

Oral history interview with Jack G. Collins

This oral history interview with Jack G. Collins was conducted by Bruce James on August 15, 1996. Additional interview sessions were planned, but were never conducted. In this interview, Collins discusses coming to Oregon in 1958 to become a law clerk for Oregon Supreme Court Justice Water Perry; studying for the Oregon bar exam; and working with Bob Packwood. He then speaks at length about his family background and early life in Waukegan, Illinois, including his education. He discusses his involvement with the Presbyterian Church; some of the cases he worked on as a lawyer in Salem, Oregon; and attending Princeton University while serving in the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps. He closes the interview by talking briefly about his naval service during the Korean War.

Collins, Jack G. (Jack Gore), 1930-2010

Oral history interview with Jack G. Collins

This oral history interview with Jack G. Collins was conducted by Sarah Ryan in 1998. In this interview, Collins discusses his family background and early life in Waukegan, Illinois, including working at the town's sewage treatment plant. He also discusses the family background of his wife, Janine Decker. He then discusses attending Princeton University, particularly his experiences in the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps. He also talks about serving in the Navy during the Korean War after graduation, from 1952 to 1954. He describes his and Janine Decker's courtship and later marriage. He speaks briefly about attending Harvard Law School. He then talks about relocating to Oregon, passing the Oregon bar, and working as a law clerk for Oregon Supreme Court Justice Walter Perry. He describes his fellow law clerks, as well as working on a draft of the Oregon Post-Conviction Hearing Act. He describes the careers of many of the lawyers he's known while in private law practice in Oregon. He also speaks at length about the kinds of cases he tried, including Revolutionary War land scrip cases.

Collins discusses his admiration for John F. Kennedy and becoming an assistant U.S. attorney in 1963. He talks about working under U.S. Attorney Sidney Lezak. He also discusses his family, salary, and living situation during this time period. He briefly shares his memories of the 1962 Columbus Day storm and the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. He talks about some of the cases he prosecuted, including cases on maritime matters and mail fraud. He describes becoming first assistant U.S. attorney and how his duties changed. He talks about cases he worked on as first assistant, including regarding foreclosures and urban renewal, pornography, and the environment. He speaks at length about protests against the Vietnam War and during the civil rights movement, and how the U.S. attorney's office handled related cases. He also talks about the planning of the Vortex music festival in 1970; the FBI investigation of Dan Cooper (also known as D.B. Cooper) and the hijacking of Flight 305 in 1971; and the bombing of the Bonneville towers by a man calling himself "Jayhawker" in 1974. He describes his secretaries. He talks about white-collar crime, civil rights enforcement, and the use of blue boxes for wire fraud. He also discusses Rajneeshpuram and several of the cases related to the activities of the Rajneeshees. He talks about the War on Drugs, which was ramped up under the George H.W. Bush administration, and some of the related cases he worked on. He describes fighting and investigating wildfires; his dealings with the Bonneville Power Administration and the Northwest Power Planning Council; and civil forfeiture. He also discusses Native American fishing rights.

Collins discusses his retirement in 1995, including his retirement party. He talks further about Janine, her career as a librarian, and her later diagnosis with Cushing's Disease. He then talks about his children, their families, and their careers. He talks about teaching administrative law at Lewis and Clark College and Portland State University, his involvement with the Korean United Presbyterian Church, and his stance on the legalization of marijuana. He closes the interview by reflecting on the changes in the way the U.S. attorney's office operates, his most difficult cases, and his admiration for some of the people he's worked with.

Collins, Jack G. (Jack Gore), 1930-2010

Oral history interview with Helen F. Althaus

This oral history interview with Helen F. Althaus was conducted by Mary Ellen Page Farr in Ashland, Oregon, from March 13, 1999, to February 19, 2000. In this interview, Althaus discusses her family background, particularly her family's history of civil rights activism, and her early life on a farm in Troutdale, Oregon, including her education, her interest in science, and her social life. She discusses her experiences as law clerk for Judge James Alger Fee, from 1947 to 1949. She talks about practicing law in Portland, Oregon, with the law firm King Miller, now known as Miller Nash, from 1953 to 1970, including some of the cases she argued and other women lawyers she worked with. She closes the interview by briefly discussing her work as deputy city attorney for Portland from 1949 to 1953.

Althaus, Helen F.

Oral history interview with Frederick H. Torp

This oral history interview with Frederick H. Torp was conducted by Brian Booth in the offices of Tonkon Torp LLC in Portland, Oregon, on December 28, 1998. In this interview, Torp discusses his family background and early life in New Jersey. He talks about attending Columbia College in New York City, including his family's financial difficulties during the Depression. He briefly discusses practicing law in New York before the advent of World War II. Torp then discusses his service in the Navy from 1942 to 1945, including acting as a lawyer in courts martial, and fighting in the Pacific Theater. He talks about joining the law firm of Hart Spencer, now known as Stoel Rives, in Portland, Oregon, in 1945, including the lawyers he worked with and his clients. He also talks about the 1954 termination of federal recognition of the Klamath Tribes and his involvement in some of the legal aspects of the termination. He discusses starting the law firm Tonkon Torp in 1974, including the lawyers he worked with. He talks about his children, their families, and their careers; his involvement with the Episcopal Church and other organizations; and his colleagues at the Hart Spencer firm. He closes the interview by talking about some of the judges on the U.S. District Court of Oregon, including Gus Solomon and James Alger Fee.

Torp, Frederick H., 1913-2003

Oral history interview with Jerome Kohlberg, Jr.

This oral history interview with Jerome Kohlberg, Jr. was conducted by Michael O'Rourke at the St. Regis Hotel in New York, New York, from May 19-20, 1999. In this interview, Kohlberg discusses his experiences as a law clerk for Judge Gus Solomon from 1952 to 1953, including some of the cases Solomon heard, and Solomon's commitment to helping Jewish lawyers. He also briefly describes many of the lawyers and judges he met while in Portland, Oregon. He then talks about returning to New York to practice law and his continued relationship with Gus Solomon and Libby Solomon. He speaks at length about purchasing Fred Meyer in 1981 through his investment firm, Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts (KKR & Co.), including his interactions with Fred G. Meyer, Oran B. Robertson, and Gerry Pratt. He closes the interview by briefly discussing how KKR has continued to manage Fred Meyer since its purchase.

Kohlberg, Jerome, Jr., 1925-2015

Oral history interview with Mercedes Deiz

  • SR 1256
  • Collection
  • 1981-02-05 - 1981-02-27

This oral history interview with Mercedes Deiz was conducted by Linda Dodds at the Multnomah County Courthouse in Portland, Oregon, from February 5-27, 1981. At the time of the interview, Linda Dodds' surname was Brody.

In this interview, Deiz discusses her family background and early life in New York, New York, including life in a large family, her experience during the Depression, and her education. She then talks about attending Hunter College in New York, and her marriage to, and later divorce from, Billy Owens. She discusses the reason she came to Oregon in 1949, and reflects on some of her civil rights activism in New York. She talks about her first impressions of Portland, including its social life and the racism she encountered. She discusses her civil rights activism in Oregon, and her work on public accommodation legislation. Deiz talks about working for the IRS, where she met Carl Deiz, as well as their subsequent marriage. She also often discusses the difficulty of finding affordable day care for her son. She talks about working at the law library at the Bonneville Power Administration, as a legal secretary for Graham Walker, and about attending the Northwestern College of Law. She then talks about failing to pass the bar on her first try. She describes some of the cases she tried and serving as a hearing officer in worker compensation cases. She then relates the story of being appointed to the U.S. District Court of Oregon by Governor Tom McCall. She discusses her campaign to hold that seat a few months later, as well as her campaign for a new position on the Oregon Circuit Court in 1972. She describes the kinds of cases she has heard on that bench, and press coverage. She closes the interview by discussing her involvement in various professional organizations.

Deiz, Mercedes F. L. (Mercedes Frances Lopez), 1917-2005

Oral history interview with Erskine B. Wood

This oral history interview with Erskine B. Wood was conducted by David Jacobson at Wood's home in Vancouver, Washington, on May 6, 1999. In this interview, Wood briefly discusses his family background and early life in Portland, Oregon, including fishing on the Columbia River, as well as his education at a boarding school in California. He then discusses his experiences at Harvard College and at Harvard Law School. He talks about his interest in admiralty law, as well as the admiralty law career of his grandfather, C.E.S. Wood. He then discusses how World War II affected his law practice, as well as some of the cases he worked on, and some of the judges he argued before. He talks about his children and his service in the Navy during World War II. He closes the interview by discussing the changes in Oregon and his hopes for the state's future.

Wood, Erskine B. (Erskine Biddle), 1911-2001

Oral history interview with Richard Bryson

  • SR 1258
  • Collection
  • 1990-03-14 - 1990-04-11

This oral history interview with Richard Bryson was conducted by Les M. Swanson, Jr. at Bryson's office in Eugene, Oregon, on March 14, 1990, and April 11, 1990. In this interview, Bryson discusses his family background and early life in Eugene, Oregon, including the law career of his father, Edwin R. Bryson, and grandfather, John R. Bryson; his education; and his interest in golf. He talks about studying law at Stanford University and the University of Oregon, including his professors and social life. He talks about his service in counterintelligence in Europe during World War II; joining his father's law firm after the war; and judges he argued before, including G.F. Skipworth and James Alger Fee. He talks about his clients, interesting cases, and the different law firms he has been a part of.

Bryson, A. Richard (Arthur Richard), 1916-1999

Oral history interview with Thomas Cooney

This oral history interview with Thomas Cooney was conducted by Lisa A. Kaner from October 17 to November 2, 2000. In this interview, Cooney discusses his family background and early life in Portland, Oregon, including his interest in drama and golf, and his memories of World War II. He then discusses attending the University of Portland, including being a cheerleader. He also briefly discusses his service in the Air Force during the Korean War. He relates several unfortunate incidents involving a pogo stick. He describes studying law at Willamette University, including his social life. He then talks about raising a family and coaching his son's basketball team. He describes getting started in law practice in Portland, Oregon, at MacGuire, Shields, Morrison, and Bailey, including several of the cases he tried. He then speaks at length about representing the Oregon Medical Association while a partner at Cooney & Crew and several of the malpractice suits he tried. He also relates several anecdotes about his life and being a lawyer.

Cooney, Thomas E., 1931-2015

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