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Stoel Rives LLP
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Oral history interview with George D. Rives

This oral history interview with George D. Rives was conducted by William R. Long at Rives' home in Portland, Oregon, from October 7 to November 5, 2005. In this interview, Rives discusses his family background and early life in rural Kentucky, including his early education and life on a farm. He then talks about his experiences at Kentucky Wesleyan College and at Yale, including his part-time jobs; the culture shock he experienced when arriving in New Haven, Connecticut; and some of his professors. He speaks at length about practicing transportation law at Turney, Rives, and Turney in Washington, D.C., in the wake of the 1935 Motor Carrier Act. He describes his service as an officer in the Naval Air Transport Service during World War II. He then speaks at length about practicing transportation law at the Brobeck Firm in San Francisco, California, as well as representing manufacturing companies fighting utility rate increases. He then talks about working with Pacific Power and Light in the late 1950s, and how it led to his relocation to Portland, Oregon, to join the firm that would later be known as Stoel Rives. He discusses building the Stoel Rives firm and continuing to work with Pacific Power and Light. He also describes the firm's 1979 merger with the Davies Biggs law firm. He closes the interview by discussing his activities since his retirement in 1984, including a return to farm life and doing pro bono legal work.

Rives, George D. (George Douglas), 1915-2014

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 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