Tape 2, Side 1. This oral history interview with Bernard Jolles was conducted by Robert D. Bulkley at Jolles’ office in Portland, Oregon, from September 27, 1990, to April 22, 1991. In this interview, Jolles discusses his family background and early life in New York, including his Jewish upbringing and facing antisemitism; his education; and the Depression. He describes attending New York University and his growing interest in Marxism. He then discusses working in the New York Garment District and at the waterfront after graduation, and talks about his involvement with various unions. He describes being a communist during the height of the McCarthy era, as well as his reasons for leaving the Communist Party in 1956. Jolles discusses relocating to Oregon in 1957 and attending the Northwestern College of Law in Portland. He talks about working as an investigator for a personal injury lawyer after graduation and the trouble he had passing the bar exam due to his communist ties. He discusses his appeal to the Oregon Supreme Court of the Bar’s decision to reject him. Jolles discusses his career as a trial lawyer in Portland, including arguing cases before the federal and state courts, working with other lawyers, and some of the cases he tried. He briefly describes Judge Gus Solomon and other judges he argued before. He also discusses the types of cases he took, particularly those representing workers and labor unions. He talks about his own law firm, Jolles, Sokol, & Bernstein, formed in 1979; the changes in the profession over the decades; and his involvement with the A.C.L.U. and the Christic Institute. He closes the interview by talking about his involvement with the Oregon State Bar, including serving on the board of governors and as president.
Jolles, Bernard, 1928-