Name and location of repository
Level of description
Oral history interview with Robert A. Leedy
- 1994-09-10 - 1994-10-01 (Creation)
.1 cubic feet; 5 audiocassettes (4 hr., 45 min., 32 sec.)
Name of creator
Robert Allan Leedy, Sr. was born in Portland, Oregon, in 1909. He graduated from the University of Oregon Law School in 1933. He and Annapauline Rea were married in 1935; they later had two children. He practiced law in Portland, and in 1950, he co-founded the law firm Barzee, Leedy & Keane. He also served as U.S. commissioner for the U.S. District Court of Oregon from 1943 to 1956. He was also active in the Oregon State Bar, serving as secretary for the board of bar examiners, serving on the board of governors, and serving as president from 1952 to 1953. He also served as a chancellor for the Episcopal Diocese of Oregon. In 1971, he joined the Portland law firm Bullivant, Houser & Bailey, retiring in 1985. He died in 2001.
Name of creator
Katherine Huff O'Neil was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1938. She attended Stanford University, and spent her junior year abroad at the University of Geneva in Switzerland. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in political science in 1960. She worked for the Young Republican Division of the Republican Party in Washington, D.C., until she was accepted to the Harvard University Law School. At Harvard, she met Mike O'Neil, and they married in 1961; they later had two children. After one year at Harvard, O'Neil dropped out and began raising a family. In 1964, the young family moved to Tigard, Oregon, and Mike O'Neil practiced law in Portland. Katherine Huff O'Neil worked as a correspondent for the Community Press and the Oregonian newspaper. She returned to school in 1974, studying law at Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College and graduating in 1977. In 1975, she and Mike O'Neil divorced. She practiced law in Portland, Oregon, and in 1982, she met John Paul Toby Graff when they both worked at the Schwabe law firm. Together, they formed the law firm Graff & O'Neil in 1986. O'Neil was a founding member of Oregon Women Lawyers. She served as a pro-tem judge on the Multnomah County Circuit Court, argued cases in state and federal courts as a trial and appellate lawyer, and held a seat on the American Bar Association House of Delegates. She was also chair of the Oregon lawyer representatives to the Judicial Conference of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
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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.
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Conditions governing access
Access to a section of Tape 5, Side 2, of this interview is restricted until January 1, 2021. The publicly available transcript and audio have been edited to reflect the restriction. The remainder of the audio and transcript are open for research.
Conditions governing reproduction
Joint copyright for this interview is held by the Oregon Historical Society and the U.S. District Court of Oregon Historical Society. Use is allowed according to the following statement: In Copyright – Educational Use Permitted, http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC-EDU/1.0/
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Preferred citation: Oral history interview with Robert A. Leedy, by Anna J. Brown and Katherine H. O'Neil, SR 1240, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.
Forms part of the United States District Court Oral History Project.
Incomplete transcript (92 pages), handwritten index (7 pages), and photograph (black and white) are available for in-person use at the Oregon Historical Society Research Library.
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Finding aid based on DACS (Describing Archives: A Content Standard), 2nd Edition.