Mike McLane will soon be leaving behind the Oregon Capitol to fill a vacancy on the local circuit court bench.
Gov. Kate Brown announced Friday that she will appoint Rep. Mike McLane (R-Powell Butte) to the 22nd Judicial District Circuit Court, which covers Crook and Jefferson counties.
"It has been a privilege to serve in the House of Representatives and an absolute honor to get to represent my district," McLane said in a statement issued Friday. "I am looking forward to serving as a judge and wish nothing but the best to my colleagues in the House and Senate. I am grateful to Gov. Brown for her confidence in me to serve on the bench."
McLane, who lives in Powell Butte, has represented House District 55 since 2011 and was the Republican Leader of the House of Representatives from 2012 to 2018. He is a staff judge advocate in the Oregon Air National Guard, maintains a private business litigation practice, and, for two years, was a judge pro tempore on the Deschutes County Circuit Court.
"Rep. McLane is well-known in the Capitol for his sharp mind, personal integrity, and respect for the rule of law," Brown said. "While we haven't always seen eye-to-eye on policy, Mike's deep commitment to promoting the public good is never in doubt. These qualities have served the Oregon Legislature well and will now enrich our state court bench."
In a statement released shortly after the announcement, House Republican Leader Carl Wilson (R-Grants Pass), who succeeded McLane as Republic Leader, congratulated his long-time colleague in the legislature.
"We appreciate the leadership Mike demonstrated in the Oregon Legislature, as caucus leader, and representing the people of House District 55," Wilson said. "His boundless energy, intellect, candor and political acumen have benefitted everyone working in the Capitol. Both as a caucus leader, and mentor, Mike has improved the effectiveness of legislators on both sides of the aisle. His stirring and incisive speeches on significant issues of floor debate will be missed. However, we know his intelligence and integrity will serve him well in his new role on the bench."
McLane earned his law degree at Lewis and Clark Law School, finishing at the top of his class, and earning his bachelor's degree at Oregon State University. He began his career as a law clerk to Oregon Supreme Court Justice W. Michael Gillette, who is now retired.
He has worked at several firms, including the Portland-based firms Miller Nash Graham and Dunn LLP, and Stoel Rives LLP, as well as one of Central Oregon's oldest firms, Bryant, Emerson & Fitch, LLP. From 1994 to 2001. Currently, he is a partner at the firm Lynch Conger McLane LLP, in Bend, where he advises and litigates on behalf of business clients.
McLane is also a lieutenant colonel? in the Oregon Air National Guard, where he serves as a staff judge advocate. He was previously an officer in the 41st Infantry Brigade of the Oregon Army National Guard. In addition, he served as Chief Executive Officer of Flying Rhinoceros Inc., which he co-founded, a publisher of bilingual elementary curriculum materials and creator of a television cartoon series.
Brown appointed McLane to a vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Daniel J. Ahern earlier this year. The appointment is effective immediately, but he will be sworn in and begin his judicial service in July.
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