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Changes are afoot at the law office on Southwest Frontage Road in Estacada.

After more than 30 years in the position, Dave Kushner retired from practicing law this past December, and Joe Kaufman took over the practice.

Kushner plans to stay and help with office administration for several more months to continue to ease the transition.

Kushner has been one of Estacada’s leaders for many years.

After a 20 year career as a naval aviator, Kushner graduated from Lewis and Clark Law School in 1979. In addition to practicing real estate, transactional and family law, he served as the town’s municipal judge from 1982 to 2004, a position in which he held hearings for noncriminal traffic and code ordinance violations.

Kushner said he enjoyed interacting with people in this role.

“A lot of people didn’t bring lawyers with them, so I just dealt with people directly,” he recalled.

His favorite part of the job was conducting weddings.

“It was a civil service, but I always tried to work something personal into what I said so it would be more than a barebones speech,” he said.

Kushner said he had “a good run” while reflecting on his law career in Estacada.

“It’s been very satisfying,” he said. “I’ll miss working with people. I had a lot of good clients.”

Meanwhile, Kaufman has been splitting his time between the office on Southwest Frontage Road and his other office in Gladstone, where he’s practiced for six years. He said he’s eager to continue to create connections in Estacada.

“A lot of lawyers prefer to work in the big city, but this is more personal,” Kaufman said. “You really come to know your clients and neighbors.”

Kaufman graduated from Lewis and Clark Law School in 1987. Today, he focuses on business transactions, business planning and contract law.

“I specialize in helping people sell or acquire businesses, and helping them get started on the right foot with their new business and helping things go smoothly for them,” he said.

Kaufman is eager to expand his services to Estacada.

“I thought it would be a good way to expand on what I do, since I’m already established in Clackamas County,” he said.

Typically, Kaufman spends mornings in Gladstone and afternoons in Estacada, and he’s eager to help anyone who may need his services.

“I hope to help clients in a timely and relatively inexpensive manner,” he said.

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