Lynn Nakamoto replaces retiring Justice Virginia Linder

OREGON JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT - Oregon Court of Appeals Judge Lynn Nakamoto will be the first Asian Pacific American to serve on the Oregon Supreme Court.Gov. Kate Brown has appointed the first Asian Pacific American to serve on the Oregon Supreme Court.

Lynn R. Nakamoto, a Court of Appeals judge, succeeds Justice Virginia L. Linder, who is retiring.

Nakamoto has a background in equal rights advocacy, including writing an amicus brief on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union for a landmark case that helped secure benefits for Oregon same-sex domestic partners.

Brown on Monday also announced appointees for two seats on the Oregon Court of Appeals: Deschutes County Circuit Court Roger J. DeHoog and Scott A. Shorr, a managing shareholder at Portland law firm Stoll Berne.

DeHoog fills the Court of Appeals seat held by Nakamoto. Berne succeeds Chief Judge Rick Haselton, who also has retired.

The three appointees fill their new positions effective Jan. 1, according to a news release by the governor’s office.

First on state appellate court

Gov. Ted Kulongoski appointed Nakamoto to the Court of Appeals in January 2011 when Nakamoto was a managing shareholder at Portland law firm Markowitz Herbold, where she began working in 1989. That historic appointment made her the first Asian Pacific American from Oregon to serve on any state or federal appellate court.

She received her law degree from New York University’s School of Law and has been practicing law since 1985. She started her practice representing indigent clients, first at Bronx Legal Services in New York City in 1985, and then at Marion-Polk Legal Aid Service in Salem, beginning in 1987.

In 1998, Nakamoto, then an attorney with ACLU of Oregon, wrote an amicus “friend-of-the-court” brief on behalf of three lesbian couples that were denied domestic partnership benefits by their employers at OHSU.

The Court of Appeals ruled that the state constitution requires the government, including OHSU, to recognize same-sex domestic partnerships.

Nakamoto founded the Oregon Minority Lawyers Association and served on the Oregon State Bar’s Affirmative Action Committee. She also served on the board of the Q Center, an LGBTQ Community Center.

Second Asian Pacific American

OREGON JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT - Deschutes County Circuit Court Judge Roger J. DeHoogDeHoog will be the second Asian Pacific American to serve on the Oregon Court of Appeals. He also is the only judge on the Court of Appeals from outside the Willamette Valley, according to Gov. Brown’s office.

Gov. John Kitzhaber appointed DeHoog to the Deschutes County Circuit Court in 2012. He previously worked as a senior assistant attorney general in the Oregon Department of Justice’s special litigation unit. The unit handles major state litigation. Before joining the Department of Justice in 2008, he practiced as a private criminal and divorce attorney in Bend, starting in 2000. His career began at the Deschutes County Public Defender’s Office in 1993. He graduated with his law degree from the University of Oregon Law School.

'Top appellate lawyer'

STOLL BERNE LAW FIRM - Attorney Scott A. Shorr who has been appointed to the Oregon Court of AppealsShorr is regarded as “one of the state’s top appellate lawyers,” specializing in complex commercial litigation such as class action and securities fraud, according to the governor’s office. He has argued many cases before state appellate courts, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. He has practiced at Stoll Berne since 1996. He began his career as a law clerk for Oregon Supreme Court Justice Richard L. Unis. His law degree came from University of California Berkeley School of Law.

By Paris Achen
Portland Tribune Capital Bureau Reporter
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