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Letter to the Editor: Lawyer’s concern

Lawyer’s concern

To the editor:

I believe I have tried more cases than any other lawyer in the judicial district over the past 60 years as prosecutor, defense lawyer and civil cases. (Including cases in a number of Oregon counties, federal courts in Oregon and Washington—and I have had one case go to the U.S. Supreme—which didn’t go to a hearing but was dismissed in my client’s favor (Wasco County School District 9)). I have also served as the president of the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association and was recently honored by them at the annual convention.

I do not try cases anymore, but having tried cases as a prosecutor and defense lawyer for Wasco County over 60 years I was surprised to read in your paper that the Wasco County District Attorney is filing affidavits of prejudice concerning Circuit Judge Janet Stauffer.

It caused me to take an informal poll by telephone of a majority of the attorneys in Wasco County. Not one agreed with the District Attorney’s position with respect to affidaviting Judge Stauffer in this fashion. I find it unpleasant that the District Attorney (my friend) puts his personal view above the interest of the legal processes for Wasco County. So do the majority of Wasco County attorneys. My view after taking an informal poll of Wasco County attorneys is that the District Attorney would be well advised to not continue to disrupt the legal process for Wasco County.

The cost to the county taxpayers is significant. Judge Wolf cannot handle criminal cases because his wife is a prosecutor in the district attorney’s office. Now that he is in a blanket fashion affidaviting Judge Stauffer, the county has to bring in substitute judges.

I am hoping that with Judge Crowley’s assistance this can be corrected.

M.D. Van Valkenburgh

The Dalles

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