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Lane County Circuit Court Judges

Judge Charles D. Carlson (541) 682-4257
Judge Charles Carlson was appointed to the bench in August 2002. He began his legal career as an assistant district attorney in 1980. In 1982 he entered private practice as an associate and then as a partner in the civil litigation law firm of Brown, Roseta, Long, McConville, Kilcullen & Carlson where his practice emphasis included forest fire, construction, product and legal malpractice cases. Judge Carlson is a former president of the Lane County Bar Association. In addition to his general trial assignment, he is the Court’s Civil Motion Judge, a member of the Ex Parte team, the Rules of Court Judge, and a member of both the 2nd Judicial District Commercial Court and the Oregon Complex Litigation Court. Judge Carlson is generally available for settlement conferences in civil, domestic relations and criminal cases on Monday afternoons.
 
Judge Cynthia Carlson (541) 682-4218
Prior to joining the bench in 1994, Judge Cynthia Carlson spent 15 years as a staff attorney in the office of Public Defender Services of Lane County, Inc. She is a past president of the Lane County Bar Association, past chair of the Governor’s Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Programs and past chair of the Oregon State Bar’s Affirmative Action Committee. The recipient of the 2001 OSB President’s Affirmative Action award, the 2003 Eugene Human rights Commissions’ MLK Jr. leadership award, and the 2006 City Club of Eugene’s Turtle award, Judge Carlson has a long history of service to the Lane County area.
 
Judge Suzanne Chanti (541) 682-4254
Judge Chanti joined the bench by appointment in February of 2010. Her career began in 1988 practicing general civil litigation with an emphasis on employment and personal injury law with the firm of Swanson and Walters. She was appointed by both Governor Roberts and Governor Kitzhaber to serve on the Oregon Disabilities Commission, and at the time of her appointment to the bench, she was a member and chair elect of the Oregon Professional Liability Fund Board of Directors. She is a well-known speaker on topics relating to employment law and civil litigation. Judge Chanti is currently the Vice President of the Oregon Association of Drug Court Professionals. Judge Chanti presides over the Adult and Veterans Treatment Courts, the Juvenile Drug court, and is also assigned to the juvenile delinquency and complex litigation dockets. She is available for settlement conferences.
 
Judge Curt Conover (541) 682-4497
Judge Conover was appointed to the Lane County bench in 2011 by Governor John Kitzhaber. Prior to his appointment, Judge Conover practiced both criminal and civil litigation throughout the state of Oregon for 23 years. Judge Conover has lived in Oregon since 1985 after graduating from California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo where he received a degree in Natural Resource Management. He graduated from Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon, in 1988 and began his legal career in Marion County District Attorney's office. He moved to Eugene where he was a prosecutor in Lane County and then left to begin his civil law career with the Eugene law firm of Jaqua & Wheatley, PC. For the past thirteen years, he worked in insurance defense with cases in many of Oregon's counties and sat pro-tem in both the Florence and Cottage Grove municipal courts.
  
Judge Lauren Holland (541) 682-4415
Judge Holland was elected to the Lane County bench in November, 1992.  In addition to hearing all manner of civil and criminal cases, she is the Lane County Probate Judge and a member of the Lane County Commercial Court where she presides over complex civil litigation cases.  She is also a member of the statewide Commercial Court. Judge Holland is a member of the Task Force on Protective Proceedings; Oregon Working Interdisciplinary Network of Guardian Stakeholders; and a member of the Coordinating Committee of the Oregon Association of Family and Conciliation Courts chapter.  She also serves on the Lane County Mediation Commission.  Judge Holland facilitates a Probate Mediation Clinic with law students from the University of Oregon School of Law on protective proceedings and other probate cases.
 
Judge Mustafa Kasubhai (541) 682-4256
Appointed to the bench by Governor Kulongoski in 2007, Judge Kasubhai previously worked as an active civil trial litigator specializing in tort litigation and worker compensation. In 2003, the governor nominated him to serve on the Workers’ Compensation Board, where his opinions of workplace injury litigation are published and available to the public. Currently Judge Kasubhai serves as a commissioner on the Oregon law Commission and is a member of the Oregon Board of Bar Examiners. Currently Judge Kasubhai is assigned to the show cause docket, as well as settlement conferences and general trial assignment.
 
Judge Valeri Love (541) 682-4753
Beginning her legal career as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Darryl L. Larson in 1995, Judge Love returned to the Circuit Court to serve on the bench in 2011 by appointment. Prior to her service with the court, she worked as a Deputy District Attorney for the Lane County District Attorney’s Office where she primarily handled domestic violence and financial fraud cases. Throughout her career, Judge Love has been involved with numerous organizations and activities including the Lane County Bar Association, Oregon Asian Pacific American Bar Association, and Oregon Women lawyers. Judge Love currently serves as the Juvenile Court Judge.
 
Judge Jay McAlpin (541) 682-4240
Judge McAlpin was appointed to the Circuit Court in 2012. After graduating from law school, Judge McAlpin worked as a law clerk in Lane County Circuit Court, a prosecutor in the Lane County District Attorney’s Office and as a civil defense attorney. He has tried numerous cases to juries in various counties throughout Oregon.
 
Judge Maurice Merten (541) 682-4258
Lane County's longest sitting Circuit Court judge, Judge Merten has served since 1975. He was a federal prosecutor handling organized crime cases before returning to Oregon to be the Chief Trial Deputy in the Lane County District Attorney's Office. Judge Merten is widely respected as a trial judge. He has been active for many years in new lawyer education programs for local attorneys. In addition to his general trial assignment, Judge Merten hears mental commitment proceedings and adoption matters and is also on the criminal team.
 
Judge Josephine "Jodie"  Mooney (541) 682-3601
Judge Mooney was appointed to the Bench in 2011. She was in private civil practice with the Eugene law firm of Calkins & Calkins from 1988-2005, followed by 7 years in the private healthcare industry. Judge Mooney served as a member of the Oregon Health Policy Board's Medical Liability Task Force in 2010. She is currently a member of the OSB Litigation Section Executive Committee as well as the Executive Board of the Oregon Circuit Court Judges Association. Judge Mooney hears all matters assigned from the general trial call docket as well as from those dockets specifically assigned to her from time to time. Judge Mooney is also available to assist at settlement conferences and to officiate at weddings. Click here for a copy of Judge Mooney's basic courtroom rules: "Trial Conduct & Courtroom Decorum."
 
Judge Karsten H. Rasmussen, Presiding Judge (541) 682-4253
Karsten H. Rasmussen has been a judge with the Lane County Circuit Court since 1999 and Presiding Judge since 2012.  Previously, Judge Rasmussen was the Court’s Civil Motions Judge, hearing hundreds of civil motions including dispositive motions for summary judgment and motions filed pursuant to ORCP 21. Judge Rasmussen graduated with a B.A. from the University of Oregon in 1978, Phi Beta Kappa, MA University of Chicago with honors 1980, and a J.D. from the University of Oregon School of Law in 1983.  He has been a member of the Oregon State Bar since 1983 and was a member of the Oregon State Senate from 1993 to 1995.  Currently Judge Rasmussen chairs the Chief Justice’s Work Group on Statewide Commercial Courts, as well as the Chief Justice’s Court Re-Engineering and Efficiencies Workgroup. He is a member of the statewide managing panel for the Oregon Complex Litigation Court and co-creator and member of the 2nd Judicial District Commercial Court. Judge Rasmussen is a past president of the Oregon Circuit Court Judges Association. He has adjudicated complex commercial matters in; personal injury, medical malpractice, land use, Indian gaming, mold, business, employment, and construction cases. He has held over 750 formal mediations where parties reached a successful resolution, including multi-million dollar settlements in major neonatal medical malpractice claims, products liability cases, and personal injury claims. Prior to joining the Circuit Court, he practiced civil litigation for 16 years throughout Oregon.  In addition to his many other duties, Judge Rasmussen teaches Oregon Civil Procedure and a legal history course at the University of Oregon School of Law.
Judge Clara L. Rigmaiden (541) 682-4250
Clara L. Rigmaiden is Lane County’s newest judge, appointed to the bench by Governor Kitzhaber in 2013. Judge Rigmaiden spent 12 years working with Public Defender Services of Lane County handling thousands of cases with increasingly limited resources. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from Boise State University and her Juris Doctor from the University of Oregon School of Law. Judge Rigmaiden has mentored middle school students, volunteered for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and served on the board for the Cascades Raptor Center. Alongside settlement conferences, Judge Rigmaiden is assigned to FED and Small Claims, as well as the Juvenile Court delinquency docket.
 
Judge Ilisa Rooke-Ley (541) 682-4300
Prior to her appointment and subsequent election to the bench in 2010, Judge Rooke-Ley served as a criminal defense lawyer for sixteen years. She worked as a lawyer for Public Defender Services of Lane County in Eugene for 14 years, representing adult criminal defendants, children in delinquency cases, and parties in dependency cases. She also worked at the Law Offices of Terri Wood in Eugene, and has served as a public defender in Miami, Florida. She currently serves on the board of directors for Relief Nursery and Sponsors, Inc., and has served on the board for a number of other local nonprofits, including Lane County Legal Aid, Eugene Human Rights Commission, and the Lane County Public Safety Coordinating Council. She earned her law degree from Nova Southeastern University Law School and her bachelor's degree from William Smith College.
 
Judge Debra K. Vogt (541) 682-4027
Judge Vogt was elected to the bench in November 2006. Judge Vogt graduated from Oregon State University with a philosophy degree before attending law school at Willamette University College of Law, graduating in 1994. After law school, Judge Vogt served as a judicial clerk before beginning her career with the Lane County District Attorney's office, where she spent over a decade as a Lane County Deputy District Attorney. In the DA's office, Judge Vogt handled every type and level of criminal prosecution, ending her career there as a member of the Major Crimes Division, focusing on the prosecution of major violent felonies and child sexual abuse. Judge Vogt is a past board member of the Lane County Bar Association as well as the Child Advocacy Center of Lane County (now known as "Kids' FIRST"). Judge Vogt is a recipient of the Oregon State Bar President's Public Service Award. Judge Vogt currently serves as a member of the Oregon Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability In addition to her general trial assignment, Judge Vogt is the Court's Chief Criminal Judge.
 
Judge Charles M. Zennaché (541) 682-4259
Judge Zennaché graduated from the University of Connecticut (B.S. 1983) and the University of Oregon School of Law (J.D. 1988, Order of the Coif).  He joined the bench in December 2007 after a 19-year legal career in Lane County. During his career, he practiced in a variety of areas, including municipal prosecution, municipal law, commercial litigation, commercial bankruptcy, civil rights, employment law and family law. He served on the executive committees of the Family Law Section and Debtor-Creditor Section of the Oregon State Bar. He also served as a member of the Eugene Police Commission and as chair of the Alternative Dispute Resolution subcommittee of the Lane County Bar Association. Judge Zennaché is currently a member of the Council on Court Procedure. He has served in leadership roles in several community organizations and currently serves on the board of the McKenzie River Trust. He is a frequent speaker on a variety of legal topics. In addition to handling general trial assignments, Judge Zennaché serves on the criminal team.