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The Honorable Martha L. Walters

The Honorable Martha L. Walters joined the Oregon Supreme Court as an Associate Justice in October 2006.

Before joining the court, Justice Walters practiced law for almost 30 years, emphasizing employment law and civil litigation as well as general civil practice. She

  • practiced law in Eugene with Walters Romm Chanti & Dickens, P.C. and its predecessor firms (1985 - 2006), serving as firm president (1992 - 2006) and secretary (2004 - 06)
  • practiced law in Eugene with Harrang, Swanson, Long & Wilkinson, P.C. and its predecessor firms (1977 - 85)

In 2007after four years in other leadership positions, Justice Walters was elected to a two-year term as the first woman president of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. She joined the Conference of more than 300 members in 1992 as one of Oregon's four commissioners. The Commission is a nonprofit organization that has worked to make state laws more uniform since 1892. All Commissioners are lawyers; none is paid for this work.

A member of the Oregon State Bar since 1977, Justice Walters has served in leadership positions and on many bar committees and task forces as well, including the following:

Oregon State Bar

    • Professional Liability Policies and Procedures Task Force (1998 - 2000)
    • Civil Legal Services Task Force (1995)
    • Uniform Civil Jury Instructions Committee (1994 - 97)
    • Disciplinary Board 1989 - 94, Region 2 Chair 1991 - 94)
    • Canon 7 Committee (1988) (on professional conduct rules for lawyers)
    • Dispute Resolution Committee (1985 - 88)
    • Judicial Administration Committee (1980 - 82)

Lane County Bar

    • President, (1992 - 93)
    • President-Elect, Lane County Bar Association (1991 - 92)
    • Secretary/Treasurer, Lane County Bar Association (1990-91)
    • Board, Lane County Bar Association (1988-90)
    • Chair, Lance County Circuit Court Committee (1987 - 88)
    • Lane County Local Professional Responsibility Committee
    • Lane County Women Lawyers (1981 - present)

Other Professional Legal and Service Organizations

National

    • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers (1999 - present)
    • Oregon Commissioner, National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State laws (1992 - present; Executive Committee chair, 2005 - 2007; President 2007 - 09)
    • Member, American Law Institute (2004 - present)
    • Fellow, Fellows of the American Bar Foundation (1998 - present)
    • Member, Federal Bar Association (1995 - present)
    • Member, National Employment Lawyers Association (1992 - present)
    • Member, Judicial Conference of the Ninth Circuit (1992 - 95)

Oregon

    • Commissioner, Oregon Law Commission (2003 - 2006)
    • Member, Oregon Women Lawyers (1994 - present)
    • Oregon Trial Lawyers Association, Board of Governors (1993 - 96)
    • Uniform Trial Court Rules Committee (1984 - 86) (an Oregon Judicial Department committee that includes 5 general-practice lawyers appointed by the Chief Justice)

Community

    • Board of Directors, Direction Service (nonprofit family-support agency (1998 - present)
    • Southern District of Oregon Lawyers Committee, ACLU of Oregon (1983 - present)

Justice Walters is a regular speaker, instructor, and author on the law and law improvement, including teaching law school classes, speaking at continuing legal education programs, and teaching for the Sakhalin/Oregon Rule of Law partnership.

University of Oregon School of Law

    • Advanced Torts (2000 - 05)
    • Small Business Clinic Class (2004)
    • Seminar, Trial Panel, conducted jointly with Federal Bar Association and Lane County Bar Association (2004)
    • Trial Practice Workshop (1999)
    • Trial Advocacy Workshop (1989)
    • Insurance (Adjunct Professor 1986)

Continuing Education and Other Professional Conferences

    • Sakhalin Oregon Justice College, Oregon Judicial Department Education & Training (2003)
    • Oregon State Bar -- Alternative Dispute Resolution (2003); PGA Tour, Inc. v. Martin (2002 Annual Meeting)
    • University of Oregon Women's Forum (2003)
    • Council on Education Management Seminar -- Managing the Confusing Overlap of Workers' compensation with FMLA and ADA (2002)
    • Oregon Women Lawyers Seminar -- Women in Litigation "Real Life, Real Lawyers, Really Worth It" (2002)
    • Lane County Bar Association New Lawyers Seminar on Employment Law and the ADA Process -- Nuts and Bolts of BOLI and EEOC (2002)
    • Lane County Women Lawyers (2002)

Justice Walters also writes professional articles on the law, including a 2002 article that she co-authored for the Brandeis Law Journal --  "When the Only Way to Equal is to Acknowledge the Difference: PGA Tour, Inc., v. Martin."

Justice Walters was born in 1950, and grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She graduated from the University of Michigan with distinction (B.A., 1972) and the University of Oregon School of Law (JD 1977; Order of the Coif).