President’s Award Recipients

2019 Recipients

Jim Arneson
As a cooperating attorney on the OCDLA Strike Force, for answering the call on short notice, during the holidays, to assist an OCDLA member in need, for defending that member against the power of the state without pay or self-interest, and for showing our members they never stand alone.

Alyssa Bartholomew
For her spirited dedication in organizing the 2018 Winter Conference oral auction, for her imagination in creating extraordinary auction items such as Trail Blazers vs. the Warriors tickets, a stay in a Historic Steiner Cabin, and Skydiving for Two, and for her contagious enthusiasm before and during the auction, leading to a record-breaking fundraiser.

Nell Brown
For taking on the long shot: challenging a murder conviction in federal habeas corpus, for persevering with the case for over seven years’ of investigation, analysis and a belief in justice, and for refusing to back down, refusing to give up, and her absolute, unassuming grace in achieving a well-deserved victory and justice for an innocent man.

Rich Cremer
For his extraordinary dedication to building this organization since the beginning as member, OCDLA President, Board Member and NACDL Board Member, for being a major donor to the OCDLA Building Campaign dedicated to leaving a “home” for future generations of defense lawyers, and for his unflagging dedication to the principles of OCDLA and justice in his representation of the voiceless, serving as an example of excellence in criminal defense.

Sara Snyder
For being a fierce advocate on behalf of every person she represented, for refusing to give up — ever, for being a generous donor to OCDLA, and for inspiring us with her incredible dedication and zest for life.

2018 Recipients

Laura Graser — For her work as OCDLA representative on the Oregon Law Commission–sponsored Direct Appeals Work Group, which rewrote the statutes for direct criminal appeals, and as our mandamus expert. 

Michael Levine — For his pro bono work representing Brad Holbrook 
throughout his ultimately successful post conviction case. 

David T. McDonald — For his work behind the scenes with the Education Committee and our legislative efforts, For his encouragement to serve on the OCDLA Board and as an officer, and For his words of wisdom.

Matthew McHenry — For his pro bono work representing Brad Holbrook 
throughout his ultimately successful post conviction case.

Juvenile Appellate Division, Office of Public Defense Services — As it celebrates its 10th anniversary, this award is given to the lawyers of the Juvenile Appellate Division for their work developing juvenile dependency law.

2017 Recipients

Gail Meyer — For always thinking one step ahead and staying calm in the face of legislative firestorms and sinkholes, for having the vision to see solutions where others see problems and the stubborn persistence to keep the rest of us fighting for them, for being able to play both offense and defense with legislation, and managing to be well respected by all whichever you’re playing, and for being tenacious, well-informed, pragmatic, and a first-rate educator of legislators. 

Edie Rogoway — For standing up for the defenseless and holding those in positions of power accountable for the harm they cause, for spreading knowledge about immigration defense in person and online, recruiting defense lawyers to volunteer and teaching them they can make a difference, and for being a rock of strength and a beacon of hope for people subject to abuses of power.

Tracye May — For your diligence, patience and dedication, for grace under pressure and being the epitome of “never let them see you sweat,” even when projectors, video links and internet technology fail to perform as advertised, and for making the best berry pies on the planet.

Jennifer Root — For your careful (and kind) editing of Defense Attorney news articles and OCDLA publications, and your knack for making authors feel good about overhauls and changes, for always being professional and approachable, an unbelievably tough combination, and for keeping the spirit of the Grateful Dead alive and kicking.

Alene Sybrant — For being the woman behind the scenes, keeping the organization not just running but humming, for being cheerful and calm, both in person and on the phone, no matter what disasters are occurring in the background, and for enlisting the talents of your husband to fix whatever breaks in the office, for free.

2016 Recipients

Tony Bornstein — For pulling back the curtain and shining the light on the prosecution’s dirty tricks in closing argument, and for giving us the tools to fight back against uneven odds.

Elizabeth Baker — For her unflagging commitment to handling highly complex cases at contract rates across the state, and for her diplomacy, integrity and honesty in the courtroom and finding the “teachable moment” in response to judges’ queries they believe will remain rhetorical.

Bob Thuemmel — For tirelessly chairing the Executive Director Search Committee to steer us into the post-Potter future, and for the invention of our new member category, Honored Members.

Steve Sady — For refusing to accept things as they are, resulting in not one, not two, but three grants of federal clemency.

Laura Graser — For selflessly donating her time, resources, and knowledge to fight Mandamus, and for supporting all of us in our fight against injustice.

2015 Recipients

Shaun McCrea — For volunteering to challenge a Department of Justice subpoena to obtain OCDLA death penalty CLE material, for defending the privacy and integrity of the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Association’s educational purpose, and for securing a protective order against the Department of Justice for reproducing and disseminating the subpoena’d CLE materials.

Susan Elizabeth Reese — For her column, “Beautiful Words” – 25 years of stories from the trenches about cases that inspire, and for cases that end with the beautiful words, Not Guilty!

Angela Sherbo — For the thoughtful, persistent and careful advocacy of young people, and restoration of their lives, and for her passion, resilience and commitment never to give up on her clients even when all seems lost.

Barnes Ellis — For an unparalleled 45 years of volunteer service to public defense, for the steadying hand of leadership in the creation of Oregon’s first public defender office in 1971, and for the steadying hand of leadership in chairing Oregon’s independent, statewide public defense commission since 2001.

Rachel Negra, 1977–2015 — For her passionate advocacy for children and families who needed help negotiating the child welfare system, for her dedication to every case and every client, and for an optimism that was infectious and a world view that was sunny.

2014 Recipients

Tom Cronkrite — For service and dedication to the community of defenders in Oregon by helping bring a little bit of paradise into the lives of OCDLA members.

Pay Parity Committee — For exemplary service on the 2014 OCDLA Pay Parity Committee. For assembling, digesting and analyzing a mountain of data, weighing divergent opinions and producing a reasoned, forward-thinking approach to funding public defense in Oregon. Committee members are: Elizabeth J. C. Baker, Katherine O. Berger, Ann S. Christian, James Comstock, Eric J. Deitrick, Lynne A. Dickison, Douglas M. Engle, Caroline Meyer, Jennifer I. Nash, EveLyn A. Oldenkamp, Tom Sermak, Jon H. Weiner.

Riley Jones — For service to OCDLA that was often thankless, always performed graciously, and that opened our eyes to the value of a dedicated fundraiser.

2013 Recipients

David Angeli — For his leadership in advocacy and his commitment of time and effort to advance the goals of OCDLA in the 2013 Oregon Legislative Session.
Chris and Suzanna Hansen — For their laser-focused vision, financial generosity, and unflagging spirit that motivated and led OCDLA on a path to a permanent home.

Neal Weingart — For his leadership in advocacy and his commitment of time and effort to advance the goals of OCDLA in the 2013 Oregon Legislative Session.

Larry Matasar — For service on the Governor’s Commission on Public Safety and standing up to when the DAs put their Foote down.

2012 Recipients

Ryan Scott — For his dedication to the education of his compatriot criminal defense attorneys through his prolific contributions to the OCDLA Library of Defense and the Pond.

Eric Johansen — For his leadership on the creation and completion of the Post-Judgment and Extraordinary Remedies manual and his contributions to our community as a member of the OCDLA Board of Directors.

Bob Homan — For his 20-plus year commitment to the Legislative Committee, his guidance and leadership in the committee’s reconstitution, and for his long-term work on the Search and Seizure Manual. His contributions to OCDLA are too numerous to list; he is a pillar of the Oregon criminal defense community.

Katherine O. (“K.O.”) Berger — For her ongoing leadership and commitment to the Legislative Committee as a co-chair, her advocacy for juveniles and those accused of capital murder, and her commitment to the underprivileged.

David McDonald — For his tireless commitment to OCDLA and the Board of Directors, his leadership on the Building Campaign, and for his deep dedication to the betterment of our organization.

2011 Recipients

Ingrid Swenson — In gratitude for a career in service of justice for all.

Alex Bassos — For his advocacy on behalf of the most vulnerable, for his education of others on protecting the rights of the mentally ill, and for his dedicated service to the Oregon criminal defense community in the creation of the Library of Defense.

2010 Recipients

Mark Nelson
David McDonald

2009 Recipients

Ryan Scott
Kathie Berger

2008 Recipients

Stu Sugarman
Lee Berger
Susan Grabe 
Certificate of Appreciation: John Koskela

2007 Recipients

Dennis Balske
Kathie Berger
Kate Brown
Bob Homan
Steve Jacobson

2006 Recipients

Bob Thuemmel
Shaun McCrea
Tony Bornstein
John Potter
Judicial Service award to Wallace Carson

2005 Recipients

Kelly Skye 
John Hummel
Chris Hansen

2004 Recipients

Rich Wolf
Ann Christian
Belmont Law Center
Jane Claus & Vicki Sellin
David McDonald

2003 Recipients

Phil Margolin

2002 Recipients

Linda Friedman Ramirez
Jesse Barton

2001 Recipients

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
Per A. Ramfjord, 
Stephen Walters
William Long
Stoel Rives LLP 
Robert D. Newell

2001 Recipients

Ken Lerner
Ingrid Swenson

1999 Recipients

Ann Christian
Ingrid Swenson
David Orf
Jenifer Feinberg

1998 Recipients

Jennifer Ahlen
Katherine Osborn
Emily Simon
State Public Defenders Office
John Tyner
Dale A Rader (Lifetime Achievement Award)