We are fortunate in Oregon to elect our judges. Circuit Court Judges are not appointed for life, they are accountable to the people. This month we have an opportunity to choose a new judge. I am asking all of Lincoln County to join me in voting to elect Russ Baldwin as Circuit Court Judge.
A brief introduction. I’m an attorney since 2007. I practice throughout Oregon, but primarily in Lincoln County for the past 11 years. I live in Lincoln County, and I‘ve raised my family here. Many of you will know me from schools, sports (I coached soccer for years), scouts, or the courthouse. I have known Mr. Baldwin since I first came to town. He has always been a friendly face, a thoughtful ear, and an extremely intelligent attorney. I have appeared before Ms. Bachart thousands of times. I’ve had dozens of full jury trials, 100s of criminal case, commitments, divorces, lawsuits and countless status hearings.
When I needed a lawyer for a civil matter, I hired Baldwin because he’s the best. I was up against the power and resources of the state. With Baldwin’s zealous representation and knowledge of the law; constitutional, statutory, and procedural, the matter was resolved in my favor. Baldwin has spent his career representing people, being that knight in shining armor when someone needed a hero. Mr. Baldwin is not beholden to the usual power brokers in Lincoln County. Elections allow us to choose our judges. Mr. Baldwin will bring integrity, honesty, and most importantly independence to the bench. All admirable qualities for a new judge.
I follow the news. There are some absurd claims in these letters to the editor that need to be rebutted.
One writer says she does not know any trial attorneys that think Ms. Bachart is not an extraordinary judge or can honestly say she is anything but fair. Well, allow me to introduce myself: David Beal, trial attorney. Oregon law allows for a judge to be removed from a case with the filing of an affidavit from a party or attorney. For the past several years, on each case assigned to Ms. Bachart, I have signed a sworn statement and filed it with the court that I do not believe ANY party can get a fair hearing before her. I sign these personally, as an officer of the court, and do not take it lightly. I’m not the only attorney in town to file these affidavits removing Ms. Bachart from cases, but I’ll let other attorneys speak for themselves. Anyone who draws Ms. Bachart as their judge should consider removing her, the affidavit needs to be filed timely. Public Attorneys have been taken off cases in this county for filing these affidavits (and thus taught a lesson). So be sure to address this with your lawyer right away; they may not want to discuss this topic unless you bring it up.
Another writer states “Judge Bachart does not create bad case law. I invite that writer to run a quick search on the appeals cases. I count 30 times the Court of Appeals has visited a Bachart ruling. That is nearly 3 times the number of appellate opinions for Judge Branford in the same time. Three times as many. More troubling is NONE of the appeals on Bachart was it the prosecution appealing. It was always the defense appealing. 25 of these 30 opinions are reversals. Most of these reversals were for illegal sentences or not allowing the defense to make legal arguments. I can provide a list of all appeals cases I found, it’s possible I missed some, not all cases name the judge. State v. Prange was my first trial. It’s an interesting read on how she runs her courtroom
We are fortunate in Oregon to elect our judges. Elections are an opportunity for us to hold judges accountable. I enthusiastically endorse Russ Baldwin for Judge!