12042 SE Sunnyside Rd

Suite 552

Clackamas, OR 97015





After serving as a pro tem judge in Clackamas County for several years, I was appointed by the Supreme Court to serve as a reference judge on the Clackamas County panel. A reference judge is a for-hire replacement for a circuit court judge and has authority to preside over all preliminary motions and show cause hearings, as well as the trial.

There are many good reasons to retain a reference judge. First and foremost, you have more control over the timing and length of your motion hearing or trial. In Clackamas County, for example, it can take many months to get on the long docket for family law cases that involve issues that will take more than thirty minutes to try. If a party is seeking temporary spousal and/or child support, or has not successfully mediated and resolved the terms of the parenting plan, a reference judge might very well be the answer to getting a more timely decision.

Additionally, sometimes you show up at the courthouse for trial only to discover the judge is double-booked and has to preside over the other case because it was filed first. With a reference judge, you are guaranteed to go to trial on the day it is scheduled.

Lastly, trying a case to a reference judge is usually a lot less stressful than appearing in court before a "stranger in a black robe." Hearings and trials involving a reference judge are not conducted at the courthouse and no one is wearing a black robe so the proceedings are somewhat less formal. There are also fewer surprises when you retain a reference judge because you get to choose who will serve in that capacity.