Gov. Brown pick gives Oregon high court first female majority

Rebecca Duncan will move up from Court of Appeals

SALEM, Ore. - Governor Kate Brown announced Wednesday she will appoint Rebecca A. Duncan to the Oregon Supreme Court. Judge Duncan will be the seven-person court’s fourth woman member, making the court a majority of women for the first time in state history.

Judge Duncan currently sits on the Oregon Court of Appeals and will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice David V. Brewer. The appointment will be effective immediately after Justice Brewer retires on June 30.

“No one is better suited than Becky Duncan to this historic appointment,” Brown said.  “Throughout her career, Becky Duncan has been a model of intellectual rigor and professionalism.  Her experience representing the accused first as a trial lawyer and then as an appellate advocate will be of great value to the High Court. As a judge, Becky Duncan has earned a reputation for fairness and sensitivity to the needs of vulnerable litigants.”
Judge Duncan, who was appointed to the Court of Appeals in January 2010 by Governor Kulongoski, is the only member of Oregon’s appellate courts who was a career public defender prior to her judicial service. Before her appointment to the Court of Appeals,

Judge Duncan held the position of Assistant Chief Defender in the Office of Public Defense Services. Before joining the Appellate Division of the Office of Public Defense Services in 2000, Judge Duncan served as a trial attorney with the Metropolitan Public Defender in both Washington and Multnomah counties. Judge Duncan received a bachelor’s degree from University of Wisconsin-Madison and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.
Governor Brown, who previously appointed two women to the court, said she appreciates Justice Brewer’s service to Oregon.

“David Brewer is the consummate statesman,” Brown said. "His contributions to the work of the Oregon Supreme Court will be sorely missed. It is my deep and abiding hope that David Brewer will continue his public service to our state in judicial retirement.”

Brown also announced that she will fill the vacancy on the Oregon Court of Appeals created by Judge Duncan's elevation by appointment.  In filling this vacancy, she will utilize the existing pool of applicants seeking to fill other vacancies on that court.

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