Newly retired Oregon Supreme Court Justice W. Michael Gillette has joined regional law firm Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt as a shareholder in the firm’s commercial litigation practice group. Gillette, who left the bench on December 31, 2010, served as an associate justice since 1986 following nine years as a judge on the Oregon State Court of Appeals.

“After spending the majority of my professional career in public service, I am looking forward to private practice at what I consider to be one of the most well-respected law firms in the Northwest,” said Gillette.

In addition to serving as a member of the firm’s commercial litigation group, Gillette will work closely with Schwabe shareholder Bill Crow to build the firm’s mediation and arbitration practice.

“Justice Gillette has written nearly 1,200 opinions and has been a member of the court, hearing and deciding many thousands more,” said Mark Long, Schwabe’s managing partner. “He has an unquestioned grasp of the law, and has seen cases of all shapes and sizes. This experience and his keen intellect will serve him exceedingly well in his role as an arbitrator and mediator.”

Gillette was appointed to the Oregon Supreme Court in 1986 by Governor Victor Atiyeh to fill the vacancy created when Justice Betty Roberts left the bench. Gillette was then elected to a full six-year term in 1986 and re-elected in 1992, 1998, and 2004. He opted not to run for a sixth term in 2010. In addition to serving on the two courts, Gillette was the Solicitor General for the State of Oregon, and was the Chief Trial Counsel for the Oregon Department of Justice.

Gillette is currently an instructor at the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada, and he was the 2006 recipient of the college’s Payant Award for Teaching Excellence. Justice Gillette is an adjunct professor of administrative law at Willamette University College of Law.

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