W. Michael Gillette


‎I loved serving on the Oregon Supreme Court, but I enjoy helping real clients solve ‎their legal problems even more.

How I represent clients at Schwabe

Having served for nearly nine years on the Oregon Court of Appeals and 25 years on the Oregon ‎Supreme Court before joining Schwabe, I am the “go-to” person when any of my colleagues want ‎to know, “How would a judge be likely to react to this idea or argument?” Prior to that, I was the ‎State of Oregon’s chief appellate lawyer. Throughout the years, I have participated in thousands of ‎appeals and written hundreds of legal opinions.‎

I draw upon my extensive litigation background to assist other Schwabe attorneys concerning virtually any client legal ‎question that may arise. In addition, I provide focus in particular areas— administrative and government law, for ‎example—in which I have a personal background. I have taught administrative law, including rule-making and its ‎vulnerabilities to litigation, to judges at the National Judicial College for over 40 years. As a veteran appellate ‎practitioner, I have a lot of experience writing briefs and arguing appeals concerning the broadest possible range of ‎subjects. I have argued cases in the Oregon appellate courts, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. I have also achieved significant victories for clients in the judicial and lawyer-discipline contexts.‎


  • Assisted in litigation between a church and its national organization over who owns the land on which the church is built.
  • Assisted in litigation over whether a state agency can limit the uses of a publicly owned lake.
  • Assisted in litigation over whether a settlement in a divorce case is binding on the parties.
  • Assisted in litigation over whether a county can assert a tax lien on property owned by a port district.
  • Assisted in litigation over whether an automobile crash is the responsibility of the company whose owner was the driver.
  • Assisted in litigation over whether the legislature can make adjustments to the state’s public employee pension laws.
  • Assisted in litigation over whether the legislature may limit the size of a verdict in a case of negligence.
  • Assisted in an investigation of alleged wrongdoing by a city employee.


  • Harvard Law School, Juris Doctor degree (1966)
  • Whitman College, Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude (1963)


  • Federal District Court - District of Oregon
  • Federal District Court - District of Vermont
  • High Court of American Samoa
  • Oregon State Courts
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court


  • American Bar Association, Appellate, Administrative Law and Judicial Sections, Member
  • Oregon State Bar, Bar/Press Committee, Former Member
  • Oregon State Bar, Criminal Law Committee, Member
  • Oregon State Bar, Appellate Section, Member
  • Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Former Member, Board of Trustees


  • Lawdragon, recognized as one of the best judges in the United States
  • National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada, Payant award for outstanding teaching

Additional Events

Speaker, “Trial Tactics,” DRI Appellate Advocacy Seminar (2018)

Community Activities

  • Taught various legal subjects at law schools and colleges
  • Taught for over 30 years at the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada
  • Taught courses for administrative law judges (with his wife, Judge Toni Boone) in many states, including Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Texas, Nebraska, Colorado, North Carolina and Florida

Outside Interests

Golfing (badly), traveling with my wife, reading and baseball.

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