Willamette Law adjunct professor appointed to Oregon Supreme Court

by Sarah Bello,

Justice Chris Garrett, Willamette Law adjunct professor and former Oregon Court of Appeals judge, is the newest member of the Oregon Supreme Court. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced his appointment Dec. 24, and Garrett began his new job Jan. 1.

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Garrett replaced retiring Justice Rives Kistler. In a press release about the appointment, Gov. Brown praised Garrett for being “talented, thoughtful and even-keeled,” and bringing a “brilliant mind and collegial style” to the court.

In addition to his work at the Supreme Court, Garrett will continue to teach at Willamette Law, where Dean Curtis Bridgeman says he has been a wonderful contributor as both a mentor and a teacher.

“His Legislation and Regulation course is one of the more popular upper-level courses,” Bridgeman says. “The students praise his teaching both in class and outside of class, and he is known for his caring and approachable manner.”

A lifelong Oregonian, Garrett earned his undergraduate degree in political science from Reed College in 1996. He attended the University of Chicago Law School, graduating in 2000. Before his appointment to the Oregon Court of Appeals in 2013, Garrett practiced civil litigation privately with Portland firm Perkins Coie and served as a state representative for Lake Oswego and Southwest Portland.

While on the Appeals Court, Garrett wrote the decision in Klein v. Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, which upheld a $135,000 fine given to Aaron and Melissa Klein, bakery owners who declined to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

With his new position, Garrett doesn’t come into the job with any specific goals. Rather, he hopes to learn and listen to his colleagues.

“Over time, I hope to make the best contribution I can make to the development of law and administration of justice in the state.”

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