Skip to main content

Edwin Peterson

Distinguished Jurist in Residence

Headshot of Edwin Peterson

Contact Information

Salem Campus

245 Winter Street SE
Salem  Oregon  97301


A distinguished jurist in residence, Edwin Peterson is a retired chief justice of the Oregon Supreme Court.

He received a BS in music from the University of Oregon in 1951 and an LLB from the University of Oregon School of Law in 1957. From 1957-79, Peterson practiced law in Portland with the firm of Tooze, Kerr, Peterson, Marshall & Shenker, specializing in civil tort, insurance and business litigation. He served as an associate justice on the Oregon Supreme Court from 1979-93 and as chief justice from 1983-91. As chief justice, he oversaw a major reorganization of the state’s judiciary system.

Peterson and former Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace P. Carson Jr. JD'62 were co-recipients of the 1995 Drum Major for Justice Award. The justices were honored for their role in the creation of and work on the Judicial Department Task Force on Racial and Ethnic Issues in the Judicial System.

In 1998, he was chosen as the recipient of the Lewis F. Powell Jr. Award for Professionalism and Ethics by the National Inns of Court. The award was conferred in the Supreme Court of the United States.

In 2003, the Oregon State Bar/Oregon Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism created the Edwin J. Peterson Professionalism Award. Its first recipient was Justice Peterson.

Peterson is an active participant in the College of Law's Mentor Program. He has taught Insurance and Pretrial Civil Litigation.


  • LLB, University of Oregon, 1957
  • BS, University of Oregon, 1951
Willamette University

Faculty Support

Willamette University
College of Law
245 Winter Street SE
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.
(503) 370-6405