Gov. Brown names Multnomah Co. judge to Oregon Supreme Court

Judge Adrienne Nelson

Oregon Governor Kate Brown said Tuesday she will name a Multnomah County trial judge to the state supreme court.

Judge Adrienne Nelson will be the first African American and the second woman of color to serve on the court.

Nelson has served on the Multnomah County Circuit Court since being appointed in 2006. She started her legal career with Multnomah Defenders Inc. in 1996 and worked at the Portland firm of Bennett, Hartman, Morris and Kaplan LLP, and as a senior attorney and coordinator of Student Legal and Mediation Services at Portland State University.

“Judge Nelson brings to our highest court an important, new voice and wealth of experience she has gained in twelve years on the trial bench," Brown said in a release.

Nelson grew up in Arkansas and attended the University of Arkansas before going to law school at the University of Texas.

She has been honored with the Multnomah Bar Association’s Award of Merit and the Oregon State Bar’s Diversity and Inclusion Award. In addition to numerous roles committees and commissions, Nelson sits on the Reed College Board of Trustees, the Girl Scouts Beyond Bars Advisory Board and is an adjunct professor at Lewis and Clark Law School.

"In addition to her work in the courtroom, she has made extraordinary strides to make the trial bench more receptive to the needs and experiences of diverse and underserved communities in our state,” Brown said. “Judge Nelson is a widely respected civil rights champion, whose perspective on the bench moves us closer to our shared vision of justice for all.”

Nelson will fill the vacancy on the bench created by the retirement of Justice Jack L. Landau, and her appointment is effective immediately.

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