I was recently listed by the governor’s office as a highly qualified candidate for judicial office. I began my legal career in Lincoln City in 1989. I have enjoyed the civil practice of law immensely over those 30 years. I currently litigate in all state and federal courts in Oregon.
I ran for judge in the 2018 primary. I remain gravely concerned that Lincoln County residents are unable to have their matters heard in a timely manner. I am also concerned, based upon my own experience, that our court’s decisions often do not explain how a decision has been made. Rather, it has been my experience – statewide – that parties requesting findings and conclusions often do not receive a neutral decision simply applying the facts to the law. I am committed to change that. Not with fancy words. Rather, by doing and leading by example.
My opinion is that people are not receiving findings and conclusions due largely to the expense of getting to trial, and because criminal matters take priority. During my time volunteering on the Judicial Administration Committee, we spent most of our time trying to find ways to better fund our state courts. The situation has worsened over the last decade. Our courts remain severely underfunded by our legislature. They remain among the most underfunded in our nation. It is a problem that has faced each of our Chief Justices over the last 30 years.
In order for our state to function for its people, persons with civil disputes need an effective, timely, and neutral venue in which to have their concerns heard — and resolved — in a timely manner. State courts are the primary access point for people to obtain a remedy from our government. That access point is becoming more and more inaccessible to working families and small businesses in Lincoln County.
It is my experience as a trial litigator and appellate advocate that our circuit courts are not providing access to that civil justice. I will use my 30 years of litigation experience and legal talent to fairly, completely, and timely adjudicate matters consistent with the requirements of our state constitution.
I ask for your vote. I look forward to bringing my substantial legal experience, integrity and fairness to the court in full service to the people of Lincoln County.
Russell L. Baldwin
~ Committee to Elect Russell Baldwin, Judge of the Circuit Court, District 17, Position 1 ~