Ore. trial lawyer to run for AG

Jessica M. Karmasek Jan. 17, 2012, 1:56pm


PORTLAND, Ore. (Legal Newsline) - Oregon trial lawyer Katherine Heekin says she is running for state attorney general.

Heekin made the announcement Thursday.

"I am running for attorney general because I value fairness, helping others, hard work, and public service," she said. "Oregon's attorney general should be a tireless advocate for the people of the state of Oregon.

"As a lawyer in Oregon for 17 years and a Certified Fraud Examiner, I bring with me a proven track record of fighting against fraud and abuse in both the private and public sector, being a champion for small businesses and individuals, and working to protect children from neglect and abuse."

Heekin is the founder of The Heekin Law Firm in Portland.

According to her campaign website, she has "dedicated her career to protecting small businesses and individuals."

Her clients include small, family-owned businesses, nonprofit organizations, small technology companies, builders, accountants and individuals.

"As Oregon's next attorney general, I look forward to being able to help far more Oregon families and small businesses than I can by running my own firm," Heekin said.

"Under my leadership the Department of Justice will seek justice for all Oregonians, working to protect families and Main Street by fighting against corporate fraud and abuse. And I will be a dedicated advocate for our most vulnerable, protecting them from exploitation and neglect."

Heekin graduated from Princeton University and the University of Oregon School of Law.

She started her legal career in Eugene as a legal clerk, and then joined the Frohnmayer Deatherage law firm in Medford.

After that, Heekin went to work for Keating, Jones, Bildstein and Hughes and then for Markowitz, Herbold, Glade and Mehlhaf, before forming her own firm in 2005.

On Thursday, Past President of the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association Dana Sullivan endorsed Heekin for attorney general.

"Having worked with Katherine, I can say with confidence that she is highly qualified to serve as Oregon's next attorney general," she said in a statement.

"She is bright, tenacious and pragmatic. She has an impressive track record as an advocate for individuals and small businesses. Her private-sector background and her own experience running a business will enhance her effectiveness as the state's top lawyer."

Heekin is the third person to join the race -- and the third Democrat.

On Wednesday, former U.S. Attorney Dwight Holton announced he was running for the office. He resigned from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Oregon earlier this month.

Also this month, former appeals court judge Ellen Rosenblum announced she also is seeking the job of Oregon's top lawyer.

Rosenblum, also a Democrat, practiced law for 14 years, including eight years as a federal prosecutor. She also has 22 years of experience as both an appellate and trial judge.

In October, current Attorney General John Kroger said he would not seek another term, citing an unspecified illness.

Kroger was elected attorney general in 2008 after winning the nominations of both Democratic and Republican parties. The GOP did not have a candidate of its own that year.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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