Adversity. And I find that the most interesting, driven, and successful people have overcome adversity. That, and I would like to thank my dysfunctional family for creating my patience and understanding for what my clients are often enduring when they come to my office. Many people are embarrassed to bring their family trust and estate drama to an attorney, but I help them deal with complicated and messy cases. It is an honor to help people stand up for themselves and their loved ones when they have been wronged.
2. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
The standard you walk past is the standard you accept. It’s a good reminder to speak your mind.
3. What is an issue that you think women should focus on in 2014?
Specifically in Oregon, women (and men) should actively support the passage of the Oregon Equal Rights Amendment Act. On November 4, 2014, vote YES for Measure 89: "Yes" vote amends the Oregon state constitution to prohibit state and any political subdivision from denying or abridging equality of rights under the law on account of sex. Twenty-two states have already passed an ERA, so Oregon needs to step up and set things rights. Learn more (and donate) at www.VoteERA.org.
4. The Queen’s Bench theme for 2014 is "Authentic Communication: Considering the Value of Including Diverse Perspectives”, what does this theme mean to you?
The constraints of tactical advantage and attorney-client privilege prohibit truly “authentic communication” for me in many circumstances such as the courtroom or negotiations. However, I do not avoid conflict or dissent, so I think it is important – nay, crucial – for people to be able to speak frankly BUT RESPECTFULLY about anything. Truly authentic communication is when you communicate even when you know not everybody in the room will agree with you.
5. What is your favorite movie?
Just recently watched a new movie: “’The Unbelievers' follows renowned scientists Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss across the globe as they speak publicly about the importance of science and reason in the modern world - encouraging others to cast off antiquated religious and politically motivated approaches toward important current issues.” I wouldn’t say it was my “favorite” movie, but it did make me look at something from a new perspective and I always find that to be exciting. My favorite movies are comedies though; I get enough drama at my day job.
6. What is the last book you read for pleasure?
“The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt. I joined a book club to force myself to read non-law related materials. It’s been a smashing success. When you can find a book club where people actually *read* the book and share their impressions and thoughts, then that’s a joyful experience.
7. What is something that you are proud of, that most people don't know about you?
Tough question. I consider myself fairly open, so I’m not hiding any deep dark secrets. Then again, even if I were, I wouldn’t share them with you; I’m a litigator so I’ve got to keep at least some of my cards hidden up my sleeve. J Plus, I only share my best secrets over a glass (or more) of wine, so I have to stay true to my values.