Judge Henry Breithaupt

Oregon Tax Court

Henry was born in December 1947, in Portland. He attended Rose City Park Grade School and Ulysses S. Grant High School in Portland's northeast neighborhood.

Following high school, Henry did his undergraduate work at Pomona College, Claremont, California. A member of a fraternity, he navigated successfully the lures of the fraternity's cabin retreats and the Claremont Colleges' Friday afternoon meetings of the North Pitzer Wildlife Society (a Claremont tradition now known as "Wash" - the Friday afternoon meetings for students and faculty to wash away the troubles of the week, one cup at a time). He is a member of the class of 1970, and was elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa.

He worked his way through school, taking summer and school break jobs in a machine shop, a foundry, doing landscape construction, post office work and, in the early years, harvesting raspberries.

Henry attended the U of O School of Law starting in 1972. He graduated in 1975, first in his class. The U of O Law School is a member school of the Order of the Coif, and Henry became a member of the Order; it is awarded to the top 10 percent of the graduating class.

Following graduation, Henry was hired as an associate at the Miller Nash law firm.  In 1978, he moved to the firm of Rives Bonyhadi and Smith which, in 1979, morphed from its 20-lawyer size into a component of the Stoel Rives law firm. In 1981, he was made a partner of the firm. His practice focused on federal income taxation, state tax and business matters.

During his professional career as an attorney, Henry provided pro bono legal services to a variety of groups on organizational and charitable exemption issues, including the following entities: American Tinnitus Association, American Spina Bifida Association, New Song Russian Christian School of Music, Tongan Community Services, Portland Computer Training Institute, Center for the Study of Religion at PSU and the Portland Baroque Orchestra.

Breithaupt also served as a board member for DePaul Treatment Centers (1997 - 2001), Lutheran Family Services and OSB Tax Section (Executive Committee 1993). He also has been a reporter for Oregon Tax Matters, Committee on State Taxation, for Oregon ABA Bank and Thrift Institution Tax Bulletin (ended 2001) and served as a speaker and writer for continuing legal education programs and publications.

After The Hon. Carl Byers, Judge of the Oregon Tax Court, retired in April 2001, Henry was appointed to the vacant position by Governor John Kitzhaber. He was elected in the 2002 General Election to a six-year term beginning in January 2003.

The Oregon Tax Court was created by the Legislative Assembly in 1961 to provide a uniform application of tax laws statewide. Prior to its creation, these cases were heard in the circuit court of the various judicial districts. The Tax Court is a one-judge, special court that has exclusive, statewide jurisdiction of cases that involve Oregon's tax laws. Appeals from the Tax Court Judge's decisions go directly to the Supreme Court.

In addition to his Oregon Tax Court responsibility, Judge Breithaupt sits as a circuit court judge pro tem two to three days each month in Multnomah County. He also has served pro tem on the Oregon Court of Appeals.

Judge Breithaupt is an Adjunct Professor of Law at both Willamette University College of Law and Lewis & Clark Law School. At Willamette, Judge Breithaupt teaches courses in federal income taxation and state and local taxation. At Lewis & Clark, he serves as an Adjunct Faculty Member for the National Tax Moot Court Program. His other current law-related activities include membership on the executive committee of the OSB section on Constitutional Law, membership on the State Lawyer Assistance Committee, and volunteer work as a coach on the Grant High School Constitution Team.

Judge Breithaupt is married and has three children.

Originally authored by Doug Bray and printed in the September 2006 Multnomah Lawyer