Judge Katherine WeberClackamas County Circuit Court
When you first encounter Judge Katherine Weber, newly appointed by Governor Kulongoski to the Clackamas County Circuit Court bench in January 2010, you immediately notice her enthusiasm and then the mass of curly red hair that frames her face. She is an avid bicyclist, known to tour the region with her husband, attorney Skip Winters, and her son. Though she works hard to achieve balance between her professional life and her family life, she makes it look easy.
I first met Judge Weber in 1999 when I joined the law firm of at Gevurtz, Menashe, et al. At that time, Judge Weber was an associate attorney diligently tackling the variety of issues that arise in a family law case while balancing the duties caring for the couple's 2-year-old son. Her energy is amazing. Not only did she tackle the demands of a busy law career and family life, she and her husband often spent their weekends, depending on the weather, touring the area by bicycle with their son in tow. As a group, they've completed many local rides and five Cycle Oregon tours.
Judge Weber graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1990 with a BA in political science and Spanish. She moved to Oregon in 1991 and enrolled in Willamette University College of Law, where she received her JD in 1994 along with a Certificate of Dispute Resolution. Weber worked for a couple of years for Linda Friedman Ramirez in Portland. She also worked with Multnomah Defenders, Inc, from 1995-1999 as a misdemeanor staff attorney before she came to work at Gevurtz, Menashe et al for two years, 1999-2001. Her experience at the firm provides her insight to the broad expanse of issues, both legal and emotional, raised in most family cases. Though family law offers many opportunities for courtroom appearances, she soon found she needed and wanted more litigation experiences.
Judge Weber opened up her sole practice in Clackamas County in 2001 focused on representing criminal defendants. Soon, she became a member of the Clackamas Indigent Defense Corporation, handling a sizeable court-appointed indigent caseload in Clackamas County. She also represented defendants in all level of homicide cases. After a few years, she became qualified as lead counsel on death penalty matters, in part, by working as "second chair" to criminal defense attorney, Tim Lyons, now deceased, in an aggravated murder case tried through the penalty phase in Multnomah county. She also handled manslaughter and murder cases in Multnomah, Clackamas and Umatilla counties. In addition, she continued to represent clients charged with DUII's, property crimes, domestic violence, person felony and sexual abuse. She also represented persons involved in stalking protective order and family abuse restraining order cases as well as defendants with serious mental health problems. Weber is quite comfortable and competent in the courtroom. As a litigator she was prepared and knowledgeable on the facts and the laws relevant to her clients.
Judge Weber knows how important it is to listen to others and when to ask a question or two. She is a professional with everyone she is in contact. Her strong negotiating and dispute resolution skills provide the ability to manage her courtroom and assist attorneys and litigants to resolve their issues in the presence of a fair and reasonable jurist.
It is apparent that Judge Weber understands that striving to achieve balance between her professional career and her private life is all important. She embodies the observations of Euripides: "The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us."
Written by Andrea Anderly and published in the July/August 2010 issue of the Multnomah Lawyer