Nena Cook is my choice for the Oregon Supreme Court

By Dick Schouten of Beaverton. Dick is a Washington County Commissioner and currently inactive member of Oregon and California Bar.

When deciding whom to support for election to the open seat on the Oregon Supreme Court, I looked at what the candidates would bring to the Court, and what would enhance the Court. I decided to support Nena Cook.

Nena has a broad range of legal experience, which I appreciate as a past-practicing lawyer. Early in her legal career she represented plaintiffs, unions and union members, and for the past several years has primarily represented small to medium sized businesses. Many of her clients are family-owned companies that have been part of our Oregon community for years, companies like West Coast Shoe in Scappoose, and P/M Industries located in Beaverton in my district. Companies like these are essential to economic growth, and Nena understands the legal complexities that challenge them.

Nena has been a Pro Tem Judge in Multnomah County for five years. Attorneys who have both gone up against Nena in court or appeared before her have endorsed her campaign. They know that she has a respect for the legal system and for all parties that are involved with it and the integrity to consider each case with an open mind. They know she'd make an excellent Supreme Court Justice.

The clincher for me in deciding to endorse Nena is her core values. Those values have guided her career and will inform how she looks at cases on the Court.

Throughout her career, Nena has focused her volunteer efforts helping low income people. She's been actively engaged with the Campaign for Equal Justice since 1995, and while she was President of the Oregon State Bar in 2005 she traveled to Washington D.C. with the Campaign to lobby for increased funding for the Legal Services Corporation. Nena served as a volunteer lawyer for the ACLU for several years, and also as a volunteer on a panel of lawyers who represent prisoners who allege violations of their civil rights. Nena also spent several years volunteering for the Metro Crisis Hot line where she took calls from people who were in danger from domestic abuse or who needed help finding housing to people who were in the midst of a mental health crisis.

Nena grew up in a family that didn't have much, and she's never forgotten the help that volunteer lawyers gave her family. Her authenticity and integrity, commitment to an accessible court system and legal experience all come together into a candidate who will make her an exceptional Supreme Court Justice.

I ask you to learn more about her and to join me in voting for Nena Cook for Oregon Supreme Court Justice.

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    I've appeared before Nena Cook when she's been a judge; I've won some and I've lost some, and on all occasions she has (a) shown a complete grasp of the case and the law, (b) has let the parties say their peace, and (c) articulated a smart answer to the questions presented.

    I've also been on opposite sides of Nena Cook as a lawyer, and on all occaions she has shown (a) great intelligence and experience, (b) exceptional advocacy skills, and (c) a steadfast desire to reach amicable resolutions of cases, where possible.

    Our Supreme Court has excellent judges from a variety of backgrounds. Nena Cook would make a great addition to the Court, and would bring diversity, background, and experience that would be of great value. The lawyers who appear before the Court, the parties whose disputes are resolved there, and the public that is governed by the Court's pronouncements, would be well-served if Nena Cook were on the Supreme Court.

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    My neighbor was Nena Cook's law school classmate and introduced me to her some time ago. I have been so impressed with Nena's intelligence, her professionalism, and her even temperament.

    She will be an outstanding Supreme Court justice.

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