Kroger passes Oregon bar exam; clears path to AG race

Today's the day that the Oregon State Bar announces who passed the bar exam in July.

Among the folks that took the state bar exam in July? John Kroger, the Lewis & Clark law professor expected to run for Attorney General.

According to the results posted today by the state bar, Kroger passed. (Congratulations!)

Until today, Kroger had only been a member of the Connecticut Bar, and admitted to practice before the Second and Third Circuits (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, etc.)

Kroger, a Democrat, is expected to announce his campaign later this month. Previously, Kroger was profiled by BlueOregon contributors Andrew Simon and Steve Novick.

Rep. Greg Macpherson (D) has already announced his candidacy.


  • Go JK (unverified)

    Was there ever any doubt??

  • Big Barton (unverified)

    Kathleen Sullivan failed the California bar exam in 2005, shortly after she stepped down as Dean of Stanford Law.

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    The California bar is notoriously brutal. Here's a good peek at bar exam difficulty and strategies in choosing which bar to take.

    I was not at all worried about John passing, of course, but I'm pleased and happy for him that he did. It's been 22 years since I took a bar exam but I still got some mini-flashbacks today when I stood by as a colleague of mine clicked on the Oregon Bar link and found out that she had passed. (In my day, we had to make a phone call to a line that was constantly busy!) It's an experience that can mark you for life. Congrats John! May you never need to take another one.

  • Question (unverified)

    When did Greg Macpherson pass the bar?

  • Oregon Lawyer (unverified)

    Greg was admitted to the Oregon State Bar in 1975 (you can tell by looking up a member's bar number on the OSB website -- the first two digits are the year in which the member was admitted).

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    The year of bar admission and the year of passing the exam may not be exactly the same. I passed in '79 but was not sworn in until early '80 -- hence a bar number starting with 80.

    Having passed the California and Oregon bars, I can testify that they each have their peculiar difficulties -- for example, Oregon the number of subjects that could be tested on, and California the length and difficulty of the questions themselves. The California passage rates are lower in part because that state allows students from unaccredited law schools to take the test. Washington State, which has its own unusual format, undoubtedly presents its own challenges.

    They're all tough.

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    BTW, Kroger could have written and graded the exam, much less passing it.

  • PG (unverified)

    Welcome to the Oregon Bar and welcome to Oregon for that matter. Kroger just moved here only a few years ago and now he's running for Attorney General? I don't care how smart he is, it's still a bit presumptuous. Look for large amounts of NY cash to start flowing in his direction....

  • Sen. Vicki Walker (unverified)

    Hmmm...last I looked Chapter 249 has the following requirements for AG: must be 18 years old, must be registered within your political party for 180 days, and you must pay the requisite filing fee or file by prospective petition. The only thing presumptuous about John Kroger is that he's interested in getting the bad guys, fighting meth, protecting children, protecting consumers, and defending civil rights and victim's rights. He has a great track record...Oregon is lucky to have him! Go, John!

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    PG for your information:

    John Kroger's Bio

    Federal Prosecutor Presidential Advisor Convicted Eron Executives Convicted two mafia captains of multiple murders Won prize as best teacher at Lewis and Clark voted by students

    He's also worked for Sen. Chuck Schumer Former Marine serving in elite special operations unit

  • Oregon Lawyer (unverified)

    What Kroger is very good at is self-promotion, that's clear. But the Oregon Attorney General needs to know Oregon law. Kroger doesn't seem very interested in Oregon law.

    The credentials listed by Paulie are overstated. As far as I know, Kroger has not convicted a single Enron defendent. He was only involved in getting a few indictments and didn't stick around for the prosecution. None of those he was involved in indicting (again, as far as I know) has been convicted.

    And "best teacher" at Lewis and Clark? Give me a break. Those of us who went to law school know what that means. One of Kroger's students told me that Kroger was popular because he was viewed as "cool," but that students who asked him substantive questions were just blown off. She found him cocky and arrogant and lacking in substance.

    As for his being smart, so what? We don't have other smart lawyers in Oregon? It takes more than that to be Attorney General, and I don't see any of those other qualities in Kroger. All I see is an overconfident opportunist who thinks Oregon needs a Connecticut lawyer to ride into town and "clean up" our state for us.

    No, thanks.

  • John Kroger (unverified)

    Just so the facts are straight:

    The Justice Department asked me to take a leave of absence from teaching at Lewis & Clark in 2002 and 2003 to help run the Enron investigation, which was just starting. I agreed to do so because I thought it was my duty. I worked on several different parts of the case, but I supervised the investigation of Enron Broadband Services. That investigation led to eight indictments. Four of the eight cases were completed after I returned to Oregon, and the Justice Department won three out of four, convicting CEO Jeff Skilling, Broadband CEO Ken Rice, and Broadband chief operating officer Kevin Hannon for lying to investors about the broadband business (with Skilling, of course, convicted for broader crimes as well). All three are now in prison. A fourth defendant was acquitted by a jury, a result I respect. That's why we have juries, after all. Four cases are pending. They have been hard-fought, and the outcome remains uncertain. Those charged are, of course, innocent until proven guilty. I am proud of the work I did on the case.

  • Dan Bennett (unverified)

    I don't want to let "Oregon Lawyer's" comment's about John Kroger's teaching to pass unremarked on. I took two classes taught by Prof. Kroger at Lewis and Clark, and his popularity as a teacher is well deserved. It is insulting to claim that the Lewis and Clark Law School class of 2007, of which I am a member, chose to award the Leo Levenson teaching award to professor Kroger because we thought he was "cool." Law students are a tough group to please and Kroger won a lot of respect for his solid teaching ability. As far as acting cocky and arrogant and blowing off students who ask questions, I never experience anything like that sort of behavior.

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    Oregon Lawyer:

    Oregon voters are interested in picking the best person for the job and it's cheap to suggest otherwise. I think that once we take a look at the records of the candidates, we'll find that John Kroger is qualified, effective and talented.

    Do we care if the candidate is from Oregon? Do we want to play a who-has-been-here-the-longest game?

    Our Governor is from Missouri, our Attorney General is from Mississippi, our Secretary of State and Labor Commissioner are from Illinois and our Superintendent of Public Instruction is from California. (Source: Oregon Blue Book)

    Are they any less committed to serving the people of Oregon?

    And if you think Kroger moved to Oregon to run for AG, you're just plain wrong. I don't speak for him or his campaign but I know that he moved here because 1. He loves Oregon and 2. He got a job here. Sounds like most of the rest of us.

  • Night Student (unverified)

    I will second Dan's comments. I was fortunate to have Prof. Kroger for Criminal Procedure this past Spring. He is tough and expects a lot from his students, but he is also extremely engaging and passionate about what he teaches.

    "Cocky and arrogant"? There's no doubt he's got swagger and confidence, pretty much what you would expect from an ex-Marine who graduated Magna cum Laude from Harvard Law. "Completely lacking in substance"? You've got to be kidding me. I'm guessing that Oregon Lawyer's source never stepped foot in Kroger's classroom (or else is making stuff up because he/she got a bad grade).

    The bottom line is that the guy knows his shit, and is an extraordinarily effective professor.

  • Jonathan (unverified)

    It is too bad to hear nativist arguments masking debate on important political issues facing this state. As an Oregonian (though not born here) I look to find the most qualified individual for the position I vote for. There are enough important issues in todays world that I find it depressing when individuals attempt to lower the political debate in this state to the question, "who is more of a Oregonian?" and then attempt to define Oregonian based on genealogy. There are some amazing Democratic candidates running for office from the Oregon house up to the White House and the debate on issues that needs to happen within the party should not be lost to nativist politics.

    I am currently a student at Lewis & Clark Law School and have had John Kroger for four classes now. There are few teachers who are able to engage a class like he can. That is why he won the Leo Levenson teaching award. I take offense to your assumption that the Lewis & Clark Law Students are so shallow as to support a professor merely because they were perceived as "cool". That is an insult to all the great professors that have received the award.

    Kroger has also been a mentor to the founding of the Law School Democrats, an organization with well over a 100 members who have become involved with grassroots democrats politics, including making phone calls at the DPO, going door to door every Saturday for three months in District 49 and helping to organize fundraisers. Many of them were not born in Oregon but have moved here for various reasons and have fallen in love with this state. I hope their efforts will not be so callously dismissed by other "Oregon Lawyers."

    And lastly, when did being a prosecutor of the crooks at Enron become a bad thing?

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    Oregon Democrats have two strong candidates running in the Primary for the position of Attorney General. Each candidate brings a different style of lawyering.

    D-Greg Macpherson, 3 term State Representative from Lake Oswego is a partner at Stole Rives LLP working out of their Portland offices. The resume on the Stole Rives website states that Macpherson, "Specializes in employee benefits, working with health care plans and retirement plans. Macpherson has worked for many years on the delivery of disability benefits for fire fighters and police officers." Macpherson's father Hector is known as the State Republican Senator who helped pass legislation protecting farm and forest land in 1973. Macpherson continues his father's fight with the re-write of Measure 37 in the form of Measure 49 on the November 2007 ballot.

    D- John Kroger was described in the Lewis and Clark Chronicle, Winter 2007 this way, "During the last 15 years, Kroger filled key roles on Bill Clinton's first campaign team, cracked down on members of the mafia, participated in the post 9/11 search for domestic terror cells and indicted half a dozen Eron executives." The lengthy article says Kroger tried over 200 cases federal criminal cases involving public corruption, white collar crime, narcotics trafficking and mafia dons. Kroger joined the Marines at the age of 17 and served in an elite special forces unit.

    A common theme seems to be developing that the AG be more than the Legislature's legal officer, but should be an advocate for all Oregonians. One candidate comes to the race from the Legislature, the other from a career as a Federal Proscecutor.

  • LT (unverified)

    I would like to read/hear from the candidates exactly how their approach fits into the current organization and statutory authority of the Oregon AG office.

    Andrew, I care when a person I have known for years is running against a person I hadn't heard of prior to this year. And if you don't like that attitude, blame Tom Bruggere, don't blame me. (When he lost, a friend who'd been an active Democrat longer than I was said "good, now he should crawl back into the woodwork he came from".)

    It may well be that Kroger would be the best AG in Oregon history, better than the last 6 AG combined. But I don't take strangers on faith, they have to earn my respect!

    How does being a federal prosecutor going after the bad guys at Enron fit into the structure of the Oregon AG's office? As I recall, there are several parts to that office. What would Kroger retain/ change in all of those departments?

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    That's a fair point. It's natural to lean toward supporting a person you've known for years. But I doubt most Oregon voters have even heard of Kroger or Macpherson.

    That means it's an even field and hopefully the race will record-to-record and idea-to-idea. After a few months pass and the two candidates have a chance to share their records and ideas, I'm confident that Kroger will come out on top.

    As for the role of the AG's office, I remember there were some good discussions about that on BO a few months ago.

  • LT (unverified)

    Thanks, Andrew, but you somewhat missed my point. You may be right that Kroger "comes out on top". But I will believe Kroger is capable of saying how his views fit the organization of the Oregon AG office (is the job mainly administrative or the kind of organization NY has which permitted Spitzer to be a crusading prosecutor) when I hear Kroger explain how his views fit the organization of the Oregon AG's office.

    I keep thinking of a speech I heard Hardy Myers give once, naming each entity under the Oregon AG and then explaining what that entity did. When I hear / read Kroger being equally specific, then I will know he has explained his views on the office. And sometimes people who have run for office before do better in statewide races than newcomers.

    By all means, believe in Kroger. Just don't think your faith in him is enough to convice others. I wonder especially what his views are on election and campaign finance law.

  • DJD (unverified)

    Mr. Kroger, did you serve in Force Recon, Recon, or HHC SRIG? What MOS? How did you only serve THREE years on a standard USMC elistment contract in the late 80s?
    Why do you want to be the Oregon State AG? You just showed up in town here, why Oregon. Are your campaign advisors giving you lessons on Oregon cultural competency? A poster above mentioned that other highly elected politicians are from out of state, but note that all of them earned thier bonafides locally over the course of several years before jumping into the arena. I know most of them settled here, married, had kids, grandkids, etc. So you prosecuted criminal cases for a whole, what, 3-4-5 years tops? Working 70 hour work weeks? Well welcome to law enforcement in the United States Sir. I see you left that pretty fast, what happened to all the criminals out in New York? Look forward to hearing from you, and tell Chuck Schumer hello from a fellow Oregon transplant. I moved to Boring Oregon when I was four years old in 1974 so I know what it is to be the new guy. Sorry you missed sucking down all that ash when Mt. St. Helens blew, but it was no big deal.

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    I don't have a candidate here yet. I'd like to know more about Mr. Kroger's role "in the search for terror cells" after the September 2001 terrorist attacks, which was largely a travesty and a source of major assaults on our constitutional rights.

    Would Mr. Kroger serve as a strong advocate for civil liberties under Oregon's constitution against efforts at federal encroachment?

    LT, does McPherson have the detailed knowledge you cite? Did Hardy Myers have it when he first ran?

    Fun fact: Oregon has had more people born outside of the state/territory than in it in every census since 1850. We're a state of immigrants.

    For an interesting picture of how that looked to one committed (& native) Oregonian in 1938, see Richard L. Neuberger Our Promised Land -- he saw Oregon & the PNW as a sort of last frontier which above all needed a lot more people to immigrate, in both the state and national interest.

  • Randy Leonard (unverified)

    I have known Greg Macpherson for nearly two decades and I like him a lot. However, I have endorsed John Kroger for Attorney General.

    John is more experienced at going after misbehaving businesses, especially power utilities such as PGE, than what his opponent has demonstrated with his voting record in the Oregon House.

    I believe it is long past time for Oregon to have an aggressive Attorney General that will vigilantly stand up and fight for consumer rights. In my opinion, John will more than live up to that standard.

  • LT (unverified)

    Randy, is it a funding issue, or are you saying Hardy Myers and his staff have fallen down on consumer protection?

  • LT (unverified)

    "LT, does McPherson have the detailed knowledge you cite? Did Hardy Myers have it when he first ran?"

    As Speaker of the House, Hardy quite possibly did have that knowledge.

    <h2>Greg may not know every detail, but with his Judiciary Comm. experience he will at least know some of it.</h2>
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