President’s Awards

The OCDLA president selects recipients and presents these awards at the Annual Conference.


2016 Recipients

Tony Bornstein — For pulling back the curtain and shining the light on the prosecution’s dirty tricks in closing argument, and for giving us the tools to fight back against uneven odds.

Elizabeth Baker — For her unflagging commitment to handling highly complex cases at contract rates across the state, and for her diplomacy, integrity and honesty in the courtroom and finding the “teachable moment” in response to judges’ queries they believe will remain rhetorical.

Bob Thuemmel — For tirelessly chairing the Executive Director Search Committee to steer us into the post-Potter future, and for the invention of our new member category, Honored Members.

Steve Sady — For refusing to accept things as they are, resulting in not one, not two, but three grants of federal clemency.

Laura Graser — For selflessly donating her time, resources, and knowledge to fight Mandamus, and for supporting all of us in our fight against injustice.

2015 Recipients

Shaun McCrea — For volunteering to challenge a Department of Justice subpoena to obtain OCDLA death penalty CLE material, for defending the privacy and integrity of the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Association’s educational purpose, and for securing a protective order against the Department of Justice for reproducing and disseminating the subpoena’d CLE materials.

Susan Elizabeth Reese — For her column, “Beautiful Words” – 25 years of stories from the trenches about cases that inspire, and for cases that end with the beautiful words, Not Guilty!

Angela Sherbo — For the thoughtful, persistent and careful advocacy of young people, and restoration of their lives, and for her passion, resilience and commitment never to give up on her clients even when all seems lost.

Barnes Ellis — For an unparalleled 45 years of volunteer service to public defense, for the steadying hand of leadership in the creation of Oregon’s first public defender office in 1971, and for the steadying hand of leadership in chairing Oregon’s independent, statewide public defense commission since 2001.

Rachel Negra, 1977–2015 — For her passionate advocacy for children and families who needed help negotiating the child welfare system, for her dedication to every case and every client, and for an optimism that was infectious and a world view that was sunny.

2014 Recipients

Tom Cronkrite — For service and dedication to the community of defenders in Oregon by helping bring a little bit of paradise into the lives of OCDLA members.

Pay Parity Committee — For exemplary service on the 2014 OCDLA Pay Parity Committee. For assembling, digesting and analyzing a mountain of data, weighing divergent opinions and producing a reasoned, forward-thinking approach to funding public defense in Oregon. Committee members are: Elizabeth J. C. Baker, Katherine O. Berger, Ann S. Christian, James Comstock, Eric J. Deitrick, Lynne A. Dickison, Douglas M. Engle, Caroline Meyer, Jennifer I. Nash, EveLyn A. Oldenkamp, Tom Sermak, Jon H. Weiner.

Riley Jones — For service to OCDLA that was often thankless, always performed graciously, and that opened our eyes to the value of a dedicated fundraiser.


2013 Recipients

David Angeli — For his leadership in advocacy and his commitment of time and effort to advance the goals of OCDLA in the 2013 Oregon Legislative Session.
Chris and Suzanna Hansen — For their laser-focused vision, financial generosity, and unflagging spirit that motivated and led OCDLA on a path to a permanent home.

Neal Weingart — For his leadership in advocacy and his commitment of time and effort to advance the goals of OCDLA in the 2013 Oregon Legislative Session.

Larry Matasar — For service on the Governor’s Commission on Public Safety and standing up to when the DAs put their Foote down.


2012 Recipients

Ryan Scott — For his dedication to the education of his compatriot criminal defense attorneys through his prolific contributions to the OCDLA Library of Defense and the Pond.

Eric Johansen — For his leadership on the creation and completion of the Post-Judgment and Extraordinary Remedies manual and his contributions to our community as a member of the OCDLA Board of Directors.

Bob Homan — For his 20-plus year commitment to the Legislative Committee, his guidance and leadership in the committee’s reconstitution, and for his long-term work on the Search and Seizure Manual. His contributions to OCDLA are too numerous to list; he is a pillar of the Oregon criminal defense community.

Katherine O. ("K.O.") Berger — For her ongoing leadership and commitment to the Legislative Committee as a co-chair, her advocacy for juveniles and those accused of capital murder, and her commitment to the underprivileged.

David McDonald — For his tireless commitment to OCDLA and the Board of Directors, his leadership on the Building Campaign, and for his deep dedication to the betterment of our organization.


2011 Recipients

Ingrid Swenson — In gratitude for a career in service of justice for all.

Alex Bassos — For his advocacy on behalf of the most vulnerable, for his education of others on protecting the rights of the mentally ill, and for his dedicated service to the Oregon criminal defense community in the creation of the Library of Defense.