Salem, OR—Governor Kate Brown announced today that she will appoint Misha Isaak to the Oregon Court of Appeals, filling a vacancy created by the planned retirement of Judge Erika Hadlock, and David M. Vandenberg to the Lake County Circuit Court, filling a vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Robert F. Nichols, Jr.
Isaak is General Counsel in the Governor’s Office and an adjunct professor at Lewis and Clark Law School. He represented the Governor in settling the state’s most significant litigation during her tenure, including its dispute with Oracle, the hoteling of foster youth, services for the intellectually disabled, treatment of transgender inmates, sale of the Elliott State Forest, and property taxation of Comcast. Isaak also shepherded appointment of a historic number of state court judges, including five justices of the Supreme Court, creating the most diverse bench in Oregon history.
Isaak came to the Governor’s Office in 2015 from Perkins Coie LLP, where he was a litigation attorney specializing in civil rights and business disputes before trial and appellate courts. While there, Isaak litigated a successful challenge to Oregon’s ban on same-sex marriage. As a result of his work on that case, Isaak was rated as one of the top 40 under 40 LGBT lawyers in the United States by the National LGBT Bar Association. He graduated with honors from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Reed College.
“Misha Isaak has practiced law at the highest levels, on matters of great importance to the State,” said David V. Brewer, a senior justice of the Oregon Supreme Court and a member of the panel that recommended Isaak for appointment. “His intelligence, work ethic, compassion, and knowledge about state government will enrich the Oregon Court of Appeals.”
Governor Brown also appointed David M. Vandenberg to the Lake County Circuit Court. Vandenberg is an attorney in private practice in Lakeview, where he has represented clients in criminal and civil cases since 1994. He earlier worked at small private firms in Beaverton. Vandenberg is a graduate of Willamette University College of Law and Southern Oregon State College.
Vandenberg is well-known in the Lakeview community, having grown up there. He has been president of the Lake County Bar Association, a middle school basketball coach, and has served on the boards of various local nonprofit organizations.
“David M. Vandenberg has dedicated his career to providing access to justice for members of the Lakeview community,” Governor Brown said. “He will continue this professional commitment as Lake County’s only judge, ensuring that everyone who enters his courtroom gets a fair shake.”
Isaak’s appointment is effective November 1, 2019; Vandenberg’s appointment is effective immediately.