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Judge Bergstrom to retire from Multnomah County Circuit Court
Salem, OR—Governor Kate Brown announced today that she intends to appoint attorney Celia Howes to a vacancy created by the upcoming January 31, 2022, retirement of Judge Eric Bergstrom from the Multnomah County Circuit Court. The Governor thanked Judge Bergstrom for his dedicated judicial service, and selected Howes from a list of finalists who were fully vetted during the most recent Multnomah County judicial appointment process. Her appointment is effective February 1, 2022.

“Celia Howes will contribute a sharp intellect, impeccable work ethic, and ever-present compassion for those who appear before her,” Governor Brown said. “Her experience and dedication to her community will be tremendous assets as she serves on the Multnomah County trial court bench.”

Howes is currently a partner at the Hoevet Olson Howes law firm, where she represents defendants in criminal proceedings in state and federal courts. She also serves as a court-appointed trial attorney for indigent litigants, through the Criminal Justice Act Trial Panel. Previously, Howes practiced civil litigation at the Garvey Schubert Bauer law firm, after earning her bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and her J.D. from the University of Oregon School of Law. In addition to her practice, Howes serves on the executive committee of the Oregon Chapter of the Federal Bar Association; produces and hosts a podcast focused on history, law, and systemic discrimination, in collaboration with the Federal Bar Association and Oregon Historical Society; and previously participated on Governor Kitzhaber’s Workgroup on Corrections Health Care Costs.

Howes was interviewed and fully vetted last summer by the Governor’s Office and the local bar association as a finalist for Governor Brown’s most recent general bench judicial appointments on the Multnomah County Circuit Court.

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In addition to the judicial appointment announced today, the Governor's Office currently is conducting a process for a separate vacancy for a position with the Multnomah County Circuit Court's Family Law Department. The list of candidates who have applied for that vacancy is available on the Oregon State Bar’s website. The Governor’s Office welcomes comments on the candidates for the family law vacancy, which can be submitted to Dustin Buehler, General Counsel, Office of the Governor, at 503-378-6246, or

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