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Prineville, OR—Governor Tina Kotek announced today that she will appoint Thanh H. Tran to the Clackamas County Circuit Court and Natasha Zimmerman to the Marion County Circuit Court.

Tran will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Thomas J. Rastetter. Zimmerman will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge David E. Leith. Both appointments are effective immediately.

“These are talented individuals who have demonstrated commitment to their communities through their service,” Governor Kotek said. “I look forward to seeing them bring their meaningful legal expertise to continue to serve their communities on the Clackamas and Marion County circuit courts.”

Tran (he/him) has a civil litigation practice based in Clackamas County. To the Governor’s Office’s knowledge, he will be Oregon’s first Vietnamese American judge and the first Asian American judge on the Clackamas County Circuit Court. He came to the United States as a child refugee from Vietnam and earned his law degree from the University of Washington. He remained in Seattle to work as a criminal prosecutor and then at civil litigation firms for the eight years following his graduation. In 2002, he started his own law practice, where he has represented individuals in personal injury cases, family law, commercial litigation, immigration law, real estate law, and criminal defense.

Tran is a graduate of the Judicial Academy at the National Judicial College and has received the Oregon State Bar Association President’s Diversity and Inclusion Award. He is a past member of the Oregon State Bar Board of Professional Responsibility and a current board member of the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association and the Oregon Asian Pacific American Bar Association. He is highly involved in the Clackamas County community, including through his service to the Eastside Timbers, the North Clackamas School District Bond Advisory Committee, the Clackamas United Soccer Club, Our Lady of Lavang Vietnamese Catholic Church, and the Oregon Vietnamese Community Association.

A photograph of Judge Tran is available here.

Zimmerman (she/her) is a hearings referee at the Marion County Circuit Court. She earned her law degree from the University of Idaho College of Law. Following graduation, she practiced law as an associate at a general practice law firm (Morley, Thomas, McHill & Phillips, LLC), where she worked on a variety of cases, including criminal defense, family law, and civil litigation. For the next two years, she worked as a staff attorney for the Worker’s Compensation Board. From 2007 to 2020, Zimmerman worked for the City of Salem, first as an Assistant City Attorney and then as Deputy City Attorney. For the past two and a half years, Zimmerman has served as a hearings referee in Marion County, where she has presided over criminal cases and cases in the Juvenile Department, where she is currently assigned.

Zimmerman is Co-President of the Mary Leonard Chapter of the Oregon Women Lawyers, and she is active in the Marion County Bar Association and the Willamette Valley American Inns of Court. She has served as a volunteer advocate for the Center for Hope and Safety and has served on the Marion County LGBTQ Foster Youth Workgroup.

A photograph of Judge Zimmerman is available here.


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