Governor Kitzhaber today announced the appointment of Brian C. Dretke to fill the vacancy on the Circuit Court for the 10th Judicial District created by the retirement of Judge Phillip A. Mendiguren. The 10th Judicial District encompasses Union and Wallowa Counties.
"Mr. Dretke is a skilled lawyer who will bring extensive experience in both civil and criminal law," Governor Kitzhaber said. "His entire career has been devoted to public service--as a member of the military, as a law enforcement officer, as a prosecutor and as a private attorney representing Oregon's most vulnerable populations. It is not surprising that he would wish to continue his service to the people of Union and Wallowa Counties as a circuit court judge."
While in the U.S. Air Force, Mr. Dretke received his Bachelor's Degree from Louisiana State University and he later became a law enforcement officer in Oklahoma. Rising through the law enforcement ranks, he attended night school at the University of Tulsa School of Law and ultimately received his Doctor of Jurisprudence in 1992. He began his legal career as a deputy district attorney and worked from 1993-1997 in both Union and Lane counties. In 1997, he went into private practice in La Grande, and in 2000 became a partner at Hallman & Dretke in Pendleton. Mr. Dretke is an active member of the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association and was selected as its president for 2012, as well as a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates and a Certified Civil Trial Specialist through the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He also handles prisoner rights cases pro bono in federal court and has been involved in youth law programs including Teen Court and the Classroom Law Project.