U.S. District Judge Michael Hogan’s Final Day on the Federal Bench

The Register-Guard on October 31, 2012 released the following:

Final day on the bench is an emotional one for judge

U.S. District Judge Michael Hogan got a bit choked up Tuesday as he prepared to hand down the final sentences of his 39 years on the bench.

To be fair, he was blindsided when his wife, Christine, their three adult children and a daughter-in-law slipped into a back row in his courtroom. The extended family joined an array of past and current federal prosecutors, defense attorneys, civil litigators, clerks and other court co-workers.

“I’ve just noticed that my entire family’s here, along with … loved ones from the court,” Hogan said, pausing in an uncharacteristic struggle for words. “I’m just taking a moment to get through some of that emotion.”

He spoke briefly of his love for his country and its “wonderful legal system.”

“I’m grateful,” he said of his role in it. “I wouldn’t have had this opportunity without each of you and I appreciate it.”

Hogan, 66, officially retired in September 2011. He continued handling a reduced — but still hefty — caseload as a senior judge until Tuesday. He departs for good today.

President Obama last month nominated Multnomah County Circuit Judge Michael McShane to succeed Hogan. McShane’s actual appointment may depend on Tuesday’s election results, because the U.S. Senate — which could end up with either a Democratic or Republican majority — must confirm his nomination.

Assistant Federal Public Defender Craig Weinerman said lawyers in his Eugene office would miss Hogan, though “he’s a conservative judge and often did not rule in our favor.”

“He held all sides to extremely high standards in terms of preparedness and civility, and he made better lawyers of all of us,” Weinerman said. “He was always a very smart guy, always prepared, and he had a lot of wisdom.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Cardani said Hogan — and other judges who joined him at the Eugene federal courthouse — agreed.

“We’re in an adversarial business, but they demand that we do it in a nonadversarial way,” the longtime local prosecutor said. He also praised Hogan’s “compassion and respect for all the people who come before him.”

“His departure is a big loss to the court family,” the prosecutor said.

Hogan, a Georgetown University Law School graduate, was appointed to the federal bench as a magistrate and bankruptcy judge in 1973. After his appointment as a federal district judge in 1991, he became known for resolving complex, high-stakes cases.

He helped settle priest sexual abuse lawsuits and a bankruptcy filing by the Catholic Archdiocese of Portland, and handled the massive Sunwest Management bankruptcy and securities fraud case. Hogan also pushed for and oversaw construction of Eugene’s $70 million Wayne Morse U.S. Courthouse, which opened in 2006.

— Karen McCowan”


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