Brian Dretke – Talented Oregon Personal Injury Attorney

brian-dretke-oregon-personal-injury-lawyerBrian Dretke recently retired from his position as a State Circuit Court Judge to join the firm. He brings a unique perspective having both tried and presided over hundreds of jury trials. Prior to his appointment, Brian spent 12 years a partner in an eastern Oregon law firm dedicated to representing injured Oregonians in both state and federal courts. Brian has attended the American Association of Justice’s Ultimate Trial Advocacy Course at Harvard University. In 2006, after meeting the requirements for civil trial experience, he sat for and passed the written examination to earn certification through the National Board of Trial Advocacy as a Civil Trial Specialist. In 2007, Brian was invited to join the American Board of Trial Advocates, a national association dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the civil jury system. He currently serves on the executive committee and will be president of the Oregon chapter in 2020. Also, at the time of his appointment to the bench, Brian was president-elect of the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association.

In addition to his civil trial experience, Brian served as a deputy district attorney in both Union and Lane counties. Throughout his career, he has tried well over 100 cases to Oregon juries. Prior to becoming a lawyer in 1993, Brian spent eight years as a police officer with the Tulsa Police Department, where he was assigned to patrol, fugitive warrants, undercover narcotics, and the Special Operations Team (SWAT). Before that, Brian served in the U.S. Air Force from 1980-84 as a Law Enforcement Specialist.

BIOGRAPHY AT A GLANCE

Educational History:

  • University of Tulsa College of Law, J.D. (1992)
  • Louisiana State University – Bachelor Degree (1983)

Legal Work Experience:

  • Presiding Judge – Oregon’s 10th Judicial District (2012-2017)
  • Partner – Hallman & Dretke (2000-2012)
  • Partner – Mautz Baum & O’Hanlon (1997-1990)
  • Chief Deputy District Attorney – Union County District Attorney (1996-1997)
  • Deputy District Attorney – Lane County District Attorney (1995-1996)
  • Deputy District Attorney – Union County District Attorney (1993-1995)

Bar Admissions:

  • Oregon (1993)
  • Oklahoma (1994)
  • U.S. District Court, District of Oregon (1997)

Membership and Volunteer Activities

  • Oregon State Bar – OSB No. 931414
  • Oregon Trial Lawyers Association/OTLA (2000-2012),
    – Parliamentarian (2010)
    – Secretary (2011)
    – President-elect (2012)
  • Oregon Judges Association (2012-2017)
  • National Board of Trial Advocacy (2006-Present)
    – Board Certified Civil Trial Specialist
  • American Board of Trial Advocates (2007-Present)
    – Executive committee (2017)
  • American Association of Justice/AAJ (2000-2012)
  • American Bar Association/ABA (2000-2012)
  • OSB Judicial Fitness Commission (2016-2017)
  • OSB Practice and Procedure Committee (2003-2005)
  • Oregon Super Lawyers (2006-2011)
  • U.S. District Court Pro Bono Program (2005-2012)
  • Classroom Law Project, Coach, La Grande High School Mock Trial Team (1998-2006)
  • Pro Bono Counsel – Mt. Emily Safe Center (Child Sexual Abuse Assessments) (1998-2011)

Publications and Presentations

  • “Jury Trials – What Works and What Doesn’t,” Presenter, Continuing Legal Education, Oregon Law Institute, April 2016
  • “Federal Civil Litigation in Oregon – The Top Ten Things You Should Know,” Presenter, Continuing Legal Education, U.S. District Court, District of Oregon, November 2015
  • “Discovery in Complex Civil Litigation,” Presenter, Oregon Judicial Conference, October 2015
  • “How to Garner the Judge’s Interest in Your Motion,” Presenter, Oregon Trial Lawyers Association, August 2013
  • “Evaluating Nursing Home Cases,” OTLA, Trial Lawyer, Winter 2012
  • “Scope of Discovery”, Chapter 27, Oregon Civil Pleading and Practice, Oregon State Bar Continuing Legal Education, 2011 Revision.
  • “Ironman: Competitive Triathlons Make Courtroom Grind Seem Easy,” OTLA, Trial Lawyer, Summer 2010
  • “Arbitration Benefits Clients,” OTLA, Trial Lawyer, Winter 2007
  • “Don’t Overlook the Eyewitness,” OTLA, Trial Lawyer, Fall 2007

Out of the Courtroom

Brian is a bit if a fitness junkie. He has been competing in triathlons since the early 1980’s. In 2002 he won a lottery slot in the Hawaii Ironman, and since then he has finished a dozen more Ironman races, and continues to participate in Ironman races. Brian and his wife, Khuelien, have been married for 35 years. She is an avid tennis player and runner, and they often spend their weekends running trails together with their black lab, Lacey.