Paul Crowley served for nearly 23 years as a District and Circuit Court judge in the Seventh Judicial District. He was Presiding Judge for more than 15 of those years. He was first appointed Presiding Judge in 1996 while still a District Court Judge, one of only two in Oregon history to serve in this role.
During his elected judicial service, Crowley was the District’s primary settlement conference judge. He conducted over 75 percent of the settlement conferences, dealing with issues that included such matters as personal injury; professional malpractice; divorce; easement and boundary disputes; probate issues; employment law; contracts; aggravated murder and other crimes. He also resolved significant general public interest issues involving local public bodies in the multi-county Seventh Judicial District.
Since retiring from the Circuit Court bench in 2014, Crowley has continued to serve around the state as a Plan B judge, assisting with conflict cases and judicial shortfalls. He also continues to practice privately as a mediator.
Crowley was instrumental in developing mediation and alternative dispute resolution systems in the Seventh Judicial District’s courts. As a founding member, he chaired the District’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee from 1996 to 2013. He was also a founding member of the District’s Family Law Advisory Council; the District’s five courthouse security committees; and the Hood River/Wasco County Victim Impact Panel. He created what is probably the only diversionary program in the state for dog ordinance violations.
There are four judges serving five counties and five courthouses in this district. The district includes Hood River, Wasco, Sherman, Gilliam and Wheeler counties. As a result, the judges are utility players, presiding over a broad range of cases in the very diverse district. On one particular day, for example, Judge Crowley presided over a barking dog complaint in the morning and a first degree murder case in the afternoon.
In 2012, he successfully mediated a new rate formula for the four counties that share financial responsibility for the jail and juvenile detention facilities at the Northern Oregon Regional Corrections Facilities, settling a long-running dispute. Crowley’s other public interest mediations have included resolving a water rate dispute between the City of Hood River and the Ice Fountain Water District; and settling an open meeting dispute between the City of Cascade Locks and the Friends of the Columbia Gorge.
At the request of the Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court, Crowley chaired the Judicial Department’s Special Task Force on the Future of Technology in Oregon Courts, a state-wide technology task force that set in motion the implementation of the eCourt system. (Under the eCourt system, all court records and filings are kept and made electronically.)
The Task Force was composed of Appellate Court judges, Circuit Court judges, Trial Court Administrators, members of the Office of the State Court Administrator’s Office and Technology Division, and a liaison from the Oregon State Bar. Crowley’s job was to facilitate this large group with extremely diverse interests to reach a consensus conclusion. That was done on schedule.
“It was a job that needed high-level facilitation skills,” said State Court Administrator Kingsley Click, herself a Task Force member. “Judge Crowley did a fantastic job mediating through long-standing disputes and creating a climate that allowed for difficult but necessary change.” (Hood River News, February 12, 2014.)
Crowley offers his services as a mediator without charge for public interest dispute resolution. He otherwise works under the fee schedule listed below on any type of case where the parties are represented by counsel.
Crowley has been a member of the Oregon State Bar Association since 1985. He and his wife Susan make their home in Hood River. He enjoys traveling around the state to work with different professionals, issues and jurisdictions.
CLICK HERE FOR PRINTABLE PDF