Martha Lee Walters

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Martha Lee Walters
Martha Lee Walters bar ceremony 2009.JPG
Walters in 2009
98th Associate Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court
Assumed office
October 9, 2006
Appointed by Ted Kulongoski
Preceded by R. William Riggs
Personal details
Born (1950-10-23) October 23, 1950 (age 64)
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Spouse(s) John VanLandingham IV
Alma mater University of Michigan

Martha Lee Walters (born October 23, 1950) is an American labor attorney and judge in the state of Oregon. As of 2008, she is the 98th Associate Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court. She became the first female justice on the state's highest court in three years when she was appointed in 2006. A native of Michigan, she worked on the Casey Martin lawsuit against the PGA Tour while in private legal practice.

Early years[edit]

Walters was born on October 23, 1950,[1] in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she also grew up.[2] After high school she attended the University of Michigan, where she graduated in 1972 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.[2] Walters earned her law degree from the University of Oregon School of Law in Eugene, Oregon, graduating in 1977 with her Juris Doctor and earning Order of the Coif.[3] Walters is married to John VanLandingham IV,[4] a low-income housing advocate and mobile home-housing specialist.[5] The couple has two children, John VanLandingham V, a graduate of the University of Chicago, and Cassady Walters, a graduate of Whitman College.

Legal career[edit]

Justice Walters was the founder and president of the Eugene law firm of Walters, Chanti & Zennache.[3] In 1998, she was given the Public Justice Award by the Oregon Trial Lawyers.[3] She served as a delegate to the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws and as a member of the American Law Institute.[3] While in private practice she represented golfer Casey Martin in his lawsuit against the PGA Tour in order to allow the disabled Martin to use a golf cart while playing on the tour.[6]

She was appointed to the Oregon Supreme Court by Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski and was sworn into office on October 9, 2006, to replace Justice R. William Riggs who had retired.[7] She won election to a full six-year term in 2008.[8][9] Walters was the first female justice on the court since 2003 when Susan M. Leeson left the court.[8] A specialist in employment and labor law, she was 55 years-old when appointed.[10] In 2007, Walters was elected as the president of the Uniform Law Commission, becoming that organization's first female president.[6] Walters won election to a full six-year term on the court in 2008.[8]


  1. ^ The Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory 1 (Oregon, Pennsylvania ed.). Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, Inc. 1998. p. 364. ISBN 978-1-56160-324-4. 
  2. ^ a b "The Honorable Martha L. Walters". Oregon Judicial Department. 2009. Retrieved 8 June 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Class Notes" (PDF). Oregon Lawyer. University of Oregon School of Law. Retrieved 2007-01-06. 
  4. ^ Taking her seat; Courts. The Register-Guard, October 10, 2006.
  5. ^ Upcoming CDC Events. Association of Oregon Community Development Organizations. Retrieved December 9, 2007.
  6. ^ a b Martha Walters Elected President of ULC. Uniform Law Commission. Retrieved November 26, 2007.
  7. ^ "Governor appoints Oregon Supreme Court justice". Portland Business Journal. September 18, 2006. Retrieved 2007-01-06. [dead link]
  8. ^ a b c "Oregon Supreme Court Justices". Oregon Blue Book. Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved 2006-12-21. 
  9. ^ "Members of the Oregon Supreme Court". Oregon Blue Book. Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved 2007-01-07. 
  10. ^ Green Ashbel. Labor lawyer joins state's high court. The Oregonian, September 19, 2006.

External links[edit]