Richard Unis

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Richard Unis
89th Associate Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court
In office
Appointed by Neil Goldschmidt
Preceded by Hans A. Linde
Succeeded by Ted Kulongoski
Personal details
Born ca. 1928
Oregon Portland, Oregon

Richard L. Unis (b. ca. 1928) is an American attorney in the state of Oregon, United States. He was the 89th Associate Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court. Previously he was a judge for the city of Portland, a judge at the county level, and a state circuit court judge.

Early life[edit]

Richard Unis was born and raised in Portland, Oregon.[1] After high school he attended and graduated from the University of Oregon.[1] In 1953, Unis graduated from the University of Oregon School of Law in Eugene, Oregon.[2] After law school he began working at the city attorney’s office in Portland.[1] Unis used to own a piano store in Portland, Oregon.[3]

Judicial career[edit]

In 1968 Unis began serving as a municipal court judge for Portland, remaining at that position until 1971.[4] That year the court was merged with the county district court where Unis would serve until 1976.[4] Beginning in 1969 he began teaching at the Northwestern College of Law, while also teaching at the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada.[4] In January 1977 Richard Unis was appointed to the state circuit court.[4]

On February 1, 1990, Unis was appointed to the Oregon Supreme Court by Oregon Governor Neil Goldschmidt to replace the retiring Hans A. Linde.[5][6] Unis then won a full six-year term on the state’s highest court later in 1990, but resigned on June 30, 1996 before completing that term.[6] He retired from the Supreme Court in order to take a position overseeing the settlement of a class action lawsuit against Louisiana-Pacific for problems with their siding material.[7] Unis was appointed by U.S. District Court Judge Robert E. Jones.

Later life and family[edit]

Unis was awarded the Herbert Harley Award in October 1999 for his “outstanding efforts and contributions that substantially change and improve the administration of justice in their states.”[2] This national award is presented by the American Judicature Society.[2] In October 2003, Unis helped finalize the settlement in the Louisiana-Pacific siding lawsuits as a special master appointed by the court.[8]

Richard is the father of Maurice Unis and Lori Unis. Maurice is the owner of Classic Pianos located in Southeast Portland. [3] Lori is a prominent photo-realist painter and photographer with an art studio in Sandy, Oregon. [9] His siblings are Norman Abraham Unis and Eva Hutchenson.[10]


  1. ^ a b c Leeson, Fred. New justices seen as moderate, progressive thinkers. The Oregonian, February 7, 1990.
  2. ^ a b c Former Supreme Court Judge Unis Honored With Harley Award. Oregon Lawyer, Spring 2000.
  3. ^ a b Piano guy’s in tune with history, Eric Bartels. The Portland Tribune, Apr 12, 2005
  4. ^ a b c d Leeson, Fred. Graber, Unis chosen for high court. The Oregonian, January 31, 1990.
  5. ^ Oregon Blue Book: Governors of Oregon. Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved on January 25, 2008.
  6. ^ a b Oregon Blue Book: Supreme Court Justices of Oregon. Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved on January 25, 2008.
  7. ^ Church, Foster. Justice will leave state high court early to oversee L-P case. The Oregonian, June 13, 1996.
  8. ^ Rivera, Dylan. LP wrapping up payments on inner-seal siding claims. The Oregonian, October 7, 2003.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Obituaries - Sunday January 29, 2006. The Oregonian, January 29, 2006.