Thomas A. Balmer
|Thomas A. Balmer|
|Balmer in 2009|
|42nd Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court|
|Preceded by||Paul De Muniz|
|96th Associate Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court|
|Appointed by||John Kitzhaber|
|Preceded by||Ted Kulongoski|
January 31, 1952 |
Thomas "Tom" A. Balmer (born January 31, 1952) is an American jurist in Oregon, United States. A native of Washington, he has served as an Associate Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court since 2001. He was re-elected to a new six-year term on the bench in 2008. Balmer took over as Chief Justice of the court on May 1, 2012.
Early life 
Justice Balmer was born on January 31, 1952, in Longview, Washington, a community located on the Columbia River and the border of Oregon. He attended and graduated from high school in Portland, Oregon.
Balmer’s college career began at Oberlin College in the Ohio town of the same name. He was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree and earned High Honors, graduating in 1974. Balmer then attended law school, graduating from the University of Chicago Law School in 1977 with a law degree.
Legal career 
Justice Balmer began his public legal career as a trial lawyer for the U.S. Department of Justice from 1979 to 1980. Working in Washington, D.C., he was part of the Antitrust Division. Balmer taught at Lewis & Clark Law School from 1983–1984, and again from 1990-1992 as an adjunct professor. From 1986 to 1987 he was the chairperson of the Oregon State Bar antitrust law section, and in 1992-1993 he was chairperson of the Multnomah County Legal Aid Service’s Board of Directors.
Later he served as a deputy attorney general for the state of Oregon from 1993 to 1997. While there he worked for the Oregon Attorney General, Ted Kulongoski. Balmer is a former partner of Ater Wynne LLP, focusing on antitrust law, government regulations, and commercial litigation. In 1997, he became a member of the board of directors for Classroom Law Project, and from 2000 to 2001, he served as an adjunct professor of political science at Lewis & Clark College, 2000-2001.
On September 20, 2001 Balmer was selected for the Oregon Supreme Court, becoming the 96th justice. Governor John Kitzhaber appointed Balmer to replace Ted Kulongoski (who Balmer worked for at the Oregon Department of Justice) after Kulongoski resigned to campaign for governor, which he then won the election to replace Kitzhaber. Balmer was then elected to a full six-year term in 2002 and re-elected to a new term in 2008. In 2005, he joined the board of directors to the Oregon Law Institute. Balmer is currently a member of the U.S. District Court’s Indigent Representation Committee. He won re-election to a new six-year term in 2008. In July 2009, he was named one of five finalists for two open positions on the federal court in Oregon. He was not chosen as a nominee for the federal court, and in January 2012 it was announced that his fellow justices selected him to become the new Chief Justice of the court on May 1, 2012, to replace Paul De Muniz.
Select publications 
- Co-author of: Conflicts Between State Law and the Sherman Act, 44 U. Pitt. L. Rev. 1 (1982).
- Co-author of: Antitrust Review of Proposed Administrative Actions, 61 B.U. L. Rev. 90 (1981).
- "Oregon Supreme Court Justices". Oregon Blue Book. Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved 2006-12-21.
- The Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory 1 (Oregon, Pennsylvania ed.). Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, Inc. 1998. p. 389. ISBN 978-1-56160-324-4.
- "Hon. Thomas A. Balmer". Lawyer Directory. FindLaw. Retrieved 2007-01-11.
- "Judge of the Supreme Court". Voter’s Guide. Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved 2007-01-11.
- "Hon. Thomas A. Balmer". Legal Span. Retrieved 2007-01-11.
- The Honorable Thomas A. Balmer. Oregon Judicial Department. Retrieved on November 26, 2007.
- Jung, Helen (July 16, 2009). "Five men named finalists for Oregon federal judgeships". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2009-07-16.
- Jung, Helen (January 20, 2012). "State Supreme Court Justice Thomas Balmer to become Oregon's next chief justice". The Oregonian. Retrieved January 21, 2012.