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 66)
Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.
Spouse(s) John VanLandingham IV
Alma mater University of Michigan
University of Oregon School of Law

Martha Lee Walters (born October 23, 1950) is an American labor attorney and an 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 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]

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 was a specialist in employment and labor law.[6] She represented disabled golfer Casey Martin in his lawsuit against the PGA Tour to allow Martin to use a golf cart during tournaments.[7]

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.[8] Walters was the first female justice on the court since 2003 when Susan M. Leeson left the court.[9] In 2007, Walters was elected as the president of the Uniform Law Commission, becoming that organization's first female president.[7] Walters won election to a full six-year term on the court in 2008, and was re-elected in 2014.[9][10]


  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. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-04-21. 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. ^ Green Ashbel. Labor lawyer joins state's high court. The Oregonian, September 19, 2006.
  7. ^ a b Martha Walters Elected President of ULC. Archived October 31, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. Uniform Law Commission. Retrieved November 26, 2007.
  8. ^ "Governor appoints Oregon Supreme Court justice". Portland Business Journal. September 18, 2006. Retrieved January 6, 2007. [dead link]
  9. ^ a b "Oregon Supreme Court Justices". Oregon Blue Book. Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved February 7, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Members of the Oregon Supreme Court". Oregon Blue Book. Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved February 7, 2015. 

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
R. William Riggs
Associate Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court