R. William Riggs

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Richard William Riggs
94th Associate Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court
In office
Appointed by John Kitzhaber
Preceded by Susan P. Graber
Succeeded by Martha Lee Walters
Judge of the Oregon Court of Appeals
In office
Appointed by Neil Goldschmidt
Preceded by George Van Hoomissen
John C. Warden
Succeeded by Rives Kistler

Richard William Riggs (born c. 1939) is an American attorney and former judge in the state of Oregon. He is a senior judge for Oregon, and was the 94th justice of the Oregon Supreme Court from 1998 to 2006.

Early life[edit]

Riggs graduated from Portland State University with a bachelor's degree of science in history in 1961.[1][2] He then served in the U.S. Naval Reserve from 1961 to 1992. Riggs retired from the Navy with the rank of captain. Riggs attended the University of Oregon School of Law.[2] He graduated with his Juris doctorate in 1968 after being a member of the school's law review.[2] Riggs has two children.[1]

Legal career[edit]

Riggs served as president of the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association from 1973 to 1974, and has been on the board of governors for the Western Trial Lawyers Association. He is a member of both Phi Alpha Delta and Sigma Alpha Epsilon. In 1993, he helped to found the Oregon Academy of Family Law Practitioners and has worked with the organization since its inception.[3]

Judicial career[edit]

William Riggs became a circuit court judge for Multnomah County, Oregon in 1978, serving until 1988.[1] From 1988 to 1998 he was a judge for the Oregon Court of Appeals.[1] He was appointed to the Court of Appeals on October 24 of 1988 to replace George Van Hoomissen who had been elected to the Oregon Supreme Court.[4] Riggs was then elected to the court later in 1988 to fill a position vacated by John C. Warden and then re-elected in 1994.[4] He resigned from the appeals court in September 1998.[4]

On September 8, 1998, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber appointed Riggs as the Ninety-fourth Associate Justice to the state supreme court.[5][6] He replaced Susan P. Graber who had resigned in April.[6] That fall Justice Riggs won election to a full six-year term, and then re-election in 2004.[6] While on the court he authored the majority opinion in State v. Guzek, regarding the penalty phase of death penalty trials that was then heard before the U.S. Supreme Court.[7] He resigned from the court in September 2006 and Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski appointed Martha Lee Walters to fill the position.[8]

Scholarly publications[edit]

Later life and family[edit]

He is a resident of Wilsonville, and has two children.[9] Riggs was 65 years old in May 2004.[9] In accordance with Oregon law, Riggs is a senior judge subject to recall for temporary service on any court in the Oregon Judicial Department.[10]


  1. ^ a b c d Appellate Courts Supreme Court Rives Kistler Age: 54. The Oregonian, April 28, 2004.
  2. ^ a b c "A Proposal for Change". Willamette Law Review. 39: 1439.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  3. ^ Oregon Lawyer: 2004. University of Oregon School of Law. Retrieved January 13, 2008.
  4. ^ a b c Oregon Blue Book: Appeals Court Judges of Oregon. Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved January 13, 2008.
  5. ^ Oregon Blue Book: Governors of Oregon. Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved January 13, 2008.
  6. ^ a b c "Oregon Supreme Court Justices". Oregon Blue Book. Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved 2007-05-01. 
  7. ^ State v. Guzek, 336 Or. 424, 86 P.3d 1106 (2004)
  8. ^ Capitol Insider. Oregon Bar Association. Retrieved January 13, 2008.
  9. ^ a b Wong, Peter (May 3, 2004). "Supreme, appeals court". Statesman Journal. pp. 4C. 
  10. ^ Oregon Blue Book: Senior Judges. Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved January 13, 2008.

External links[edit]