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|Articles - March 2014|
|Tuesday, February 25, 2014|
BY LINDA BAKER
Stoll Berne attorney Tim DeJong apologizes for sounding hoarse on the phone. The night before, he was rocking out at Lola’s Room, a Portland venue where his band, Punk Rock Collective, played for a crowd of about 75 people. “The bar liked us,” says DeJong, modestly. “They asked us to come back to play on St. Patrick’s Day.”
An intellectual property attorney by day, 48-year-old DeJong is a singer and guitarist by night; in addition to the Punk Rock Collective gig, he also plays with Habeas Corpse, a band comprised mostly of legal professionals. Habeas Corpse bass player Tony Kullen is a banking attorney at Routh Crabtree Olsen. Houston Bolles, a courtroom technology specialist for the U.S. District Courts, plays guitar, and Bolles’ 14-year-old son, Max, is the drummer and “the real talent in the group,” DeJong says.
This past October, Habeas Corpse won the Multnomah Bar Association’s Battle of the Bands, a charitable event with proceeds going to the Multnomah Bar Foundation’s civic education fund. Six bands competed in the 2013 event; some play regularly in the area, while others hit the stage only once or twice a year, usually performing for charity. Habeas Corpse, for example, is playing at a Campaign for Equal Justice “Rock for Justice” event in Salem this spring.
Participating attorneys say the musical gigs give them an opportunity to disrobe their lawyer personas at a different kind of bar. “It’s a good excuse to get together some friends who are musicians, have a good time and play good music,” says Kullen.
Lawyers, of course, like to cover their bases. DeJong, the sort who has thousands of vinyl records stashed in his house, says he made sure the firm’s partners approved of his musical career before moving forward. “People who know me say I litigate with the same style as I sing,” he notes, “relatively aggressively.”
In 2008 a few attorneys from Stoel Rives, the Portland-based firm, formed an in-house band, Bunny Lebowski and the Nihilists. “It was a tribute name,” says lead singer and occasional harmonica player, 37-year-old P.K. Runkles-Pearson, now assistant general counsel for Portland State University.
“We all love the movie The Big Lebowski. The guys call me Bunny and they are the Nihilists,” she explains. The “guys” are Dennis Westlind, now associate counsel, labor and employment, at Providence Health & Services; Steve Galloway, a civil litigation attorney at Stoel Rives; and Brad Dixon, a trial attorney in Stoel Rives’ Boise office.
The Nihilists come together “when there is a need” — for charity or social events, Runkles-Pearson says, adding that playing music has been a great way to “kick back” and get to know a kinder, gentler side of her fellow attorneys. It’s also something of an ego booster. “We get to be cool for once,” Runkles-Pearson says.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
The big news at Oregon Business is we’re getting a ping pong table. After reading the descriptions of the 2015 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon, a disproportionate number of which feature table tennis in the office, I decided it was time to bring our own workplace into the 21st century. It was a tough call, but it’s lonely at the top, and someone has to make the hard decisions.
Thursday, March 26, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER
Power lunching at the Court Street Dairy Lunch in Salem.
Thursday, February 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR
Employment in Oregon is almost back up to prerecession levels — and employers are having to work harder to entice talented staff to join their ranks. This year’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon project showcases the kind of quality workplaces that foster happy employees.
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
My daughter turned 18 last week, and for her birthday I got her a Car2Go membership. Not to label myself a disruptor, but it felt like a groundbreaking moment. The two of us, mother and child, were participating in a new teen rite of passage: Instead of handing over the car keys, I handed over a car-sharing card — with the caveat that she not use the gift as her own personal car service.
Friday, February 27, 2015
VIDEO: 2015 100 Best Companies to work for in Oregon
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
Baseball is returning to Portland and city officials are hoping economic opportunity comes with it.
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
The ongoing labor disputes at the Port of Portland came to a head two weeks ago when Hanjin, the container port's largest client, notified its customers it would be ending its direct route to Oregon.
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