Paul DeMuniz

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Paul DeMuniz
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Court Information:
Oregon Supreme Court
Title:   Former justice
Appointed by:   Ted Kulongoski
Active:   2000-2013
Chief:   2006-2012
Succeeded by:   Thomas Balmer
Past post:   Oregon Supreme Court
Past chief:   2006-2012
Past position:   Judge
Past post 2:   Oregon Court of Appeals
Past term 2:   1990-2000
Personal History
Born:   1948
Undergraduate:   Portland State University, 1972
Law School:   Williamette University College of Law, 1975

Paul J. DeMuniz was a justice of the Oregon Supreme Court. He served as the court's the first Hispanic Chief Justice. He was elected on November 7, 2000, and elected as Chief Justice in 2006[1]

DeMuniz did not seek re-election at the end of his term in January 2012, stepped down from chief justice on May 1, 2012, and retired in January 2013.[2][3][4]


DeMuniz received his B.S. degree in Sociology from Portland State University in 1972 and his J.D. degree from Willamette University College of Law in 1975.[5]

Military service

DeMuniz served in the Air Force before earning his degrees, from 1966 to 1970. His service included a tour in Vietnam, from 1968 to 1969.[5]


DeMuniz began his legal career in 1975 as a deputy public defender for the state of Oregon. He joined the law firm Garret, Seideman, Hemann, Robertson & De Muniz, P.C. in 1977. He practiced law in this capacity until 1990. In 1988, he also worked as a special prosecutor in Douglas County. He joined the Oregon Court of Appeals in 1990. In 1997, he became the Presiding Judge of Department One of this court and he worked in this capacity until his election to the Supreme Court in 2000.[5]

Awards and associations

  • 1998-2002: Member, Judicial Fitness and Disability Commission
  • 2006-present: Member, Board of Trustee, Williamette University
  • 1995-present: Member, Board of Visitors, Williamette University College of Law's Board of Visitors
  • 1997: Mentor of the Year, Williamette University College of Law
  • 1985-1990: Member, Oregon Criminal Justice Council
  • 1980-1983: Member, Board of Bar Examiners, Oregon State Bar
  • 1980 Chair: Oregon State Bar's Criminal Law Section[5]



DeMuniz was retained by voters on May 16, 2006.[6]

Political ideology

See also: Political ideology of State Supreme Court Justices

In October 2012, political science professors Adam Bonica and Michael Woodruff of Stanford University attempted to determine the partisan ideology of state supreme court justices in their paper, State Supreme Court Ideology and 'New Style' Judicial Campaigns. A score above 0 indicated a more conservative leaning ideology while scores below 0 are more liberal. DeMuniz received a Campaign finance score (CFscore) of -0.87, indicating a liberal ideological leaning. This is less liberal than the average CF score of -1.00 that justices received in Oregon. The study is based on data from campaign contributions by judges themselves, the partisan leaning of contributors to the judges or, in the absence of elections, the ideology of the appointing body (governor or legislature). This study is not a definitive label of a justice, but an academic gauge of various factors.[7]

External links