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State bar honors 3 area attorneys

Three Rogue Valley lawyers were honored, two with awards and one with the vice presidency, at the annual convention of the Oregon State Bar in Seaside.

The honorees are:

— Carl Brophy, 76, a Medford lawyer in his 50th year of practice. He is — a partner in the Medford firm of Brophy, Mills, Schmor, Gerking and — Brophy. — —

He was one of three lawyers statewide honored with the Award of Merit, the highest honor of the bar, given for outstanding contributions to the bar, bench and community. The award is not given every year.

— — Judy Uherbelau, 61, an Ashland lawyer in civil law practice with — Thomas Howser. — —

She was one of eight lawyers statewide honored with the President's Public Service Award for contributions to the public through volunteer service. Uherbelau is completing her third and final term as a state representative.

— — David Orf, 49, a Medford lawyer specializing in criminal defense. Orf — is one of the bar's two new vice presidents. —

The bar convention began Thursday and will end Sunday.

The bar licenses and regulates 13,000 lawyers and administers the state's system of lawyer discipline.

Brophy has been a circuit judge pro tem, a member and chairman of the Board of Bar Examiners (1959-62), a member of the bar's board of governors (1966-69), a board member and president of the Oregon Law Foundation (1993-97), and a past president of the Jackson County Bar Association.

He won the E.B. MacNaughton Civil Liberties Award from the American Civil Liberties Union in 1998 for handling civil rights litigation in Mississippi in 1970.

Mr. Brophy's work in Mississippi represented a major personal sacrifice, as it required a significant time commitment away from his busy private practice and managing partner duties, said a statement from his partners and former partners. But he performed his duties, as always, with relish and skill.

He attended the University of Southern California and Oregon State University. His bachelor's degree (1947) and law degree (1949) are from the University of Oregon.

Uherbelau, who has practiced law in Oregon since 1982, was a public member of the Jackson County Budget Committee from 1991 until her election to the Oregon House in 1994.

She was a member of the House Judiciary Committee twice. She was vice chairwoman of its civil law subcommittee in 1997, and vice chairwoman of the Judiciary-Civil Law Committee this past session.

She earned a bachelor's degree in economics and political science from Ball State University in 1978 and her law degree from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1981.

Orf, one of two new vice presidents of the State Bar, earned his law degree from the University of Mississippi in 1976. He is the husband of Circuit Court Judge Rebecca Orf.

I hope my service on the State Bar contributes to an even stronger legal system, and helps us all to focus first on the needs of the community, he said.