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Prominent Oregon lawyer George L. Hibbard ’36 died December 19, 2011. He was 99. A descendant of Oregon Trail pioneers, Hibbard attended Portland’s Washington High School and received both a liberal arts and law degree from the University of Oregon. During World War II, Hibbard joined the Army and achieved the rank of Major. His final duty assignment was Judge Advocate of the Fifth Infantry Division. After the war, George and his wife settled their growing family in Oregon City where he practiced law for 51 years. Active civically and professionally, Hibbard at various times was a member and presiding officer of the Oregon City School Board, the Oregon State Bar Association, the Oregon State Game Commission, the Oregon State Judicial Fitness Commission and the Oregon State Bar Judiciary Committee. In the 1970s he led the successful effort of the Oregon State Bar before the Oregon Legislature to establish the Bar’s Client Security Fund to which all Oregon lawyers contribute annually for the protection of clients who may have legitimate financial claims against defaulting attorneys. He was the recipient of Oregon City’s Senior First Citizen Award.
Longtime Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Loren L. “Buz” Sawyer ’59 died August 31, 2011. He was 80. The youngest appointment to the bench, he was only 29 years old when he became a judge. At his retirement, he was the second longest serving judge in the history of Oregon, having completed 37 years on the bench. He was known for his courage in making difficult and often controversial decisions. As a senior judge, he continued to serve as an arbitrator and mediator. Among his many accomplishments were the initiation of Project Misdemeanant, the Jackson County misdemeanor probation program. He was a founder of Star Gulch home for troubled children; initiator of the Jackson County Alcohol Offender Program; initiator of Jackson County Driver Improvement School; organizer of Jackson County’s first drug rehabilitation program; and organizer of Jackson County’s Volunteers for Juveniles Program. He also helped organize Jackson County’s Little League and Soccer Programs. He retired from the U.S. Navy as a lieutenant commander.
Seattle lawyer Ted Preg ’74 died October 22, 2011. He was 66. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1967 with a degree in economics and served as a line officer in the Navy during the Vietnam War. After graduating from the University of Oregon School of Law, he spent two years in Washington D.C., as a trial attorney for the U.S. Justice Department, after which he moved into private practice. He started in the Seattle legal community in 1976 with Oles, Morrison & Rinker, where he was a partner until 1996. He then became a founding member of Preg, O’Donnell & Gillett. His legal practice focused primarily on defense of liability matters. He was chosen for several years by his peers as a “Super Lawyer,” and was awarded the highest possible ranking by Martindale. He mentored many lawyers, developed a very wide circle of professional friends, and was known to be a true gentlemen in the legal community.