UO Law Honors William Wheatley with John E. Jaqua Award
Oregon Law alumnus William Wheatley ’59 was honored at the 5th Annual John E. Jaqua Distinguished Alumnus Award reception and dinner on Friday, Oct. 28, 2011, at the Ford Alumni Center on the UO campus.
The Jaqua Award is given to alumni who uphold the highest ethical standards for the school and the legal profession. Personal and professional achievements, as well as loyalty to Oregon Law, also are taken into consideration. Wheatley, who has been practicing law in Eugene for more than 50 years, exemplifies the qualities of the award with his lifetime of dedication to the University of Oregon School of Law.
Along with John Jaqua, Wheatley founded the Eugene firm Jaqua & Wheatley, LLC, that continues to serve the legal needs of Oregonians today. In addition to working professionally with the award’s namesake, Wheatley has been active in the Oregon State Bar, he has served as Chairman of the Board of Bar Examiners, speaking at seminars, and authoring Continuing Legal Education (CLE) articles. Wheatley’s notable career is further illustrated by the fact that his name has been included in every edition of the Best Lawyers in America since the first edition in 1977.
Today, Wheatley notes his most enjoyable, and perhaps most challenging trial, as the 2003 case involving a trespass claim on behalf of the State of Oregon regarding the grounding of a foreign ship, The New Carissa, on the Oregon coast. “This was a two month trial which introduced me to the world of oceanography, maritime law, the history of shipwrecks throughout the world and the complicated process of raising sunken vessels,” he remarked on the case.