In Memory of Douglas Swanson

We are pleased to share the following messages with family and friends

The injured workers of Oregon lost a friend and a great advocate. Although I
worked on the opposite side of the table from Doug, I always respected his ethics
and willingness to take the high road. Many of my colleagues have expressed their
deep sadness with your and our loss.

Mark Powell

Our deepest condolences to the Swanson family. The world has lost a true
champion of the underdog and someone who gave unselfishly to improve the quality of
life of others.

Doug was an unwavering supporter of those we represent, injured workers in Oregon.
He was always there when we needed his advice or help. He also helped the injured
through his input in law and rule changes. Recently, he found a long suffering
worker who contacted us a pain specialist. As with thousands of others over the
years in numerous areas, his effort improved a life tremendously.

Doug will be dearly missed. His accomplishments will be felt for many generations
and we are thankful for his time among us. We hope that brings you some comfort. Few
have helped so many as Doug.

God bless,

Injured Workers’Alliance

Injured Worker Coalition

I am so sorry to hear of this tragedy. My thoughts and prayers are with all
of you at Doug’s firm and his family. I worked at the WCB Hearings Division for 9
years. I remember Doug above all other attorneys I had contact with when working
there, both in person and over the phone. Doug was always extremely polite,
pleasant to deal with and a friendly and positive person overall. It is incredibly
unfair that something like this happened to a person so kind and generous.

Sherry Masury

Doug’s energy was positive and present. He remains a role model to us
lawyers and as human beings. My honor was knowing him, sharing a laugh, working
against him on cases, but always leaving the situation better than we found it!

My prayers continue to family and friends who know about that positive and present
energy; keep it with you now and always.

Kathryn Ricciardelli

Doug came into BikeWorks on the 19th to say hello and see what the shop
needed in way of bicycle information. Doug has come in several times before and has
always been so thoughtful, helpful, and accessible. BikeWorks offers our deepest
sympathies to you. He will be greatly missed.

Kim Fey and Alex,

Co-Directors, North Portland BikeWorks

Although I have known Doug for a long time, I hadn’t seen him in so long
that I needed to be re-introduced at a recent UP Women’s Soccer game, where he was
sitting a few rows from me and my husband, Richard Meeker. We ended up chatting at
some length about the team and all about our families’ soccer obsessions, our kids,
etc. It was a great conversation and I left the game feeling so happy to have run
into Doug and to have gotten a sense of the fulfillment he had in seeing his
children growing up and his general enjoyment of life. Amazingly enough, we didn’t
talk about law at all! Richard and I send our deepest condolences to Doug’s
family, partners and friends at this time of such sadness.

Ellen Rosenblum

Doug was one of the good guys. He sponsored me yearly for the Audubon
Society of Portland’s “Birdatho” fundraiser, and had a fondness for the cinnamon
rolls I would make every year for my sponsors. While he worked at the American Bank
Building we often traded phone calls (I work for a law firm on the 6th floor) about
“good birds” we saw from our windows, especially the red-tailed hawks who nested
in the evergreens near Pioneer Courthouse. My law firm was often on the other side
of Doug’s cases, and he was one of the most decent, fair, honest lawyers I ever had
contact with. I will miss him. My thoughts are with his family and friends.

Terrie Murray

Though I did not know Doug, his contribution to this universe would seem to
translate into being one of those people of whom you would say, “you couldn’t help
but be a better person for having known him.” I do know Jane, however, and wanted
to relay that my thoughts are with her.

Peter Englander

Portland Development Commission

To the Swanson family and law firm.

Please know that you “all” are in my prayers during the loss of Mr. Swanson. May
the Lord gives you all understanding, peace, and strength to endure.

There are few lawyers that can be compared to Mr. Swanson. He was always pleasant
and courteous to me every time we spoke to each other about a case he was handling.
I thank God for the opportunity to know and work Mr. Swanson, he will be missed.

May God rest his soul… God bless you.

Liddian Rivers

I am so very sorry to hear about Doug’s tragic death. As a longshore
adjuster, I have worked with Doug for the past 11 years. He was a class act and a
true gentleman.

Geraldine Morod

Portland has lost a true visionary leader for social justice. With deep
respect to Doug’s family and his partners and friends.

Gretchen Kafoury

Jane, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Mary Manning

I do not recall where I first had contact with Doug, but remember first
talking to him at Portland Saturday Market where I had ridden on my bike with one of
my sons. Over the next decade I would see Doug at seminars and hearings. I would
always give particular importance to his contributions on the listserve. He would
return calls, give advice and not expect a quid pro quo. On several occasions he
would take the time to ask about my case at the hearings division when he was trying
his own case. I shared with him recently a list of soccer games in which he and I
had played over a quarter century ago and he laughed. I will miss his sense of

Pat Mackin

I am a Claims Examiner who worked with Doug on Longshore and State Act cases
over the last 14 years or so.

Doug was such a good person. He was a very patient and honest attorney and taught me
a lot when I was a young Claims Examiner.

A nice guy, who’s loss will be mourned for a long time. My thoughts and prayers
are with your firm and Doug’s family and friends.

Holly Remington

Jane, Derek, and Miguel,

I’m so terribly sorry to hear of your husband and dad’s tragic passing. I used to
live next door to Jane and Doug on 29th street, and Derek was my first babysitting
job ever! I remember Doug as a very warm, gentle and patient individual, and knew
that should I ever need help when my mom was at work, he (and you too, Jane!) would
be there for whatever Mandy or I needed.

I’ve thought of your family many times over the past years, and feel so sad to be
reconnecting under such devastating circumstances. My heart goes out to all of you
at this very difficult time.

Kind regards,

Amy (Lopez) Wertheim

Doug was my attorney and negotiated my PPD award with Kevin Mannix, I cannot
remember for the life of my why, but during the negotiation I had to keep calling
him back from a phone booth because I was not able to be at home. I called, he told
me the offer and suggested I take it. I told him I wanted x percent more. To his
credit he went back to Kevin who much to his surprise agreed. I am not a very good
story teller but I always smile when I think of how surprised he was and what a good
sport he was to put up with this bossy client.

My vocational rehabilitation program retrained me to become a paralegal;
consequently I have seen Doug pretty steadily at Salishan through the years until I
became an attorney. He has always been so gracious, generous and supportive of me.
When I post questions to the listserve I always got the comprehensive help from him.

Our relationship was purely professional but I feel a very large hole in my life
right now. I think the lesson is to notice the important people in our lives a
little more. I will miss him at every CLE I attend.

I am SO sorry for your loss. I’m sure whoever reads this probably will not know
me, but if there is anyway I can help you please call me. I live in Newport, which
is a very good place to go for healing. My number is in the book under workers’
comp attorneys. 541 574-9539

In Solidarity

Nyla L. Jebousek

Jane, Derek, and Miguel:

I had several cases “on the other side of the fence” from Doug. When I started
practicing law six years ago, I quickly learned that the community of lawyers who
practice workers’ compensation law is a small one. I also quickly learned that
Doug was known in our area as an example of the type of lawyer I should strive to
be. His reputation was one of consummate professionalism.

His reputation bore true when I finally met him and had cases with him. He always
treated me with respect and kindness…regardless of our contentions or
“differences of opinions” in any particular case.

I ran into Doug many times at Lloyd Gym and at the Hollywood Farmer’s market. He
always seemed like he truly enjoyed his life. He will be missed by so many.

I wanted you to know, as I am sure you have already heard from many, that Doug was
respected and loved by all of us in this small community of workers’ compensation
practitioners. He probably affected many more people than he ever realized and he
has left a huge imprint.

My thoughts and prayers are with your family.

Amy Osenar

I work for one of Doug’s opposing counsel in the LHWCA world but did not
know him well personally; however, I certainly know and respect his work. I have a
very high regard for his competency, professionalism, ethics, and downright good
heart – this was a man who shone like a beacon. If all lawyers were like him, there
would be no basis for lawyer jokes.

The tragic loss of his life will be felt greatly in our small legal niche.

My heart goes out to his friends, family, and staff, for he was obviously a prince
among men.

Jen Mscichowski

Jane – My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Matt Baines

My thoughts are with you and yours. I was a client of Doug’s and my case is
posted on the STCN web site as a win. Doug worked with me for about 6 or 7 years and
I enjoyed that time with him and Jim Whittington. Without his help my life would not
be as full as it is now. I hope that with time we will find a way to heal the void
that is in your lives now.

Take care

Larry Shaver

Dear Jane and Family,

I send you my condolences for your terrible loss. Please know Jane that my thoughts
and prayers are with you and your family. You are very much in my heart.

A big, big hug,

Amy Miller Dowell

On behalf of the Northwest Longshore Administrators Association, I would like
to express our deep regret at the loss of Doug Swanson. Although we were technically
“adversaries” rather than colleagues, our members uniformly agree that we were
always glad to see Doug on the other side of a case. While he provided tough,
thorough representation for his clients, Doug was also fair and demonstrated both
integrity and vision. Doug’s death represents a huge loss in our area, as well as
for the whole community.

Craig A. Kuhns


Northwest Longshore Administrators Association

Jane: I’m so very sorry. I didn’t read the articles about Doug, so I
didn’t know he was your husband. This is such a shock for you and your children.
And you have battled so much so successfully over the past couple of years, this
makes it even harder. I just feel such pain inside when I think of you – how
wonderful you are, and how lucky and privileged I have been to work with you. I pray
that you and your sons and the rest of your families will come through this terrible
time with greater love for each other and find the strength you need to move into
the future.

Ellen Ryker

I have spent the majority of my legal career representing employers in the
defense of claims by injured workers. I litigated frequently against Doug Swanson.
He was always passionate, ethical and well prepared in the representation of his
clients. I knew I was in for a professional challenge when Doug was on the other
side. Unfortunately, my “A Game” was usually not enough against Doug. He prevailed
more times than I care to remember!!

I came to hold Doug in high regard as an adversary and ultimately as a friend. When
someone asked for a referral to a “good claimant’s attorney”, I gave Doug’s name
without hesitation. The case was always expertly handled with energy, competence and

I offer my sincere condolences to his family and friends. He made a difference and
will be missed.

Brian Perko

Hi, everyone,

I want to pass along my heartfelt condolences to Jane, Derek and Miguel and to
Doug’s law parters. I know you will all miss him terribly. I was shocked and
saddened to learn of this horrible, senseless tragedy.

I enjoyed working with Doug back in 1985-1986 and considered him a friend. He was
always ready with a hug whenever we met. We learned we had a few mutual friends
over the years, and I saw him now and again at one function or another–and lots of
times on the streets of Portland. I will miss him very, very much.

I have a two-year-old son now and will not be able to get away this evening for the
memorial service. But my heart will be there. I’m so very sorry.

Donna (Strickland) Vanderschoot and family

I met Doug through Michael Royce and Rich Miller. We got together a number
of times over the years, for beer and BS and sometimes some serious talk. I really
enjoyed Doug’s company, and I am sorry that he is gone.

Leif Running

My interaction with Doug was limited, but enough to know he was a good
person, a good soul, and a person who will be missed by many people. My sympathies
to the family for their loss. Words always seem to fall short at a time like this.
There is nothing that can take away the pain and sorrow with such a sudden and
traumatic loss.

May God bless you and keep you all at this difficult time.

Paul Knight R.N.

Words fail to express what all of us who knew Doug are experiencing.

He will be missed.

Mark Ginsberg

I had the privilege of meeting Doug 2 years ago during my first year of law
school at Lewis & Clark. Doug had come to speak to the student chapter of the
National Lawyers Guild about his practice generally and to answer the many questions
we had for him.

I have had a very difficult time with law school as I struggle to keep it from
overtaking my life. It isn’t Lewis & Clark specifically but rather the ubiquitous
institution of law school as a great machine for crushing idealism and turning out
cookie-cutter supporters of the status quo that concerns me. When asked for advice
regarding this dilemma, Doug spoke at length about how he managed to keep a balance
between law and the rest of his life both during law school and throughout his
career. I was struck by his living example of how to balance professional
responsibilities (read: unending hours of detailed, mechanistic, yet billable toil)
with a wide array of engaging, enjoyable activities, and especially by his
commitment to fight for social justice. Particularly impressive was learning of his
struggle to start the firm so soon after law school, and how he managed to overcome
many obstacles, not the least of which was always meeting payroll!

I only briefly and occassionally encountered him after this meeting, but the initial
impression he made was very strong. I count him among the many role models that
have helped shape my life. I was shocked and very saddened to learn of his death
while attending the recent Guild convention in Birmingham. Many folks there from
around the country had encountered him at one time or another, and eyes did not
remain dry when we learned of this tragedy.

Please accept my sincere condolances at this tragic time.

Kind regards,

Kevin James

I practice in Seattle and defend Longshore Act cases. I have known Doug for
about 18 years and have the highest regard for him. He was always a pleasure to work
with and showed a skilled professionalism at all times. He clearly placed his
client’s interests above all else, and I will certainly miss him.

Ray Warns

The night I learned Doug had died I wanted to find the W.H. Auden poem with
the lines “…stop the clock”… “my friend is dead”. My collection didn’t
have that eulogy; instead I found Auden’s poem about the Bruhnyel (?sp) painting I
saw in Paris; I remembered Mike Healey said Doug and his wife Jane had gone to Paris
in the recent past, to celebrate her life, and theirs together. I hope they saw the
painting. It shows Icarus falling to the sea while the townspeople and farmers go
about their business, oblivious. Auden’s poem addresses this irony– how suffering
or tragic events happen to others while we, heads down, distracted, are blind to
them. We who knew Doug cannot be blind to suffering and tragedy today. But it is
the greatest testament to his life that Doug was never blind to the suffering of
others. His practice of law, but especially of life itself, will remain a light for
all my life. I will miss his kindness, his wonderful humor, his outstanding professionalism. My deepest sympathy to Doug’s family and law firm.

Dianne Sawyer

First off, my heartfelt condolences to Doug’s colleagues and family over his
most egregious and untimely death. It is a most tragic and terrible act that was
comitted. I thank Doug and his partners who started the Firm. I became a client in
around 1994. Alan Graff was my attorney at the time. I was referred to Swanson,
Thomas and Coon by my friends and comrades at PCUN. Four years later, I won my
“permanent disability” Social Security claim, that had been denied numerous

I’ve worked all of my life on social justice issues…so did Doug. I hope and pray
that all of you kind, loving folks find peace, soon, and know that even those of us
who were clients of past times are deeply, deeply affected by the tremendous loss of

In Solidarity,

Kathleen M. Weaver

Doug was such a terrific and optimistic person. He was one of the first
people I met through the National Lawyers Guild when I moved to Portland, and I was
shocked to read that he was missing, and now that he was crime victim. Sadly, I am
in Los Angeles and will not be back in time for his memorial service. Our entire
community has lost a thoughtful and involved man of true character.

Ken Lerner

Doug and Jeff Adatto helped me get my first job as a lawyer in 1986. It was
one of Doug’s many gestures of good will, but it made a profound impact on my life.

Roger van Hoy

Jane, my thoughts are with you and sympathy for your family. Take care of
yourself during this time of grief.

Ross Plambeck

Doug was a very special person whom I both admired and respected. Although,
as lawyers, we were on opposing sides, we always had a friendly and respectful
relationship. When anyone needed a workers’ compensation attorney, I sent them
straight to Doug. He was the most skillful attorney I knew. I am also a high school
track and field coach. Doug and I would often chat when the meets were held at Grant
High. I share your loss of this wonderful man. I will miss him.

Conway C. McAllister

I don’t have a “particular memory” of Doug. After 16 years of practice
opposite him, I have a necklace of memories. I see him striding into Alameda to
collect Miguel; at a Legislative Subcommittee meeting making pithy comments on his
philosophy of how the W/C legislation ought to be written; pedaling past the
hearings division with a big grin on his face; climbing Cascade Head after another
Salishan meeting. He was a tough opponent who advocated tirelessly for his client,
but never took the adrenaline of the case out into the lobby. He was a friend out
there, ready with advice on raising boys, admitting to the pangs of taking a child
to college or losing a parent, ready to celebrate any joy. And he was a role model
for me. He always had room in his life for the causes he believed in, and doing the
right thing never got passed over for convenience or rest. When I look at my
calendar and think I don’t possibly have time to give to a cause I believe in, I
think of the Dougs I know who make the time, and then I do, too.

Doug is “one of the good people.” He helped make me proud to be in this
profession, proud to be his colleague, glad our sons were friends. I hope I can
hold up one little corner of his banner.

Kathryn Olney

Mark and I will be at Lewis and Clark this evening, with the thought in mind
of celebrating Doug’s life with those who loved him as well. I don’t know if my
paralegal, Debbie Healy, will make it or not. She left work today, frankly so shook
up by the tragedy that she’s having difficulty keeping focus. We were talking
earlier, and she shared with me that of the countless lawyer’s she’s dealt with as
a paralegal, Doug stood out as one who made her feel she belonged in the discussion,
that she had a seat at the table and deserved a response. He set an egalitarian bar
that many have appreciated without doubt.

Tomorrow I’m headed to TriCities to speak with the Umatilla clients, a good number
of whom Doug represented in the worker comp system. This will be the first group
meeting since Judge Hubel’s adverse decision 10 days ago. These broken and
dispirited families are still reeling from the injustice of federal power, which
incredibly includes an award of costs to the government. It’s not going to be an
easy time. We will talk about Doug at the outset of the meeting. They will hear
that on the day he disappeared, he called to offer his heartfelt condolences to

I intend to read your firm’s tribute aloud and am hopeful that by sharing our
feelings, we will draw strength from his memory and see life’s priorities more
clearly. If we can do this, and I believe it will happen, it will be yet another
gift from Doug. I am thankful to have been his friend and colleague for all these

Jim McCandlish

My relationship with Doug was one of dred when he would appear as opposing
counsel on my cases because he was a very effective and formidable opponent. (In
fact he was one of only two attorneys I have referred claimant’s cases to. That is
how highly I thought of his legal work)

Doug was an attorney who’s reputation preceeded him, literally. When I was working
with The workers’ compenation section of the Oregon State Bar, I was involved with
the nominations for the Doug Daughtry award. It was always a big decision whether
to present the award as the standards were quite high and then did the person really
deserved it.

The amount of support and long hand written letters in support of Doug’s nomination
was amazing. I had never seen anything like it. In a world of attorneys being very
busy and having trouble returning phone calls to their clients, people were taking
the time to write 2 to 3 pages letters in support of Doug receiving this award. That
was my first introduction to Doug.

After several cases against him, I can now say, he lived up to his preceeding

My prayers and thoughts are with his family, friends and coworkers.

Jennifer Roumell

I did not know Doug very well. We had only shared a few conversations. But
I still knew him well enough to know that our world is a lesser place without him,
but remains a better place because of him.

carl kiss

My broken heart goes out to Doug’s family and firm. I met Doug sixteen years
ago when I was a first year lawyer at Schwabe, Williamson, defending workers’
compensation and longshore cases–over the years we tried many cases with each
other. I say “with” instead of “against” because Doug, (along with his then
partner Mike Royce), was the epitome of politeness and professionalism. His sense
of humor did not cease to exist when he stepped inside a courtroom, and I can
remember more than one time when I had to bite my cheeks not to laugh out loud while
he poked good-humored fun at either me or my legal position (which, back in those
days, was generally appropriate). I never minded losing to him (which, back in
those days was often), and I never minded paying him large longshore settlements.
I remember how excited he was to adopt Miguel, I remember when I went to Africa in
1997 on my sabbatical how Derek requested cheetah pictures, which I dutifully took,
and sent, and I remember Doug making Derek send a thank you note!

After I stopped doing comp work, I saw him less, but in the past few years, ran into
him either walking down the street, or meeting friends at the Heathman–across the
street from my new firm. I plan on remembering him that way–with his fabulous
fedora on and a big smile on his face, still calling me “KOK.”

He will be missed forever.

Karen O’Kasey

Dear Friends,

I do not have the words to adequately express my thoughts on the loss of our friend
and colleague. I hope that you and Doug’s family understand how many people have
heavy hearts and grieve with you. I met Doug in law school. We shared the
opportunity to both represent injured people. Doug earned the respect of his
clients, colleagues, and opposing counsel and claims people. Every time I saw Doug,
he took the time to stop and talk. He always showed interest in my life. Many
people have asked me about Doug in the past few days. Two of the men who worked as
parking attendants in the Jackson Tower were in pain as they talked about Doug’s
passing. Doug touched everyone in his life. We are all better for having known him
and feeling a great loss with his passing.

Robert Neuberger

I just learned of Mr. Swanson’s death through WILG. I did not have the good
fortune to know Mr. Swanson, but as an advocate for injured workers I sincerely
appreciate his obvious efforts on their behalf. In reading about Mr. Swanson it is
readily apparent that he lived an exemplary life. His balance of a successful
practice, community involvement, and family life and values is a wonderful example
for us all. The world is most certainly a better place because of Mr. Swanson. My
sincere condolences to his wife, sons and family.

Margo Tschetter Julius, Rapid City South Dakota

Although Doug and I were law school classmates, our professional paths
didn’t cross very often. So, I was delighted at a recent chance encounter on the
street corner outside the firm’s new offices. For 20 minutes, we visited as though
our last conversation had been the day before, instead of years earlier. He beamed
with pride about the good work everyone at the office was doing. I felt privileged
that he stopped to speak with me. Now I know I was blessed by that unplanned
meeting. My sincere sympathies to all of you.

Judge Anna J. Brown

I worked as a law clerk for Royce Swanson & Thomas back in 1991-1992. At
that time, I was a 2nd year law student, a new father, and had a long pony tail. I
had been hired because of the firm’s need for a law clerk and their desire to hire
an active law student in the National Lawyers Guild. One day I walked in to the job
without my pony tail and Doug was visibly dismayed. I asked him why he was upset
about the pony tail, and he said that it remined him of his younger days and he
wanted it back. After explaining to him that my new daughter kept pulling it, he
laughed and said that time just keeps marching on. After law school and entering
practice, I would often visit the firm, and would make it a habit of peeking in on
Doug. One day, I came in to his office and found that he had a scope that looked
out his window with which he could watch birds and such on Pioneer Square. I told
him my new office was just across the way at Jackson Tower and I had binoculars
set up in the same way to do the same thing. We joked that we could now spy on
each other. One day I looked through the glasses over to the other building at
Doug’s office. There was Doug, working away on the phone. I put them away and
went back to work. About 5 minutes later, I got a phone call. It was Doug. He
told me to pick up my glasses and look over at this office. There he was looking
at me! Doug was always a gentleman and funny guy. I always liked Doug and
recommended many people to him over the years for advice. I will miss him.

My condonlences to his partners, his employees, and particularly to his family. I
wish them all the best.

Michael Banks

I feel truly blessed to have know Doug and to have had him in my life, in a
small way. I took more comfort than I realized in knowing Doug was there and I could
call on him to help me with any case I worked on or could talk to him about
anything. I have many fond members of our years on the Brain Injury Board together
and in sharing Head Injury Clients.

It is truly incredible that someone at 51 years of age could have touched so many
lives, in so many ways and with such respect,caring and understanding. But Doug did
and he will be missed in many ways by so many people, none more than his family and
law partners.

I will always remember the love Doug had for his family, friends, causes he took up
and the zest he lived his life.

My thoughts are with his family and law partners today and in the months/years ahead.

Linda Hill

To Doug’s family and law partners:

I cannot express to all of you how sorry I am for your loss. Doug was a teacher of
mine in the late ’80’s at Portland Community College. He taught my workers’
compensation class and was truly my favorite teacher. I learned so much from Doug
and he was always available for his students. Later, when I went to work as a legal
assistant for a workers’ comp firm downtown, I would often run into Doug as his
firm was in the same building. He would always stop and talk, never acting like he
was too important or busy to talk. When I had my own workers comp claim, he was the
only attorney I considered hiring.

I haven’t seen Doug in many years since I now work in Tualatin, but we often get
calls from clients needing help with workers’ comp. Doug was always the first
person I referred everyone to. He was a first class attorney and more important, a
first class human being, and this world has lost a wonderful person.

My heart goes out to Doug’s wife and sons of whom I can only imagine the pain they
are going through in this tragic time. And also to his law partners and staff who
have lost not only a great attorney, but a great friend. My thoughts and prayers
are with you all. I will never forget Doug.


Kelly L. Reed

Dear Jane and Family,

I’m not sure if you remember me, I used to babysit Derek and Miguel way back when
they were tiny. I’ve been meaning to contact you all for some time now, and am
devastated to do so under such sad circumstances. I read about Doug’s death in the
news. I am so very sorry and upset that this happened to such a kind and generous
man. And that your beautiful family is suffering this loss. My thoughts and love
are with you.

Katy Foreman

Where to start? Doug Swanson stories are many. There was the inside joke
phone greeting–“DS!”–we always exchanged with enthusiasm. Years ago, there were
work-outs at the Metro Y pool before both of us OD’d on chlorine. There was the
flawlessly executed imitation of Miguel when Miguel and Sam were together in
childcare: “Sam Sugerman, my udder big brudder.” There were questions about the
Oberg case: “Is this REALLY a good idea?”

Later, it was a smile and a chat running into him at a kid’s bat mitzvah at Havurah
Shalom. (“Oh yeah, Rabbi Joey is our Rabbi,” he once assured me. “Hmmm.”)

The other day, our paths crossed at the new STCN. I was there defending depositions
in a tobacco case. He smiled as he gave the update on Jane (“doing well”) and
dwelled with pride on both Derek and Miguel. “Yes,” he said in a soothing tone,
“we are getting older.” (This when I protested that Derek could not possibly be
old enough to have gone of to college….)

The world is much poorer without Doug. No doubt you will be innundated with
outpourings of grief and support. That is as it should be–he was a jewel.

David Sugerman

I didn’t know Doug on a personal level, however I knew OF him. I am a
Paralegal for Brent Wells of Cram, Harder, Wells & Baron law firm in Eugene. We are
also a claimant firm representing injured workers in Oregon. I have attended many
of the yearly Salishan meetings and have been introduced to Doug Swanson. I was
very saddened to hear of his death. Injured workers in Oregon will be missing out
from someone who cared about their rights. My sincere condolances go out to you and
God Bless you in this sad time.


Janice E. Knori

My sincere condolences to you all as well as Doug’s family. As a claims
examiner, Doug and I had many cases upon which we worked together. I always liked
having him on a file – he was always very professional and nice to work with. I
admired his ability to truly put his client’s needs before his own. In fact,
within the last year, I contacted him regarding my husband’s work related claim
with the Portland Police Bureau. Doug was more than willing to talk with me and
address my concerns. I was extremely appreciative of such. He will be missed in
our professional community.

Erika Schulz

Doug was my soccer coach for 5 years. He was the one who really got me to
want to play goalie. I think that he was a great coach, he was incouraging and
taught me so much about playing goalie while I was on his team. When I played soccer
Doug was always very supportive and helpful. Now I am on a premier soccer team and I
still am playing goalie. I think that I owe most of my success as a goalie to him. I
only knew him as a coach, but I am sure that he was a really great father and a
great husband.

Max Schneider

May your pain soon turn to
gratitude for having spent
time with Doug.

May your sadness lift your
sights to the realization
that the soul never dies,
families are eternal, and
friendship, love, and great
memories are the greatest
and only true treasures.

Ernest Edsel

Nat’l Civi Lib. Council

I am legal assistant to attorney, Gene L. Platt. I am saddened to hear of
your loss. Please be assured that my prayers are with you. I know these days are
difficult for you. You have many friends who will support you and who are eager to
give you aid and comfort. I pray that you will be strengthened through God’s
grace, and come to find rest and peace.

I spoke briefly on just a few occasions to Doug on the phone at work, never having
the opoprtunity to meet him. May the love and memories you shared with Doug
continue to touch your heart.

In deepest sympathy,

Linda Williams

I cannot yet conceive of the disappearance of a man so enthusiastic you’d
have thought he was no more than 25, as good at cracking jokes as he was at
broaching the gravest matters. A smile so broad, so joyful, that it seems, in my
mind’s memory, to define his whole face. I cannot believe his next visit to Paris
will never happen, but, Jane, I am choosing a restaurant for us. I wish I could be
there with all of you, and am in my heart.

Jackie Reuss

On an annual camping trip to Fort Stevens, all the parents and kids were
hiking around a lake. Doug carried my 3-year-old daughter on his shoulders, much to
her delight. Later the kids found a caterpillar on the trail and all squatted down
to examine it until Derek hiked up and squashed it. The kids were upset, the adults
understood, and Doug gave a bit more attention to Derek.

Sarah McKenzie

I first met Doug when he interviewed me for the Green Empowerment Board of
Directors. I worked with him on the board for the last five years. The very early
“hook” for my commitment to Green Empowerment was the story about Doug and Michael
figuring out in law school that they wanted to work for social justice. And then
they created a law firm to do just that. After that, they created a nonprofit to do
just that. While so many of us dream and talk about our ideals, Doug built his. I
can’t tell you how inspiring that has been to me. Doug was a hero of mine. I am so
honored to have worked with him and to share one of his visions. I will miss him

Alida Thacher

I did not know Doug well, but knew his work, and his passion. Just last
summer at Salishan, I was lucky enough to sit and visit with Doug, and saw that
passion again. He was a giver, and left this place better than he found it.

Joe Di Bartolomeo

My deepest sympathy to all. Doug was one of the finest men I have ever known.
He will continue to serve as an inspiration both personally and professionally.

John Coletti

Dear Jane and family:

Though I only met Doug on maybe three or four occasions, I remember his open smile
and the twinkle in his eyes. My heart goes out to you during this tragic time.


Todd Kelley

Doug was a big brother and mentor to me since 1982…I worked for a firm
where he had worked prior to him setting up his current firm. He was instrumental in
my decision to represent injured workers in Oregon. He has transformed many lives
with his warmth and commitment to help people and did it with such intelligence and
wit and energy. I will never know another man such as he and will cherish every
moment I spent with him. I will also be more vigilent about caring for those around
me as we are all on a tenuous and delicate train ride at any time. God bless and
much love to Doug’s family forever and ever.

Art Stevens

I have been thinking about Doug so often this past week and remembering
seeing him in places that I have been in lately. Just Saturday, in La Bonita, I
recalled that on my my first visit there I met Doug. Figures he had the drop on me
for real Mexican food in the neighborhood!

For some reason, the images that come to mind the most are all of the times we’d
run into eachother and that every time Doug would be smiling and would shake my
hand. And the guy had a big hand that shook yours with warmth, but not like some
people with big hands who try to “outsqueeze” you. Just the whole thing, the
hello, the smile, the handshake, were all so genuine.

And I can not remember a time that, when asked to help, Doug did not rise to the
occasion. But you could go to the well with Doug and there would always be something

Those are just some of the things I’ve been thinking about Doug, whom I will never

Steve Piucci


Words cannot express what I’m feeling surrounding the news of your loss. In reading
this dedication to Doug, citing all of his heartfelt and noble accomplishments, I am
truly saddened that the world has lost such a good man with so much to offer. And I
know that no one must miss him more than you and the boys.

Thinking of you, and wishing you strength, peace and clarity. I’m so very sorry…

Christine Sale

Jane: As member of your PDC family, I surround you with good thoughts, love
and support. If anyone of us in Economic Development can assist you, please do not
hesitate to call on us.

Juanita Swartwood

Thank you, Doug, for the opportunity to work with your great partners
[including Jane] during the time i prepared for and passed the bar exam. I almost
wish i flunked the exam so i could have spent more time in the Waldo building w/
you, Ray and Michael.

The confidence you showed to a recent graduate allowed me to work with you and
observe that work, family, play and athletics can thrive in harmony.

As we go forward without you, the vacuum will be palpable. All of us who walk in
your footsteps will be better off as a result of knowing you. The spark of your
spirit will kindle many flames in support of the causes you helped serve.

We will miss you.

David Paul

My sincerest condolences.

I did not know Doug, but am a colleague of Jane’s at the Portland Development
Commission. I have worked with Jane on projects the past few years, and am just
heartsick over this tragedy. Please forward these condolences from my entire family
— an Irvington family — for this terrible loss. The community is mourning. And
thank you for collecting these notes…


Kenny Asher


Though I never had the pleasure of meeting Doug, his tragic death has greatly
saddened me and my family. He was clearly a hero to his community, and we are all
poorer for having lost him. May we all find solace in carrying on Doug’s good
works in his stead.

God bless.

Eric Helmy

As a former paralegal at Gene Platt & Associates, I had the occasion to
communicate with Doug Swanson and his office staff regarding workers compensation
cases. In an adversarial proceeding sometimes things can get heated. This was
never the case with Doug Swanson’s office and I’ll always remember him as a good,
fair man, who was dedicated to helping others.

God Bless Doug and his family.

Doug Berry

As a lobbyist for OTLA and OWCA in the late 80s and early 90s I worked with
Doug who then was President of OWCA. He would always make himself available when
needed. He always exercised superb judgment both in dealing with the overwheming
problems we faced at the legislature and with the difficult internal political
problems of strong willed lawyers faced with crises. Doug had a quiet confidence,
respect of his colleagues and an unassuming intelligence that made him a fine
leader. I am very sorry for your loss and the loss to our state and profession.

Charlie Williamson

I went to work for Doug Swanson in 1990. He has been one of my personal
heroes since. Doug was one of the most compassionate and dedicated advocates for the
downtrodden I ever will have the fortune to know. He strove to make the world a
better place. He succeeded.

I will miss him so.

Geoff Wren

“Thanatopsis” by William Cullen Bryant

TO HIM who in the love of Nature holds

Communion with her visible forms, she speaks

A various language; for his gayer hours

She has a voice of gladness, and a smile

And eloquence of beauty, and she glides

Into his darker musings, with a mild

And healing sympathy, that steals away

Their sharpness, ere he is aware. When thoughts

Of the last bitter hour come like a blight

Over thy spirit, and sad images

Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall,

And breathless darkness, and the narrow house,

Make thee to shudder, and grow sick at heart;–

Go forth under the open sky, and list

To Nature’s teachings, while from all around–

Earth and her waters, and the depths of air–

Comes a still voice–Yet a few days, and thee

The all-beholding sun shall see no more

In all his course; nor yet in the cold ground,

Where thy pale form was laid, with many tears,

Nor in the embrace of ocean, shall exist

Thy image. Earth, that nourished thee, shall claim

Thy growth, to be resolved to earth again,

And, lost each human trace, surrendering up

Thine individual being, shalt thou go

To mix forever with the elements;

To be a brother to the insensible rock,

And to the sluggish clod, which the rude swain

Turns with his share, and treads upon. The oak

Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mould.

Yet not to thine eternal resting-place

Shalt thou retire alone, nor couldst thou wish

Couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down

With patriarchs of the infant world,–with kings,

The powerful of the earth,–the wise, the good,

Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past,

All in one mighty sepulchre. The hills

Rock-ribbed and ancient as the sun; the vales

Stretching in pensive quietness between;

The venerable woods–rivers that move

In majesty, and the complaining brooks

That make the meadows green; and, poured round all,

Old Ocean’s gray and melancholy waste,–

Are but the solemn decorations all

Of the great tomb of man! The golden sun,

The planets, all the infinite host of heaven,

Are shining on the sad abodes of death,

Through the still lapse of ages. All that tread

The globe are but a handful to the tribes

That slumber in its bosom.–Take the wings

Of morning, pierce the Barcan wilderness,

Or lose thyself in the continuous woods

Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound,

Save his own dashings,–yet the dead are there:

And millions in those solitudes, since first

The flight of years began, have laid them down

In their last sleep–the dead reign there alone.

So shalt thou rest; and what if thou withdraw

In silence from the living, and no friend

Take note of thy departure? All that breathe

Will share thy destiny. The gay will laugh

When thou art gone, the solemn brood of care

Plod on, and each one as before will chase

His favorite phantom; yet all these shall leave

Their mirth and their employments, and shall come

And make their bed with thee. As the long train

Of ages glide away, the sons of men,

The youth in life’s green spring, and he who goes

In the full strength of years, matron and maid,

The speechless babe, and the gray-headed man–

Shall one by one be gathered to thy side

By those, who in their turn shall follow them.

So live, that when thy summons comes to join

The innumerable caravan which moves

To that mysterious realm, where each shall take

His chamber in the silent halls of death,

Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,

Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed

By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave

Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch

About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.

Doug was a former adversary who became a good friend and collaborator on
cases involving mutual clients, his for workers’ compensation and mine for
discrimination cases. He was a class act. I met his son several years ago and was
impressed with what a fine boy Doug had raised. We all aspire to live a life such
as Doug lived.

He will be missed.

Craig A. Crispin

Most of my memories of Doug are more through hearing Jane talk about her
family and snippets of phone conversations that you are privy to when sharing
cubicle space. For instance I know the 4:50pm calls are always Miguel and if it is
followed up by another call that was almost always Doug. Listening to the two of
them talk about their family and day to day plans made it completely clear how much
Jane and Doug shared together, their ability to always put family first, and the day
to day give and take that two people in love do so gracefully.

I was lucky to have Jane and Doug at my wedding last month. Jane has been a bedrock
of support for me at work and as I endeavor to make a family of my own. When I
entered the reception hall at my wedding the first person I wanted to see was Jane.
I knew that she’d be glowing with happiness for me, but I distinctly remember this
man next to her that I had only met once before. Doug was grinning ear to ear
watching Jane’s every move. Maybe he was remembering the day they were married, or
maybe he was just basking in his wife’s glow that I imagine is what brought them
together and kept them together. But, what I could see the love and joy in the
relationship and would be grateful to have half of that in mine.

Jane, I love you and have looked to you for support over the last year. Now, I’d
like to return that support to you and your family. Please know that no request is
too big or too small.

Leah & Kyle Greenwood

I got to know Doug Swanson when I was a Deputy District Attorney and although
he was my adversary, he was always pleasant and treated me as a colleague, an
attitude which I thought was very rare and positive. When I became a plaintiff’s
lawyer, Doug always had a kind word for me and helped keep my spirits up. I never
recall a negative word from him at any time. It is unbelievable that he is gone for

Daniel Snyder

I had the great pleasure to meet Doug while seeking advice on a potential
workers compensation claim. We only spoke on the telephone, but I had a lot of
gratitude for the time he was able to spend with me to hash out what had to be done
for a potential client. It seems from what I have heard in recent days that Doug’s
selflessness and concern touched many many lives. His passing is a great tragedy as
well as a reminder of how precious life is.

Steven Parker

Jane my heart just aches at this sad news – there are no words. It tests my
faith and for the first time in years I feel I need to up my prozac to handle it! I
just wish you and the boys peace and comfort and hope you’re able to feel the love
that is being sent your way.

Terry Simmons

I know I am not alone in feeling a little bit like this awful thing has been
done to me and my lawfirm, not only to Doug, his family and his firm. That is not
to diminish or usurp in any way the unimaginable loss and pain those closer to Doug
have taken. But he was such a standard bearer for our profession, for fatherhood,
for friendship, for steadfastness in all the important things that it is impossible
not to take personally having him wrenched away. I knew him mostly as the strong
anchor of the firm that is and has long been my second place of business as we have
been joined together for many of the cases I consider my life’s best work. But the
memory that recurs to me these days and nights is not about work.

One Sunday about
5 or 6 years ago I was doing beach clean-up on the semi-annual SOLV day at Cape
Meares Beach near Tillamook. To my delight, along the beach came Doug and his sons
(and I think possibly a third boy who was a friend of Miguel’s). They
were having a great time playing catch with a frisbee or a soccer ball, I can’t
remember which, and looking like a small troop of adventurers. Once we said hello,
they all pitched in and together we carried a large amount of debris off of the
beach in a few minutes of working together. Then they were off continuing their
romp. I smiled to myself the rest of that day at the pure joy of them together,
and could tell it was a common kind of time for Doug and his kids.

Bill Gaylord

I first met Doug in 1996 when we sat next to one another at an Oregon Trial
Lawyers luncheon. He was amiable, chatty, witty and funny. He and his firm later
became my landlord for a brief period of time in the late 90’s when I sub-let an
office in the American Bank Building. We also crossed paths at indoor soccer games
when our sons were playing.

He will be missed. He was one of the true believers and one of the nicest lawyers I
have known.

My prayers and thoughts are with his family and partners who are suffering through
this devastating time.

Greg Zeuthen

Doug was a big brother and mentor to me since 1982…I worked for a firm
where he had worked prior to him setting up his current firm. He was instrumental in
my decision to represent injured workers in Oregon. He has transformed many lives
with his warmth and commitment to help people and did it with such intelligence and
wit and energy. I will never know another man such as he and will cherish every
moment I spent with him. I will also be more vigilent about caring for those around
me as we are all on a tenuous and delicate train ride at any time. God bless and
much love to Doug’s family forever and ever.

Art Stevens

To Doug’s family and law partners:

I am a friend of Michael Royce’s, who used to be a neighbor of mine and at whose
beach house my family and I stayed some 15 years ago. Through Michael, I met Doug. I
also ran into Doug in the course of my law practice. I did not know Doug very well,
but he had my highest admiration for the nature and quality of his legal work. He
was also a friendly, down-to-earth guy and an interesting person to talk to whenever
I ran into him. His death is a great loss to our community, to the bar, and to all
those who knew him.

My deepest sympathy to you, his family, law partners, and close friends.


Tilman Hasche & Eugenia Vasquez-Bermudez