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Lawrence announces candidacy for circuit court judge


McMinnville attorney J. Mark Lawrence, a former deputy district attorney, seeks to fill retiring Judge Cal Tichenors position

McMinnville attorney and former Yamhill County deputy district attorney J. Mark Lawrence announced Monday he is seeking Circuit Court Judge Cal Tichenor’s spot upon his retirement.

Lawrence might be best known for a 2007 case involving male students at Patton Middle School in McMinnville who faced criminal charges for allegedly spanking female classmates. The charges were later dismissed.

However, in 2010, Lawrence received a 60-day suspension after releasing the court transcript to the media, which is forbidden under Oregon law. The suspension, however, was later overturned by the Oregon Supreme Court.

“I pledge to be a patient, fair and courteous judge, who will use my nearly 25 years of legal experience to apply the law wisely,” Lawrence said in a press release. “My years as a trial attorney have taught me that if all the parties have a fair and equal opportunity to be heard in court, then win or lose they will accept a court’s considered judgment. That is the kind of judge I want to be.”

Lawrence serves on the boards of McMinnville Church on the Hill and the Yamhill Justice Center.