Meet Judge Bachart
When asked to write my story, for anyone who knows me, knows about my sense of
humor. I took this task to mean something between a resume’ and an obituary. The more time I
spent thinking of how to introduce myself, the more I thought I can’t tell my story without telling the story
of others who have been with me on this journey.
I was born and raised in Toledo, Oregon and am a proud graduate of Toledo High School.
So how does a Boomer find herself in the Office of the Governor being asked to be the first
female judge in Lincoln County? Like any story, it starts with my parents. I was the first in my
family to go to college. While college was not their path, they worked and sacrificed to make
sure it was an opportunity each one of their children had. I also wouldn’t be the person I am
today without a very special cross-country coach in high school, Paul Boyer. Mr. Boyer taught
me “if you want to be a good person, hang out with good people.” That phrase is one people
regularly hear in my courtroom to this day. He also taught me when life gets tough you need to
“lock in the hubs” and some of your best thoughts come about mile 3 of any given run. One of his
most important lessons was you won’t remember how many letters come after your name,
your SAT or LSAT score, how many trials you’ve won, or how much money you have made.
Instead, you will remember the relationships you make along your journey and how you make
people feel. He taught me to be successful in life, find something you are passionate about and
when the lines become blurred between work and family, you are truly happy.
After undergraduate, I traveled, spent time abroad and worked to save money for law
school. It was during that time I met my husband, Mark. We will celebrate our 25th wedding
anniversary this summer and have been blessed with two children, Ally and Luke. Ally is a
junior at American University in Washington, DC and Luke is a senior at Newport High School
and will attend the University of Oregon in the fall. Any success I have had in my career is
because of the love and support of my family.
My first job after law school was in the Lincoln County District Attorney’s Office in
1997. I remained at the DA’s Office until I took the bench in 2008. Dan Glode and Peter Fahy
took a chance on me and gave me the encouragement and support every young lawyer needs.
They taught me if you are winning all your cases, you aren’t trying all the cases you should. In
other words, you should be trying the difficult cases and not be bothered by your win/loss record;
it is not about your ego. They taught me to do the right thing, for the right reason. The DA’s
Office is also where I met Paulette Sanders (later to become Judge Paulette Sanders). I have had
the honor to know and work with Judge Sanders my entire career. When I first met her, she was
prosecuting child abuse cases. She taught me child abuse cases are the most difficult, complex,
heart-wrenching cases you will ever handle, but also the most rewarding of your career. Most of
my time in the DA’s Office was spent handling child sexual and physical abuse cases. Few
know of the resilience and raw courage of child victims, but each one is etched in my heart forever.
I was encouraged to apply to become a judge by Judge Thomas Branford and Judge
Charles Littlehales. I had not previously considered becoming a judge, but after considering the
aspects of my job I enjoyed the most, I decided it would be a good fit. I was honored to be
appointed in 2008 by Governor Theodore Kulongoski. Joining the bench with Judge Littlehales
and Judge Branford was the honor of a lifetime. I would not be the judge I am today without
their constant help and support.
Shortly after taking the bench I implemented Domestic Violence Court and now preside
over almost every case involving crimes of domestic violence. I get to work closely with
community partners in this work to achieve better, safer outcomes for families. This past year I
took over Lincoln County’s Drug Court. It is a privilege to play a role in people transforming
their lives when given the opportunity and support needed. Whether it is a civil, criminal,
juvenile or a family law case, I take each case seriously because at that particular moment, it is
the most important thing to the person appearing in front of me. I spend a lot of time researching
issues before me and taking the time to learn about the people and understand their circumstances.
In the end, being a trial judge is about people. A good day is when the work I do makes life a little better
for our community. I am very fortunate to have served as your circuit court judge. I have met many of
you in jury service, as witnesses, parties, litigants, or interested observers in court. I look forward to meeting
more of you in the next couple months and ask for your support in the May election as I hope to continue to
serve you as your circuit court judge.