COOS BAY — Local Attorney James M. Monsebroten is running for the fifth position Circuit Court Judge in Oregon’s 15th district.
For the past 13 years, Monsebroten has run a private practice firm in Coos Bay. Before opening his own firm, he spent six years as a deputy district attorney in Baker, Bend and Coquille.
He believes that having experience as both a prosecutor and a defense attorney gives him unique perspective on law and would help him to be an impartial judge.
“I’ve done a lot of trials, and I think that I would be able to be a fair judge, and be able to see both sides as a prosecutor and defense attorney. I’ve represented both sides. I’ve defended people in some civil cases and I’ve been a plaintiff’s attorney as well. So I think that’s really important, and I know I could bring that to the court as a judge,” Monsebroten said.
As a lawyer he has almost 20 years of experience and has been involved in more than 100 jury trials as trial counsel.
Having worked in the area for several years, he has worked with and learned from every judge in the 15th district.
“I think the different judges I’ve practiced in front of have taught me how to be a judge in various ways. I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to appear in many different cases with many different judges. I do want to thank the retired judges for their service. I’ve learned a lot and I think they’re excellent judges, Judge Barron, Judge Bechtold, and Judge Gillespie. Of course Judge Baron too, but he’s still serving,” Monesbroten said.
Monsebroten grew up in North Bend and graduated from North Bend High School in 1987. He was born in the McAuley Hospital, which is currently being demolished. His family has lived in Coos County since his grandfather immigrated from Finland in the 1880s.
Before going to law school, Monsebroten worked number of odd jobs before becoming a lawyer, including a job in his youth with Conrad Wood Treatment. He began his work with law when he got a job as a legal clerk at the law firm Preston, Gates, and Ellis, which is what inspired him to go to law school and become a lawyer.
He got his undergraduate degree at Lewis and Clark University, and then went to Willamette University for law school.
Monsebroten is a family man. He’s been married to his wife Sabrina for the past 22 years and they have three children together, Patrick, Eric, and, Kara. The family enjoys going to Mt. Bachelor for skiing trips.