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Jacob B. Tanzer Edit Profile

Jacob Tanzer, Former justice Oregon Supreme Court ( law: pract. & administration)Civil litigation, generalGovernment contracts and claimsformer justice Oregon Supreme Court.


Tanzer, Jacob was born on February 13, 1935 in Longview, Washington, District of Columbia, United States. Son of Joseph S. and Fannie B. (Rosenfeld) Tanzer.


He attended Grant High School in Portland, Oregon. After high school he attended the University of Oregon in Eugene where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1956. He also attended Stanford University in California and Reed College in Portland, Oregon.


Alsea Veneer v. Oregon, 117 Or App 42, 843 P2d 492 (1992) mod318 Or 33, 862 P2d 95 (1993) (Reviews pending); Clay Tower Apts. v. Kemp. 978 F2d 478 (9 Cir. 1992) Prior to private practice Tanzer served as the 81st Associate Justice on the Oregon Supreme Court. He also served on the Oregon Court of Appeals, was a deputy district attorney for Multnomah County, Oregon, and worked for the United States Department of Justice. Tanzer then went on to the university’s law school, graduating in 1959 with his juris doctorate.

That year he passed the Oregon bar. From 1959 until 1962 Tanzer worked in private legal practice in Portland. Tanzer then joined the U.S. Department of Justice in 1962, where he would remain until 1964.

In 1964, while working for the Department of Justice he was sent to Mississippi as part of the Civil Rights Division investigating the deaths of three civil rights activists. This incident involving the murders of Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Michael Schwerner became the basis for the movie Mississippi Burning. From 1965 until 1969 Jacob Tanzer worked as a deputy district attorney for Multnomah County, Oregon, the county where Portland is located.

In 1969 he became Oregon’s first Solicitor General in the Oregon Department of Justice, serving until 1971 when he became the first director of the Oregon Department of Human Services. Oregon. Tanzer remained at that agency until 1973. Judicial careerOn October 5, 1973, Jacob Tanzer was appointed by Oregon Governor Tom McCall to a new position on the Oregon Court of Appeals.

That term ended on January 6, 1975. The following year he ran for a position on the court, but was appointed to the court before the election was held by Governor Robert W. Straub on August 16, 1976. On that same day, Tanzer was appointed by Governor Victor G. Atiyeh to the Oregon Supreme Court to replace Ralph M. Holman who had resigned.

After retiring from the bench, Tanzer returned to private practice in Portland. He now specializes in arbitration, mediation, and alternative dispute resolution.


While Solicitor General he defended the state's position in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Apodaca v.


Married Elaine Rhine. Children: Joshua, Jessica, Rachel, Elan.