McMinnville, Oregon, 2014 - Present
Rachel brings twenty years combined criminal litigation and civil practice to Yamhill County clients. Rachel’s significant knowledge of Oregon Criminal Law and insight from working in the highest levels of Oregon government give Rachel’s client’s a distinct advantage in the criminal justice system. Whether trying cases ‘to the box’, crafting resolutions for risk-averse clients who want to minimize the impact of a criminal case, or taking a second look at evidentiary issues and search warrants, Rachel quickly analyzes cases to provide an understanding of what the case is worth in court. Client’s are able to weigh their options and create a goal when the ‘unknown’ becomes known.
Rachel has also successfully represented a public official facing scrutiny from the Oregon Department of Justice’s Criminal Justice Division. Rachel’s unique inside knowledge of the DOJ decision making process was a tremendous asset for a public official facing retaliation from a colleague by referring the official’s conduct for criminal investigation; a familiar political tactic. Rachel achieved a Prosecution Declined letter from the Oregon Department of Justice, citing issues Rachel identified.
Criminal Law: All major felonies including Jessica’s Law, Domestic Violence, Sex Crimes, Drugs, Property Crimes, Racketeering, Official Misconduct and Public Corruption matters. Rachel takes misdemeanor cases on a limited basis.
Motions to Suppress Evidence and Motions to Controvert: Rachel’s unique ability to spot issues with police procedure during contact with persons, searches of persons or property, as well as more nuanced searches such as those involving search warrants, wire taps, or other types of surveillance, brings remarkable results. Rachel succeeded in overturning several search warrants, including warrants by the POINT and YCINT drug teams, and highlighted questionable police practices and bench rulings in Yamhill County criminal cases. State v. Bese, 295 Or App 254 (2018).
Forfeiture: Whether civil or criminal forfeiture is involved, Rachel can help clients navigate this often misunderstood process. Rachel was the prosecutor who seized the proceeds of a $1 Million dollar winning Oregon Lottery scratch-it ticket purchased with a stolen credit card in the somewhat infamous State v. Goodenow, 251 Or App 139 (2012).
FOP Cases: Rachel is taking steps to reactivate her membership as a Fraternal Order of Police Association Attorney to represent select officers in disciplinary proceedings, including executives and elected officials. For Officers seeking representation, please contact Bridges Law to ensure the activation is completed.
SENIOR ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL
Oregon Department of Justice, salem, oregon
2009 - 2013
CRIMINAL JUSTICE DIVISION : District Attorney Assistance, Public Corruption, Organized Crime, Election Law Violations
Rachel was actively recruited to work in the Criminal Justice Division of the Oregon Department of Justice due to her trial record and experience in public corruption matters in the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office For two years, Rachel provided District Attorney Assistance, including physically acting as the District Attorney when DOJ was directed by the governor to manage an office, answering District Attorney questions regarding case specific issues and offering virtual solutions and assistance as needed, including drafting complex charging instruments, assisting with search warrants and affidavits, and providing litigation support for DDA’s.
Rachel was appointed as a special prosecutor in several Oregon counties to handle public corruption, organized crime, and difficult sex crimes. Rachel successfully handled an 18 defendants in Washington County which arose from multiple wire taps connected to a DTO members, their customers, and the customers’ separate front businesses. http://s.oregonlive.com/k0pzD5N
Rachel handled difficult and sensitive sex crimes in small communities, some involving teacher: student interactions. https://www.doj.state.or.us/media-home/news-media-releases/former-heppner-high-school-teacher-sentenced-to-prison-for-having-sexual-contact-with-students/
Rachel won a unanimous jury verdict at the trial court level in a real estate Ponzi scheme financed on mortgage backed securities. Rachel's trial court convictions for Racketeering, Securities Fraud, Sale of an Unlicensed/Registered Security, and Theft were upheld by the Oregon court of appeals in State v. Nistler 268 Or App 470 (2015). https://www.doj.state.or.us/media-home/news-media-releases/medford-area-developer-and-mortgage-broker-convicted-of-racketeering-securities-fraud-and-aggravated-theft/?hilite=%27nistler%27
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY STANDARDS and TRAINING MATTERS: Police qualification, training, and certification matters are exclusively regulated by DPSST. When an Officer’s conduct is called into question, DPSST is the agency which determines whether the officer also keeps their badge. Rachel represented DPSST in administrative license revocation proceedings for officers alleged to have engaged in misconduct.
CIVIL ENFORCEMENT DIVISION: Consumer Protection & Financial Fraud
Rachel was part of the executive committee team at the Oregon Department of Justice which prevailed in a class-action suit against pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline for the diabetes drug Avandia. https://www.doj.state.or.us/media-home/news-media-releases/glaxosmithkline-pays-90-million-to-settle-avandia-lawsuit-led-by-oregon-doj/
Rachel handled civil collections cases on behalf of state agencies including the Oregon Department of Revenue, the Employment Division, The Oregon Department of Transportation, and the Oregon Department of Corrections, among others.
deputy district attorney
Jackson County district attorney’s office, medford, oregon
January 2001-November 2009
Rachel worked in the Jackson County District Attorney’s office, situated along the Oregon/California border, in an area known as the State of Jefferson. Jackson County is also situated along the I-5 drug trafficking corridor and Medford routinely has the highest per-capita crime rate of any city in Oregon.
Rachel’s nearly 9 years of experience in the District Attorney’s office began in 2001 prosecuting misdemeanor and traffic cases. Rachel also took on the animal abuse cases in order to provide clear and effective guidance to Animal Control agencies and law enforcement needing assistance drafting specific search warrants and affidavits to enter property and seize abused and neglected animals. Rachel received MADD’s outstanding service award and was nominated for DUII prosecutor of the year for her outstanding trial advocacy and work creating boilerplate search warrants and affidavits for officers in the field needing immediate assistance with DUII and related traffic investigations.
During her tenure, alongside District Attorney Mark Huddleston, Rachel prosecuted a public official for murder. Rachel’s direct tutelage from the District Attorney regarding handling cases involving public officials, media inquiries, public records requests, special ethical duties of prosecutors, necessity of written office policies, and inside practice tips were invaluable learning experiences for a young attorney.
Rachel’s trial record and success in motion practice led to her promotion to a felony drug case load during a time when methamphetamine labs were caused damage to communities by explosions/fire and chemical exposure. Medford’s prime location in the I-5 drug trafficking corridor and the rise of drug-sniffing K-9 partners led to a significant amount of drug interdiction stops and routinely large seizures of drugs, cash, firearms, and stolen property. There was never a shortage of motions to argue and search warrants and affidavits drafted for review.