By Paul Daquilante • Staff Writer • 

Lawrence announces candidacy for judge position

McMinnville defense attorney Mark Lawrence announced Monday that he will oppose Yamhill County Deputy District Attorney Ladd Wiles in the May 20 election for a circuit court seat being vacated by Cal Tichenor.

Tichenor is facing mandatory retirement at the Dec. 31 conclusion of his second six-year term. The Oregon Constitution mandates judges step down at the end of the calendar year in which they turn 75.

Lawrence has been a McMinnville resident for 20 years. A former deputy district attorney, he has handled family law, juvenile, civil rights, employment, personal injury and criminal law cases since entering private practice.

“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 prepared statement. “My years as a trial attorney have taught me that if all of 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 the McMinnville Church on the Hill and the Yamhill Justice Center. He coached the Yamhill-Carlton High School Mock Trial Team for 11 years, directed the McMinnville-Salem Regional Mock Trial Tournament for five years and has performed hundreds of hours of pro bono work for the Alliance Defense Fund.

He was honored with the Robert “Bob” Payne Public Service Award in 2006. It is awarded to a member of the local bar exemplifying “service to the community, promotion of justice, and assistance to those less fortunate.”

The filing deadline for Yamhill County sheriff, judge and commissioner races is 5 p.m. today.

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