Joan Demarest Will be Benton County’s Newest Judge

Corvallis attorney Joan Demarest has been picked by Governor Kate Brown to replace retiring Judge David Connell on the Benton County Circuit Court.

Demarest has also served stints as a prosecutor and school board member. Currently a defense attorney at Nash, Ortiz & Demarest in Corvallis, Demarest’s includes working as a municipal judge.

Demarest will be sworn in Friday, and assume her new duties on Monday.

The governor’s office issued the following press release:

Salem, OR—Governor Kate Brown today announced that she will appoint Joan E. Demarest to the Benton County Circuit Court. Demarest fills the vacancy created by Judge David B. Connell’s recent retirement. Her appointment is effective immediately.

“Joan Demarest’s legal background and dedication to her community make her uniquely qualified to serve as Benton County’s newest trial court judge,” Governor Brown said. “Her experiences as a prosecutor, as a defense attorney, and as a family law practitioner will allow her to administer justice with a fair mind and an even hand.”

Demarest earned her bachelor’s degree from Smith College in Northampton, Mass., and received her law degree from the University of Oregon School of Law.

Since law school, Demarest has worked as a prosecutor in the Benton County District Attorney’s Office; as an attorney in the Associated Students of Oregon State University Office of Legal Advising; and as a private-practice lawyer handling criminal defense, family law, and juvenile dependency cases. She also serves as a municipal pro tem judge for the cities of Lebanon, Corvallis, and Toledo.

She is involved in her community as a Girl Scout troop co-leader, a volunteer for Linn-Benton Food Share, an active member of Zonta Club of Corvallis and Rotary, and a former member of the Corvallis School Board.