Judge John A. Olson was appointed to the position of Circuit Court Judge in the Seventh District by Governor Kitzhaber in December of 2011 to replace retired Judge Donald Hull. He was officially sworn into the position on February 1, 2012.
The Seventh District encompasses Hood River, Sherman, Gilliam, Wasco and Wheeler counties. Judge Olson serves alongside the Seventh District’s presiding Judge Paul Crowley, and Judges Janet Stauffer and John Wolf.
Judge Olson received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Colorado and received his Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Lewis & Clark Law School. He has practiced law for more than twenty years, with the last twelve years spent representing clients in the Seventh Judicial District.
He began his legal career in Twin Falls, Idaho with the public defender’s office where he worked until 1999 and eventually became the head public defender for the county. He and his family moved to Hood River in 1999, where he became a principal in the gorge firm formerly known as Morris, Olson, Smith, Starns & Raschio, PC., and worked there until his appointment to the Circuit Court.
He brings a wide variety of trial court experience in criminal prosecution, ranging from minor thefts to homicides. He has tried well over 100 cases, including two successful murder trials. Judge Olson has served as a member of the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and has been a Faculty Member for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy.
Judge Olson and his wife Steffanie will celebrate their 24th wedding anniversary this year. They have three children, A.J., Miranda, and Connor. A.J. and Miranda attend the University of Oregon and Connor is a sophomore at Hood River Valley High School.