(Salem, OR) — Governor Kate Brown announced today that she will appoint Amy M. Baggio and Heidi H. Moawad, and intends to appoint Steffan K. Alexander, to the Multnomah County Circuit Court. Baggio and Moawad will fill vacancies created by the retirements of Judges Marilyn E. Litzenberger and John A. Wittmayer. Their appointments are effective immediately, and they will be sworn in individually in the coming weeks. Alexander will fill a vacancy created by the expected elevation of Judge Karin J. Immergut to the federal district court; his appointment will be effective at the time of Judge Immergut’s resignation, once her nomination is confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
“Amy Baggio, Steffan Alexander, and Heidi Moawad bring a suite of professional experiences and skills that match the diverse needs of our state’s busiest court,” Governor Brown said. “Together, they will enrich the Multnomah County bench with an extraordinary breadth of experience — in criminal and civil litigation, from both sides of the criminal bar, in state and federal court, and in government and the private sector. The demonstrated work ethic, sound judgment, and compassion of these individuals will serve the justice system well.”
Baggio is a criminal defense attorney in private practice. For 10 years, until 2013, Baggio worked at the Office of the Federal Public Defender. She began her legal career at Metropolitan Public Defender in Portland, where she practiced for one year. She graduated from Lewis and Clark Law School and Wake Forest University. Baggio received awards from the ACLU of Oregon and American Jewish Committee for her representation of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp. She volunteers her time as a commissioner on the Public Defense Services Commission, is an attorney representative to the Ninth Circuit for the District of Oregon, and previously served on the Federal Bar Association Board of Directors.
Moawad, a former prosecutor, is public safety policy advisor in the Governor’s Office, where she has worked for six years. She oversees several state agencies and manages the Governor’s criminal justice policy agenda. Moawad has also managed the Governor’s Office’s response to emergency incidents, including a large number of wildfires, the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College, and the Malheur Wildlife Refuge occupation. For 14 years, until 2013, Moawad was a deputy district attorney in the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office. While there, she was entrusted with special assignment to the investigation of the disappearance of Kyron Horman. In 2005, Moawad served as counsel to the Judiciary Committee for the legislative session that year. She is a graduate of Whittier College, from which she received a bachelor of arts degree, and the University of Oregon Law School, from which she received a law degree. Moawad has been involved in the community as a board member for Camp Rosenbaum, a nonprofit outdoors camp for youth from underserved urban communities, and a member of various committees of the Multnomah Bar Association.
Alexander is a civil litigation attorney at the firm Markowitz Herbold PC, where he has worked for six years and has risen to partner. He was previously a prosecutor for five years in Florida and then worked briefly as litigation counsel for a natural gas and electric company there. He received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Florida. He is a member of the Public Defense Services Commission and the Classroom Law Project Board of Directors. He is also the Ninth Circuit lawyer representative of Oregon’s federal district court and volunteers as a coach of Jefferson High School’s mock trial team.