About Susan G. Hauser

Susan G. Hauser Articles written 27

Susan G. Hauser is a Portland writer whose articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, People, O, and many other publications. She holds a B.A. in English from Portland State University and an M.A. in Near Eastern languages and civilizations from the University of Chicago. 

Articles written by Susan G. Hauser

'The Impossible Case'

How Paul Heer set a new standard in clemency work

“Give me a tough one.”  Paul Heer remembers speaking those words when he asked for his first pro bono case with the Seattle Clemency Project (SCP) in 2017. What followed: “a three-year slog getting to the finish line,” recalls Heer, 31, who represented a 48-year-old man imprisoned for nearly three decades on a double homicide conviction. “It ended up being more than just a hard one,” he says. “There hadn’t been any precedent for a win of that kind of case.”  Heer says his …

Incubating Success

Stan Perkins helps legal entrepreneurs find their footing—while helping those who can’t afford a lawyer

When Stan Perkins got out of law school in 1985, the first thing he did was hang his own shingle. “I was always pretty entrepreneurial,” he says, “and I always thought that I wanted to be my own boss.” It wasn’t as easy as he thought. He ended up working on the side as a waiter at Red Robin, a model for companies ranging from REI to Nordstrom, and as an actor—even appearing on Northern Exposure as “Handsome Man.”  At the office, he says, “There were some days I would just sit …

Eventing Planner

Seattle litigator Kevin Baumgardner finds the secret to stress relief—on horseback

Kevin Baumgardner was 30 years old when he sat on a horse for the first time. Not quite four years later, in April 1993, he participated in his first cross-country competition in the equestrian sport of eventing. The ride didn’t go exactly as planned, but his advancement in the U.S. Eventing Association outpaced expectations. In 2010, in his letter signing off after his term as USEA president, Baumgardner described his inauspicious 1993 debut. “My horse chose the occasion to come to a neat …

Safety Boosters

Russell Reiner and Todd Slaughter on stepping up to protect the community

Russell Reiner and Todd Slaughter see a lot of accident victims in their line of work. Too often, something could have been done to prevent—or at least lessen—the injuries. So in 2012, the personal injury attorneys launched a program called Safety Matters. “Todd and I decided to look for ways to attempt to give back to the community, and attempt to reduce injuries that we see all the time,” says Reiner, with Reiner, Slaughter, McCartney & Frankel in Redding. They looked no further …

Heart Strings

Environmental lawyer Beth Ginsberg is making beautiful music out of a childhood passion

It wasn’t until Beth Ginsberg’s 8-year-old daughter began playing the violin that Ginsberg—who has been playing since she was 8—found out she’d been doing it wrong.  Ginsberg, who performs with the Ravenna String Orchestra in Seattle, has been taking weekly lessons for the past seven years from Elizabeth Knighton, principal second violin with Northwest Symphony Orchestra, whom she hired originally to teach her daughter.  Growing up in Amherst, New York, Ginsberg joined her school …

What Oregon Personal Injury Attorneys Look For in a Case

Personal injury cases aren't as simple as they seem

Let’s say you’ve been injured because of a broken sidewalk or a car accident or even a family doctor: What are the chances you can sue and recover money? If you listen to the culture at large, getting a personal injury case settlement is as easy as spilling a cup of hot coffee in your lap. If you listen to personal injury-plaintiff attorneys, it’s not so simple. “I turn down 90 percent of calls,” says Jan Baisch, a personal injury lawyer with Plaintiffs Trial Lawyers in Portland, then …

Self-Defense and Deadly Force in Oregon

Be prepared to prove you feared for your life

Be reasonable. That’s good advice in most situations. It’s also the key idea behind any self-defense case. “Most states’ self-defense laws, be they ‘stand your ground’ or not ‘stand your ground,’ are really not that dissimilar,” says Portland criminal defense lawyer Janet Hoffman. “The standards that we already have in place require that the force be reasonable, and that your perceptions of [the threat of] serious physical injury or death be reasonable before you use deadly …

Common Myths About the U.S. Immigration System

And why reform is needed, according to three immigration attorneys

Immigration has been a hot topic in multiple presidential election cycles, from the Obama administration through the Trump administration and into the Biden administration. So, we asked several Portland immigration attorneys for their thoughts. Turns out they didn’t always agree with what’s being said on the campaign trail.   Common Myths About U.S. Immigration Take mass deportations. “It’s a totally ridiculous idea to get rid of the people who are here undocumented,” says Brent …

It Takes a Tugboat

How Bert Markovich navigated his way to maritime law

Bert Markovich never saw the ocean until he was an adult. Growing up in Butte, Montana, then serving as captain of Montana State University’s 1976 title-winning football team, he had his sights set on high school coaching and teaching.  So how did he end up as a cook on a tugboat? It was 1977, and he’d followed his heart—and wife-to-be Theresa—to the coastal Oregon town of North Bend, where she had been hired to teach at the local high school. Bored and jobless—with a recent double …

He Had Us at Hello

Stephen Oddo was Jerry Maguire before Jerry Maguire

In the 1990s, Stephen Oddo, a shareholder rights attorney at Robbins Arroyo in San Diego, worked two jobs that bring to mind the power and glamour of both Washington, D.C., and Hollywood. First, he was press secretary to Rep. Robert Matsui (D-Calif.); then after getting his J.D., he was a sports agent. He was Jerry Maguire before Jerry Maguire.  So was being a press secretary anything like you see on TV? “Not at all,” says Oddo. “I certainly provided quotes to journalists, and I was …

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