SSJH News & Updates

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Oregon State Bar Honors Gina Johnnie with President’s Membership Service Award

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Each year, based on nominations from members and the public, the Oregon State Bar honors a select group of lawyers and judges for their outstanding contributions to the community and the legal profession. This year, the distinguished President’s Membership Service Award, which honors attorneys for contributions made to the profession, will be presented to Gina Johnnie. This award will be presented Thursday, December 5th, 2013 at The Governor’s Hotel in Portland.

Gina Johnnie was raised in rural Redmond, Oregon, on a small farm. The skills she learned growing up came handy during her tenure as the Marion County Bar President in 2005. As with all incoming Presidents of the MCBA, Gina faced the daunting task of hosting the annual awards dinner and trying to make sure it finished on time given that her daughter was with a baby sitter. Perhaps the moment for which Gina is most remembered, at least to MCBA members, is that night; she stood behind those talking about award winners and the winners themselves with a live cattle prod. Most laughed, but all took it seriously (because they were not sure if she would actually use it); everyone finished in a timely manner and Gina was able to get home and relieve the baby sitter. It was certainly a memorable MCBA Awards dinner.

In addition to her cattle prod skills, Gina developed an aptitude for early rising as a child on the farm. At least we all assume she must have, because there is otherwise not enough time in the day to accomplish her many contributions to the legal community. Gina has made community service an integral part of her legal life, which is in addition to her full time practice as a partner with Salem firm Sherman, Sherman, Johnnie & Hoyt, LLP, where she focuses on Banking and Lending Law, Creditor’s Rights, and Construction Law.

In addition to her tenure as the cattle prod wheeling former MCBA President, Gina has been involved in the Understanding Racism Foundation facilitating a series of discussions organized by Former Justice Pederson to raise awareness about issues of race in and outside the legal community. Her leadership roles also include a position with the Oregon State Bar Board of Governors for a four year period ending in 2011. Gina has also sat on the local Judicial Screening Committee and currently helps organize continuing legal education programs for the Marion County Bar, as well as the Mary Leonard Law Society’s Courthouse Connections; the CLEs include a series of practical litigation skills classes for new lawyers. Gina is also active in the Willamette Valley chapter of Inns of Court and the steering committee for the Campaign for Equal Justice, as well as Mary Leonard Law Society’s Imprint program. The Imprint Program mentors North Salem high school students. Gina’s contributions to the Marion County community were recognized last year when she was awarded the 2012 Carson Award for extraordinary service from a member of the MCBA to the Bar.

In recognition of Gina Johnnie’s many years of service and contributions, the Oregon State Bar has elected to honor her with the President’s Membership Service Award, a distinction which she is honored to receive.


Posted in SSJH News & Events |

SSJH Gives Back

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Each year, SSJH owners and employees break into small groups and volunteer a minimum of eight hours in the local community as part of SSJH’s Impact! project.  On October 18, 2013, SSJH volunteers made an impact at Englewood Elementary School’s first annual Jog-A-Thon.  The students at Englewood Elementary School ran over 900 miles that morning, raising a total of $12,214.08.  SSJH was there leading warm-ups, running with the students and cheering from the sidelines.

Left to right: Sarah Bragg, Tory Hoover, Mindy Stubenrauch, Chelsea Armstrong, Michelle Russell, and Katherine Denning

Posted in SSJH Community News, SSJH Firm News |

Sherman, Sherman, Johnnie & Hoyt is proud to sponsor the Salem Art Fair & Festival

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Salem Art Fair

We are a proud sponsor of the 2013 Salem Art Fair & Festival, July 19-21, 2013 at Bush’s Pasture Park.

For more information, please visit the Salem Art Association web site.

Posted in Company News |

Should Law Firms be Owned by Non-Lawyers?

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Fall 2012 Willamette Lawyer Cover

Mark C. Hoyt was interviewed for his thoughts by the Ethics Corner department in the latest edition of the Willamette University College of Law’s alumni magazine, Willamette Lawyer.


In light of the financial difficulties facing law firms, is it time to allow these firms to be owned by non-lawyers?

No, at least not because of financial pressures.  As lawyers, we have a unique place within society.  As Shakespeare noted, in many ways we are the gatekeepers of stability and access to justice.  As such, we answer to high ethical standards, which require us to place the interests of clients ahead of profit.  If, for the sake of relieving financial pressure, law firms are sold to outside investors, profit (which, let’s be real, is a motivator in every law firm any investor would be interested in owning) would be moved in front of our ethical obligations.  Thus, decisions related to protecting our client’s interests could fall prey to pure profit motives with decision makers who answer to no code of ethics.  Allowing investment to relieve financial pressures does not warrant such risks.  But should outside investors be able to buy and operate law firms like HMOs to make legal services more available to a broader spectrum of clients?  That would seem to pose another question!

– Mark C. Hoyt JD’92, managing partner at Sherman Sherman Johnnie & Hoyt, LLP

Willamette Lawyer strives to be a thought leader on legal issues that are primarily, but not exclusively, of significance to the Pacific Northwest. The magazine advances the mission of the law school by showing how members of the law school community are actively engaged in the dissemination of knowledge, the promotion of meaningful discourse and the consideration of new ideas. Willamette Lawyer earns the trust of its audience through respect for truth, fairness, free inquiry and the presentation of competing – and sometimes controversial — subjects.

You can find the latest issue and previous issues of the Willamette Lawyer here:

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Spotlight: Artisan’s Village at the Oregon State Fair

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The Artisan’s Village at the Oregon State Fair is a hidden gem just waiting to be discovered.  Located on the northwest corner of the Fairgrounds at the intersection of 17th and Silverton Road, it is a unique experience within the State Fair.  For the past six years the Friends of the Visual Arts, have produced this excellent family attraction featuring over 20 demonstrating artists, live music, tasty treats and local non-profits.   Crowd favorites such as the Local 503 glass blowers, Dan Whited’s mastery of chainsaw carving or firing a piece of “Raku” pottery are just some of the demonstrations that you will see.  Visit for more information and the music stage schedule.

The Friends of the Visual Arts are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization who manage the Willamette Art Center, Salem’s Community Arts Center offering hands on art activities  and classes for children and adults year round.  Fall classes start in September and other popular events to check out are the Family Clay Sunday program, and their “Empty Bowls” benefit sale for Marion Polk Food Share coming in November.  Visit for more info.

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