By Stan Butterfield

I frequently get asked for referrals for different kinds of legal services. So I thought I would give my take on what is available in the town where I have based my practice. I have practiced law for over a decade in this area and have had ample opportunity to interact with the lawyers in town. The good news in this regard is that we have a strong local bar and that there isn’t a bad law firm in Dallas, Oregon. What follows is sort of a review of what I can tell you about what is available in town.

a library of legal books and statues

Shetterly, Irick, and Ozias

The oldest and perhaps most well known law firm in town is Shetterly, Irick and Ozias. This is as close as you can come to a full service law firm in Dallas. Only two of the named partners Lane Shetterly and Teresa Ozias remain in practice. (Mark Irick passed away several years ago). You can obtain help with many different legal services through this firm, they help with divorce, probate, wills, real estate, business contracts and start-ups, land use issues, and do government work providing legal counsel to some local governments (city councils & school boards).

The Chris Lillegard Law Firm

The biggest law firm in terms of the number of lawyers working for it is The Chris Lillegard Law Firm. Chris has the contract as the public defender for Polk County and has three associate attorneys that primarily work in helping fulfill that contract by providing criminal defense work for defendants that cannot afford representation. A couple of his associates used to work for me when I served as the Polk County District Attorney and I know them to be talented and hard working lawyers. Chris and his associates are not limited to criminal defense work, they also offer help with probate, divorce, guardianships, and some business law services.

Mannenbach Law

The most established sole practitioner in town is Mannenbach Law owned and operated by Steve Mannenbach. Steve’s practice is probably the most similar to my own. He does a lot of estate planning, wills, trusts, and probate. He also does work with guardianships and conservatorships. Steve also likes to litigate and does some personal injury work, essentially representing people that have been in car accidents or have been otherwise injured through someone else’s negligence.

The Bottom Line

I am sure that each of these firms probably provide additional services that I haven’t mentioned, but I think I have given a fairly accurate picture of what each firm is known for and what they do best. My own practice is focused on elder law, so I do estate planning, wills, trusts, probate, guardianships, and conservatorships. I also act as the guardian and conservator for a number of people at any given time. In this capacity I end up frequently in court where these lawyers are either adversaries or may be representing someone that is connected to my case in some way. I have interacted with all of the lawyers in town to some degree and I feel lucky to base my firm in a place that allows lawyers to solve problems for their clients in a civilized way. Yes, we fight each other and sometimes it gets a little messy, but in the end we get along for the most part and I think our clients are better off because of it. I practice a lot in other counties primarily in Marion, Linn, and Yamhill counties. While I can still say that the majority of the attorneys I interact with in these other counties are very professional and do a good job for their clients; that isn’t universally true. So, the bottom line is that if you have a legal problem, Dallas, Oregon is a good place to be.

Stan Butterfield is an elder law attorney based in Dallas, Oregon. (To learn more, click here). Stan provides services in estate planning, probate, guardianships, conservatorships and fiduciary services. If you think Stan could help, you can give him a call at (503) 623-2427.