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OHBA's 11th Annual Award Dinner

February 17, 2017
The Sentinel Hotel in Portland, OR

Our guest speaker will be the Honorable Magistrate Judge John V. Acosta of the U.S. District Court, District of Oregon.
Our Paul J. De Muniz award winner is Yesenia Gutierrez, Director of Equal Opportunity and Deputy Title IX Coordinator at Oregon State University.

Entree Choices

  • Mushroom Duxelle stuffed chicken – Stuffed boneless chicken breast stuffed with creamy farro risotto & rosemary sage cream sauce
  • Red and White Quinoa Pilaf – (vegan and gluten free) with seared tofu, garbanzo beans, roasted root vegetables, lemon and balsamic onions
  • Jake's Classic stuffed salmon – (gluten free) stuffed with brie cheese, dill, Dungeness crab and Oregon bay shrimp, served with garlic mashed potatoes, seasonal vegetables topped with citrus cream sauce

See Pictures »

The Paul J. De Muniz Professionalism Award

Each year the OHBA honors an individual who elevates the practice of law by a combination of the following:

  • Exemplary professionalism
  • Significant contribution to the justice system and the public
  • Exceptional courage in the face of adversity
  • Outstanding service to the bench and bar
  • Outstanding service to the people of Oregon
  • Exceptional volunteer work and community service
  • Outstanding efforts in providing free or low cost services to the poor
  • Significant contribution to advancing legal education in Oregon
  • Dedication to mentoring students and legal professionals
  • Exemplary dedication to the OHBA
  • Exemplary service to the Latino community

La Voz Latina Award

The OHBA selects an organization as recipient of this award in order to recognize that organization's exceptional service to Oregon's Latino community.


Hon. Magistrate Judge John V. Acosta
U.S. District Court, District of Oregon

Judge Acosta was appointed a magistrate judge for the United States District of Oregon on March 5, 2008. He maintains chambers in Portland.

Prior to his appointment, Judge Acosta served from 2002-2008 as Senior Deputy General Counsel for TriMet, the public transportation authority for metropolitan Portland. Before that, he practiced law from 1987-2002 with the Stoel Rives law firm, in its Portland, Oregon, office, first as an associate and then as a partner. Judge Acosta began his legal career with the Alaska law firm of Hughes Thorsness Gantz Powell & Brundin. He graduated from the University of Oregon School of Law in 1982, where he served on the managing board of the Oregon Law Review,and from San Diego State University in 1979, where he graduated with a degree in History and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

Since 2006, Judge Acosta has been a member of the Oregon State Bar's Joint Bench/Bar Commission on Professionalism, and served as chair in 2010. In 2013 he was the inaugural receipient of the annual Hon. John V. Acosta Professionalism Award, given by the Oregon State Bar New Lawyers Division to a lawyer or judge in recognition of their commitment to promoting the highest ethical and professional standards among new lawyers. He also is a past recipient of the Oregon State Bar President's Diversity & Inclusion Award and the University of Oregon School of Law's Meritorious Service Award.

Since 2013 Judge Acosta has served on the Dean's Advisory Council for the University of Oregon School of Law, where he taught as an adjunct professor from 2001-07. Judge Acosta also has been active in the community through service on the boards of several nonprofit social services organizations, participating as a member of legal professional associations, and coaching high school mock trial students, among other volunteer activities. He speaks and writes frequently on professionalism, trial practice, and legal writing.

Judge Acosta enjoys reading World War II history, avidly following Oregon Ducks football, and spending time with his family.



Yesenia Gutierrez
Director of Equal Opportunity and Deputy Title IX Coordinator at Oregon State University

Yesenia Gutierrez is the Director of Equal Opportunity and Deputy Title IX Coordinator at Oregon State University, where she works collaboratively to ensure compliance with all civil rights laws; to educate the campus community on harassment and bias prevention; and to provide the strategic vision, leadership, and management of the university's equal opportunity program.

Ms. Gutierrez has 13 years of experience practicing public-interest law.

Her career began in 2003 as an Equal Justice Works Fellow with the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, where she established legal clinics inside family homeless shelters to improve their access to health care. She also sought to address the city's racial and ethnic disparities in health care through community organizing,policy, and lobbying.

Then as a staff attorney of the Columbia University Tenant Assistance Project, she provided eviction defense and affirmative litigation to preserve affordable housing in Manhattan while directing & training Columbia law students in Housing Court.

In 2007, Ms. Gutierrez was recruited by the Hillsboro office of Legal Aid Services of Oregon to serve the Spanish-speaking community here. One year after arriving in Oregon, she was appointed by Governor Kulongoski to serve on the Family Services Review Commission to advise the Department of Human Services on its goals and priorities. During her service, she served as co-chair of the Client Services Subcommittee, working to improve the delivery of services to diverse communities for whom English is a second language.

Ms. Gutierrez went on to work as a Staff Attorney for Disability Rights Oregon, where she represented individuals with intellectual disabilities, and served as the statewide attorney-advocate for the organization's voting rights project. Before joining OSU, she worked as a senior investigator of the civil rights division for the State of Oregon's Bureau of Labor and Industries.

Ms. Gutierrez currently serves as a board member for Disability Rights Oregon, and chairs the Oregon State Bar's Diversity Section. She has been a volunteer mentor for Lewis and Clark law students, and a judge for the Classroom Law Project.

She has provided presentations and trainings to the legal community in Oregon on a variety of topics, including: the ADA, Title IX, Medicare Part D, bullying of LGBTQ youth in schools, sexual harassment, pay equity, student rights, special education, voting rights for adults with intellectual disabilities, cognitive bias and diversity in the attorney-client relationship.

Ms. Gutierrez earned her B.A. from Hampshire College in Economics & Women's Studies, and her J.D. from City University of New York School of Law. She is a proud to have been born and raised in New York City, the first member of her family to complete college or receive an advanced degree. She is privileged to be the daughter of Roseanna Gutierrez and the granddaughter of Jennie Lorenzo.



El Programa Hispano Católico

El Programa Hispano Católico (EPHC) provides a wide array of social services to low-income Latinos in the Portland metro area. As the leader in the provision these services, our Mission is three-fold:

  • Increase self-sufficiency within the Latino community
  • Empower individuals to achieve a better quality of life
  • Promote mutual understanding and respect among cultures

El Programa Hispano Católico (EPHC) works to empower and elevate community members and has seen many successes since it began as a program of Catholic Charities in 1982. Often referred to as a family all its own, EPHC partners with the most vulnerable community members to navigate personal steps to success using a strengths based approach rooted in Latino culture. An organizational culture of servant leadership creates a humble platform to assist the community in overcoming challenges that impede ones' ability to fully realize potential. Every year, each program measures success through community engagement, feedback and participation by individuals.

Whether it's breaking down the barriers to critical services, providing stepping stones to further education, or empowering individuals and families through support groups, counseling or other services, EPHC has become a critical resource for the community. Now as its own independent 501(c)(3), EPHC continues to inspire leadership and independence through active engagement, balanced support and the pursuit of equity and social justice.