This blog has recognized a number of individuals over the last three years as Thebeerchaser-of-the-Quarter or Month. Why? Because they have either distinguished themselves in their profession or for their contribution to society. In the case of the first “honoree,” retired chemist Harold Schlumberg (August 2011) – just because of his approach to life.
Some of those tapped for this laurel include my friends, Jud Blakely (September 2013) and Steve Lawrence, (May 2014) for their military service in Viet Nam – a conflict in which both were awarded the Bronze Star. Three authors, Portland’s Brian Doyle (Feb. 2014); Princeton Professor Emeritus, Harry Frankfurt, (Jan. 2012) the author of the brilliant tome, On Bullshit and crime novelist, James Crumley (Sept. 21011) were named because I loved their books.
This quarter, we are recognizing one of Oregon’s preeminent appellate lawyers and citizens, John R. Jack Faust.
Jack skipped first grade (either because of his advanced intellect or disciplinary issues) and went on to graduate from Jefferson High School – the alma mater of his future law partners at the law firm of Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt, former Congressman Wendell Wyatt and now a senior judge in U.S. District Court, Ancer Haggerty.
After undergraduate school at U of O, Faust distinguished himself at the University of Oregon School of Law, serving as Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review and graduating first in his 1953 class, receving the Phi Delta Phi Award for Outstanding Graduate – Pacific N. W.. ( He has great tales of legendary professor Orlando J. Hollis.) After military service, he first practiced at the law firm of Cake, Butler & McKewan, and in 1979 moved to the Schwabe firm.
He practiced corporate, appellate and general law and represented public utilities, insurance companies, baseball teams (see below), public officials and did a lot of pro-bono work.
Jack served as President of both the Multnomah Bar Association and Vice President of the Oregon State Bar and was selected by his peers for listings in Best Lawyers in Portland and Best Lawyers in America.
Like his colleague and friend, Jim Westwood – Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter in March 2013 – our new honoree is a former “spook” (both served in military intelligence) and both are recognized for the legal accomplishments. Westwood’s description of his friend, Faust, is shown below.
And Westwood is qualified to offer an opinion. Jim has handled more than 200 appeals and is a Fellow in the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, listed in Best Lawyers in America and an Oregon Super Lawyer.
“Like Jack Faust, I’m an appellate lawyer. I am 0-2 against him. In the second one I gave a stemwinder of an opening argument, then Jack got up and said to the judges, ‘I don’t have anything unless you have questions.’ They didn’t, he sat down, and he won. That’s Faust, the lawyer who also represented owner Bing Russell of the Portland Mavericks against Major League Baseball and cleaned MLB’s clock. He is not only the Beerchaser of the Quarter – he is The Man.” (This is a compliment to Faust’s brief, his judgment and his ego.)
We will describe his acclaimed legal career and his civic contributions below, but Jack Faust, also receives this accolade both because of his sense of humor and his furtherance of Beerchasing concepts. The latter was first achieved while in college at the University of Oregon as can be seen this photo of him swimming.
“Faustmaister” (not copyrighted) is the label of his home brewed beer – a hobby he has pursued for many years in his basement – the nadir of which was the production of “Raspberry Red.”
It was digested by his basement drain rather than a human – other than several swallows to test. (The statute of limitations has tolled on violations of environmental regulations and it was not classified as a Superfund site – possibly because “RR” was brewed before the 1980 enactment of the federal legislation.)
A hydraulic lift he installed to lift the five-gallon kegs of beer enabled uninterrupted brewing when he suffered a triple hernia.
Not only does the Schwabe firm, have outstanding lawyers, and great people, but one of the factors that makes it such a great place to work is an organizational sense of humor and team work. Jack Faust is a sterling example, as demonstrated by his e-mail sent to the entire firm in 1999.
Jack sent the missive below shortly after Schwabe joined other law firms in moving to a business-casual dress policy for lawyers. It shows his wry commentary at some of the changes in the legal profession:
“At the risk of the usual barrage of abuse – please spell my name right in your responses – I report the following: This morning dressed in ‘business casual’ per SWW Reg. 1-901A(1)(c)(ii), I had just parked my car in the Pac West Center garage and deposited my keys in the box by the parking attendant’s station.
A fancy car rolled up with a well-dressed woman at the wheel. She asked me, ‘Do I park it myself or will you park it for me?’ I was about to tell her that I am a lawyer, not a parking attendant, but I was afraid my mother would find out. It would kill her!”
While serving as COO at Schwabe, I tapped his humor numerous times for lighter moments at firm retreats as can be seen by the video below. You might also note when viewing, that the co-star is another Beerchaser-of-the-Month (January 2014), Art Vandelay, better known by his colleagues as attorney, Carson Bowler. You will see from the second “blooper video” that Faust’s quest for a flawless product extends beyond his appellate briefs to his acting……
Civic and charitable service is a firm core value at Schwabe and Faust was no exception. They are too extensive to name all, but include, Vice Chair of the Oregon Land Conservation and Development Committee (LCDC), the Oregon Commission on Higher Education, Chair of the Board of Lewis and Clark College and board service for the Portland Opera, Campfire Girls and SEI. Corporate boards ranging from Equitable Savings to Western Savings Bank to Pacific NW Bell are also on his resume.
Jack and his son, Charlie, have been Beerchaser regulars. (The Buffalo Gap Saloon, Bailey’s Taproom, the Grand Café and the Marathon Taverna – not yet posted) Jack helped me line up personal tour of the Grand Café (Beechaser review in January 2013) by Frank-The Flake-Peters when Schwabe’s Product Liability Group visited the bar.
He knows Frank well (Frank wrote to him often when Peters served time at the Oregon State Penitentiary) and Faust is a personal friend and represented Bing Russel, the actor and former owner of the Portland Mavericks baseball team when Frank Peters managed.
The escapades of this wonderful minor league team are captured in the recent Net Flix movie “The Battered Bastards of Baseball,” which has drawn rave reviews nationally. In fact, Faust appears in the movie because of role as the lawyer who won the $206,000 arbitration award for Russell from the Pacific Coast League – the League’s final pre-arbitration offer was $5,000!
Jack is also well known for his television work – moderating the award-winning (Iris Award for Outstanding Local Public Affairs Program in the Nation) “Town Hall,” on KATU for thirteen years. The stories about “Town Hall” – filmed live with a small studio audience – essentially a panel (in-the round) of parties vested in the topic with the moderator in the center – are numerous.
Faust is a quick study and after playing tennis in the morning, would go to the KATU studio at noon where staffers would have material and brief him on the topic he studied until the live broadcast at 6:00 P.M.
His stories range from the forum on prostitution which included a number of “participants” in the panel who provided an itemized pricing of various services; a fight in the KATU parking lot between two panel members (a female and a male) after the show, and one on professional wrestling where one of the burly participants demonstrated a headlock on the moderator, and gave a twist whereupon Jack exclaimed, “Jesus!” into his mike.
He also recounts the show on ghosts – broadcast on location from Portland’s White Eagle Café (see Thebeerchaser review from Nov. 2012), a venue reported to have a ghost still living in the basement.
Three shows on the Rajneesh and the Bhagwan concluded with two in Rancho Rajneesh – now, Antelope, Oregon. Ma Anand Sheila was the spokesperson for the Bhagwan. Amy Faust, Jack’s daughter and a local media celebrity, writes a compelling account of these shows in the July, 2014 edition of 1859 Magazine. (The first two shows had not gone well for the Followers and they balked at having the third one):
“Then, just one day before the scheduled taping (of the third show), they reversed their stance, sending my dad an apology and a boxed lunch from Zorba the Budha Deli. While my dad remembers his receptionist, Jeannine Marks, saying, ‘I wouldn’t eat that if I were you,’ like a good, waste-not child of the Great Depression, he wolfed it down. ‘What are they going to do,’ he replied, ‘poison me?’
The next day, his producer, India Simmons, got an odd phone call from Ma Prem Sunshine, asking simply, ‘How’s Jack today?”’Sunshine’s tone of voice prompted Simmons to call my dad, who was in fact at home in bed with a fever of 103, horribly sick for the first time since age 5. Not wanting to miss the show, he recruited my mom to drive him to Antelope, feeling nauseous the whole way.
After a heavy does of Tylenol, he hosted the show, which was indeed more damaging to the Rajneeshee reputation than the previous episodes. In the face of criticism from detractors, the Rajneeshees often broke into loud, disconcerting laughter, and at one point responded to an angry local by bursting into song.” (Faust’s response in ending the chanting was, “This show is not a musical!”)
One clarification: When Amy said that Jack had not been sick since the age of five, she did not include the hangover he suffered while in college after the swim shown in the picture above.
For many years, he was the premier emcee for banquets and events all over the state. He’s also met a number of U.S. Presidents as evidenced by this photo.
He introduced Presidents Ford, Reagan, Bush Sr. and Vice President Rockefeller, in addition to numerous US Senators including the late Howard Baker and every Oregon Governor from Tom McCall to Ted Kulongoski (finally a Democrat!!) Add Gloria Steinham to his list of celebrities when she was in Portland for a fundraiser for former Senator Bob Packwood.
Because of his public speaking abilities, Faust was a vital part of the Schwabe firm’s oral communication training for lawyers – including how to introduce speakers. I had attended this same training and knew most of his tips and naively acquiesced to his request to be his “shill” and introduce him at one of these training sessions. Of course, I prepared and practiced knowing that he would shred my effort in front of the approximately fifty colleagues who attended – I was not disappointed.
Our honoree is a wonderful story-teller, although even with the passage of time, about the only thing he is close-mouthed about – even after a few beers – is his role in Army Intelligence and counterintelligence during the Korean War. From 1953-55 as a Special Agent in the US Army Counterintelligence Corps – detachment Far East Command, he was stationed in Korea, Japan and China. Remembers the interviews and IQ tests.
Jack is also a great family man. He and Alice will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary in 2016 and they have three great offspring. Barbara, the oldest is a retired customer service representative and Charlie, Thebeerchaser regular and a successful Portland mortgage broker.
Amy – who has inherited her father’s media notoriety and is the Amy of Mike and Amy on 99.5 The Wolf – the pair recently returned to air – brought back by listener demand when the station, in 2012, decided to cut corners for on air-personalities after the duo had been together on the station for 13 years. Several years ago, Jack co-hosted with Amy when Mike was gone and did a very credible job – probably feeling as much pressure to perform as when he argued in front of the Oregon Supreme Court…..!
In fact, Jack tells how when Amy was growing up, she sometimes got a little frustrated because people would always inquire, “Oh, you’re Jack’s daughter?” Jack smiles when he relates that for the last ten years, when people first meet him, the standard question is, “Oh, you’re Amy’s Dad?”
He and Alice have traveled extensively – to 35 countries, the most exotic of which was Bangladesh (Ask him to tell you about the legal case he handled and his adventures wondering around when you have a few minutes for intrigue….)
And there are many other stories such as the time he sang a duet with actress, Ginger Rogers, when she was staying at a house on the Rogue River. These tend to spill out when he reminisces over a Faustmaister – with the exception of “Raspberry Red.”
Thebeerchaser raises a mug to John R. Jack Faust for his contributions to make Oregon a better place to live and his outstanding legal career, – both of which mitigate his somewhat questionable propensity to wear Oregon Duck gear when we drink beer and in his travels all over the world.