A Brief History of our World

Our law firm really began in 1964, when William R. (“Bill”) Noel came to Newport, fresh from a clerking job on the Oregon Supreme Court. After a short period with an established attorney, Bill started out on his own, and quickly achieved success as his reputation grew. In May of 1969, Chris Minor left his position as a deputy district attorney under Al McMullin, and joined Bill in practice. Soon thereafter, the two were joined by well-established attorney Fred Allen.

Before long, Bill Noel was appointed Circuit Court Judge for Lincoln County. Although Judge Noel was highly respected in Lincoln County, and had been appointed to the position by the Governor, he lost the election (at that time decided by the voters of Linn, Benton and Lincoln Counties; Bill carried the vote in Lincoln County).

Upon expiration of his term as judge, Bill and Chris formed a new partnership, Noel & Minor (Fred Allen relocated his practice to the Southern Oregon Coast).

Before long, Chris and Bill were joined by Newport native Fred Yeck (who had graduated at the top of his class at the University of Oregon Law School), and we became Noel, Minor and Yeck. The thriving practice received a terrible jolt when Bill died in a tragic skin-diving accident.

Richard Beeson joined the firm, doing litigation work of all kinds, and the firm became Minor, Yeck & Beeson. Eventually, Fred Yeck left the practice of law altogether to focus on the operation of commercial fishing vessels. Fred is still one of the heavy hitters in the commercial fishing industry.

By then, Evan Boone had joined the firm and become a shareholder. Later, Richard Beeson made the decision to focus and restrict his practice to injury and insurance claims, and the practices were separated.  We continued as Minor and Boone.

Along the way, we were joined by Mike Bandonis, who concentrates on general litigation and family law. Later, Liz Fetsch joined us, and practiced with us for a number of years, eventually returning to her home town, Bend, Oregon, where she is a member of a fine law firm and has a successful practice. Brian Haggerty joined the firm, and continues, along with Mike and Chris, to participate actively in the practice and many community affairs. Robert W. Connell, an attorney who had practiced for many years in the Newport area but had closed his practice to pursue other interests, returned to the practice of law with this firm. Rob left the practice again in 2006 to pursue a career as a senior deputy, with the attorney general’s office in Salem. We miss Rob, and are glad that we continue to have contact with him from time-to-time.

Chris and Rob both spent substantial amounts of time representing the City of Newport. When Rob left, Chris determined that he would focus on his private clients and withdrew from representation of the City.

In 2014 Jim Shepherd, an attorney with extensive experience with several large law firms in Los Angeles and Eugene, joined us.  Chris, Mike, Brian and Jim continue their efforts to provide high quality counsel and representation to clients, at reasonable cost. Each member of the firm strives to carry on the traditions of the firm.