Michael Mosman

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Michael Mosman
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Current Court Information:
United States District Court for the District of Oregon
Title:   Judge
Position:   Seat #3
Alternative court:   United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court
Alternative term:   5/4/2013-5/03/2020
Appointed by:   George W. Bush
Active:   9/26/2003-Present
Preceded by:   Robert E. Jones
Personal History
Born:   1956
Hometown:   Eugene, OR
Undergraduate:   Utah State University, 1981
Law School:   Brigham Young University, J. Reuben Clark Law School, 1984

Michael Mosman is an Article III federal judge for the United States District Court for the District of Oregon. He joined the court in 2003 after being nominated by President George W. Bush.[1]


Mosman received an associate's degree from Ricks College in 1979 and a bachelor's degree from Utah State University in 1981. He received his J.D. from J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University in 1984.[1]

Professional career

  • 2001-2008: United States Attorney for the District of Oregon
Nominated by President George W. Bush
  • 1988-2001: Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon
  • 1986-1988: Attorney, private practice
  • 1985-1986: Law clerk for Associate Justice Lewis Powell
  • 1985: Attorney, private practice
  • 1984-1985: Law clerk for Judge Malcolm Wilkey[1]

Judicial career

District of Oregon

Mosman was nominated by President George W. Bush on May 8, 2003, to a seat vacated by Judge Robert E. Jones as Jones assumed senior status.[1] Mosman was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on September 25, 2003, on a unopposed vote and received commission on September 26, 2003.[2]

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court

Mosman was appointed to the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court on May 4, 2013, to a term that expires in 2020.[3]

Notable cases

Vatican employer case (2012)

     United States District Court for the District of Oregon (John V. Doe v. The Holy See, et al., Case No. CV 02-430-MO)

Judge Mosman presided over a case filed by a Catholic priest's sexual assault victim who attempted to sue the Vatican for damages. Mosman ruled that the Vatican is not the employer of Catholic priests, rendering alleged victims unable to pursue claims for financial damages due to actions of the priests.[4] Judge

Mosman handed down the ruling on August 20 in the last remaining major U.S. sex abuse case against the Holy See. Cases filed against the Vatican in Kentucky and Wisconsin were dropped in previous years.[5]
The case, Doe v. See, has centered primarily on whether or not an employee-employer relationship exists between the Vatican and Fr. Andrew Ronan. The plaintiff, identified only as John V. Doe in court documents, alleged that Fr. Ronan raped in the 1960s in Portland, Oregon.[4] Ronan died in 1992, leaving Doe only able to pursue claims against The Holy See, The Diocese of Portland and Archdiocese of Chicago. The latter two cases were dismissed in the years prior.[6]

In 2006, Judge Mosman ruled that Doe’s case against the Holy See could proceed, but his attorneys would be required to prove that the Vatican was indeed Ronan’s employer.[4] Mosman’s 2012 ruling, however, ended Doe’s case. Instead of an employer-employee relationship, Mosman found that the relationship was more akin to that of the Oregon State Bar, which has control over attorneys only through sanctions and disbarment. Neither the Oregon Bar or the Vatican actually has the ability to fire an member of their organizations.[6]

Workplace meetings law (2010)

     United States District Court for the District of Oregon (Associated Oregon Industries and Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America v. Brad Avakian and the Laborers' International Union of North America, Local No. 296, Case 3:09-cv-01494-MO)

On May 7, 2010, Judge Mosman dismissed a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Associated Oregon Industries regarding a newly-enacted law in Oregon which prohibited employers from firing employees who refuse to attend meetings involving politics, religion and/or union topics. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed suit, claiming the new law violated the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution on the principle of free speech. The judge dismissed the case because the U.S. Chamber could not provide sufficient evidence to prove that they suffered legal injury from the new law.[7]

See also

External links


Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
Robert E. Jones
District of Oregon
Seat #3
Succeeded by:

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