Division Leaders

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Benjamin Gutman, Solicitor General

Appellate Division

Ben is the solicitor general. Ben and his team represent the state in cases on appeal in the United States and Oregon Supreme Courts. Before becoming the solicitor general, Ben was the chief administrative judge and western regional director for the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board. He also was a member of the federal government’s senior executive service.

Earlier in his career, he served as deputy solicitor general for the State of New York and as an appellate attorney for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Ben has a B.A. magna cum laude in math and philosophy from Yale College and a J.D. from Yale Law School, where he served as executive editor of the Yale Law Journal.

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Joanne Southey, Chief Counsel

Child Advocacy and Protection

Joanne is the Chief Counsel of the Child Advocacy and Protection Division. She has been with DOJ since 2003, starting as an Assistant Attorney General in the Family Law Section of the Civil Enforcement Division (CED). She served as an Assistant Attorney in Charge and Attorney in Charge in the former Child Advocacy Section. She also served as Deputy Chief Counsel of the CED from 2012 to 2021 when she became co-Chief Counsel. Prior to coming to DOJ, Joanne was in private practice at a civil litigation firm in Portland and held a judicial clerkship at the Multnomah County Courthouse. She received her undergraduate degree at the University of Oregon and law degree from Willamette University College of Law.

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Kate Cooper Richardson, Division Administrator

Division of Child Support

Kate is the division administrator of the Division of Child Support and the director of the Oregon Child Support Program, Oregon’s federal Title IV-D program. Kate oversees 575 employees in 13 offices who provide child support services for 141,000 cases, and coordinates with 18 district attorney offices who also provide child support services under the Child Support Program. Those services include paternity establishment; establishment, modification, and enforcement of child support orders; and local and interstate work. The Oregon Child Support Program collects nearly $343 million per year to distribute to families.

Prior to joining the Oregon DOJ in 2010, Kate’s public service career includes work in all three branches of state government, including the legislature, the Oregon Court of Appeals, eight years as Chief of Staff to a former Oregon State Treasurer, and a year with a former Governor. Kate holds a B.A. from the University of Oregon and a J.D. cum laude from the Willamette University School of Law.

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Claudia Groberg, Chief Counsel

Civil Enforcement

Claudia is the chief counsel of the Civil Enforcement Division.  She is responsible for the daily operations of the Division, which handles a wide range of issues including consumer protection/financial fraud; charities; civil recovery; and medicaid fraud.

Claudia joined DOJ in 2006 as an Assistant Attorney General in the Family Law Section. She served as an Assistant Attorney in Charge in the Civil Recovery Section, and then served as Attorney in Charge since 2013.  Prior to coming to DOJ, Claudia clerked at the Lane County Circuit Court for the Honorable Lauren Holland and worked as a staff attorney at the Workers’ Compensation Board. Claudia earned her undergraduate degree from Idaho State University and her law degree from the University of Oregon School of Law.

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Michael Slauson, Chief Counsel

Criminal Justice Division

Michael is the chief counsel of the Criminal Justice Division. Prior to his current appointment, Michael served as the Oregon Attorney General’s special counsel on public safety. Michael joined the Oregon DOJ in 2001 as an honors attorney. He spent his first year with the Appellate Division before moving to the Criminal Justice Division where he provided assistance to district attorneys and their staff, and prosecuted a broad array of criminal cases for 11 years. Michael received his B.A. from the University of Oregon and his J.D. from the University of Arizona College of Law.

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Shannon Sivell, Director

Crime Victims and Survivor Services Division

Shannon Sivell is the director of the Crime Victim and Survivor Services Division (CVSSD), which provides victims of violent crime with financial assistance through the Crime Victims’ Compensation fund. CVSSD also funds community-based domestic and sexual violence service programs statewide; funds victim assistance programs in each district attorney office; and coordinates statewide crime victim rights education and human trafficking intervention. Shannon joined the Oregon DOJ in 2009 as the legislative director for the Attorney General. Prior to working for the Oregon DOJ, Shannon was counsel for the House and Senate Judiciary Committees during the 2009 Legislative Session and a Deputy District Attorney in Multnomah County. Shannon received her B.A. and J.D. from the University of Oregon.

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Renee Stineman, Chief Counsel

General Counsel Division

Renee is the chief counsel of the General Counsel Division, which is responsible for providing legal services to almost all state agencies.

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Sheila Potter, Chief Trial Counsel

Trial Division

Sheila is the chief trial counsel of the Trial Division. She has been with the Oregon DOJ since 2010. Prior to working for the Oregon DOJ, Sheila was in private practice in Portland. She received her B.A. from the College of William & Mary in Virginia and her J.D. from the University of Colorado.

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