Online Candidates’ Forum, 2020: Judge of the Circuit Court, 13th District , position 2

What do circuit court judges do?

Oregon’s circuit courts are general jurisdiction trial courts. Circuit court judges hear civil and criminal court cases.

seal of State of Oregon

The state has 27 circuit court districts. Most of them correspond to the boundaries of the Oregon’s 36 counties. Except in six Eastern Oregon counties, the courts have jurisdiction over:

  • probate issues
  • adoptions
  • guardianship and conservatorships
  • juvenile issues

The courts are operated by the Oregon Judicial Department (OJD). As of January 2007, the courts had 173 judges. The majority of appeals from the circuit courts go to the Oregon Court of Appeals. Some limited cases go directly to the Oregon Supreme Court if appealed from the trial court level.

The OJD has no jurisdiction over other local courts in Oregon. These include county courts, justice courts, and municipal courts.

In 1998, the state combined its state district courts into the Oregon circuit courts.

HERE is a document with more information about Oregon’s court system from the LWV Oregon.

You can read various candidates’ answer to questions posed by the Oregon Bar Association HERE.

Candidates for circuit court judge

The November, 2020 election will include the race for position 2 of the 13th circuit court (Klamath). There are four candidates (in alphabetical order):

Joshua C Guest: Contact:

[This candidate didn’t provide any information; information obtained from the OR Secretary of State]

Private practice attorney practicing in Klamath and Lake Counties in criminal and family matters with large public defense and pro bono caseload.

President of the Klamath County Bar Association (2017-Present);
Mediator, Utah County Small-Claims Courts and BYU Center for Conflict Resolution (2013-2014);
Extern, eBay In-House Legal Division (2014); Extern, Baker & McKenzie – Santiago, Chile (2011).

Member of the Oregon State Bar since 2014, certified for court-appointed cases in Minor Felonies, Major Felonies, Ballot Measure 11 crimes, Juvenile Delinquency and Civil Commitment.

Administrative Judicial extern at Utah Labor Commission, Salt Lake City, UT (2014)

Alycia Edgeworth Kersey Contact: (Incumbent)



Judge Kersey
Judge Kersey

Read her bio statement HERE.

Watch an informative interview with Judge Kersey on Youtube.

Attorney at Law, Kersey Edgeworth Kersey P.C.
Deputy District Attorney for Klamath County.
Probate Commissioner and Law Clerk, 13th & 26th Judicial District

Bonnie A Lam Contact:


Bonnie Lam

Read her bio statement HERE.

Attorney (Lam Law Office PC); Self employed as an attorney since 1997

Nathan J Ratliff Contact:

Nathan Ratliff
Nathan Ratliff
An interview with Mr. Ratliff and LWV:

Candidate Statement:

If I am elected, I will make efforts to improve the efficiency of the Court and minimize delays. I will encourage professionalism from those working in the system and to assure that the Court receives, and earns, due respect from those involved. I will also seek ways to increase access to all individuals and find practical solutions to remove obstacles that may prevent people from receiving the services to which they are entitled. Finally, I will always strive to be the level-headed, even-handed decision-maker that Klamath County needs. 

I believe I am highly qualified for the position of Circuit Court Judge:
*       Born and raised in the Klamath Basin. Growing up here has given me a deep understanding and connection to the people and places that make our area special. My children represent the sixth generation of my family experiencing the fulfillment that being a part of this community represents.
*       Strong work ethic. I have always valued hard work- from studying and playing sports at Lost River High School to working on the farm moving irrigation pipes to sitting as a municipal court judge- and I value the sense of accomplishment it brings. I take great pride in always being civil, professional and respectful of the institutions in which I have practiced.
*       Experienced attorney. My goal as an attorney has always been to help people through my understanding and knowledge of the system and the applicable rules. I have had the honor of helping clients with everything from local matters including traffic tickets, divorces, personal injury matters, to arguing matters at the Oregon Court of Appeals, to advising local business owners and government entities on how to operate in accordance with the law and avoid problems in the first place.
*       Small business owner and employer. I have navigated many challenges, including staying on the forefront of the rules and regulations we face and making business decisions to be able to weather challenging economic times. As a judge, I can offer a fresh perspective and insights that will assure that the Court can address the needs of the people and businesses in Klamath County.
*       Municipal Court Judge for the City of Klamath Falls. Since 2016, I have served the public, implementing compliance-focused programs in relation to city code and traffic matters, with a focus on education and personal responsibility, in addition to ruling on hundreds of citations received each month. I have also served as a Court appointed arbitrator to allow for the low-cost, efficient resolution of certain civil disputes.
*       Committed to the community. Outside of work, I have had the pleasure of serving on the Board of the Area Agency for Aging, as well as local non-profit Youth Rising. I have also enjoyed volunteering as a youth basketball coach. I enjoy spending time with my family outdoors, camping, fishing and hiking, and enjoying everything our area has to offer.

Visit or on Facebook @nathanratliffforcircuitcourtjudge for more information

Parks & Ratliff, PC, Attorney/President, 2011-Present, Klamath Falls, Oregon

Ratliff & Ratliff, PC, Attorney/Partner, 2005-2011, Klamath Falls, Oregon
Ratliff & Whitney-Smith, PC Attorney, 2003-2004, Klamath Falls, Oregon

Appointed Presiding Judge, City of Klamath Falls Municipal Court, 2016 to Present
Judge Pro Tempore, City of Klamath Falls Municipal Court, 2006 to 2016
Circuit Court Arbitration Panel, Klamath County, Approx 2011 to Present, Lake County, Approx 2013 to Present

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