Rachel Bridges has practiced criminal law in Oregon for two decades. Before moving into private practice, Rachel was a Deputy District Attorney for nine years and a Senior Assistant Attorney General with the Oregon Department of Justice for four years. In the Criminal Justice Division, Rachel handled complex white-collar crime cases, organized crime, racketeering, child abuse and sexual abuse, and Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force cases, among others. In the Civil Recovery Division, Rachel handled consumer protection cases, mortgage fraud, and a multi-state class action lawsuit against GlaxoSmithKline.
In both of her prosecutorial roles, Rachel trained law enforcement and prosecutors. This gives her a unique advantage over most criminal defense attorneys: Rachel knows government strategies and playbooks. As a prosecutor, Rachel learned how far the police could go. As a defense attorney, Rachel protects individuals against government overreach.
Prior to law school, Rachel worked for the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS). In the protective service division, Rachel conducted child abuse assessments including interviewing children, family members, and collaterals. Rachel helped families develop safety plans to prevent removing kids from their homes. As a Child Protective Services (CPS) worker, Rachel referred children for forensic interviews and implemented services. Rachel also worked in a residential treatment facility for abused and exploited children. Rachel’s inside knowledge gives her clients an advantage when navigating a child welfare investigation.
Rachel’s family has an interesting diversity story, which is the subject of a short documentary, and now a feature length film set for 2021 release. The story involves a Russian single mother signing up as a mail order bride to save her gay son, who would surely be killed if outed in Russia. The two met Rachel’s father this way: a Christian fundamentalist who turned out to be transgender. The short documentary Little Potato (below) won an award at SXSW and has been featured in The Atlantic. The overall story was covered twice by BBC WorldNews.
Rachel has a long track record of success and particularly enjoys challenging cases involving complex search and seizure issues. Some examples of her results are:
- Rachel has a case before the Oregon Supreme Court and could have significant impacts in case law. The argument is about whether or not the state must prove that a defendant knew a victim didn’t consent to sexual conduct.
- Another example of Rachel’s search and seizure expertise is available here. In this case, Rachel argued that an individual was unlawfully stopped and searched by the police. Her arguments led to a successful appeal which reversed a conviction of carrying a concealed weapon and felon in possession of a restricted weapon.
- In 2019 Rachel had another win during an appeal when a client of hers was convicted of child neglect by the trial court, however that conviction was later reversed.
Rachel’s practice primarily focuses within the following Oregon communities:
Cities: Eugene, Salem, Albany, Corvallis, Springfield
Counties: Marion County, Linn County, Polk County, Benton County
Regions: Willamette Valley