John S. Ransom
(April 10, 1942 – July 4, 2021)
Marc D. Blackman
(March 4, 1947 – January 1, 2014)
In 1977, Marc Blackman and John Ransom, along with a third former Assistant United States Attorney, founded what would become known as Ransom Blackman LLP.
For 36 years, Marc and John practiced together and were known as lions of the Oregon criminal defense bar. Both Marc and John were recognized in the original edition of The Best Lawyers in America® in 1983 and listed every year thereafter.
Marc Blackman headed west the day after his last exam at Yale Law School to clerk for Chief Justice Kenneth O’Connell of the Oregon Supreme Court and, later, serve as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Oregon. Marc’s private practice quickly evolved from straight-forward criminal defense to representing people who, more broadly, had a lot to lose. Whether a person was being criminally investigated or learned that a governmental entity such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Oregon State Bar, or the Oregon Medical Board was conducting an inquiry that could end their career, Marc was the lawyer they wanted in their corner.
Marc was an active leader in the legal community, serving as the President of the Multnomah Bar Association, Chair of the Oregon State Bar Bar-Press Broadcasters Council, President of the Gus J. Solomon American Inn of Court, and on numerous committees of the United States District Court for the District of Oregon and the Oregon State Bar. Marc passed away on January 1, 2014. His contributions to the Oregon legal community at large, and Ransom Blackman LLP in particular, were immeasurable. He is greatly missed, but never forgotten.
John Ransom began his career in Washington, DC (first with the Office of Chief Counsel for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, then the D.C. Corporation Commission and, finally, as an Assistant United States Attorney). In 1973, he moved to Oregon, becoming an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Oregon.
From the outset of his criminal practice, John handled a broad range of white collar defense matters, including federal and state environmental enforcement actions, tax matters, federal food and drug administration proceedings, federal securities law matters, mail and wire fraud actions, criminal investigations and actions under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO), as well as more traditional crimes. Through the years, John had many high-profile cases, representing Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, people the government alleged were part of terrorist organizations, and prominent members of Portland’s business community. Whether his clients were high profile or low, John provided the same fierce advocacy and steady guidance to everyone he represented.
In 2017, John received the James M. Burns Federal Practice Award (Criminal), which is awarded to an attorney who demonstrates the highest standard of professionalism in their work as a criminal law practitioner in the United States District Court for the District of Oregon. John passed away on July 4, 2021. He is greatly missed as both a friend and a mentor.
Kendra M. Matthews joined Marc and John’s practice in 1998 following a two-year clerkship with the Oregon Court of Appeals. In Marc and John, she found mentors, role models and friends. She learned how to be a lawyer from the very best, becoming their partner in 2005. Whitney P. Boise began his criminal defense practice in 1987. He counted Marc and John among his closest professional colleagues, working with them on numerous cases through the years. In 2015, he joined Ransom Blackman as a partner.
In 2016, in recognition of the evolution of the firm, Ransom Blackman LLP became Boise Matthews LLP. In 2023, it became Boise Matthews Donegan LLP. The lessons learned from Marc and John, however, remain strong. Marc and John understood that success comes from not only having an in depth understanding of the facts and the law, but from having an equally deep understanding of their client. They placed the utmost priority on providing the best possible representation to each client, no matter that client’s circumstances. Boise Matthews Donegan LLP prides itself on having such outstanding roots. We embrace the culture of excellence created by Marc and John, and everyone in the firm works daily to try to live up to their high standards.