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Richard L Cowan

Criminal defense Attorney at Salem, OR

Not yet reviewed
  • Licensed for 46 years
    State OR
    Acquired 1977
    Suspended Lawyer disciplined by state licensing authority in 2023

This lawyer was disciplined by a state licensing authority in 2023. See details

About Richard

Learn Richard’s areas of practice.

Practice areas

Richard L. Cowan, Attorney at Law, is a Marion County Criminal Defense attorney who is also a lifelong Oregon resident. He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from Portland State University in 1974. He was then accepted to the University of Oregon School of Law where he earned his J.D. degree in 1977.

In September 1977, he was admitted to the Oregon State Bar and began his practice of law. He opened his own legal practice in 1978 and has been working since that time in his chosen fields of law which include:

  • Criminal defense.
  • DUII defense.
  • Civil Rights litigation.

Richard is a lifetime member of the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, both organizations have similar missions to assist criminal defense attorneys as they work to ensure justice and due process for all those who have been accused of committing crimes or other types of misconduct.

He brings additional legal experiences to his analysis of cases having served, in addition to his role as a criminal defense attorney, as a deputy district attorney, a Circuit Court Judge Pro Tem (in twelve of Oregon’s thirty-six counties), an arbitrator, an expert witness, and a juror.

He brings additional personal qualifications having served as a founding board member of Cascadia Behavioral Health Care the state’s largest and most integrated mental health care provider from its beginning in 2002 to the present. He served as a basketball and soccer official for many years. Finally, he is a retired veteran with twenty-two years of service.

He recognizes that there are serious lifetime consequences of a criminal or DUII conviction and works steadily to obtain acquittals. When this is clearly impossible, he will do everything within his power to minimize consequences, including seeking reduced charges and decreased jail or prison time.

Salem Attorney Richard L. Cowan is a Zealous Advocate with a Track Record of Success

There is no way to predict any specific outcome in a legal proceeding; however, your chances of prevailing increase when you are represented by an experienced, zealous advocate with a track record of success. Richard is just that attorney.

He has more than 40 years of criminal defense experience and has represented thousands of clients. He has negotiated settlements in hundreds of cases when it has been in the best interest of his clients to do so. He has tried many felony cases and knows his way around the courtroom. As for those charged with DUIIs, he has successfully represented hundreds at administrative licensing suspension hearings.

He knows when to negotiate and he knows when to battle hard at trial. He is dedicated and trustworthy. You cannot go wrong by choosing him to stand beside you to defend you against the powerful state prosecution team.

Contact Attorney Richard L. Cowan

The office of Attorney Richard L. Cowan, Attorney at Law, is located in Salem. He serves those throughout the entire state, particularly those in Benton, Linn, Marion, Polk and Yamhill Counties.

Contact Richard

Richard L Cowan
675 Church St NE
Po Box 965
Salem, OR, 97301-2402


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AVVO RATING 2.2 (Strong Caution)

Professional misconduct

This lawyer was disciplined by a state licensing authority in 2023.

Suspension Partially Stayed Placed on Probation issued in OR, 2023
updated on 11/02/2023

Suspension partially stayed means the attorney lost his or her license to practice law for a period of time. When the attorney returns to practice he or she will be on probation, meaning the State monitors the attorney's activities for a period of time in hopes that he or she will not repeat the behavior.

Work Experience

  • Principal
  • Richard L. Cowan, Attorney at Law
  • 1978 - Present


  • University of Oregon School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1977
  • Portland State University
  • BS - Bachelor of Science
  • 1974


  • Oregon Association of Drug Court Professionals
  • Member
  • 2002 - Present
  • National Association of Drug Court Professionals
  • Member
  • 2002 - Present
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Lifetime Member
  • 1995 - Present
  • Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
  • Lifetime Member
  • 1989 - Present
  • Oregon State Bar
  • Member
  • 1977 - Present
  • Marion County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1977 - Present
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Attorney endorsements

Received (3)
Given (3)
Endorse Richard
Criminal defense Attorney | Aug 28
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I have known Dick for a number of years. He cares deeply about his clients and has always made time to accommodate their often pressing legal concerns. I frequently refer criminal matters to him and am always confident they will be handled competently and respectfully."
Criminal defense Attorney | Dec 18
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I have known Richard Cowan since my first days as a prosecutor in 1981. He was a criminal defense attorney who zealously advocated for his clients. I quickly realized that I could learn a lot about the system, and about actual justice, from him. Throughout the years I have continued to trust his advice. We have consulted on many cases. He has a unique ability to try to find solutions for a client. He is tireless in that regard and tenaciously explores every possible avenue of the defense of each case. He is unrelenting in trying to get the prosecutor to do the right thing. If all else fails, and trial is necessary, he is the right lawyer to have beside you. In short, I would recommend him without reservation."
Criminal defense Attorney | Dec 13
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mr. Cowan has been working as a criminal defense attorney for so long that his systemic knowledge puts him head and shoulders above other criminal defense attorneys. I absolutely recommend him."
Criminal defense

Avvo Contributions

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Salem Criminal defense Lawyer Richard L Cowan
Richard L Cowan
Criminal defense Attorney
Salem, OR
This lawyer was disciplined by a state licensing authority in 2023. See details