777 High Street, Suite 300

Eugene Oregon 

(541) 484-9292

laura-e-coffin.jpgLaura E. Coffin


With her attention to detail and critical reasoning skills, Laura has built a solid reputation based on her character and credibility with judges, prosecutors and clients.

Practice Areas

Publications & Presentations

  • Contributing Editor, Search and Seizure Manual (OCDLA, 2021)
  • 4th Amendment Update, Search and Seizure Manual (OCDLA, 2018)
  • “The Use in Refuse: An argument to Exclude from Evidence a Defendant’s refusal to take a break test or submit to field sobriety tests.” (OCDLA, 2015)
  • Contributor to OPDS Appellate Podcast
  • “The Bail Reform Act and Pretrial Release: Comprehensive primer on the Bail Reform Act and how to advocate for pretrial release in federal court, including special issues with pretrial release of non-citizen defendants.” (CLE, 2019)
  • “The Life of a Federal Criminal Case: Overview of the process, filings, timeline, and key actors in a typical federal criminal case.” (CLE, 2018)
  • “Special Sentencing Issues: In-depth view of selected appellate cases involving statutory and constitutional challenges to sentences in criminal cases; preservation tips.” (CLE, 2018)
  • “Fines and fees: Appellate update on issues related to fines and fees.” (CLE, 2018)



Laura, an Oregon native, brings her extensive federal and state court trial and appellate experience to the firm’s litigation team. A double-Duck and 2007 Oregon Law graduate, Laura has tried more than fifty jury trials, handled hundreds of appellate cases in the Oregon Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, and represented clients in complex federal cases, both civil and criminal.

During her time as an Assistant Federal Defender, and a Deputy Public Defender in state court before that, Laura routinely handled complex cases through all stages of litigation and appeared in court almost daily. She has won many major sentencing and search-and-seizure issues, as well as complex civil litigation issues and summary judgment victories, and is a contributor to Oregon’s OCDLA Search and Seizure Manual.

Laura spent seven years as an attorney for the state Criminal Appellate Division at OPDS, where she was trained by many of the state’s most practiced and capable appellate practitioners. While there, she handled a robust case load and won many victories that have helped shape Oregon’s jurisprudence. Laura is comfortable at the podium and enjoys the challenge of briefing complex issues.

Laura is driven by a deep sense of the duty she has to her clients. She dedicates her time to organizations that help the legally disadvantaged and to educational activities, and continues to devote some of her case load to representing the indigent. Laura is a member of the Federal Criminal Justice Act Panel, the National Academy of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Federal Bar Association.

Laura’s practice with the firm focuses on representing people accused of crimes, appellate work, and civil litigation. During her free time, Laura enjoys distance running (she has trained with an Olympic coach), voice acting (she has narrated two documentaries), amateur fly fishing, reading, and gardening.


  • University of Oregon (B.A. in English Literature, 2004), magna cum laude, Honors in Latin, Dean’s list every term, University Tutor, University student grader
  • University of Oregon School of Law (J.D., 2007), ACE criminal law tutor, winner of Moot Court Counseling Competition 2005 and 2006), studied international law at Cornell Summer Institute, Faculte du Droit, Sorbonne, Paris.


  • Oregon State Bar
  • Lane County Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Ninth Judicial Circuit Historical Society
  • FBA Board Member
  • FBA Haggerty Scholar Committee
  • ACLU of Oregon
  • Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyer
  • Jessup Moot Coach (2018)
  • State v. Blair, 361 Or. 527396 P.3d 90 (2017): landmark Oregon Supreme Court opinion on the scope of consent to search; judgment of conviction reversed. Click Here to hear Audio of the oral argument.
  • State v. Eastep, 361 Or 746, 399 P 3d 979 (2017): Supreme Court construed the meaning of “vehicle” under the unlawful use of a vehicle statute and reversed the defendant’s conviction.
  • State v. Derby, 301 Or App 134, 455 P3d 1009 (2019): Reversal of conviction; Court of Appeals held that the police officer lacked probable cause to stop the defendant for failure to maintain a lane.
  • State v. Ames, 298 Or App 277, 445 P3d 928 (2019): Conviction reversed; Court of Appeals held that trial court abused its discretion in denying the defendant’s request to waive jury trial.
  • State v. Pearce, 294 Or App 775, 432 P3d 1185 (2018): Court of Appeals held that the trial court plainly erred in entering judgments of convictions for contempt, where the state failed to prove that the defendant knew the order he was accused of violating was in effect.
  • State v. Jones, 275 Or App 771, 365 P 3d 679 (2015): Fourth Amendment search-and-seizure warrant attenuation opinion.
  • State v. Leiby, 293 Or App 293, 427 P3d 1141 (2018): Conviction reversed. Court of Appeals held that the defendant was stopped by the officer under the state and Federal Constitutions when the officer doggedly followed the defendant and then asked the defendant why he was avoiding the officer.
  • Matter of Marriage of Lamm, 290 Or App 351, 416 P3d 310 (2018): Court of Appeals held that the trial court lacked authority to award former wife real property that former husband received in dissolution judgment as a remedial sanction for failure to comply with court order requiring payment of spousal support.

Audio Recordings

  • Here you can listen to Laura Coffin’s portion of the Oregon Supreme Court oral argument in State v. Blair.

State v. Blair was a significant Supreme Court opinion regarding a defendant’s privacy right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.  Specifically, the case dealt with a defendant’s rights under Article 1, Section 9, of the Oregon Constitution, to limit the scope of consent to search; and with how courts should interpret what was the actual scope of a person’s consent to a search.  The Supreme Court held that a person’s actual intent, or the person’s unambiguous expression of consent, is what controls the scope of consent to search.  In this case, the Supreme Court reversed the defendant’s conviction, because it was not clear that his consent to search his backpack included consent to search a plastic bag that was knotted closed inside the backpack.