William F. Nichols – 2010 Idaho State Bar Professionalism Award

William F. Nichols of Nampa was awarded the 2010 Professionalism Award from the Idaho State Bar. The Professionalism Award is an expression of respect, commendation and appreciation from the recipient’s peers. It is one of the highest honors Idaho lawyers can receive during their careers.

Honorees are lawyers who have a reputation for civility, ability, diligence, integrity, courtesy and cooperation – epitomizing what it means to be a first-class attorney. Attorneys who exhibit these qualities have distinguished the profession through their conduct and service.

Mr. Nichols is Past Chair and Council member of the ISB Real Property Section; Past President, Idaho Municipal Attorneys; current member of the ISB Fee Arbitration Panel; current member of the Oregon State Bar Fee Arbitration Panel; former member, Oregon State Bar Local Professional Responsibility Committee; and Member of the arbitration panel for court annexed mandatory arbitration in Oregon Circuit Court. He earned his undergraduate degree from Linfield College and his Juris Doctor from the University of Oregon.

He looked back on his early career to describe his major influences: 

In my career as a lawyer, my practice has been greatly influenced by the partners in my first law firm in Oregon. Those Oregon lawyers, Gene Stunz, Steve Fonda, and Burdette Pratt, taught me what it means to work hard as a lawyer, and how to treat clients, judges, court personnel, and opposing parties and their counsel. Integrity of word and deed were paramount in everything they did. They worked tirelessly for their clients, but did so in a manner that earned respect from the opponents and their lawyers. Some of those opposing parties became clients the next time they needed a lawyer.

Professionalism is a matter of respect – for the people we work with, the clients we serve, the courts and other forums in which we represent clients, and for the opposing parties and their counsel. Professionalism also requires preparation – knowing your case better than your opponent, and knowing law.

Mr. Nichols lives in Nampa with his wife and two daughters. His practice emphasizes municipal, real property, collections, business entities, estate planning and probate. He is a shareholder with White Peterson and has been there for almost 11 years, having been with his previous firm for almost 19 years.

Matthew Johnson Elected President of the Third District Bar Association

White Peterson associate, Matthew Johnson, was recently elected president of the Third District Bar Association. His term will begin April 1, 2010.

Matt joined the firm in December 2007.  He serves as legal counsel to a number of municipalities and local government entities, including the City of Nampa, City of Melba, City of Wilder, Canyon Highway District, Golden Gate Highway District, and Wilder Rural Fire District.  His practice also focuses on helping clients to navigate the complex waters of federal, state, and local administrative laws and regulations, particularly related to zoning and land use, water law, and environmental issues.  Matt also advises and assists a number of homeowners associations with issues such as organization, administration and enforcement, and collections and liens.