SPECIAL MEETING OF THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS
August 10, 1999 - Lake Oswego
Open Session Minutes
Mission Statement: The mission of the Oregon State Bar is to serve justice by promoting respect for the rule of law, by improving the quality of legal services, and by increasing access to justice.
The conference call meeting was called to order by President Johnson on Tuesday, August 10, 1999 at 12:00 p.m. The open session on Tuesday was from 12:00 p.m. to 1:25 p.m. All members of the Board of Governors were present with the exception of Gordon Davis and Jim Sumner; Malcolm Scott and Mr. Harnden from 12:50 p.m. to 1:25 p.m; Agnes Sowle from 1:00 p.m. to 1:25 p.m.; Mr. Orf from 1:00 p.m. to 1:05 p.m and 1:10 to 1:25 p.m; Ms. Rinehart from 1:15 p.m. to 1:25 p.m; and Mr. Lopez from 1:20 p.m. to 1:25 p.m. Staff present were Karen Garst, Executive Director; Susan Grabe, Public Affairs Attorney; Sandy Hise, Executive Assistant; and Sylvia Stevens, Assistant General Counsel.
1. Appearances/Special Issues
A. House of Delegates
1. Approval of 1999 House of Delegates Agenda
Mr. Johnson discussed the process to consider and approve the 1999 HOD agenda by reviewing its constituent parts. He indicated that the board would discuss BOG positions on resolutions and issues at the September board meeting.
Item No. 6 - BOG Resolution No. 1 - 2000
Fee Resolution. The language regarding exemptions to
active member fees was discussed. The following wording
change was proposed to 1.G.(1)., '..are exempt from
the basic membership fee and assessment.
Affirmative Action Program fee. These members...'
Ms. Stevens mentioned that the years shown for the various
fee deadlines should be increased by one year, e.g., change
1998 to 1999, change 1950 to 1951, etc. It was later determined
that the years were correct as shown in the exhibit.
Action: Ms. Cohen moved, Mr. Harnden seconded, to approve 1999 House of Delegates Agenda Item No. 6 - BOG Resolution No. 1, to include the wording change shown in the previous paragraph. The motion was approved by the board (14-0-2; absent Davis, Sumner).
Item No. 7 - Delegate Resolution No. 5 - Disability Survey. Mr. Baldwin felt the proposed survey duplicates efforts underway by the Oregon Judicial Department’s Access to Justice Committee headed up by Chief Justice Wallace Carson. Mr. Baldwin will speak with the presenter, Kathleen O’Brien, about rewriting the resolution to propose a joint study. Ms. Garst indicated that the background statement will be revised to summarize its financial data. A discussion ensued about ways to encourage members to present similar items to the board for consideration in the future.
Action: Ms. Burrows moved, Mr. Scott seconded, to approve 1999 House of Delegates Agenda Item No. 7 - Delegate Resolution No. 5. The motion was approved by the board (14-0-2; absent Davis, Sumner).
The following HOD agenda items were discussed and presenters were assigned: No. 9 - BOG Resolution 3, presenter Agnes Sowle; No. 10 - BOG Resolution No. 4, presenter David Hittle; No. 12 - BOG Resolution No. 6, presenter Ed Harnden. Agenda items No. 11 was also discussed and will be presented by Kristena A. LaMar.
Item No. 13 - Delegate Resolution No. 1 - Create an information area on the OSB website by December 1, 1999. Mr. Johnson presented the resolution and Ms. Stevens commented on her follow up with the Design Center and the presenter Robert C. Hansen. She discussed pros and cons of satisfying the expectations of the resolution: (1) Disciplinary complaint records are coded and therefore not easy to interpret. (2) Mr. Hansen felt that establishing a deadline was important and that the December 1 date might be subject to adjustment. (3) The minimal financial impact suggested by Mr. Hansen’s resolution will be addressed.
Ms. Garst commented on the history of controversy about placing the disciplinary records on the website and indicated that some enhancements proposed by the resolution were planned and in the budget. She explained that, if the resolution is approved, some website development plans will need to be reprioritized. Ms. Stevens indicated she will follow up with Mr. Hansen to clarify his expectations and address inquiries at the HOD meeting.
Action: Mr. Lopez moved, Ms. Sowle seconded, to approve 1999 House of Delegates Agenda Item No. 13 - Delegate Resolution No. 1. The motion was approved by the board (14-0-2; absent Davis, Sumner).
Item No. 14 - Delegate Resolution No. 2 - Create a BOG/HOD committee to study whether the OSB Annual Meeting can be reinstated on a cost-effective basis. Mr. Johnson presented the resolution.
Action: Mr. Rew moved, Mr. Scott seconded, to approve 1999 House of Delegates Agenda Item No. 14 - Delegate Resolution No. 2. The motion was approved by the board (14-0-2; absent Davis, Sumner).
Item No. 15 - Delegate Resolution No. 3 - Expresses appreciation to Senator Kate Brown and Representative Lane Shetterly for their work in the Oregon Legislature. Mr. Rew wondered why other legislators were excluded. Mr. Oleson commented on discussions with the presenter Charles Williamson who felt it was best to select one or two persons and consider the balance of leaders in each house.
Action: Ms. Cohen moved, Mr. Rew seconded, to approve 1999 House of Delegates Agenda Item No. 15 - Delegate Resolution No. 3. The motion was approved by the board (14-0-2; absent Davis, Sumner).
Item No. 16 - Delegate Resolution No. 4 - Urging defeat of certain 'victim’s rights' ballot measures referred to the votes of Oregon by the 1999 Legislature. The board discussed Delegate Resolution No. 4 at length regarding Keller concerns and whether it falls clearly within law improvement. Ms. Stevens related conversations with the presenter, Ken Lerner, and his concern that Measure 40 has been broken out into 8 pieces and that the subsequent modifications to those parts will be misunderstood by the voters. Mr. Baldwin felt all the changes are constitutional amendments and it therefore compromises the integrity of the constitution. Ms. Garst felt that bar members’ frustration is understood, but reminded that the OSB is a public corporation and its funds are public thereby restricting the bar’s involvement in taking positions on ballot measures. She also commented that Keller concerns are in addition to state law and that the HOD cannot bind the BOG to do something illegal.
Ways to involve Mr. Lerner in modifying the resolution were discussed. Ms. Stevens indicated she would contact Mr. Lerner about the board’s concerns and to discuss possible amendment of the resolution. Mr. Lopez and Mr. Baldwin also expressed interest in working with Mr. Lerner.
Action: Mr. Baldwin moved, Ms. Sowle seconded, to approve 1999 House of Delegates Agenda Item No. 16 - Delegate Resolution No. 4, subject to further examination of Keller concerns. The motion was approved by the board (14-0-2; absent Davis, Sumner).
Discussion continued about the political considerations of the resolution and its potential to violate the bar’s policy to avoid highly controversial matters. There was consensus that the resolution should be excluded from the agenda if it’s deemed to be highly divisive because of concerns about Keller or state law regarding public corporations.
Action: Mr. Rew moved, Ms. Sowle seconded, to reconsider its approval of Agenda Item No. 16 - Delegate Resolution No. 4, and to exclude it from the 1999 House of Delegates agenda. A friendly amendment was accepted to show the entire resolution in the 'Notice of Excluded Items' portion following the 1999 HOD agenda. The motion was approved by the board (12-2-4; no Baldwin, Tyner; absent Davis, Harnden, Scott, Sumner).
Item No. 17 - Delegate Resolution No. 6 - Directing oversight and control of lobbying by the Professional Liability Fund. Mr. Johnson and Mr. Hittle reviewed Delegate Resolution No. 6. Leaders of the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association (OTLA) have talked with presenter Stephen Piucci to seek a different resolution of the matter. No changes have been proposed. Mr. Hittle indicated he would attend the upcoming OTLA meeting and listen to their suggestions. There was consensus to let the matter evolve and to postpone recommendations from the board.
Action: Ms. Cohen moved, Mr. Rew seconded, to approve 1999 House of Delegates Agenda Item No. 17 - Delegate Resolution No. 6. The motion was approved by the board (11-0-5; absent Davis, Harnden, Scott, Sowle, Sumner).
Mr. Johnson discussed elements of his Presidents Report. He indicated that Dennis Karnopp will present an update about development of the OSB strategic plan as part of the Presidents Report. Mr. Rew and Mr. Harnden volunteered to comment on issues related to multidisciplinary practice.
B. Legal Ethics Committee’s recommendations regarding ABA Ethics 2000 Commission’s proposals for Model Rules
There was consensus for the Legal Ethics Committee to deliver its recommendations to the ABA regarding ABA Ethics 2000 Commission’s proposals for Model Rules. This item will be ratified by the BOG at its September board meeting because there was not a quorum present to vote on the matter.
2. GOOD OF THE ORDER (Non-action comments, information and notice of need for possible future board action)