Public Affairs

Hot Topics

Legislative Task Force Reports

Capitol Insider Newsletter

2015 Law Improvement Proposals

The Public Affairs Committee received input from bar members regarding legislative proposals submitted by OSB groups at the Legislative Comment Forum and welcome you to review the proposals at the link above.

2014 Legislation

The OSB Legislative Guideline Overview

The board has determined that the use of bar dues to participate in shaping legislation that involves the regulation of the legal profession and matters concerning the quality of legal services available to the people of Oregon is germane to the bar's role and is in the public interest.

Oregon State Bar legislative or policy activities shall be limited to those reasonably related to any of the following subjects:

  • The regulation and discipline of lawyers;
  • The improvement of the functioning of the courts including issues of judicial independence, fairness, efficacy and efficiency;
  • The availability of legal services to society;
  • The regulation of lawyer trust accounts;
  • The education, ethics, competence, integrity and regulation of the legal profession; or
  • The provision of law improvement assistance to elected and appointed government officials;
  • Issues involving the structure and organization of federal, state and local courts in or affecting Oregon;
  • Issues involving the rules of practice, procedure and evidence in federal, state or local courts in or affecting Oregon; and
  • Issues involving the duties and functions of judges and lawyers in federal, state, and local courts in or affecting Oregon.
*Excerpt from OSB Bylaws, Article 12 Legislation and Public Policy

Task Force Reports

Mission Statement

The Public Affairs Department works to apply the knowledge and experience of the legal profession to the public good by advising governmental bodies, proposing legislation for law improvement, and advocating on matters that affect the legal profession.

The Public Affairs Program: provides legal expertise and assistance to lawmakers;
informs bar leaders, members and government bodies on bar related legislation and public policy issues;
assists bar groups with law improvement projects; and
influences major issues affecting the legal profession and justice system.


OSB Bylaws

OSB Legislative Proposals/Session Results

What is the Keller Rule?

In 1990, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Keller v. State Bar of California, 499 US 1, 111 SCt 2228 (1990) that an integrated (mandatory) bars use of compulsory dues to finance political and ideological activities violates the 1st Amendment rights of dissenting members when such expenditures are not germane to the bars purpose, which the court identified as regulating the legal profession and improving the quality of legal services.

Keller does not prohibit integrated bars from using member dues to advance political or ideological positions that are not germane to the bars purpose; however, it requires that dissenting members receive a refund of the portion of dues attributable to the non-germane activity.


Task Forces


Public Affairs Committee

The Public Affairs Committee of the Board of Governors oversees the work of the program, and makes recommendation to the Board of Governors on public policy issues.

Public Affairs Committee Process

The Board or its Public Affairs Committee sets priorities regarding legislation or positions on legislation. In so doing, the Board will make a reasonable effort to do the following:
  • Encourage as wide a participation of the membership as possible
  • in formulating positions on legislative issues;
  • Inform members of the Bars legislative positions;
  • Respect divergent opinions of subgroups within the legal profession;

  • Provide assistance to bar sections and committees; avoid
  • committing bar funds to issues that are divisive or create factions
  • within the profession;
  • Present major issues to the House of Delegates for approval.

2014 Public Affairs Committee Members

Travis Prestwich, Chair, Salem

Hunter Emerick, Vice-Chair, Salem

Matthew Kehoe, Hillsboro

Audrey Matsumonji, Gresham

Timothy Williams, Bend

Ray Heysell, Medford

Caitlin Mitchel-Markley, Hillsboro

John Mansfield, Portland

Simon Whang, Portland

Oregon State Bar Public Affairs Staff

P.O. Box 231935
Tigard, OR
(503) 620-0222
or toll-free in Oregon: (800) 452-8260
Fax: (503) 684-1366


Susan Evans Grabe, Director
Amy Zubko, Legislative Attorney
Matt Shields, Staff Attorney
Amanda Lunsford, Public Affairs Assistant

OSB Section and Committee Legislative Contacts

Elected Officials with Legal Training

All OSB Staff Contacts

How To Get Involved

Tips for Communicating with Your Legislator

Tips for Lobbying and Getting Prepared

OSB Guidelines for Section & Committee Involvement

OSB Legislative Policy Guideline

Useful Links

State of Oregon

State of Oregon Website

Oregon Courts

Oregon Courts Website

Oregon Legislature

Oregon Legislature Website

Contact Information for Senators

Contact Information for Representatives

Oregon Secretary of State Elections Division

State initiative and general state election information

Oregon State Bar

OSB Response to Unjust
Criticism of the Judiciary

Project Vote Smart

Non-partisan information on local and national candidates and officials, and other political issues

The United States Congress

U.S. House of Representatives

House Judiciary Committee

U.S. Senate

Senate Judiciary Committee