Letters

 

Remember the Trib
I enjoyed Kateri Walsh's article, 'Engaging the Media' (October 2001), but surely 'the state's five or six largest urban newspapers' includes The Portland Tribune, circulation 150,000? We've run stories on lawyers and the law in our News, Business and Portland Life (Features) section. One such story, about Portland lawyers who worked, pro bono, to protect a sacred Indian fire circle, is enclosed.

Janine Robben
Portland


Opting for Freedom
An Oregon friend who practices law in Bend sent me your article on retirement ('More Than Money,' October 2001). Since I retired from my career as a California city attorney in 1999, my Oregon colleague was aware that I had written on this same subject; what I call the 'retirement transition.' Based on my own experience and that of several recently retired peers, I can attest to the fact that the author, Ron Kelemen, raises several valid insights including the point that retirement is not just about money, and that there are several adjustments including status and spousal issues and a need to have a vision about retirement.

Mr. Kelemen defines retirement as a leisure activity. My approach is to view retirement as a departure from one's main career to do other things with the last third of our lives. This can include different types of legal work, part time endeavors such as arbitration, along with volunteer activities and more leisure time activities such as hiking and travel. My time has evolved into a combination of part time arbitration, writing, hiking and more travel. The key is that retirement affords you more freedom to do other things with your life. Mr. Kelemen alludes to the issue of determining what you want to do with the rest of your life. I am a little more direct by posing the question: Do you want to spend your entire life or most of it working as you have for at least 30 years, or do you want to make some changes and do some other things in the last third of your life? I enjoyed my basic 31-year career as a lawyer. Nevertheless, there are many other ways to spend your time during the remainder of life. Since retiring from my primary career, I have never regretted opting for more freedom.

I commend your publication for dealing with this important career-life issue, and I hope my contribution can be used to supplement the sound advice from Mr. Kelemen. Thank you.

Michael H. Miller
Los Angeles


Special Treatment
I read with interest the Bar Leader Communicator dated Sept. 26, 2001. It appears that the district attorney's section of the prosecuting attorneys as represented by Sue Hohbach and Josh Marquis expect more than the House of Delegates was willing to give them. It seems rather inconsistent to me that they wanted the House of Delegates to take on the controversial issue of In re Gatti but felt it was inappropriate that the House of Delegates passed a resolution in support of Ballot Measure 94.

I would suggest that next time the district attorneys of the State of Oregon want some special treatment that they be reminded of the Keller policy and that the Oregon State Bar and specifically the House of Delegates is not to be used like a yo-yo by hypocritical specialists.

William P. Haberlach
Medford

Editor's note: Bar Leader Communicator is a special publication of the Oregon State Bar. It is circulated to all members of the House of Delegates and the Board of Governors, and is also available online at www.osbar.org.


DAs Respond
Medford attorney William Haberlach (Letters, above) seems to have confused two completely unrelated matters; a (second) proposal by the House of Delegates to modify DR 1-102 in response to the Gatti decision and an arbitration filed under OSB rules by Oregon's prosecutors protesting what we consider the improper and unlawful use of bar dues to promote a political and partisan issue (the HOD's endorsement of Measure 94, which sought to repeal Measure 11 and was rejected by Oregon voters by a 75-25 margin).

Oregon state prosecutors, represented by the Oregon District Attorneys Association, as well as Attorney General Hardy Myers and many others outside the law enforcement community, joined in crafting language that would allow many different kinds of attorneys to oversee covert investigations that were otherwise lawful. We presume the HOD voted to support these proposed changes because, first, it is the only mechanism by which DRs can be proposed to the Oregon Supreme Court, and more importantly because it was in the best interest of Oregon citizens and all member of the bar.

I assume Mr. Haberlach's comments about prosecutors being 'hypocritical specialists' demanding 'special treatment' are simply the result of his failure to understand the two distinct issues and not an attack on the men and women who serve their state as public prosecutors.

Joshua Marquis
President,
Oregon District Attorneys Association


Force Feeding
This letter is to protest the OSB's adoption of the mandatory three-hour 'diversity' CLE requirement (MCLE Rule 3.3).

I can accept the proposition that there are some vestiges of discrimination against women and minorities in our profession. Yet, for the most part, during my 17 years in private practice, I have mainly been impressed by the heartfelt efforts of attorneys in management positions, to help women and minority attorneys get ahead. Further, with respect to the 'access to justice' issue, in every office I have worked in, a significant proportion of the lawyers contributed to legal aid, volunteer legal services or classroom legal education.

More to the point, we already have a 'mandatory' educational requirement in our law schools devoted to the evils and illegality of discrimination. It is called 'Constitutional Law.' (A subject which is also, quite appropriately, a core subject on the Oregon bar examination). To ignore the fact that lawyers have already undergone that type of rigorous, in-depth study of social policy, and require all lawyers to sit through a 'lecture' on diversity, demeans not only the 'target audience,' but also women and minority lawyers themselves.

I have no objection to the OSB maintaining an affirmative action committee, which provides a vehicle for attorneys with special interests in that area, to brainstorm and promote the advancement of women and minorities in our profession. The vast majority of Oregon lawyers support these goals anyway, without any need for 'force-feeding' by the Oregon State Bar.

Fred Ruby
Portland


Rethinking Profiling
I thought the article about how war tends to undermine civil rights was extremely interesting and appropriate, and I agree with its general theme, that necessity and national security prevail over all else. ('When War Comes to the Court,' November 2001).

However, I disagree with the gratuitous phrase, 'the low-water mark of civil liberties [was] the internment of Japanese Americans [during World War II].' When this internment was happening, in early 1942, the outcome of the war was still quite uncertain. England had deported large numbers of Italian and German citizens (including quite a few German Jews, who had fled Germany to avoid persecution) to Canada. The United States also resettled Italians and Germans from the east coast to the west. It's difficult to say how much effect these resettlements had on the war, or whether they saved any lives. The German spy system in England, which was pretty well entrenched in 1939, practically ceased to exist by 1940. The Japanese spy system in America, if there ever was one, was definitely broken by early 1942. It isn't enough to say that ninety-nine percent of those Japanese who were imprisoned in 1942 were good Americans. A traitorous one percent could have prolonged the war, cost lives, and even effected the outcome.

All of this is very relevant today. The politically incorrect concept of 'profiling' may acquire a new degree of respectability. Law enforcement may have to start questioning, and arresting, people solely because they have Arabic names, or Arabic appearances, or Arabic roots. If this happens, a lot of innocent, loyal Americans will probably be imprisoned without cause. I hope we don't have to do anything along these lines for any extended period, but if we do, so be it.

Bruce L. Melkonian
Portland


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