|Message from the Board|
Itís election time again and there are some excellent opportunities for lawyers to get involved in bar leadership. The legal profession needs the guiding hands of attorneys willing to serve and to lead. Please consider getting involved in the House of Delegates or even the Board of Governors. Here are the opportunities now available.
HOUSE OF DELEGATES
The House of Delegates is the ultimate governing authority of the bar. It consists of 215 elected and ex-officio members. It meets one day a year at the annual meeting (unless an emergency meeting is also needed) and provides direction for the Board of Governors. The House of Delegates approves all ethics rule changes to be submitted to the Supreme Court (e.g., the new Gatti rule) and can direct the Board of Governors to undertake certain actions such as the ongoing revisions to the disciplinary system. The House of Delegates has engaged in lively debates on issues of the day facing the profession such as multijurisdictional practice, indigent defense funding, the independence of the judiciary and justice system funding. The House of Delegates approves the bar budget and approves any member fee increases (e.g., projects such as Casemaker and the new Consumer Assistance Office).
Most House of Delegates positions are filled but here are the current openings (all are three-year terms):
Region 1 (two openings): Baker, Crook, Deschutes, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Hood River, Jefferson, Klamath, Lake, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, Wasco and Wheeler counties.
Region 2 (three openings): Lane County.
Region 3 (three openings): Benton, Coos, Curry, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Lincoln and Linn counties.
Region 4 (three openings): Clatsop, Columbia, Tillamook and Washington counties.
Region 5 (12 openings): Multnomah County.
Region 6 (three openings): Clackamas, Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties.
Out of state (two openings).
2003 House of Delegates Election Timetable
March 21, 2003: Deadline for filing nominating petitions and candidate statements due at bar office by 5 p.m.
April 1, 2003: Ballots and candidate statements mailed to members.
April 18, 2003: Ballots due at bar office by 5 p.m.
April 21, 2003: Ballots canvassed and delegates informed of election results (date of election).
THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS
The Board of Governors is the board of directors for the bar. It consists of 16 members, 12 lawyers and four public members, all serving four-year terms. Three lawyers are elected each year and one public member is appointed by the Board of Governors annually. The Board of Governors meets for one to two days, six times a year, and has committee meetings six additional days each year. Board of Governors members serve as liaisons to the Professional Liabillity Fund, bar sections and committees, and engage in numerous additional activities between meetings (e.g., testifying at the legislature, meeting with appellate and circuit court judges on bar and funding issues, speaking at local bar association meetings and working with staff on issues to be presented to committees or the full board). The Board of Governors also appoints the board of the PLF and has ultimate responsibility for the PLF, although the PLF board of directors does the work of direct governance of the PLF. The Board of Governors is a time-consuming endeavor, but it is also rewarding to work with talented and committed Board of Governors members and bar staff, and to meet with lawyers and community leaders all around the state. It provides a great opportunity to make a contribution to the state and the profession. Board of Governors and House of Delegates members are listed in the bar directory and you are welcome to call any of us for more information. Here are the openings this year for the 2004 Board of Governors:
Region 5 (two openings): Multnomah County.
Region 6 (one opening): Clackamas, Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties.
2004 Board of Governors Election Timetable
May 14, 2003: Nominating petitions and candidate statements due at 5 p.m.
June 13, 2003: Challenges due.
June 27, 2003: Board decision due.
July 14, 2003: Supreme Court petition due.*
Sept. 26, 2003: Final decision.
Oct. 6, 2003: Ballots mailed.
Oct. 20, 2003: Ballots due at the bar office no later than 5 p.m.; ballots canvassed (date of election).
Jan. 1, 2004: Elected board members assume office.
*Supreme court petitions are due 15 days after the Board of Governors decision is issued (ORS 9.042(3)).
ABA HOUSE OF DELEGATES
The Oregon State Bar elects three delegates to the ABA House of Delegates; one position is open this year. The timetable for filing is the same as the House of Delegates above. There are more than 530 members of the ABA House of Delegates, which makes policy for the ABA and the legal profession on a national level. Delegates to the ABA House of Delegates, as a condition of their election, vote substantially consistent with any position or direction of the Board of Governors, the OSB House of Delegates or the barís membership.
Nomination is by petition and open to active Oregon State Bar members. If you are interested, please request a nominating petition and candidate statement by contacting Jane Gillespie at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone (503) 620-0222 or (800) 452-8260, ext. 308. You may also download the materials on the OSB website, www.osbar.org.
Thank you for considering these opportunities.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Charles R. Williamson, a Portland lawyer, is president of the Oregon State Bar. Denny Rawlinson, also a Portland lawyer, is chair of the OSB Board of Governorsí Recruitment Committee.
© 2003 Charles R. Williamson & Denny Rawlinson