Oregon State Bar Bulletin — NOVEMBER 2004

Bar News

Board, house of delegates meet in conjunction with annual meeting
In conjunction with the OSB Annual Meeting, the Board of Governors met Oct. 13-14 in Portland, followed by a meeting of the House of Delegates on Oct. 16. Here are summaries of those meetings:

  • Significant actions by the Board of Governors included the following:
  • Heard a report on the operations and policies of the Board of Bar Examiners and the Admissions Department.
  • Approved further planning to establish a regular BOG liaison with public lawyers.
  • Approved funds to establish a two-year pilot program for web conferencing for boards and committees, enabling lawyers to participate from remote locations.
  • Presented the bar’s legislative agenda for 2005 before the legislature’s Joint Interim Judiciary Committee, after which the board hosted a luncheon for the committee members.
  • Adopted new bylaw 18.6, which applies to all lawyers appointed to all local professional responsibility committees, the State Professional Responsibility Board, the Disciplinary Board (including trial panels), and the Board of Governors. Bylaw 18.6 essentially provides that any member of any of these committees, boards and panels who has a pending discipline case, where prosecution has been authorized by the SPRB, shall be temporarily suspended from service on that committee, board or panel until the formal complaint is resolved by settlement or final decision.

The board also heard a report from PLF executive director Ira Zarov, and:

  • Approved changes to the Primary Claims Made Plan, including clarifying "same or related claims" language and increasing the expense allowance in the plan from $25,000 to $50,000.
  • Approved the PLF proposed budget for 2005 which includes an assessment increase of $400.
  • Approved housekeeping changes to the PLF policy manual as it relates to Personal and Practice Management Assistance.

The House of Delegates took the following actions:

  • Heard a report from Budget and Finance Committee Chair Frank Hilton concerning the financial status of the bar, and the fact that there will be no fee increase for 2005.
  • Approved an amended proposal to submit to the membership for an advisory vote only, a plan that, if approved, would raise bar fees by $70 per year in order to make the bar’s entire CLE library available to all members on-line. The proposal would be limited to a five-year period (in other words, would sunset unless reapproved). When the membership has voted, the matter will return to the House of Delegates for a final decision.
  • Rejected a resolution to provide a discount for certain attendees at House of Delegates meetings.
  • Adopted an amended resolution to support adequate funding for Public Defense Services.
  • Approved a memoriam resolution honoring bar members who have died since the last House of Delegates meeting.
  • Approved a resolution adopting the proposed Oregon Rules of Professional Conduct.

 

Three elected to Board of Governors
Three persons were elected as lawyermembers of the OSB Board of Governors in a ballot conducted this fall.

Elected were: Carol DeHaven Skerjanec of Vale, Ore., representing Region 1 (she defeated James R. Uerlings); Timothy C. Gerking of Medford, Region 3 (uncontested); and Richard S. Yugler of Portland, Region 5 (uncontested).

Their four-year terms begin Jan. 1, 2005.

 

OCDLA to honor two Bend lawyers
Bend attorneys Duane J. McCabe and Ralph H. Smith, Jr., will receive the Ken Morrow Memorial Award by the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association at a special dinner and benefit auction on Dec. 3 at the Benson Hotel in Portland. The event is open to the public and tickets are $50, available by calling OCDLA at (541) 686-8716. The Ken Morrow Memorial Award was created in 2000 to recognize the life-long commitment and significant achievements of attorneys within the defense community. For more information, contact John Potter at (541) 686-8716.

 

Just in time...the OSB history book!
The newly published OSB history book, Serving Justice: A History of the Oregon State Bar, 1890-2000, is available for purchase. Did we mention gift idea?

The 370-page book is fully illustrated and thoroughly chronicles the history of the Oregon bar, from its start as a voluntary organization in the late 19th century to the modern full-service organization it is today. Numerous sidebar articles are featured.

The book was released during the recent OSB Annual Meeting in Portland.

Order by visiting the OSB website, www.osbar.org, or by calling the OSB Order Desk at (503) 684-7413, or toll-free in Oregon at (800) 452-8260, ext. 413. Cost is $35 for soft-cover, $50 for hard-cover. A sample chapter is available online.

 

Notice of reinstatement applications
The following individuals have filed applications for reinstatement as active members of the Oregon State Bar pursuant to Rule of Procedure (BR) 8.1:

Jennifer R. Bisset of Hood River, OSB #86119, was admitted to the Oregon State Bar on May 21, 1996. She transferred to inactive status in 1999 to work for a private Internet company. She now is self-employed providing legal research, mediation and criminal investigation services. Upon reinstatement, Bisset will continue in this employment, as well as providing contract legal services for a Hood River law firm.

Mary R. Giannini of Spokane, OSB #86119, was admitted to the Oregon State Bar on May 5, 1986. On Jan. 28, 1991, she transferred to inactive membership status. Giannini was admitted to practice in Washington in 1988, where she has been with a Spokane law firm since 1989. She will continue in this position upon reinstatement, occasionally representing clients with offices in Oregon.

The Rules of Procedure require the Board of Governors to conduct an investigation of BR 8.1 reinstatement applications to determine whether applicants possess the good moral character and general fitness to practice law and that the resumption of the practice of law in this state by applicants will not be detrimental to the administration of justice or the public interest. Any person with information relevant to this inquiry is asked to contact promptly the OSB Regulatory Services Division, P.O. Box 1689, Lake Oswego, OR 97035; phone: (503) 620-0222, or toll-free in Oregon at (800) 452-8260, ext. 343.


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Nominations sought
for the OSB and ABA
houses of delegates

A public opinion poll released Aug. 9 by the ABA reveals a strong belief and trust in the American jury system and debunks the notion that Americans think jury duty is a burden to be avoided.

The Oregon State Bar is currently recruiting for candidates for the OSB and ABA House of Delegates. There is one opening for the ABA House of Delegates and several openings in most regions for the OSB House of Delegates. The OSB House of Delegates generally holds one meeting during the year, however a special meeting may also be called. The ABA terms are for two years and the OSB’s are for three years. Openings include:

Region 1: 2

Region 2: 4

Region 3: 6

Region 4: 3

Region 5: 18

Region 6: 11

Out-of-state: 12

The number of delegates is subject to change due to admission of new members, status changes and relocation of offices. In accordance with OSB Bylaw 3.2, the final determination will be made on Feb. 1, 2005.

The types of matters historically presented to the House of Delegates have included: 1) disciplinary rule changes; 2) bar positions on major legislative and policy issues; and 3) member resolutions on a variety of topics.

The deadline for filing nominating petitions and candidate statements is March 18, 2005 and ballots are due at the bar office on April 15, 2005. The election offers members two ways to vote: members with an e-mail address registered with the bar will receive an e-mail with a link to an electronic ballot; and those without an e-mail address will receive a paper ballot.

For more information and to print copies of the candidates’ statements and nominating petitions, go to www.osbar.org and select "Forms Library," or contact Jane Gillespie at (503) 620-0222 or toll-free in Oregon at (800) 452-8260, ext. 308.

 

St. Andrew clinic celebrates 25 years of ‘Bridging the Gap’

On Thursday, Sept. 30, hundreds of past and present volunteers, supporters and staff gathered in downtown Portland to celebrate St. Andrew Legal Clinic’s 25th anniversary. Since its inception, St. Andrew Legal Clinic (SALC) has provided legal services to low income people in Portland to over 30,000 individuals and families. All legal representation is provided in the area of family law, and most cases are extremely complex magnified by even bigger issues like drug use, domestic violence and/or child abuse.

St. Andrew Legal Clinic was originally founded in 1979 by two attorneys who were members of St. Andrew Catholic Church, Judge Keith Raines and Tom Caruso. They saw a huge unmet need for the working poor population who simply could not afford the costs of hiring private attorneys. Their solution was to form a low cost legal clinic, located across the street from the church in Northeast Portland, where it still lies today. SALC has grown dramatically since its inception with two additional branch offices operating in Washington and Clackamas counties, a total of 13 full-time staff attorneys and hundreds of volunteer attorneys. The three clinics combined serve more than 2,000 individuals and families each year.

There are an estimated 250,000 people each year in Oregon who fall into "the gap" that SALC helps to bridge. When families are threatened by lack of access to the courts, the effects are far-reaching, not only to the family involved but also to the larger community, resulting in additional work for police departments, social service agencies and the court system as the number of unrepresented litigants increases. Because of SALC, children are growing up in safer environments and families have increased financial security, stay off of welfare and become more productive members of our society.

Tax-deductible donations are welcome. Send to to SALC, Development Department, 807 N.E. Alberta St., Portland, OR 97211. For more information, call (503) 281-1500, ext. 20.