Oregon State Bar Bulletin — APRIL 2011
Letters

Missing the Directory
I just received the new “Resource Directory” and it actually took me a bit to realize that this is the only listing of attorneys that the bar intends to furnish this year.

The Membership Directory is probably the most used book in my office, by everyone. Telling us that we must now look online every time we want an address, phone number, e-mail address, fax number, bar number or even office affiliation, makes absolutely no sense.

Yes, we can do it but it takes longer and is a lot less convenient. Yes, attorneys move, as they always have, but the vast majority of addresses and phone numbers are still the same at the end of the year.

A list of attorneys’ names is of absolutely no use to me and a total waste of paper. I hope the bar will reconsider and issue a bar directory.

Margaret H. Leek
Leiberan, Beaverton

Last year when the bar president visited us down here in Coos County we were informed that the Membership Directory would no longer be printed, that it was going to be online. Being somewhat of a Luddite I inquired if we still had the option of getting a printed version and was informed that I could print the directory out from the online directory if that was my desire. That is what I have done.

I share office space with three other attorneys and now find that my printed version of the Membership Directory which I keep in a notebook on my desk is in great demand with the secretaries and staff of the other attorneys as when they go online they are not always able to locate a particular attorney because of spelling problems. For example, is it spelled Scholz or Schultz? If you spell it wrong on the computer you can’t find it and it takes much longer to access the information.

Interestingly enough I still received a printed copy of the Resource Directory, which, of course contained all of the advertising which used to be in the Membership Directory. It’s nice being the most popular attorney in the building. However, it would be better if we still had a printed Membership Directory we could keep on our desk at arm’s length.

Dave Tilton,
Coos Bay

When the bar stopped printing a Membership Directory and reduced it to a Resource Directory, I shrugged my shoulders and thought the change would be essentially unnoticable, since I do most of my looking up online as it is. I like the convenience of the online directory.

One day last week, though, three lawyers in a row had chosen to list no useful information on line. Why? I guess it cuts down on annoying phone calls and emails about cases, but occasionally there’s a reason one’s colleagues are trying to communicate. Luckily, I kept my 2010 directory, so I could still find those three, but I wondered what the new lawyers, without old directories, would do, or what I would do when those lawyers-in hiding moved.

What’s the thinking behind opting out of a listing in the membership directory? How useful is that for the membership?

Carolyn G. Wade,
Salem


Sylvia Stevens, OSB executive director, responds:
When the Board of Governors committed to giving every member access to BarBooks, part of the tradeoff was finding a cost savings elsewhere. One of those tradeoffs was the Membership Directory. We’ve long known that the printed directory was outdated the moment it was mailed. (Did you know that nearly 8,000 changes are submitted each year?) This, as well as saving money and promoting sustainable business practices, convinced the board to make the switch. Be assured, the Board of Governors continues to monitor use of the online directory, and user options and upgrades are being added regularly. As always, we welcome suggestions for making the online directory an essential, and user-friendly, resource for a 21st century legal community. Contact us at directory@osbar.org.

From the Editor
While we’re on the topic, here is some information about the online directory.

n A printable PDF version is available in the Members section of the bar’s website. Log in at https://www.osbar.org/ secured/login.asp to download and print a free copy for you or your staff.

n You don’t need Internet access to use the PDF version. Once you’ve downloaded it, you can store it on your computer, a portable USB drive or another portable device such as an iPad or other tablet device. Like the online version, the portable version is searchable. (And you can increase the font size!)

n Still want us to send you a printed copy? Visit us online at www.osbar.org/store/pub or call the OSB Order Desk at (503) 684-7413, or toll-free in Oregon at (800) 452-8260, ext. 413. Cost is $25 (shipping is included) to OSB members.

n Did you know that you can do partial name searches in the digital version? If you are unsure how to spell a name (or simply want to save a few keystrokes), type in part of the name. For example, entering STE SYL for the last and first names will give you one result — Sylvia Stevens, the bar’s executive director. (It is useful to know that typing in a whole name incorrectly will generate no results — or the wrong result.)

n The technique mentioned above also works for entering city names. For example, entering SYLVIA and TIGARD for the first name and city will give you, again, the same single result. This method works in any combination of one or any of these three fields: first name, last name and city.

n The previous limitation of 50 results has been eliminated in digital searches.

—P.N.


Speaking Ill of the Dead

This is my first letter to the editor, so I’ll keep it short. I am appalled that three of the 11 attorneys identified as culprits requiring awards from the Client Security Fund were dead before any investigation occurred regarding their role in alleged client “victimization” (“Client Security Fund: 2010 Annual Report,” February/March 2011).

The article stated that such “awards are made from the fund only if there is evidence of dishonesty... (and are available) ... to clients who are victimized by dishonest attorneys.” (Emphasis added).

I’m glad that the fund exists, and I can understand the potential benefits incurred in exposing living attorneys who, after having an opportunity to respond to such charges, are found to have victimized their clients. Identification of such rascals is good “PR” — lending an aura of transparency to bar functions and acts as a warning to other (living) attorneys who may be tempted to commit similar crimes and misdemeanors.

However, since the dead cannot speak for themselves it is considered boorish in most civilized societies to speak ill of the dead. I would suggest that this would particularly be true for previously trusted colleagues and friends who leave behind widows and children entitled to think well of their deceased kin. These dead lawyers could not participate in their own defense or confront their accusers. And while it is good that, under such circumstances — where harm is clearly proved — that the aggrieved client be compensated, publicly smearing a dead man’s reputation serves no positive function.

Let the dead rest in peace, for God’s sake.

Greg Smith, Salem




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