|Oregon State Bar Bulletin DECEMBER 2011|
New Member Dashboard Keeps You Up to Date
Is it your year to fill out an MCLE Compliance Report? Have you already paid your bar fees? Are there any upcoming CLEs that you’ve registered for? Wouldn’t it be nice to have the answers to all of these questions in one place?
The next time you log in to the Oregon State Bar website, pay attention to the new member dashboard on the main member page — the same page as BarBooks and Fastcase. The new dashboard contains a lot of useful information including news about important notifications, CLE details, a calendar of upcoming events, MCLE reporting info and more. Keep your eye on this section as efforts continue on providing the information you need in one easy-to-access place.
Make Sure You Can Receive Emails from “email@example.com”
Effective immediately, all regulatory notices from the Oregon State Bar will be sent from a single email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you haven’t already done so, set up your email service to always accept emails from this address — or ask your IT department to do it. It is imperative this email address not be blocked by a spam filter, as the OSB will use it to send important information.
MCLE Compliance Reports and 2012 Member Fee Notices Have Been Sent
Compliance reports for members whose MCLE reporting period ends Dec. 31, 2011 were sent via email in mid-October. All credits must be completed by the end of 2011, and the completed compliance report is due in the MCLE office no later than 5 p.m. on Jan. 31, 2012.
If you need a replacement report, go to http://www.osbar.org/secured/login.asp">/a> and log in to your account. If you have any questions, please contact the MCLE Department at (503) 431-6368.
The 2012 Member Fee Notices were sent via email Nov. 18 to all members.
Please be sure the bar has your current email and mailing address. To update your contact information, log in to the bar website at the web address above and click on the box that says “Communication Preferences.”
Report Your 2011 Pro Bono Hours
The OSB is asking members to report the hours of pro bono work achieved in the past year.
Having data on pro bono hours allows the bar to be aware of and acknowledge the good work done by lawyers and provides details often asked for by the general public or the legislature. It ensures that the bar and the nonprofit pro bono providers are aware of the services provided and the services lacking for low-income Oregonians.
In addition, reporting pro bono hours qualifies members and their firms for the 2011 ONLD Pro Bono Challenge Awards, in which the individuals and firms the highest number of reported pro bono hours are honored.
To report your hours for 2011, visit www.osbar.org/probono/reporting.html and click on the “Login and report your hours online” link in the box in the middle of the page.
Abandoned Client Funds Help Support Access to Justice
It’s time to look at your lawyer trust account and make note of any abandoned client funds for 2011.
Abandoned client funds are appropriated for the provision of legal services to the poor under the OSB Legal Services Program, so reporting helps fund access to justice in Oregon. Funds are deemed abandoned if the owner has not accepted payment of the funds, corresponded in writing about the funds or otherwise indicated interest in the funds within two years after the funds are payable or distributable to the owner.
Please forward questions to Judith Baker (503) 431-6323 or email@example.com, or visit www. osbar.org/IOLTA/info.html.
Oregon eCourt Program Recommends Changes to UTCR
The Oregon eCourt Program is recommending changes to Oregon’s Uniform Trial Court Rules to govern future remote electronic access to court documents. The proposed changes result from years of work by the Oregon eCourt Law and Policy Work Group, which is comprised of judges and staff from throughout the Judicial Department, as well as public- and private-sector attorneys. The new rules would be effective upon adoption, and applied when remote electronic access is available through implementation of the Oregon eCourt system.
The proposed rules — new rules in chapter 22 and amending UTCR 2.100 and 2.110 relating to segregation of protected personal information — affect only remote electronic access. They would not affect in-person records access. The rules would establish a system of registered users, and graduated access rights depending on whether the user is a party to a case, lawyer of record, or other interested party.
The proposed rules strive to balance competing policy choices that are inherent in any electronic court environment: Providing broad public access to case information and court documents, while also protecting against unauthorized or inappropriate disclosure of certain identifying information — to protect against identity theft, fraud, and other crimes — and to prevent unnecessarily broad disclosure of sensitive information.
The rules unquestionably recognize the “public” nature of most court documents, but recognize the risks involved in providing unlimited remote electronic access to every document in a case file — either to registered users or others who come into possession of the records downstream.
Draft UTCR chapter 22 incorporates a number of concepts. First, remote access to any document or case that is confidential or sealed should be available only to registered users who are permitted by law to view the document. Second, remote access rights would be graduated and based on a user’s relationship to a case, to the bar, or to OJD. Third, most public documents currently available in the courthouse should be available to any registered system user through remote electronic access, subject to specified exceptions.
The first, and most significant exception for practitioners in civil and criminal law cases, would require that a filed document available by remote access that contains “protected information” about another person (e.g., Social Security numbers, active bank account numbers, names of minors, etc.) have that information segregated from the primary document and filed in a separate “Chapter 22 Segregated Document.” Alternatively, the protected information may be redacted, with the filer submitting both a “Chapter 22 Complete Version” and a “Chapter 22 Segregated Version” of the document. Then, the document containing the chapter 22 “protected information” would be available through remote electronic access to limited registered system users (including lawyers of record and other bar members), but not to all registered public users.
Second, significant limits would be imposed on remote access to protective orders and related case information subject to restrictions under the federal Violence Against Women Act, 18 USC § 2265(d)(3).
The third exception would limit the availability of party- and third-party-filed documents in domestic relations, probate, and tax cases to certain registered system users (again including lawyers of record and bar members, but not all registered public users).
The fourth exception identifies particular documents in certain case types (largely criminal and domestic relations) that would be available to only certain registered system users, based on the nature of the document.
A joint OJD-Oregon State Bar eCourt Task Force has reviewed the proposed UTCRs and has sought feedback from various section members. Additional input can be provided through the regular UTCR process for out-of-cycle UTCR amendments.
Additional information about the proposed rules and UTCR process is available at http://courts.oregon.gov/OJD/programs/utcr/index.page?
This article was submitted by Lisa J. Norris-Lampe, a staff attorney at the Oregon Supreme Court and chair of the Oregon Judicial Department eCourt Law and Policy Work Group.