Oregon State Bar Bulletin — FEBRUARY/MARCH 2012
Bar News

OSB and ABA House of Delegates Candidates Statements Due March 16
The Oregon State Bar seeks candidates for the OSB and ABA House of Delegates elections. There are two open seats for the ABA House of Delegates and several openings in all regions for the OSB House of Delegates. ABA terms are for two years and OSB terms are for three years.

The deadline to file a candidate statement is March 16. For more information and to print a copy of the candidate’s statement go to www.osbar.org and select House of Delegates, or contact Danielle Edwards, dedwards@osbar.org, (503) 620-0222 or (800) 452-8260, ext. 426.

UTCR Committee Seeks to Fill One Position
The Uniform Trial Court Rules committee seeks an attorney with experience in general civil law trial practice to fill one open position. This is a volunteer position with appointment made by the chief justice of the Oregon Supreme Court. Candidates should have significant trial experience.

To apply, please send a resume and cover letter (describing your law practice, areas of expertise, qualifications, rulemaking experience and involvement in simi lar groups) to: bruce.c.miller@state.or.us or Bruce C. Miller, Office of the State Court Administrator, Supreme Court Building, 1163 State St., Salem, OR 97301. The deadline for application is April 30.

The UTCR committee is an advisory group to the chief justice that makes recommendations on the UTCR and Supplementary Local Rules. It meets twice a year in the fall and spring in Salem. Members work with judges, attorneys and court personnel from across the state on issues that directly affect litigation practice. For more information, visit http://courts.oregon.gov/OJD/programs/utcr/index.page?

Volunteers Needed for Fee Mediation Pilot Program
Over the past few months, the bar has been working to build the infrastructure necessary to support a fee mediation pilot program. The mediation pilot program will operate under the same rules as the existing fee arbitration program — the bar will simply offer participants who agree to binding arbitration the option of engaging in mediation before their arbitration hearing. If the parties are able to reach resolution during mediation, the fee arbitration case will be dismissed.

To date, the bar has approximately 75 attorneys on its list of volunteer fee mediators, but we will need many more volunteers to meet the anticipated requests of attorneys and clients. Volunteers — mediators and arbitrators as well — are especially needed from areas outside of the Portland metro area. Interested attorneys should contact Cassandra Stich at cstich@osbar.org or (503) 431-6334 for additional information.

Defense Counsel Sought for Disciplinary Proceedings
The Oregon State Bar is looking for members who are willing to volunteer their time to assist lawyers who are being investigated or prosecuted for disciplinary violations. Volunteers on this panel will provide pro bono representation for accused lawyers in disciplinary matters, as their time and availability permit.

Panel members are expected to be familiar with the disciplinary rules and the disciplinary process. The bar does not require the volunteer defense counsel to provide any particular level of service. It is anticipated that most of the volunteer services will be of a consultative nature in the early stages of an investigation or prosecution.

Volunteers serving as defense counsel in disciplinary proceedings are eligible to earn up to two MCLE ethics credits for each 12 months of service. If you are interested in participating on the volunteer defense counsel panel, contact Danielle Edwards at (503) 431-6426, or toll-free in Oregon at (800) 452-8260, ext. 426 or email dedwards@osbar.org.

Fee Arbitration Program May Reach More Clients
Historically, the Oregon State Bar Fee Arbitration Program has only been available to Oregon attorneys and their clients, but the Board of Governors recently approved expanding the voluntary fee dispute arbitration program to offer dispute resolution to Oregon clients who employ out-of-state attorneys.

Since 1976, the bar has offered a voluntary program to Oregon attorneys and their clients, as well as Oregon attorneys who are seeking to resolve disputes about how to apportion fees. The program strives to offer lawyers and clients an out-of-court method for fee dispute resolution that is informal, quick, confidential and inexpensive.

The cost of fee arbitration is low — the bar charges a filing fee of $50 for claims of $7,500 or less, and $75 for claims of $7,501 or more to help cover administrative expenses.

More information on the program can be found at www.osbar.org/rulesregs/feearb.htm.

 

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