Oregon State Bar Bulletin — DECEMBER 2013



Letters



A Broken System

I stipulated to a reprimand arising from a bar complaint related to the settlement of a lawsuit which sought $4 million, which resulted in a multipart settlement of $2,500 plus actual cost (no fees) and a financial interest in a companion case. The settlement required among other conditions that the adverse party execute a truthful affidavit which negated an allegation of the complaint.

A bar complaint arose when the affidavit was used in the companion case. The OSB took the position that the affidavit, truthful or not, was “paying for testimony.” I disagree. However, why would I stipulate to something I didn’t think as a violation of the rules of ethics?

The bar complaint against me originated over four and half years ago. A four and a half-year process to resolve a bar complaint is simply unacceptable. I have tried aggravated murder and complex civil cases in less than a third of this time. The bar defines a reprimand as appropriate for conduct that is “not particularly aggravated or serious.” A four and a half-year investigation demonstrates our disciplinary system is broken. I felt so worn down with the process that I wasn’t about to spend one more day, month, year or longer responding when the offered reprimand would make it all go away.

I am proud of my profession and the work I have done for my clients, and I hope the bar’s disciplinary office accepts my reprimand of a broken system.

Robert L. Wolf, Portland

 

We Love Letters

The Bulletin welcomes letters. In general, letters should pertain to recent articles, columns or other letters and should be limited to 250 words. Other things to keep in mind:

Letters must be original and addressed to the Bulletin editor. We do not reprint letters addressed to other publications, to other individuals, to whom it may concern, etc. Preference is given to letters responding to letters to the editor, articles or columns recently published in the Bulletin.

Letters must be signed. Unsigned or anonymous letters will not be published. (There are exceptions. Inquire with the editor.) Letters may not promote individual products, services or political candidates. All letters must comply with the guidelines of Keller v. State Bar of California in that they must be germane to the purpose of regulating the legal profession or improving the quality of the legal services available to the people of Oregon.

Letters may be edited for grammatical errors, style or length, or in cases where language or information is deemed unsuitable or inappropriate for publication. Profane or obscene language is not accepted.

We strive to print as many letters as possible. Therefore, brevity is important, and preference will be given to letters that are 250 words or less. Letters become the property of the Oregon State Bar. Authors of rejected letters are notified by the editor.

Send letters to: Editor, OSB Bulletin, P.O. Box 231935, Tigard, OR 97281.

 


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