Oregon State Bar Bulletin — JUNE 2013



Letters



Thank You, Jeff Sapiro

After 24 years of directing the bar’s disciplinary counsel’s office, one of Jeff Sapiro’s final acts was to write a lengthy Bulletin article giving an A-to-Z explanation of the disciplinary process (Bar Counsel, April 2013). At the end he mentioned that by the time we would read this he would have retired.

It is has been my privilege to have served the bar as volunteer bar counsel during the 24 years Jeff headed the disciplinary counsel’s office. I am not sure I could call the many hours spent as particularly “fun,” but the work is essential to maintain the ethical integrity and reputation of our profession.

As volunteer work goes it is professionally challenging. The one constant has been the prosecution standards and policies, work ethic and professionalism of the assistant disciplinary counsels I have worked with during these years.

There is no question in my mind that in the case of this OSB department, these positive attributes flowed down from the top. Jeff had high standards and they were followed by those in his charge.

When I heard Jeff was retiring I asked if there would be any sort of recognition event for him. Apparently his sense of modesty is well known and it was no surprise to those who worked with him that he chose to slip out the door quietly at the end of his decades of service to the bar. Perhaps it is the nature of the job itself, being the disciplinary counsel of a regulated professional group, that is going to make it a relatively “thankless” job.

That said, I am confident that I speak for many other volunteers in the OSB’s regulatory function — fellow bar counsel, members of the disciplinary board — in wishing Jeff Sapiro the best of luck in his retirement and thanking him for years of dedicated service to the OSB and his superb leadership of the disciplinary counsel’s office.

Richard A. Weill, Troutdale

Richard Weill has been a member of the Region 5 bar counsel panel since 2003.

 

More About Sharing Transcripts

I read with interest the letter from attorney Roderick A. Boutin on the topic of “is it ever proper to give out a copy of the reporter’s work product? Is there a ‘fair use’ exception for transcripts?” (“Inquiry of the Month,” May 2013.)

The reply published is interesting and informative.

Some years ago the Oregon State Bar/Oregon Shorthand Reporters Association Joint Professional Statement of Principles was adopted, and perhaps you will find the following quotations from the principles to be helpful in further clarifying the relationship between litigants/court reporters/transcripts, beginning with the 10th principle:

10. The attorney employing a shorthand reporter or ordering a transcript from a shorthand reporter shall be personally responsible for payment of the fees charged by the reporters within a reasonable period of time.

11. When ordering a transcript from a shorthand reporter, no attorney shall direct that the reporter not disclose to the opposing attorney in the case that the transcript is being ordered.

12. When a transcript is ordered, the shorthand reporter is not obligated to contact the opposing attorney on the case and advise that a transcript has been ordered. If asked, however, by the opposing attorney, the reporter shall advise whether a transcript has been ordered.

13. The participants at a deposition should obtain their transcripts from the shorthand reporter.

14. If a transcript of a deposition is ordered by a person not a party representative of a party in a case, the shorthand reporter shall notify the representatives of all parties in the case before preparing the transcript. If any party objects, the shorthand report [sic] should not provide the transcript to such requesting person without order of the Court.

15. When a shorthand reporter is employed by an attorney to report a statement of a witness, other than a deposition, the transcript should not be released without the attorney’s consent or a court order.

I hope this information is helpful.

Debra K. Cheyne, 2008-09 president, Oregon Court Reporters Association

 

Honor the Court Reporter

With reference to my letter in the May edition, Leonard DuBoff’s analysis of copyright law as it may apply to a deposition transcript is informative, but only a part of the answer.

I have been a litigator for 31 years. I have participated in hundreds of depositions. Consistent with paragraph 13 of the OSB/OCRA Joint Professional Statement of Principles, the correct practice is to purchase the transcript from the reporter. It is their work product. That is their livelihood.

Further, you should not talk over the witness or inordinately fast, particularly when using numbers or technical terms. You should provide a comfortable chair and take a lunch break. The reporter is the hardest working person in the room. He or she needs to eat and drink, even if you don’t.

Rod Boutin, Lake Oswego

 

Prosecutorial Perspective Missing

I was disappointed to find the May 2013 article “The Growing Arena of Animal Law” lacking in any prosecutorial perspective. I can assure the author that Marion County does not “set a really low bar for some of the animal neglect stuff,” and I’m confident other counties take a similar approach to protecting animals and prosecuting cases. Animals starved to the point of death or near death, so ill or injured that their continued existence without veterinary care is the functional equivalent of torture, left to live in the squalor of their own feces, or left alone in cars in the blazing sun do not find themselves in those situations due solely to financial issues.

One of the primary goals of any humane society is to educate the public and pet owners regarding the proper care of animals. They provide this type of information on a regular basis to people who find themselves in difficult situations. They can also provide them with resources that will help them address those issues. Prosecution is considered a last resort. It is also important to note that although some humane societies have investigation units who investigate or assist law enforcement in the investigation of animal cruelty cases, they do not prosecute the cases. These cases are submitted for review by the district attorney, and are reviewed for merit and prosecution in the same manner as any other criminal case.

Given the article’s emphasis on the recession and its effect on otherwise responsible pet owners, it would have been beneficial to include information regarding nonprofit agencies that exist for precisely this purpose. There are a number of hay banks in Oregon, and the Humane Society of the United States website lists 13 separate organizations in Oregon that assist with food and veterinary needs. The Pongo Fund is located in Portland and is Oregon’s emergency pet food bank. It provides emergency pet food relief to those in honest need and in doing so reduces shelter populations and helps to keep people and their pets healthy and together.

Nobody has an interest in penalizing the poor. These cases are about responsibility and accountability — responsibility for helpless animals and accountability for those that fail to meet their obligations.

Jean Kunkle, Salem

Jean Kunkle is a deputy district attorney in the Marion County district attorney’s office.

 

Corrections

In an article about the role of apologies in the practice of law (December 2012), the Bulletin misidentified a writer from the ABA Journal. He is Brian Sullivan (not Brian Alexander).

Due to a production error, a sidebar article listing OSB members in the Oregon Legislature (May 2013) gave incomplete information about Oregon Sen. Betsy Johnson, D-Scappoose. Johnson is a law school graduate, but has never practiced.

The Bulletin regrets the errors.

 

We Love Letters

The Bulletin welcomes letters, particularly on subjects covered in these pages.

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

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.

Preference will be given to letters that are 250 words or less. Letters become the property of the Oregon State Bar.

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


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