Summary of 2000 House of Delegates Action

Matters with Financial Impact Page

Passed

1. BOG Resolution No. 1 - 2001 Fee Resolution

2. Delegate Resolution No. 4 - Supports Ballot Measure 94

Items with Legislative Implications

Passed

1. BOG Resolution No. 4 - Amends ORS 9.136-9.152

Other Resolutions

Passed

1. BOG Resolution No. 2 - In Memoriam

2. BOG Resolution No. 3 - Amends DR 5-106 and DR 5-105(G)

3. BOG Resolution No. 6 - Opposes Initiative Measure 8

4. BOG Resolution No. 7 - Reestablishes annual OSB convention

5. BOG Resolution No. 8 - Amends DR 1-103(E)(2)

Referred to Legal Ethics Committee for further study

1. Delegate Resolution No. 3 - Amends DR 5-103(B) 

Failed

1. Revised BOG Resolution No. 5 - Proposed study of Multidisciplinary Practice (MDP)

2. Delegate Resolution No. 1 - Proposed election to HOD of chief delegate and regional delegates

3. Revised Delegate Resolution No. 2 - Proposed future Houseof Delegates role concerning the operation of the PLF

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2001 Fee Resolution (BOG Resolution No. 1)

Resolved, that the 2001 annual membership fees be increased from the year 2000 amount by $50.00 and that the Client Security Fund assessment be unchanged from the 2000 year, and shall be as follows:

1. Active Members.

A. For members admitted in any jurisdiction before January 1, 1999: $371.00 for the basic membership fee; $30.00 for the Affirmative Action Program fee; and $15.00 for the Client Security Fund assessment; for a total of $416.00.

B. For members admitted in any jurisdiction before January 1, 1999 who fail to pay their active fees and assessments of $416.00 by the due date: $466.00.

C. For members admitted in any jurisdiction on or after January 1, 1999: $314.00 for the basic membership fee; $15.00 for the Affirmative Action Program fee; and $15.00 for the Client Security Fund assessment; for a total of $344.00.

D. For members admitted in any jurisdiction on or after January 1, 1999 who fail to pay their active fees and assessments of $344.00 by the due date: $386.00.

E. For those members admitted in Oregon in 2001, the fees shall be apportioned. The Client Security Fund assessment of $15.00 shall be paid in full by each new admittee.

F. For those members who pass away in 2001, the fees shall be apportioned upon request of appropriate representatives. The Client Security Fund assessment of $15.00 and the increase of fees due to payment made after the due date shall not be included in the apportioned refund.

G. Exemptions to active member fees:

(1) Members who were admitted to practice law in Oregon prior to January 1, 1951, are exempt from the basic membership fee and the Affirmative Action Program fee. These members are not exempt, based on admittance date, from the Client Security Fund assessment and must pay the Client Security Fund assessment of $15.00.

(2) Members who are on active military duty in compliance with the terms of ORS 408.450 are exempt from the payment of all active membership fees and assessments. Members who are in the VISTA or Peace Corps programs in compliance with Board of Governors Policy 10.302 are exempt from the payment of all active membership fees and assessments. The payment of active membership fees may also be waived if members satisfy the requirements of Board of Governors Policy 10.301 on hardship exemptions.

2. Active Emeritus Members.

A. For members admitted to practice law in any jurisdiction before January 1, 1986, who do not engage at any time in the practice of law except for providing annually a minimum of 40 hours of pro bono legal services to indigent clients referred by Oregon State Bar certified Pro Bono programs: $95.00. The fee includes an allocation of $80.00 for the basic membership fee and $15.00 for the Client Security Fund assessment. A listing of programs available for participation by members in this category shall be maintained by the Executive Director of the Oregon State Bar.

B. For those active emeritus members who fail to pay their active emeritus fees and assessments of $95.00 by the due date: $120.00.

3. Active Retired.

 For members admitted to practice law in Oregon prior to January 1, 1961, who do not engage at any time in the practice of law except for pro bono legal services to indigent clients referred by Oregon State Bar certified Pro Bono programs, volunteer service as bar counsel, or as a member of the SPRB or other disciplinary entity, the same fees and assessments as established for active emeritus members in paragraph 2 above.

4. Inactive Members.

A. The 2001 membership fee for inactive members shall be $80.00.

B. For those inactive members who fail to pay their fees of $80.00 by the due date: $105.00 .

C. Exemptions to inactive member fees:

(1) Members who were admitted in Oregon prior to January 1, 1951.

(2) Members in active military duty in compliance with the terms of ORS 408.450 are exempt from the payment of inactive membership fees. Members who are in the VISTA or Peace Corps programs in compliance with Board of Governors Policy 10.302 are exempt from the payment of inactive membership fees. The payment of inactive membership fees may also be waived if members satisfy the requirements of Board of Governors Policy 10.301 on hardship exemptions.

5. Payment Date: All fees and assessments shall be paid simultaneously, in one remittance, not later than the due date or within 60 days of date of admission to the Oregon State Bar, whichever occurs last.

6. Definitions: Apportioned fees pertain only to those members admitted in Oregon or who passed away during calendar year 2001. If the member is admitted or passes away in January, the apportioned fee or refund, as the case may be, shall be 12/12; February shall be 11/12; ...; December shall be 1/12. The calculation shall be rounded up to the nearest dollar for each fee allocation.

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Supports Ballot Measure 94 – Repeals Measure 11 mandatory minimum sentencing requirements(Delegate Resolution No. 4)

Whereas, Oregon Law has, since the passage in 1994 of Ballot Measure 11 [ORS section 137.700 et. seq.], mandated that juveniles age 15 and older charged with certain offenses be automatically waived into adult court, and

Whereas, Oregon Law has, since the passage in 1994 of Ballot Measure 11 [ORS section 137.700 et. seq.], also required that all persons, juveniles or adults, convicted of these certain offenses, be sentenced to serve mandatory minimum terms of imprisonment upon conviction, without the possibility of early release, and

Whereas, mandatory minimum sentences take sentencing discretion away from judges, and

Whereas, the automatic transfer of juveniles from juvenile courts to criminal courts based solely upon the charges filed takes judiciary discretion away from juvenile court judges, and

Whereas, Ballot Measure 94 has been certified to the November, 2000 ballot, and

Whereas, Ballot Measure 94 would repeal Ballot

Measure 11 and allow prisoners sentenced in accordance with Ballot Measure 11 to be re-sentenced, and

Whereas, the passage of Ballot Measure 94 would stop the prison expansion in Oregon, and

Whereas, the passage of Ballot Measure 94 would return discretion in sentencing to Oregon judges, and

Whereas, the passage of Ballot Measure 94 would also return discretion over juvenile transfer decisions to Oregon judges;

Resolved, that Ballot Measures 94 should be passed at the polls.

Resolved, that the Oregon State Bar endorses the efforts of the Joint Interim Judiciary Committee.

Further resolved, that the Oregon State Bar is instructed to take reasonable steps that will assist the people of Oregon in understanding the need for a more comprehensive criminal justice policy for Oregon by taking the following action:

1. Transmitting the content of this resolution to the editorial boards of the state's major newspapers and broadcast media;

2.  Sponsor neutral educational forums to discuss and debate the need for a more comprehensive criminal justice policy in various locations around the state prior to the November 2000 election.

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Amends ORS 9.136-9.152 – OSB House of Delegates (BOG Resolution No. 4)

Resolved, that the OSB House of Delegates approves the following changes to ORS 9.136-9.152 regarding the House of Delegates. If approved, the changes will be introduced in the 2001 legislative session:

1. Term Limits - 9.150 Termination of a delegate’s term.

(2) A delegate to the house of delegates may not serve more than two consecutive three-year terms or six consecutive years regardless of the number of terms or portion of terms the delegate is appointed or elected to serve.

2. Committee Chairs as Ex Officio Delegates - 9.136 House of delegates created; membership; terms.

(3) The chairperson of each Oregon State Bar committee and section is an ex officio voting delegate.

(8) An elected delegate may not serve as a member of the board of governors, as a committee or section chairperson or as a county bar association president during the delegate’s term.

 9.150(1) Termination of delegate’s term.

(1) The term of service of any delegate shall end upon the death or resignation of the delegate. If the delegate is an attorney delegate, the term of service shall end on the date that the delegate:

(c) Takes office as a member of the board of governors, as a chairperson of a state bar committee or section, or as a county bar association president; or

3. Filling Vacancies - 9.136 House of delegates created; membership; terms.

(7) Elected delegates shall serve for terms of three years. A vacancy in the office of an elected delegate that occurs more than 18 months before the expiration of the term shall be filled for the remainder of the term by a delegate elected at a special election. The election shall be held as soon as possible after the vacancy occurs. The vacancy may be filled, for the period between the occurrence of the vacancy and the special election, by a delegate appointed by the board of governors. A vacancy in the office of an elected delegate that occurs 18 months or less before the expiration of the term shall be filled for the remainder of the term by a delegate appointed by the board of governors.

4. Public Members - 9.145 Public Members

The board of governors shall appoint a public member delegate for each region established by ORS 9.025. The elected delegates of each of those regions shall, by majority vote, nominate five candidates for the position of public member delegate for the district. The nominations must be submitted to the board by June 15 of every third year, beginning in 1996. The board shall select appoint a one of the candidates as the public member delegate for the each region prior to the annual April election. The selection must be made by August 1 of the year the nominations are made. A public member delegate shall serve a three-year term beginning on the third Tuesday of April in the year of appointment. A vacant public member delegate position shall be filled for the remainder of the term by a delegate appointed by the board of governors.

5. Out-of-State Delegates - 9.152 Election of Delegates

The election of delegates to the house of delegates shall be held on the third Monday of April each year. Nominations shall be made by petition signed by at least 10 members of the Oregon State Bar entitled to vote for a delegate in the election, except that candidates for out-of-state delegates are not required to obtain signatures for nomination. The election shall be by ballot. Nominating petitions must be filed with the executive director of the state bar at least 30 days before the election. The executive director shall mail ballots containing the nominations for the office of delegate in each region to every active member in the region. The ballots must be mailed on or before April 1 of the year of the election. Ballots may be delivered in person or by mail to the executive director, but must be received by the executive director on or before the day of the election. The executive director, with any assistants that the executive director may designate, shall canvass the votes and record the results of the election. The candidate, or candidates if there is more than one open position, receiving the highest number of votes in each region for the position or positions being filled shall be declared elected. Balloting shall be conducted in a manner that ensures that only active members of the bar can vote and that the secrecy of the ballots shall be preserved.

6. Housekeeping Amendment - ORS 9.136 House of Delegates created; membership; terms.

Note: Section 20, chapter 302, Oregon Laws 1995, provides:
Sec 20. Notwithstanding section 7 of the Act [9.136], delegates elected to the house of delegates in the first election shall serve terms determined as follows:
(1) The executive director of the Oregon State Bar shall make a list of the delegates elected for each region in the first election. The list shall begin with the delegate for the region who received the most votes. The other delegates from the region shall be listed in descending order, based on the number of votes received.
(2) The executive director of the Oregon State Bar shall divide the list prepared under this section for each region as closely as possible into three equal groups. The first and second groups shall be of equal size. The third group may be larger or smaller. The first group of delegates, containing the delegates who received the most votes, shall serve a term of three years. The second group of delegates, containing the delegates who received the next highest number of votes, shall serve a term of two years. The third group of delegates, containing the delegates who received the lowest number of votes, shall serve a term of one year.  [1995 c.302 §20]

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In Memoriam (BOG Resolution No. 2)

Resolved, that the OSB House of Delegates and members assembled stand for a moment of silence in honor of the members of the Oregon State Bar whose passings have been reported to the Bar since the 1999 House of Delegates Meeting.

Laila E. Aarnas, Portland

James H. Anderson, Waldport

Adolf A. Asher , Portland

Darst B. Atherly, Eugene

James E. Auxier , Aurora

Hon Robert C Belloni, San Mateo, California

John W. Brugman, Portland

Nick Chaivoe, Portland

John T. Chinnock, Woodburn

Walter J. Cosgrave, Portland

Duane Craske, Wedderburn

Frank J. Coumont, Gearhart

Douglas R. Courson, Portland

A. L. Douglas, Omaha, Nebraska

Howard M. Dupuy, Portland

Hon Thomas E Edison, Cannon Beach

Dean Ellis, Salem

George L. Evans , Portland

Carl M. Felker, Roseburg

David R. Fortier, Brookings

Otto J. Frohnmayer, Medford

George E. Heilig, Portland

Glen Hieber, Hillsboro

Wayne Hilliard, Portland

Ervin B. Hogan, Medford

Orlando J. Hollis, Eugene

William M. Holmes, Bend

William L. Jackson, Baker City

Stanley C. Jones, Klamath Falls

David A. Kekel, Portland

John H. Kottkamp, Pendleton

Hon. Virgil Langtry, The Dalles

G. Kenneth Litchfield, Newport

John A. Lorentz, Phoenix, Arizona

A. Keith Martin, Eugene

William A. Martin , Portland

Michael F. McClain , Albany

Donald W. McEwen, Portland

James M. McGinty, Myrtle Creek

Lynne McNutt, Coos Bay

Robert L. Misner, Salem

Laurence Morley , Lebanon

Donald G. Morrison, Lincoln City

Hon John J. Murchison, Portland

T. Leonard O'Byrne, Portland

Richard D. Nelson, Portland

Hon Kenneth J. O'Connell, Salem

Richard W. PicKell, Salem

Harold W. Pierce, Bend

Diane Crowell Powrie, Bend

Elizabeth Risley, Eugene

Ernest M. Robertson , Dallas, Texas

Renee J. Schmeling, Pendleton

Leonard S. Shoen, Las Vegas, Nevada

Sol Siegel, Portland

Dudley Smith, Redwood City, Calif.

F. Leo Smith, Portland

Sylvanus Smith, Eugene

John W. Sonderen, Portland

Carl G. Stanley, Albany

David C. Swart, Portland

LaVorn A. Taylor, Vancouver

Sidney E. Thwing, Eugene

Duane Vergeer, Lake Oswego

Mary J. Vershum, Portland

George R. Waldum, Portland

Hon William W. Wells, Pendleton

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Amends DR 5-106 and DR 5-105(G) - Mediation (BOG Resolution No. 3)

Resolved, that Disciplinary Rules 5-106 and 5-105(G) be amended to read as follows:

DR 5-106 Mediation

 (A) A lawyer serving [may act] as a mediator:

  (1) shall not act as a lawyer for any party against another party in the matter in mediation or in any related proceeding, and

  (2) [for multiple parties in any matter if the lawyer] must clearly inform[s] the parties of and obtain the parties’ consent to the lawyer’s role as mediator [and they consent to this arrangement].

 (B) A lawyer serving as a mediator:

  (1) may [draft, and may file in court, a settlement agreement, including a stipulated order or judgment] prepare documents that memorialize and [to] implement the [settlement] agreement reached in mediation,

  (2) [but must advise and encourage the parties to] shall recommend that each party seek independent legal advice before executing [it] the documents, and

  (3) with the consent of all parties, may record or may file the documents in court.

 [(C) A lawyer serving as a mediator may not represent one party against the other in the matter in mediation or in any related legal proceeding.]

 (C) Notwithstanding DR 5-105(G), when a lawyer is serving or has served as a mediator in a matter, a member of the lawyer’s firm may accept or continue the representation of a party in the matter in mediation or in a related matter if all parties to the mediation consent after full disclosure.

 [(D) A lawyer shall withdraw as mediator if any of the parties so request, or if any of the conditions stated in DR 5-106(A) are no longer satisfied. Upon withdrawal, the lawyer shall not continue to act on behalf of any of the parties in the matter that was the subject of the mediation.]

 (D) The requirements of (A)(2) and (B)(2) shall not apply to mediation programs established by operation of law or court order.

DR 5-105(G) Vicarious Disqualification of Affiliates

Except as permitted in subsections (D) and (F), when a lawyer is required to decline employment or to withdraw from employment under a Disciplinary Rule other than DR 2-110(B)(3), DR 5-101(A)(2), DR 5-102(A), DR 5-106(A)(1) or DR 5-110, no other member of the lawyer’s firm may accept or continue such employment.

Opposes Initiative Measure 8 (Limits state appropriations to percent of prior state personal income) and Initiative Measure 91 (Full deductibility of federal income taxes on state income taxes) (BOG Resolution No. 6)

Whereas, the Oregon State Bar has traditionally supported measures to improve the administration of justice in Oregon such as reasonable compensation for public defenders, appointment of additional judges, fair pay for judges, increased court support staff, adequate and safe court facilities, the availability of legal services for the poor, and a fair, efficient and adequately funded public safety and criminal justice system; and

Whereas, the resources of state and local governments have not been sufficient to adequately fund these Bar priorities in the past; and

Whereas, Initiative Measure 8 limiting state appropriations to a percent of prior state personal income would almost certainly force a long-term cut of at least 20 percent in the Judicial Department budget; and

Whereas, Initiative Measure 91 making federal income taxes fully deductible on Oregon state tax returns would almost certainly cause an immediate cut of at least 24 percent in the funding of the Judicial Department and a long-term cut of 18 percent from present levels; and

Whereas, passage of either Initiative Measure 8 or 91 would decimate past improvements to the administration of justice in this state and make any further improvements virtually impossible,

Resolved, that:

1.  The Oregon State Bar opposes enactment of both Initiative Measure 8 and Initiative Measure 91; and

2. All members of the Oregon State Bar are urged to communicate to their clients, family, staff members, and others the gross unfairness Initiative Measure 8 and 91 would inflict on all Oregonians by crippling the administration of justice and access to justice in this state.

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Reestablishes annual OSB convention (BOG Resolution No. 7)

Whereas, the House of Delegates passed a resolution in 1999 creating a committee to study the reinstatement of the annual meeting on a cost-effective basis; and

Whereas, Oregon State Bar president Larry Rew appointed a committee which has reported to the Board of Governors recommending reinstating the convention in even numbered years commencing in 2002 (in addition to the convention already held in odd numbered years); and

Whereas, the Board of Governors has adopted the report and its recommendation creating a two-day convention in even numbered years in conjunction with the House of Delegates meeting;

Resolved, that:

1. The House of Delegates endorse the decision of the Board of Governors to create a two-day convention in even numbered years in conjunction with the House of Delegates meeting; and

2. The Board of Governors adopt reasonable specific measurable outcomes for this event including what constitutes a 'cost-effective' meeting and communicate these outcomes to the House of Delegates; and

3. The two-day convention in even numbered years be continued if the reasonable outcomes specified by the Board of Governors are met or exceeded.

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Amends DR 1-103(E)(2) – Disclosure of Information to Authorities (BOG Resolution No. 8)

Resolved, that Disciplinary Rule 1-103(E)(2) be amended to read as follows:

(E) The provisions of DR 1-103(A) [duty to report disciplinary rule violations]shall not apply to lawyers who obtain such knowledge or evidence while:

(1) Acting as a member, investigator, agent, employee or as a designee of the State Lawyers Assistance Committee; or

(2) Acting as a board member, employee, investigator, agent or lawyer for or on behalf of the Professional Liability Fund, or as a Board of Governors liaison to the Professional Liability Fund; or

(3) Participating in the loss prevention programs of the Professional Liability Fund, including the Oregon Attorney Assistance Program.

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Amends DR 5-103(B) – Recovery of Costs from Clients (Delegate Resolution No. 3)

Whereas, the current Disciplinary Rule 5-103 prohibits forgiveness of costs advanced to a client when a contingent-fee case is unsuccessful, thereby limiting access to the legal system for economically disadvantaged litigants; Now Therefore, Be It

Resolved, that the Oregon State Bar House of Delegates approves the following disciplinary rule change for submission to the Oregon Supreme Court:

Disciplinary Rule 5 - Conflicts of Interest and Mediation

* * *

DR 5-103 Avoiding Acquisition of Interest in Litigation

(A) A lawyer shall not acquire a proprietary interest in the cause of action or subject matter of litigation the lawyer is conducting for a client, except the lawyer may:

(1) Acquire a lien to secure payment of fees or expenses due or to become due.

(2) Contract with a client for a reasonable contingent fee in a civil case, subject to the limitations imposed by DR 2-106.

(B) While representing a client in connection with contemplated or pending litigation, a lawyer shall not advance or guarantee financial assistance to the lawyer’s client, except that: a lawyer may advance or guarantee the expenses of litigation, provided the client remains ultimately liable for such expenses to the extent of the client’s ability to pay.

(1) a lawyer may advance reasonable court costs and expenses of litigation, the repayment of which may be contingent on the outcome of the matter; and

(2) a lawyer representing an indigent client may pay court costs and expenses of litigation on behalf of the client;

(3) however, a lawyer shall not encourage public knowledge of any such payments or advancements to promote the lawyer’s employment by any client.

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Board of Governors request for direction from House of Delegates on further consideration of Multidisciplinary Practice Issue (MDP) by the Oregon State Bar (Revised BOG Resolution No. 5)

Resolved, that the OSB House of Delegates approves the development of proposed disciplinary rules to permit lawyers to share fees and join with non-lawyer professionals to deliver to clients both legal and non-legal professional services (MDP), subject to the following restrictions:

(1) that lawyers have control and authority to assure that all other existing core values of the legal profession for the protection of clients are maintained, including competence, independence of professional judgment, protection of confidential client information, loyalty to the client through avoidance of conflicts of interest, and pro bono publico obligations; and

(2) that all non-lawyer professionals and employees are held to the same ethical standards as the lawyer they are working with.

Further Resolved, that specific disciplinary rule changes will be developed by the Legal Ethics Committee, with input from OSB General Counsel, OSB Disciplinary Counsel, the Disciplinary Rules and Procedures Committee, and other interested groups and individuals for presentation to the Board of Governors and the House of Delegates for further consideration in 2001.

Further Resolved, that nothing in this resolution commits or binds the Board of Governors or House of Delegates to approve any of the disciplinary rules presented to the board and House pursuant to this resolution. Any disciplinary rule changes on MDP must be adopted in accordance with the procedure set forth in ORS 9.490 and must ultimately be approved by the Oregon Supreme Court before going into effect.

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Proposed election to HOD of chief delegate and regional delegates (Delegate Resolution No. 1)

Resolved, that the Oregon State Bar House of Delegates Rules of Procedure are amended as follows:

Add Rule 5.8: As the last item of business of the annual meeting of the House of Delegates, an elected delegate shall be chosen by vote to be Chief Delegate of the House of Delegates for the following year. The duties of the Chief Delegate shall include planning and coordination of interim meetings of Regional Delegates and assuring the orderly, deliberative process of the House.

Add Rule 5.9: Within sixty days of the annual meeting, upon convening by the local governor, the delegates from each region shall elect a Regional Delegate. The first Regional Delegate shall be elected at a meeting called for that purpose by the local OSB governor. Thereafter the Regional Delegate is responsible for calling meetings of the regional delegation and attending interim meetings of the Regional Delegates of the House of Delegates.

Add Rule 5.10: The Chief Delegate and Regional Delegates shall meet between each annual meeting of the House. One meeting shall be with the Board of Governors to review action taken on the issues decided at preceding annual or special meetings and one meeting shall be with the Board of Governors to discuss agenda issues for upcoming meetings of the House of Delegates. The Chief Delegate may convene additional meetings of the Regional Delegates at his or her discretion. The President shall invite the Chief Justice to interim meetings of the Chief and Regional Delegates of the House of Delegates and the Board of Governors.

Further resolved, that notwithstanding proposed new Rule 5.8 and existing Rule 10.1, these rules shall go into effect immediately upon adoption and that the next order of business for this meeting of the House of Delegates shall be the election of the chief delegate who shall be elected by majority vote by written ballot following the receipt of nominations for such position from the floor.

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Proposed future House of Delegates role concerning operation of PLF (Revised Delegate Resolution No. 2)

Whereas, the HOD desires to establish a role with respect to fundamental organization and policy issues concerning the operation of the Professional Liability Fund (the 'Fund');

Whereas, pursuant to policy decisions of the Board of Governors (BOG), the Fund has, since its inception in 1978, been administered by a Board of Directors (BOD) having separate authority to administer and manage operation of the Fund, including exclusive staff oversight (OSB Bylaw Article 15.4 and BOG Policy 14.200), but subject to the BOG’s retained authority to appoint and remove BOD members, and to approve the Fund’s annual assessment, coverage plan, budget, policies and bylaws;

Whereas, an organizational or structural change giving the BOG or Bar staff some or all direct authority to manage the PLF operation or its staff, or giving to the PLF the BOG's retained authority would be fundamental changes;

Whereas, from time to time there have been proposals to fundamentally change the level of independence of the Fund’s administration, or the BOG’s retained authority;

Whereas, this past year, in response to criticism of a PLF claims defense strategy, such proposals were considered and rejected to change fundamentally the administration of the Fund. Instead, through joint and cooperative efforts, the BOG and BOD adopted improvements, in June, to PLF policies and practices, as well as enhancements to their respective roles;

Whereas, in the future, the HOD wishes to perform its duties under OSB Bylaw Article 8.1 to serve as the forum for State Bar membership 'to debate and decide matters of policy relating to the membership or the administration of justice,' before such decisions are made, or take effect, which would fundamentally change the current level of independence of the PLF administration, or the current level of the BOG’s retained authority regarding the PLF. Significant policy issues may exist in considering:

a. Confidentiality for attorneys who self-report potential practice errors subject to cure or who voluntarily request and accept the personal or practice management assistance they need;

b. Attorney/client confidentiality and work product privilege in the Fund’s claim-handling, defense and 'repair' functions and separation from Bar functions subject to public records laws;

c. The specialized nature of PLF 'insurer' responsibilities, the expertise required to manage such program, and benefits of focused administration;

d. Leadership and financial stability, clarity of accountability for decision making and assessment monies, and maintaining the confidence of the reinsurance market; Now Therefore, Be It

Resolved, that

(1) The HOD commends the members of the American College of Trial Lawyers who served on the PLF Policies and Procedures Task Force (Payton Smith, Chair, Paul Fortino, Don Marmaduke, Ted Runstein, and Martha Walters), the OSB BOG and PLF BOD members who served on the Joint OSB/PLF Governance Task Force, as well as the entire BOG and BOD for their dedicated service, diligent review, and contributions to the cooperative and joint resolution of issues in June, 2000;

(2) In the future, in the absence of joint agreement between the BOG and BOD, no action to fundamentally change the current level of independence of the PLF administration or the current level of BOG retained authority as to the PLF shall be taken or become effective until such changes are presented to the HOD for the purpose of:

(a) providing the forum for Oregon State Bar membership to debate whether such change is warranted or creates additional policy concerns, and

(b) making the policy decisions underlying such change;

(3) In furtherance of such role under OSB Bylaw Article 8.1, and excluding confidential information, the BOG and the BOD should fully apprise the HOD of any issue triggering consideration of a fundamental change in the level of independence of PLF administration or the BOG’s retained authority over the PLF, as well as their positions, sufficiently in advance of the scheduled HOD debate, so that meaningful and well-informed decisions can be made.


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