Oregon State Bar Bulletin — JANUARY 2004


Cost concerns were among the factors driving chief legal officers’ hiring and firing decisions in 2003, according to a new survey. And while a majority reports stable or improved operations in light of new corporate governance rules, a significant minority sees the situation differently.

These findings appear in the 2003 Chief Legal Officer Survey, conducted annually by the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) and Altman Weil.

Of the chief legal officers surveyed, 59 percent indicated they have fired or were considering firing at least one of their outside law firms in 2003, up 4.2 percent from 2002 and over 50 percent for the fourth year running. The number one reason given for terminating a relationship was ‘cost management issues,’ followed by ‘lack of responsiveness’ and ‘overworking projects.’

When asked about the most innovative practice proposed or instituted by outside counsel this year, CLOs ranked fee arrangements number one — although only 22.6 percent of respondents were able to identify any innovation at all.

The new corporate governance rules have not affected CLOs’ relationship with senior management, according to 66.4 percent of survey respondents; 17.6 percent considered the relationship much improved, and only 10.7 percent thought the relationship had been affected adversely.

Not surprisingly, CLOs identified Sarbanes-Oxley compliance as the primary emerging client relationship issue for the coming year.

Complete results of the 2003 Chief Legal Officer Survey are available online at www.acca.com/Surveys/closurvey/2003.pdf and http://www.altmanweil.com/news/acca.cfm.

A reminder that the Oregon State Bar now allows membership fees to be paid online. Membership fee statements for 2004 were mailed in December. Deadline (to avoid an increase in 2004 membership fees or to change membership status) is 5 p.m., Monday, Feb. 2, 2004.

While paying dues, be sure to complete the voluntary pro bono reporting for 2003 section on your 2004 fee statements.

Oregon Lawyers provide thousands of pro bono hours every year. In order to understand the extent of these services, the Board of Governors is requesting lawyers to voluntarily report their pro bono hours on the fee statements. The hours will be tabulated for the Pro Bono Challenge, sponsored by the Oregon New Lawyers Division.

Oregon State University MBA students are required to write a business plan. One such fictional business under development is called Professional Adventure Works, Inc. It will be web-based, providing a forum for single professionals to meet, socialize and participate in group events and adventures. The idea is to give professionals an opportunity to meet others with similar interests and also to increase their business network.

Graduate student Chad Meengs is asking interested Bulletin readers for market research help to determine if the idea has a viable future. If you’d like to assist, take the quick survey at www.butlert.com/survey. Meengs says the information gathered will strictly be used for academic purposes. 'The survey was built in a fashion such that its participants will remain completely and anonymous.'

Feel free to contact Meengs directly for more information by phone at (541) 753-1126 or email: meengsc@onid.orst.edu; or contact his academic adviser, Prof. Tom Dowling at: Dowling@bus.oregonstate.edu.

The Bulletin is always on the lookout for quality manuscripts for publication on these pages.

We publish articles on a wide variety of subjects, and favor such topics as access to justice, legal funding, judicial independence, diversity in the profession, professionalism and future trends.

Contact us at (503) 620-0222, ext. 340 (Paul Nickell) or ext. 391 (Julie Hankin). They can also be reached, respectively, by e-mail at pnickell@osbar.org and jhankin@osbar.org.


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The 2004 schedule of suggested values for law libraries is now published online. The useful schedule of suggested book values, used to calculate personal property taxes, is provided by the Oregon Department of Revenue.

It can be found at Bar News Online, www.osbar. org, or directly at www.dor. State.or.us/Property/ LawLib.pdf.

This schedule has been prepared by the property tax division of the Oregon Department of Revenue. Owners of law libraries should declare the schedule values to the assessor.