Give Leaders More Time
The Bulletin cover story regarding our new OSB president, Nena Cook ("Madame Precedent," January 2005), spawned my concern that even the most well-qualified OSB presidents are given only a one-year term to implement changes to existing programs and new programs. Interestingly, even members of Congress and state representatives are given two-year terms with a four-year term for the governor and the president of the United States. While I also realize that perhaps most OSB presidents have prior experience serving with the Board of Governors or House of Delegates and as president-elect, it would still seem that a mere one-year term is simply too brief a tenure to really accomplish her goals and objectives. Perhaps it is time to recognize that it takes more time for a president to develop and implement improvements based upon the visibility, input and job experience of serving as our OSB president.
Professor Weiner’s "Parting Thoughts" speculation in the January 2005 Bulletin, that the Oregon Supreme Court could and should react to the passage of Measure 36 by abolishing all marriages and thereby preventing inequality, is an example of the sort of sophistry that makes our courts and our profession so unpopular. In fact, Oregon’s supreme court (and lower courts for that matter) strive mightily to advance the intent of the voters in initiative measures — not to punish the voters for not being as clever and educated as the justices or law professors.
I campaigned and voted against Measure 36, and I think it is a sad and retrograde step for the state. But the citizens are sovereign, and they can amend the Oregon Constitution in any manner that does not offend the U.S. Constitution. Insulting their intelligence won’t change their minds or their hearts, which is where the battle for equality must ultimately be won. We do neither ourselves nor our clients, certainly including same-sex couples, any favor by ridiculing and alienating the vast majority of Oregonians who voted "yes" last year. If we expect that majority to listen to us, we need to learn to speak respectfully to them.
David C Force
I just completed my MCLE forms. While it reminded me that I wanted to join the ranks of the ever-growing vocal opponents to all the "special" mandates of CLE, I have resisted. Instead, I offer what I hope is viewed as a "constructive" suggestion.
In the last Oregon Trials magazine, I read an article about an etiquette (courtesy) consultant. After getting over my dismay that our world is so off-base that someone can actually earn a living in this area, a revelation befell me.
Why not require courtesy training for those of us in the legal profession? — yes, judges and lawyers alike. I admit to having discourteous moments and days. I have seen others do it — to other lawyers, litigants, judges and even witnesses.
Deanne L. Darling
Clackamas County Circuit Court
A Good Issue
I really enjoyed the January 2005 Oregon State Bar Bulletin. It was a good mix of law, legal gossip and good people stories, well-written. I was particularly touched by the story of Alice Gantenbein ("Alice in Law School Land") keeping the Socratic fires burning while John was away in the Pacific.
John W. Lundeen
Correction & Clarifications
In the article "Putting It Together" (December 2004), the Bulletin misidentified the provider of pro bono services involving Mercy Corps’ microfinance program in Kazakhstan. These services were provided by Preston, Gates & Ellis. The firm of Perkins Coie provided assistance with corporate formation in Pakistan.
A number of readers, referring to the article "Alice in Law School Land" (January 2005), commented on "punctuation errors" in the letter from Alice Gantenbein to her husband, John Gantenbein. We should have noted that letter was transcribed precisely as Mrs. Gantenbein penned it. Undoubtedly, she had no idea it would be published, and parsed over, these many years later. Let this be a lesson for all those casual notes and friendly e-mails one casts about these days: It pays to mind one’s P’s and Q’s.