Oregon State Bar Bulletin — AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2005


Due to the widespread destruction that Hurricane Katrina has had on the Metropolitan New Orleans area, the Louisiana State Bar Association has established the Hurricane Katrina Legal Community Relief Fund to help assist lawyers who lost their homes and offices in the storm.

"The Red Cross and FEMA are poised to help citizens cope with their personal losses but I am confident members of the legal community will come together to help their colleagues whose law practices and families have been displaced by this unprecedented disaster," LSBA President Frank X. Neuner, Jr. said of the fund.

The relief fund is being administered by the Baton Rouge Bar Foundation.

Donations should be sent to: Hurricane Katrina Legal Community Relief Fund, c/o Baton Rouge Bar Foundation, 544 Main St., Baton Rouge, LA 70802. Questions on the fund should be directed to Baton Rouge Bar Association executive director Ann G. Scarle at (225) 344-4803 or ann@ brba.org.

An annual Associate Salary Survey conducted by the NALP, an association for legal career professionals, shows the median salary for first-year associates has remained stable over the last five years.

The 573 offices that provided salary information for the survey reported a first-year median income of $100,000, with salaries ranging from $67,500 in firms of two to 25 attorneys to $125,000 in firms with more than 500 lawyers. The study shows first-year salaries have remained stable in firms of 251 or more lawyers compared with figures reported five years ago, when the median salary was $110,000.

In some major cities, such as Los Angeles and New York City, as well as the Silicon Valley area, the prevailing salary of $125,000 for first-year associates has remained unchanged since April 2000. Medians in smaller metro areas such as Portland, Sacramento, Cincinnati, Hartford and Indianapolis were in the mid to upper $80,000s. The median salary for first-year associates was highest in the Northeast region at $125,000, and lowest in the South at $95,000.

For details of the survey, go to www.nalp.org.

The number of patents awarded to Oregon inventors has increased by about 500 percent during the last 20 years, nearly four times the national average, according to the 2004 Oregon Patent Report compiled by Stoel Rives.

Oregon inventors were awarded 2,380 patents in 2004, with electronics, information technologies and optical technologies accounting for 62 percent of the patents. Intel and Hewlett-Packard lead the patent pack. More than one in four patents listed Intel as the assignee, and more than one in nine named Hewlett-Packard. Other companies in the top five include Nike, Inc. with 119 patents, including 104 design patents; Tektronix, Inc. with 57; and Digimarc Corp. with 49.

"The level of patent activity in Oregon shows how important innovation is to the economy in Oregon. It also is a positive indication of the direction our economy is moving," noted Wally Van Valkenburg, technology and intellectual property practice group leader at Stoel Rives.

Information on patent infringement litigation in Oregon shows 33 suits filed in federal court in Oregon last year, with nearly half involving general mechanical technologies. Though a significant portion of patents were issued for electronics and information technology, the percentage of patent infringement lawsuits involving those two sectors was small in comparison.

The report may be found at www.stoel.com/patentreports.

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ABA Issues Results
of Pro Bono Survey

A majority of the nation’s lawyers provided free legal assistance to people of limited means and organizations serving the poor, volunteering an average of 39 hours of pro bono service a year, according to a new survey conducted by the American Bar Association.

"Supporting Justice," the first national survey of lawyers’ pro bono activity, shows 66 percent of attorneys provide some type of pro bono work during the year. Nearly half, 46 percent, met the ABA’s goal of providing at least 50 hours of free legal services in a year.

When asked about factors affecting their decision to engage in pro bono work, 70 percent of participants reported a sense of professional responsibility and personal satisfaction, while 34 percent cited recognition of the needs of the poor. When asked about the factors that discourage pro bono service, 69 percent of respondents reported a lack of time. Another 15 percent named pressure to work a minimum of billable hours and 12 percent reported cost concerns.

For more information about the survey, go to www.abaprobono.org/report.pdf.