Oregon State Bar Bulletin — JUNE 2005

Bar News

Public members sought for board, committees, councils
The Oregon State Bar is seeking public (i.e., non-lawyer) members for its Board of Governors and several other committees and boards.

"The input of public members at every level of state bar work is invaluable," says OSB past President Charlie Williamson. "By ensuring that the public is well-represented, these individuals contribute to the health of Oregon’s legal system."

Opportunities include one Board of Governors position, as well as appointments to groups that consider attorney discipline, conduct discipline investigations and sit on trial panels. This includes local professional responsibility committees, which carry out investigative assignments from the disciplinary counsel’s office or the State Professional Responsibility Board, and the Disciplinary Board which authorizes formal charges. The Disciplinary Board acts as the hearing or trial panel for each contested case.

Additionally, there are positions open on the Judicial Administration Committee, Unlawful Practice of Law Committee and the House of Delegates.

The Board of Governors’ public member would be appointed to a four-year term. Most other committee terms are three years.

Currently four public members serve on the 16-member Board of Governors. Public members have the same voting rights and duties as the 12 lawyer members. They may not, however, serve as officers of the bar.

The Board of Governors has five regular meetings a year, on a Friday and the following Saturday morning. Nearly half of the meetings are held in the Portland area, the remainder at locations around the state. Committee meetings are held three to four weeks prior to board meetings. Special board meetings and other committee meetings are scheduled as needed. Reimbursement is provided for travel expenses for the board’s public member.

Those appointed to public positions on the Board of Governors must meet criteria set forth by Oregon statute: They shall be Oregon residents and shall not be active or inactive members of the Oregon State Bar. No person charged with official duties under the executive and legislative departments of state government, including but not limited to elected officers of state government, may serve on the board of governors. Any person in the executive or legislative department of state government who is otherwise qualified may serve.

Application forms are due June 24 and can be obtained from the bar office. Application forms are also available online at www.osbar.org. Or contact Jane Gillespie at jgillespie@osbar.org, or (503) 620-0222 or (800) 452-8260, ext. 308.

Foundation seeks lawyers for board
The board of directors of the Oregon Law Foundation is looking for three lawyer members to serve three-year terms on the OLF board beginning January 2006.

Directors attend approximately four half-day board meetings a year, as well as various committee meetings. OLF policies prohibit directors from sitting on the boards of the foundation’s grantees.

Interested persons should send a brief resume by Sept. 1 to Judith Baker, Oregon Law Foundation, P.O. Box 1689, Lake Oswego, OR 97035.

OLAH elects new board, plans drive
Oregon Lawyers Against Hunger announces that Kathy Dent of Davis Wright Tremaine has been elected its new president. Sandra Szczerbicki of Stoel Rives has been elected secretary, and Laura Takasumi of Ambrose Law Group has been elected treasurer.

OLAH will conduct its ninth annual fundraiser this fall, from Sept. 26 to Oct. 7. If you are interested in learning more about OLAH or getting involved, contact Kathy Dent at (503) 778-5338. Information about the Oregon Food Bank is available at www.oregonfoodbank.org.

Meanwhile, OLAH thanks members of the Oregon legal community who contributed to its 2004 fundraising drive to benefit Oregon Food Bank. Last year’s annual fundraising effort raised more than $114,000 for Oregon Food Bank. OLAH particularly wishes to thank those contributors who are members of Oregon Food Bank’s "1,000 Pound Club" and the "Give-A-Ton Club." A complete list of the donors can be found in the online version of this article at www.osbar.org.

Volunteers needed in Jackson County
Let the Oregon State Bar New Lawyers Division take you to a county fair. The division is sponsoring an exhibit booth at the Jackson County Fair. Volunteers are needed to distribute legal information and giveaway items to fair attendees. In exchange, you will receive free admission and parking and a guaranteed good time.

Bring a friend and volunteer at the exhibit booth so members of the public can see lawyers outside of the traditional legal setting – in a law office or courtroom – and allow them to see what lawyers do, as people and members of the community. You can help provide an invaluable public service by helping to distribute legal information to the citizens of Jackson County.

The fair opens on Tuesday, July 19 and runs through Sunday, July 24. To volunteer, contact Peggy Miller at (800) 452-8260 or (503) 431-6384 or pmiller@osbar.org.

Complex construction litigation changes in Multnomah County
Beginning July 1, Multnomah County will begin a new procedure for handling complex construction litigation. The court will allow parties to choose one of two case systems: 1) normal 12-month trial system with no trial extensions beyond the 12 month period; or 2) a new system that appoints a referee to assist with handling procedural matters that allows a longer period for such matters as discovery and ADR.

For all cases filed after Jan. 1, 2005, parties can stipulate to being part of the new referee system. In the absence of a stipulation, any party may file a motion asking the court to transfer the case into the new referee system. The motion must be filed no later than 30 days after the date the party is served with the summons and complaint. The plaintiff must file a motion no later than 30 days after the last party is joined.

Under the referee system the parties will pay the referee’s fees. The court gives the parties three options: 1) select a referee from the court’s list of pre-qualified referees experienced in construction litigation; 2) stipulate to a referee; or 3) the court will select a referee. The referee operates on two simultaneous "tracks." Under the first track, which concerns procedural and discovery matters, the referee will work with the parties to sign a required case management order. Under the second track, the referee will manage insurance coverage issues. The referee will also hear joinder motions and discovery motions and will make recommendations or findings to the court, which will ultimately sign any order arising out of those motions.

For a more detailed description of this new procedure, sample order appointing the referee and an application form for those wanting to be a pre-qualified referees, see the Construction Law Section web page at http://www.osbar.org/sections/construction.html or contact Christopher Michali at (503) 988-3846.



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2006 OSB leadership opportunities abound

OSB members will soon be e-mailed a "2006 Leadership Opportunities" brochure and application form. Members involved in boards, committees, commissions and various groups are vital to the ability of the bar to provide both member and public services, and to keep the organization responsive to the needs of its membership.

"What’s more, the individual benefits we receive in bar activities are many and varied," Ron Bryant, Redmond, past chair of the Appointments Committee, notes.

The Appointments Committee makes recommendations for appointments from those members who have stated their preference for each committee. Terms are usually for three years. The Board of Governors then makes appointments to committees, councils, regulatory boards and affiliated commissions. Some committees request specific types of balance, such as plaintiff/defendant.

In making committee appointments, the Board of Governors exercises reasonable care to ensure that committees reflect the diversity of the membership as to geography, gender, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation. Some committees request specific types of balance, such as plaintiff/defendant.

One of Nena Cook’s goals as OSB President is to encourage more women attorneys and lawyers of color to participate in bar leadership activities. The contribution of women and minority attorneys is essential to reflect the membership of the organization, and "the idea of all this is that if women and lawyers of color participate, it enhances their networking opportunities, it increases their profile within the profession and it helps them with business opportunities," says Cook.

Tips on how to be appointed: Although not required, attach a resume and a letter of interest on why you are interested in serving, along with the Leadership Opportunity form; introduce yourself to the committee members; and if you are not appointed, continue to express your interest to the committee throughout the year.

For more information and to download an application form, go to www.osbar.org, or contact Jane Gillespie at (503) 620-0222 or (800) 452-8260, ext. 308.

UO awards law fellowship
The University of Oregon School of Law has awarded its 2005-2006 fellowship, established by Williams, Kastner & Gibbs, to first-year law student Pablo Valentine. Valentine is from Springfield, Ore., and is studying street law at UO. His academic honors include an Award of Excellence Law Scholarship, and his community activities include Community Mediation Services (2005-), Start Making a Reader Today (2000-04), and Public Interest Environment Law Conference (2005). His career goals are to be "a great lawyer and do pro bono work."

L&C program ranks first
Lewis & Clark Law School’s environmental law program is ranked first in the nation, according to the just-released U.S. News and World Report’s annual survey of graduate programs. The school’s environmental law program marks its 35th anniversary this year.

"We’re pleased that our environmental law program continues to be a leader in the nation," said Janice Weis, director of Lewis & Clark’s environmental and natural resources law program. "The law school’s environmental law program is the oldest program of its kind in the nation. This ranking acknowledges 35 years of pioneering work in environmental law education."

The school’s environmental law program has received the top ranking six times in the past decade. Overall, Lewis & Clark Law School placed 77th among the 179 accredited law schools in the nation.

Firm awards scholarship
Furthering its commitment to the development of young lawyers, Tonkon Torp has awarded Lewis & Clark Law School student Phaedra Gutowski with the firm’s annual Moe M. Tonkon and Frederick Torp Scholarship.

After earning a master’s degree in engineering from Michigan State University and working in prosthetic design, Gutowski saw first-hand how hard designers worked to improve the quality of life of prosthesis patients and the difficulty of protecting their original ideas. "I felt compelled to try to make the system better," said Gutowski, "and as a lawyer I hope I can do just that."