Oregon State Bar Bulletin — JUNE 2005


Business leaders, attorneys and legal professionals in Oregon are banding together to support the second annual 2005 LAF-OFF event, set for Sept. 9 at the Memorial Coliseum in Portland. (LAF-OFF stands for "Legal Aid Fundraiser Organized by Fios Inc. and Friends.")

Using humor to raise awareness for the Campaign for Equal Justice and Oregon legal aid programs, LAF-OFF will feature up to 10 Oregon legal professionals who will compete in a head-to-head stand-up comedy competition. The competition will be judged by real-life judges straight from the bench. Kerry Tymchuk, state director for Sen. Gordon Smith, is emcee.

The money raised through 2005 LAF-OFF will help provide legal counsel to hundreds of people in need.

"LAF-OFF is a unique event that brings together all those that work in law firms — associates, partners, administrators and paralegals — to join with the vendor and business community and show their support for Oregon’s legal aid programs in a very festive and humorous evening," said Sandy Hansberger, executive director of the Campaign for Equal Justice.

This year’s event is expected to draw 1,000 supporters. More information can be found online at www.laf-off.org.

The Clackamas Family Law Group has published the fifth edition of its Resource Guide for Divorce Lawyers, listing 193 experts in 14 categories ranging from appraisers to vocational evaluators. There are detailed resumes for 125 of the contacts. It’s bound in a three-ring binder. Cost is $25.

If interested, contact John Lundeen, P.O. Box 1146, Lake Oswego, OR 97035.

A recent Altman Weil Flash Survey of AmLaw 200 law firms reports that over two-thirds (69 percent) have a designated general counsel, up from 63 percent in 2004. Each is in-house, rather than a lawyer in another law firm, and 92 percent are partners.

Altman Weil principal Ward Bower is not surprised by the increase. "This is reflective of larger law firm recognition of the need for risk management in our post-Enron, Sarbanes-Oxley environment."

Almost one-third (32 percent) of law firm general counsel are full time in the position, up from 26 percent in 2004. Those that are part time spend 36 percent of their total hours on the general counsel function, averaging 753 hours per year, down from 43 percent and 775 hours the year before. According to Bower, large firms are more likely to have full time general counsel.

Typically the general counsel reports to the firm chair or managing partner (64 percent). Only 26 percent serve on their firms’ governing committees, down from 40 percent in 2004.

Survey data was collected in March 2005 from AmLaw 200 law firms, with 39 percent participating (77 of the 197 firms solicited). The full report of the tabulated data appears on the Altman Weil website at www.altmanweil .com/news/LawFirmGCSurvey.cfm.

For readers who enjoy web logs (so-called "blogs") on the Internet, here are another two links to add to your blogroll.

The first is The Patent Prospector, found at www.patenthawk.com/blog, from three Oregon patent practitioners. According to the website, the purpose of the Patent Prospector is to share inside information about patents among patent practitioners and the interested public. Content focuses on claim construction, litigation, patents in business, prosecution and the patent system in general.

Another is the OrConLaw Blog, brought to you by the OSB Constitutional Law Section – the first bar section to venture into the blogosphere. Section member Erin Lagesen moderates the site; the section’s executive committee will be regular authors. Visit it at http://orconlaw.blogs.com.

By the way, if you know of other Oregon-based law blogs, the Bulletin would be happy to pass the information along. Send links to editor@osbar.org.

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New resource for older adults released

The fourth edition of Legal Issues for Older Adults: An Oregon Legal Information and Reference Guide has been released by the OSB. This publication provides comprehensive information to guide families through a number of legal topics. In addition, it provides cross-references, glossaries and resource lists to direct readers to other sources of information.

It’s available online for free.
To purchase a printed copy ($10), contact the OSB Service Desk at (503) 620-0222 or (800) 452-8260, ext. 413.