Oregon State Bar Bulletin — JANUARY 2006

Meet the Board of Governors
By Paul Nickell

In addition to the president, 11 more attorneys and four nonattorneys comprise the Board of Governors. Here is a quick look at the 2006 OSB Board of Governors.

Mark B. Comstock
Region 6 (term expires 2006)
Mark B. Comstock

Mark B. Comstock, a shareholder at Garrett, Hemann, Robertson, Jennings, Comstock & Trethewy in Salem, specializes in business law, civil and commercial litigation, creditor rights and bankruptcy. He also counsels school districts in personnel, civil rights, and special education matters, and in business management practices. He is a member of the Marion County Bar Association and the American Bar Association.

Comstock, who received his undergraduate degrees in history and psychology at the University of Oregon, earned his law degree from Willamette University Law School in 1981. He was admitted to the Oregon State Bar that year and earned its President’s Public Service Award and the Debtor/Creditor Award of Merit in 1998.

Key issues he sees for the Board of Governors are the funding of court operations, including adequate compensation for judges, and the efficacy of the Elimination of Bias MCLE Requirement. Comstock says the board will study why the Elimination of Bias CLE seminars are perceived as lower quality than other seminars and devise solutions to address deficiencies that may exist.

"The elimination of bias MCLE requirement seems to be a lightning rod that heightens a perceived divide among the bar — the urban Portland lawyers and the rest of the lawyers who practice outside the Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas courts," Comstock says. "I do not see the elimination of bias MCLE requirement being eliminated for two reasons. First, the Oregon Supreme Court determines the rules under which lawyers practice. Second, the Oregon Supreme Court has studied and found that there is systemic discrimination in the Oregon justice system — and has made it a priority to eliminate its effects through recognition and education."

John A. Enbom
Public Member (term expires 2006)
John A. Enbom

John A. Enbom, a retired obstetrician and gynecologist from Corvallis, served as medical director for the Oregon Board of Medical Examiners from 1995-’97.

Dr. Enbom earned his undergraduate degree at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash., and his medical degree from Tulane University Medical School in New Orleans, La. He retired from Samaritan Obstetrics & Gynecology in Corvallis in 2000.

Community activities include serving as an elder at First Presbyterian Church in Corvallis and chairing its personnel committee in 2000-01. In addition, Enbom was a volunteer for Portland Center Stage and served on the boards of the Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation and the Corvallis/OSU Symphony.

"Working with peer review and at the (Board of Medical Examiners) has utilized what I consider one of my strong points: the ability to look at problems and issues fairly, objectively and from multiple points of view," Enbom says. "I gained a respect for the importance of licensing, statutes and administrative rules in oversight of a profession and had the opportunity to meet with and testify before state legislators. I respect and admire the work that attorneys do and…consider it an honor to serve the Oregon bar."

Enbom says appropriate funding for access to justice, including increased funding for judicial administration and salaries, is a critical issue facing Oregon’s legal system.

Linda K. Eyerman
Region 5 (term expires 2007)
Linda K. Eyerman

A partner at Gaylord Eyerman Bradley, P.C. in Portland, Linda K. Eyerman specializes in representing people seriously harmed by defective products or medical malpractice. In the past, she has handled discrimination and employment law cases and worked as a public defender. She practices in both Oregon and Washington.

Eyerman earned her law degree at the University of Oregon and was admitted to the Oregon State Bar in 1976. She served on the bar’s Products Liability Section Executive Committee, Disciplinary System Task Force and the MCLE Committee and Board, which she chaired in 1988-1989.

Her volunteer work also includes serving on the Board of Governors of the Oregon Trial Lawyer Association (OTLA) from 1992-2001 and as OTLA president in 1999-2000; state delegate for the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA) from 1992-2000; the Chief Justice’s Civil Law Advisory Committee from 1998-2001; and the Multnomah Bar Association’s Circuit Court Liaison Committee from 1998-2000.

Eyerman, who received the OTLA’s Distinguished Trial Lawyer Award in 2004, says she believes the state’s justice system, and the lawyers and judges who staff it, are under "unprecedented attack."

"The Oregon State Bar should be taking a leadership role in countering these attacks by educating the public regarding the importance of the judicial branch of government; advocating for access to justice issues including increased funding for legal services, both civil and criminal, judicial salary increases and improved courthouse facilities; and opposing initiatives aimed at politicizing the courts," she says.

Eyerman’s other memberships include the Trial Lawyers for Public Justice, Oregon Women Lawyers, Owen M. Panner Inn of Court Barrister (Emeritus) and Campaign for Equal Justice Advisory Committee.

Marva Fabien
Region 6 (term expires 2007)
Marva Fabien

Marva Fabien is coordinator of Professional Development and Multicultural Affairs at Willamette University’s College of Law. She previously worked as an assistant superintendent at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility and the Oregon Board of Parole and Post Prison Supervision, chairing the program from 1995-96.

In addition, Fabien was Academic Support Director at Lewis & Clark College’s Northwestern School of Law, a staff attorney for Multnomah County Legal Aid and a member of the U.S. Air Force from 1973-76.

A graduate of Lewis & Clark College’s law school, Fabien is a member of Oregon Minority Lawyers and served on the Oregon Women Lawyers board of directors from 1995-96. She received the Oregon Women Lawyers’ Judge Mercedes Diez Award in 2002.

In addition, Fabien is a member of the Aurora City Council and served on the Urban League Board of Directors from 1990-91.

"My personal and professional background has provided me with the knowledge and desire to participate in addressing the problems facing Oregon’s legal system," Fabien says. "We need to increase access to courts for all Oregonians. We need to promote pro bono service. The Oregon State Bar consists of small firm practitioners, large firm practitioners, solo practitioners, academics and government attorneys. I would like to…ensure that the bar continues to meet the needs of its members."

Fabien says other pressing issues include the need for a review of the MCLE elimination of bias requirement, the sunset of the Affirmative Action Program and the development of a new bar center.

"We have outgrown the Lake Oswego site and need to take advantage of the opportunities in the current real estate market," she says.

Gerry Gaydos
Region 2 (term expires 2009)
Gerry Gaydos

A partner at Gaydos, Churnside & Balthrop in Eugene, Gerry Gaydos has served on the Lane County Bar Association’s Racial and Ethnic Bias Committee and chaired several "Understanding Racism" classes.

Gaydos graduated from Case Western Reserve University and was admitted to the Oregon State Bar in 1976. Gaydos’ service to the OSB includes membership on the CLE Committee, Business Law Section Executive Committee and Debtor/Creditor Section Executive Committee. As a member and past chair of the bar’s Affirmative Action Committee, Gaydos says it is essential that the OSB strive to understand the issues its members face.

"This includes all members, including those outside of major urban areas. It requires creative thinking, delivering services and listening. This theme also includes ensuring that the bar provides a variety of services and recognizes the needs of its members. As part of this, the Affirmative Action Program and its benefits to making the bar and judiciary a place which welcomes and honors all must be continued," Gaydos says.

Adequate funding for the judiciary, in the form of judicial compensation and court facilities, is another key issue that must be addressed, Gaydos adds.

Gaydos is president of Downtown Eugene, Inc.’s Board of Directors; co-founder and past president of the City Club of Eugene; past president of the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce; and past president of Southtowne Rotary.

Gaydos was first elected to the Board of Governors in 2001 and was re-elected to serve a second term representing Region 2.

Timothy C. Gerking
Region 3 (term expires 2008)
Timothy C. Gerking

Timothy C. Gerking is a partner at Brophy, Mills, Schmor, Gerking & Brophy LLP in Medford. Gerking earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona and his law degree from Arizona State University in 1974, serving as editor of the Arizona State Law Journal. Prior to moving to Medford, Gerking worked at Robbins & Green in Phoenix, Ariz.

He was admitted to the Oregon State Bar in 1979 and has served on its Function and Organization of the bar Committee and State Professional Responsibility Board. He chaired the bar’s Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Board from 1992-93.

Gerking served as president of the Medford Rotary Club from 1996-97 and continues to be a member. In addition, he is a member of the Peter Britt Gardens Music & Art Festival Association Board of Directors and served as its president from 2002-03.

"The Oregon State Bar faces uniques challenges every year," Gerking says, "and this year will be certainly be no different." Gerking highlights the board’s ongoing evaluation and development of "progressive programs" such as student loan repayment assistance program for underpaid public interest lawyers, judicial performance indicators and enhancements and online CLE technology as leading issues. "Perhaps our biggest challenge will be maintaining control of our budget as we begin the process of carefully moving forward with the relocation of the Oregon State Bar Center to a larger and more accommodating facility."

Ward Greene
Region 5 (term expires 2009)
Ward Greene

Ward Greene, a partner at Greene & Markley P.C. in Portland, is a board member for the Campaign for Equal Justice and is a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy.

Greene earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Florida State University and graduated from Duke University’s law school in 1973. He was admitted to the Oregon State Bar in 1977. Greene is a member of American Bankruptcy Institute and the Multnomah Bar Association, serving as its president during 1998-99. In addition, Greene has served as president of the Owen M. Panner American Inn of Court and the Oregon Law Institute.

Greene says his principal goal for the bar is to assure that it continues to operate in an efficient, businesslike manner while addressing an array of issues.

"One of the key issues facing the bar is finding ways to match up our underemployed and underutilized lawyers with the enormous unmet legal needs of low- and middle-income consumers," he says. "The bar should be dedicated to protecting the independence and compensation of the judiciary. We also need to continue promoting diversity in every sense of the word, without getting tangled up in political correctness and symbolism."

Jonathan P. Hill
Public Member (term expires 2007)
Jonathan P. Hill

Since 2003, Jonathan P. Hill has served as superintendent at Douglas Education Service District in Roseburg. He previously was superintendent of Lake County ESD for 11 years (1992-2003). He serves on the board of the Oregon Association of Education Service Districts and is a past member of the Oregon House Special Committee on School Finance and the Teachers Standards & Practices Commission.

Hill earned his bachelor’s degree at Willamette University and his master of arts in teaching at Lewis & Clark College. In 1992, he received his doctorate in education at Loma Linda University in Riverside, Calif. He previously worked as a principal at schools in San Bernardino and Needles, Calif., and taught in Rialto, Calif., The Dalles and Aberdeen, Wash.

Hill’s previous community work includes serving as director of the Lake County Commission on Children & Families and as president of the Rotary Club of Lakeview.

From his perspective as a public member, Hill says the Oregon State Bar and its Board of Governors are well positioned to take a holistic view of the judiciary, particularly when it comes to issues related to courthouses, compensation and accountability.

"It is typical to tackle the individual issues — and that will undoubtedly happen. The unique role for us is to craft an overall perspective which identifies needs and creates a framework so solutions fit together well," he says.

"I am also concerned about the level of understanding members of the public have regarding our judicial system. I would hope we could explore effective approaches to increase their understanding," Hill adds.

Albert A. Menashe
Region 5 (term expires 2007)
Albert A. Menashe

A partner at Gevurtz, Menashe, Larson & Howe in Portland, Albert A. Menashe serves as chair of the Bench-Bar Commission on Professionalism and is a member of Willamette University’s College of Law Board of Visitors.

Menashe, who earned his law degree from Willamette University in 1977, is past chair of the Oregon State Bar’s Family Law Section and its Economics and Law Practice Committee. He has received the OSB President’s Membership Service Award.

In addition, Menashe is past president of the Multnomah Bar Association and past chair of its CLE committee. He is past president of the Gus J. Solomon American Inn of Court; past chair of the Oregon Chapter of American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers; and a past member of the Governor’s Task Force on Family Law.

Menashe’s volunteer work includes serving as president of the Oregon Club of Portland and chairing the Metropolitan Family Services Classic Wines Auction.

As the OSB’s president-elect (he will serve as president in 2007), Menashe has his eye on a wide variety of issues facing the bar, including: loan repayment assistance programs; judicial independence, performance and compensation; affirmative action, diversity and elimination of bias credit; budget policies for the Board of Governors (determining how and whether to fund new programs) and grants to other programs; building a new bar center; online CLE and using technology to deliver bar services; working with the legislature; the discipline system; and improving access to justice. Menashe encourages feedback on these and other issues of interest to OSB members.

Douglas L. Minson
Region 4 (term expires 2006)

Douglas L. Minson of Hillsboro was unavailable as the Bulletin went to press. Watch for his profile in an upcoming issue in the Bar News section.

Carol DeHaven Skerjanec
Region 1 (term expires 2008)
Carol DeHaven Skerjanec

Carol DeHaven Skerjanec served as president of the Malheur County Bar Association for two years prior to coming onto the Board of Governors. She is a sole practitioner and of counsel to William F. Schroeder and Larry Sullivan in Vale. She previously worked as a legal secretary, office manager and legal assistant there before earning her law degree from the University of Oregon's law school in 1993. She has chaired the OSB Agricultural Law Section Executive Committee and the local LPRC, and is a past member of the Disciplinary Board.

Skerjanec says she believes the bar’s diversity policy has become a wedge that has divided its members.

"This is not a wedge between lawyers who are either for diversity or against diversity," she says. "This is a wedge between lawyers who believe additional mandatory requirements that do not directly relate to the rule of the law should not be imposed and those who believe only a forced exposure to politically correct ideologies will create a diverse bar."

The bar must return to the basics set forth in its mission statement in order to foster a united membership, she adds.

Skerjanec’s volunteer service also includes the Boy Scouts of America, Vale Chamber of Commerce, Vale Jr. Wrestling Club, March of Dimes and Water for Life.

Robert L. Vieira
Public Member (term expires 2009)
Robert L. Vieira

Robert L. Vieira is vice provost of Academic and Student Affairs at Oregon Health & Science University. He previously was vice provost, assistant to the president and director of Affirmative Action at Portland State University, and director of admissions at Western Oregon University in Monmouth.

Vieira earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Irvine, and his master’s in education at Oregon State University. He received his doctorate in education from Portland State University.

Previously a public member of the Oregon State Bar’s Disciplinary Board, Vieira says diversity among bar members will continue to be an issue, especially as projected demographics show growth in the state’s ethnic diversity.

"Like other professions, and perhaps more than other professions, the legal profession needs to reflect and increasingly understand that shift in order to fulfill its mission of providing access to justice for all segments of our community," he says. "As a consequence, the OSB will need to continue to lead the legal community in finding new ways for increasing the diversity, and the understanding of diversity, among its members."

Vieira’s community work also includes serving on the Saturday Academy Advisory board.

Bette Worcester
Public Member (term expires 2008)
Bette Worcester

Bette Worcester is retired from her position as regulatory deputy director at the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. Other roles at the OLCC included Assistant Director of Regulatory Programs, Regional Manager, Public Affairs Manager and Liquor License Investigator.

She attended Warner Pacific College in Portland and earned her bachelor’s degree in social work from Anderson University in Anderson, Ind.

Worcester, a member of the Oregon State Bar’s Disciplinary Board since 1996, says her goals as a member of the Board of Governors include providing online CLE, developing a new bar center and refining the board’s budget policies.

"Because new boards and bar members regularly have ideas for programs and services, the bar needs to develop and implement policies that guide funding new programs," she says. "The Budget and Finance Committee, of which I am a member, will address that major issue as well as a new bar center for which we need careful planning."

Worcester’s has served as a vice chair of her homeowner’s association, is a past secretary for the Metropolitan Rotary and a former board member of the Friends of Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Theresa (Terry) L. Wright
Region 5 (term expires 2009)
Theresa (Terry) L. Wright

Theresa L. Wright, a Willamette University graduate, is a clinical law professor at Lewis & Clark College’s law school, supervising students in family law cases.

Admitted to the Oregon State Bar in 1981, her service to the organization includes chairing the Litigation Section Executive Committee, Unlawful Practice of Law Committee, Low Income Legal Services Committee, Lawyer Referral Committee and Public Service and Information Committee. In addition, she served as secretary of the Executive Committee on Access to Justice. Wright received the OSB President’s Award for Member Services in 2000.

As a member of the Board of Governors, Wright says one of the key issues facing the bar is how to keep pace with the changing needs and composition of its membership and clients.

"Both the bar and society are becoming more diversified all the time, bringing with that diversity the diverse needs of people," she says, noting the issue extends beyond race. "I’m talking about the growing disparity between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots;’ the issues facing those of us growing older, including health and disability issues; the rapid increase of the use of technology, particularly as it impacts the ‘younger’ generation of lawyers; as well as the more traditional diversity issues."

Wright, who received the Multnomah Bar Association’s Award of Merit in 2005, is on the MBA’s Court Liaison Committee. She also has served on the MBA’s Judicial Screening, CLE, Equality and Professionalism committees. In addition, Wright is a board member and past president of the Willamette Valley Law Project and a member of the Clinical Legal Education Association, OGALLA, Oregon Women Lawyers/Queen’s Bench Member and Multnomah County Family Violence Coordinating Council.

Richard S. Yugler
Region 5 (term expires 2008)
Richard S. Yugler

Richard S. Yugler, an partner at Landye Bennett Blumstein LLP in Portland, graduated from Lewis & Clark College’s Northwestern School of Law and he was admitted to the Oregon State Bar in 1980.

His service to the OSB includes membership on the Chief Justice’s Civil Law Advisory Committee, Uniform Civil Jury Instruction Committee, Practice & Procedure Committee and Local Professional Responsibility Committee. In addition, Yugler served as state chair of the OSB Disciplinary Board.

Yugler was president of the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association from 2001-02 and has chaired several of its committees and sections. He received the Multnomah Bar Association’s Award of Merit; is past president of the Oregon Jury Project Foundation; and has participated in the Owen M. Panner Inn of Court as a Master for 12 years and a Barrister for four years.

Yugler says the issues facing the bar are threefold and include enhancing service to many different constituencies by continually providing superior publications, CLEs, facilities, and opportunities for involvement in sections and committees. The bar’s second task is to advocate for the judiciary by working to improve judges’ compensation and courthouse conditions, encouraging jury service, and protecting access to justice.

"Third, and most importantly, our regulatory system has a direct impact on the public image of lawyers," Yugler says. "To earn the public’s confidence, our disciplinary system daily must meet the challenge of ensuring that every OSB member has the ethics, skills and integrity to retain the great privilege of practicing law."

© 2005 Paul Nickell


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