Oregon State Bar Bulletin — JUNE 2008

A Magic Bullet
In response to "Shifting to a Sustainable Future," my article in the February/March Bar Bulletin, Larry Edelman suggests that individual choices are likely not "to be of any consequence" because "achieving sustainability is systemic."

Before dismissing individual responsibility so glibly, we should examine the magic bullet of "systemic change." What does that really mean? No one knows. We do know it will require not only political will, but political consensus, which assures that it will be insufficient. In fact, we have waited decades for the political will to seriously address degradation of the earth that seems so pronounced today.

Moreover, effective systemic change must result in per capita reduction in a) use of energy and resources, and b) degradation of air, water, soil and ecosystems. In my article, I was simply describing easy ways to start that process today.

As a small example, in Portland commuters shifting to bikes are not waiting for systemic change. Now totaling about 6 percent of all commuters, they are effecting that change and becoming role models for all of us.

Having said this, I would agree with Larry that the window of opportunity is closing rapidly. The need for fundamental change is urgent. I would add that lawyers are ideally suited to play a pivotal role.

We are nimble and not burdened with the inertia found in the public policy arena. We know how the system works. Any one of us can form an intention today and be an enormous force for change tomorrow.

Dick Roy, co-founder,
Center for Earth Leadership Portland

Grateful for the Efforts
The executive committee of the OSB Diversity Section (DSEC) would like to acknowledge the work of all parties who expended their time and efforts to reach a consensus on the MCLE requirement for elimination of bias credits. DSEC is grateful for their cumulative efforts and the Board of Governors for approving the new program. The Oregon Supreme Court approved the following:

Change the name of the requirement from "elimination of bias" to "access to justice."

Require members to complete three access to justice credit hours in alternate reporting periods.

Require new admittees to take an introductory course approved by the bar in their first reporting period.

Allow access to justice credit hours over the required amount to be carried forward as general credits.

The DSEC specifically would like to recognize the contributions of its members Judge Richard Baldwin and chairpersons Mary Crawford and Bob Joondeph. DSEC also would like to recognize Tim Gerking for his leadership in the Policy and Governance Committee and Gary Georgeff and OSB President Rick Yugler for their work and efforts in reaching a resolution.

Our hope is that the new program will increase the professionalism of all bar members and will aid attorneys in meeting the needs of Oregon’s diverse and ever changing population.

Antonio J. Gonzalez,
on behalf of the Diversity Section Executive Committee

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