Oregon State Bar Bulletin — FEBRUARY/MARCH 2009

Preserving Access to Justice
Cliff Collins’ article, "Hard Times for Access to Justice" (December 2008) was a timely and important wake-up call about how the current economic crisis affects low-income people who need legal services. I especially appreciated the "How to Help" suggestions, which included giving generously to the Lawyers Campaign for Equal Justice. I second that suggestion and have another to add: give generously to one of the four loan repayment assistance programs (LRAPs) available in Oregon.

These programs help public service and public interest attorneys (such as legal aid lawyers) repay their law school loans. With average law school debt loads of over $60,000, many cannot afford to take or remain in public service jobs without LRAP assistance. The Oregon State Bar has an LRAP; so does each of the three law schools located in Oregon. Any of us administering those programs would be delighted to accept your contribution and put it to good use — preserving access to justice by enabling lawyers to work for the public good.

Margaret L. Paris, Philip H. Knight
Dean, University of Oregon School of Law, Eugene

A Full Measure, and Beyond

Having been a member of the Oregon State Bar for more than 30 years, I am aware of some cynics who complain that annual bar dues produce little of value in return. Page 7 of the January 2009 Bulletin, however, should put those complaints to rest. I am impressed with how thorough the survey regarding "Billing Rate Changes" truly was. Rather than giving a mere sampling, your report indicates the opinion of fully 101 percent of the firms queried. A report regarding 100 percent of the responses would have been exemplary. However, who can say providing 101 percent of the responses is anything short of beyond the call of duty. Bravo!

Bradley R. Scheminske,

Editors’ note: Because of the rounding of numbers, the responses only appeared to be more than 100 percent. See the actual unrounded numbers at http://tinyurl.com/7wr473.

I am writing regarding my letter to the editor, which was published under the heading "Clarifying Fort Vannoy Irrigation District Decision" in the January 2009 issue of the Bulletin that I received in the mail yesterday. The letter I sent to you pointed out that the main issue decided by the Oregon Supreme Court in the Fort Vannoy Irrigation District case was the proper interpretation of language in ORS 540.510(1). Unfortunately, the Bulletin changed my letter to instead mistakenly cite "ORS 540.9."

While I appreciate the publication of my letter, I am concerned that the typographical error simply compounds the problems with the Bulletin’s earlier discussion of the Fort Vannoy Irrigation District case that I was trying to address, Consequently, I request that the Bulletin publish in the February issue a correction of the error.

Emil R. Berg,

Editors’ note: Done.We regret the error.

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