Oregon State Bar Bulletin — MAY 2009

Oregon LERA Conference Will Be Held May 21
The Oregon chapter of the Labor and Employment Relations Association is hosting a Public/Private Employment Relations Conference on May 21 at the University of Oregon-Portland in the White Stag Building in Old Town.

The program will include the Oregon Employment Relations Board's Annual Report of Leading Cases (2007-2008), the National Labor Relations Board's ``What's New, Notable Cases, and What May Happen Under the Obama Administration,'' ``Red Light, Green Light: Arbitrators Discuss Sample Cases,'' and ``Bargaining in a Troubled Economy.''

If you are interested in attending, please contact Bill Rector at dottierector@att.net.

New Book Examines Mental
Health and Disability Law

Criminal Mental Health and Disability Law, Evidence and Testimony: A Comprehensive Reference Manual for Lawyers, Judges and Criminal Justice Professionals is the first book to examine in detail the legal relationships that link criminal justice, mental health and disability discrimination law.

Topics covered include: a legal history of mental health and disability in the criminal justice system; criminal incompetency; insanity and diminished culpability; and mental health diagnoses and assessments.

The new book may be purchased from the ABA website at http://tinyurl.com/dk5kmy. The price is $99 for ABA members, $94 for Criminal Justice Section members and $110 for non-members.

OWLs to Host Political Leadership Lecture Series
Running for public office is an experience like none other. To highlight the ins and outs of being a woman in politics, Oregon Women Lawyers is hosting a political leadership lecture on Wednesday, May 13 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The non-partisan lecture series is open to all.

Three women candidates will discuss their experience running for office at all levels of government and will share their stories of the campaign trail. OWLs member and will be joined , Tualatin city councilor and attorney in charge of the organized crime unit at the Oregon Department of Justice, and , staffer for U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley and former candidate for Oregon House District 45.

OCDLA Prepares to Celebrate 30th Anniversary
The Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyer's Association will celebrate its 30th anniversary at its annual conference this June in Bend. This special event will be June 18-20 at Seventh Mountain Resort and will be kicked off with the OCDLA Golf Tournament on June 17 at Widgi Creek.

For more information on the conference and a complete list of topics and speakers, visit www.ocdla.org and click on the 2009 Annual Conference link.

In this difficult economy, lawyers can get help with their careers, their practices and their well-being with just a mouse click. The American Bar Association's new Economic Recovery Resources Web Portal (found at tinyurl.com/cb9kux) offers a wide range of assistance for coping with tough times, including information on job searching, personal development and career transition, law practice management tips, handling stress and more.

The resources at http://new.abanet.org/economicrecovery comprise six topic areas: job search and networking, career transition, practice management, professional development, stress management and savings. Each section offers an array of resources including practical advice from ABA publications and references to relevant books, CDs and continuing legal education programs. An evolving site, the easy-to-navigate Economic Recovery Resources Web Portal will expand as new resources are added regularly.

In Tumultuous Times, Law Firms Continue to Merge
There were 24 new law firm mergers and acquisitions reported in the United States in the first quarter of 2009, according to Altman Weil MergerLine. Fourteen new deals were reported in January 2009, three in February and seven in March. An additional 12 deals reported in 2008 became effective in January 2009.
``The bulk of these deals were in the works in 2008,'' said Altman Weil principal Tom Clay, who advises law firms on mergers and acquisitions. ``As law firms got a look at how 2009 was shaping up, the activity definitely slowed down but it didn't stop.''

``Well-capitalized firms with clear strategic goals are continuing to look for tasty morsels to acquire. There's no reason to think that will change,'' he added.

The largest merger, and only big deal announced in the quarter, was between K&L Gates, a 1,750-lawyer international firm headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pa., and Bell Boyd & Lloyd, a 250-lawyer Chicago firm.

The majority of activity was in the acquisition of small law firms with 25 or fewer lawyers. These deals occurred across the country, including three in the Middle Atlantic states, four in the South, one in the Midwest, two in the West and eight multi-regional acquisitions. There were three small Midwestern mergers.

The pace of mergers has fluctuated over the last year. In 2008 there was a total of 70 law firm combinations reported — 18 in the first quarter, 26 in the second quarter and 13 each in the third and fourth quarters.

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