Oregon State Bar Bulletin — MAY 2010
Bar News

Abandoned Client Funds to Benefit Legal Services to the Poor
Until this year, funds in a lawyer’s trust account were turned over to the Department of State Lands once they had been deemed abandoned. But new amendments to the Uniform Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act (ORS 98.302 to 98.436) enacted by the 2009 Legislature have changed how this money is appropriated and disbursed.

Effective Jan. 1, unclaimed funds held in lawyer trust accounts must be reported to the state lands department, but paid over to the Oregon State Bar with a copy of the department’s report. Funds deemed abandoned as of June 30 of each year are to be reported to the state during October of that same year, although earlier reporting may be allowed upon written request.

Pursuant to ORS 98.332, funds held by a fiduciary are deemed abandoned if the owner has not accepted payment of the funds, corresponded in writing about the funds or otherwise indicated interest in the funds within two years after the funds are payable or distributable to the owner.

The money paid to the bar under the act will be appropriated to the OSB for the provision of legal services to the poor under the Legal Services Program. Questions about forwarding abandoned funds can be addressed to Judith Baker at (503) 431-6326 or jbaker@osbar.org

Access to Justice Credits Requirement Clarified
New admittees admitted on or after Jan. 1, 2009 must complete a three-credit-hour OSB-approved introductory in Access to Justice in their first reporting period. MCLE Regulation 3.600 outlines the requirements for the introductory access to justice course.

Not Too Early to Start Thinking About OSB Annual Awards
Every year the OSB honors Oregon’s most outstanding lawyers, judges and citizens, but it cannot be done without your help. Nominations are currently being sought for the following awards: OSB Award of Merit; Wallace P. Carson Jr. Award for Judicial Excellence; President’s Affirmative Action Award; President’s Membership Service Award; President’s Public Service Award; and President’s Public Leadership Award.

The deadline for nominations is 5 p.m., Friday, July 23.

The 2010 awards dinner will be held Thursday, Dec. 2 at the Governor Hotel in Portland.

Nomination criteria, forms and other information can be found at www.osbar.org.

For additional information, contact Kay Pulju at (503) 620-0222, ext. 402, toll-free in Oregon at (800) 452-8260, ext. 402, or e-mail, kpulju@osbar.org.

OWLs 2010 Workplace Leader Award Nominations Due June 1
Oregon Women Lawyers is accepting nominations for its 2010 Workplace Leader Award. The deadline for nominations is June 1. The award recipient will be honored at the organization’s fall CLE reception in October.

The award recognizes a legal employer making innovative and effective efforts to promote a healthy balance between work and life, acquiring and maintaining a diverse workforce with diverse leadership, or maximizing opportunities for women and minorities to succeed in the workplace and advance to positions of influence and leadership.

The award will recognize a specific program, policy or project that is successfully addressing one or more of the concerns above. Applications are encouraged from in-house legal departments, government employers and employers who are making strides in recruiting and retaining ethnic minority lawyers and equipping them for leadership.

In 2009, the award was presented to Knowledge Learning Corporation’s legal department in Portland for accommodating part-time and flexible schedules, engaging in a thoughtful and collaborative process that addresses both the needs of KLC and the needs of each employee and supporting and encouraging educational advancement.

Nominations must be received by June 1 and should be sent to Cashauna Hill, chill@oregonlawcenter.org. For award and nominations details, see http://www.oregonwomenlawyers.org.

New Website Informs About Oregon Courts
The Multnomah Bar Association has launched a new website to educate the public about Oregon courts, preserving the impartiality of the judiciary and opposing attempts to threaten the judicial system. Visit the site at http://www.protectoregoncourts.org.

Wealth Law Blog Unveiled
The Portland firm of Samuels, Yoelin, Kantor, Seymour & Spinrad recently launched WealthLawBlog.com, which provides clients with the up-to-date information on estate planning, trust and estate administration, asset protection, taxation, business and corporate matters and fiduciary litigation.

The WealthLawBlog.com contains articles authored by the firm’s attorneys on estate tax reform, the springing power of attorney, family settlements versus litigation and other topics. Readers can subscribe to the blog via e-mail or add it to their feeds. Readers are encouraged to comment, question and participate in online conversations. The blog is free, and contact information is not shared with anyone. A sign-up option appears in the left-hand column of the blog’s homepage at WealthLawBlog.com

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