Oregon State Bar Bulletin — OCTOBER 2011

Mocking Our Own Profession is Counterproductive
I was surprised and disappointed when I opened the August/September 2011 issue of the Bulletin — the house organ of the integrated bar supported by the bar dues paid by all Oregon lawyers — only to find a cartoon seeking to entertain all Oregon lawyers at the expense of a segment of those lawyers, “personal injury lawyers” representing those who have been injured in person, property or reputation on the highways, in the workplaces, by consumer and industrial products and by professional negligence and financial fraud. And more importantly, at the expense of public confidence in our civil justice system.

The cartoon depicts two mice discussing a nearby mousetrap that bears a warning label, “Warning: Any attempt to take cheese may result in injury.” One mouse is saying to the other, “They are now required to put that up ever since some personal injury lawyer got a jury to find in favor of the mouse.” Emphasis added.

This cartoon is an insult to all personal injury lawyers and, more critically, to the hardworking judges and citizen-jurors who commit their time and energies to make important and often difficult decisions every day in the courtrooms of our state.

While such “cartoons” are the stock in trade of the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, Fox News and other right-wing “fair and balanced” media, they are anathema to the Bulletin and to the -Oregon State Bar. Instead of promoting false and divisive stereotypes, the bar (and all its members) should be promoting access to justice. Mocking our own profession is not only counterproductive, it is simply shameful.

Charles S. Tauman

Small World Department

Michael Morris writes about Chess with Lawyers and tells about William Prosser as a chess player (“The Great Leveler: A Game of Correspondence Chess with Lawyers,” July 2011). The story brought up a memory of an occurrence many, many years ago.

I was attending a law conference of some sort, somewhere. At noon, the program broke for lunch. The dining room which I entered was not yet filled with attendees, and I found a suitable, almost empty table, one of those large round ones that seats eight or 10. One other man also approached that table. As we came closer, I extended a hand in greeting and said, “Bob Weiss, Portland.” He shook mine and responded, “I’m Prosser on Torts.”

Robert Weiss

We Love Letters

The Bulletin welcomes letters. In general, letters should pertain to recent articles, columns or other letters and should be limited to 250 words. Other things to keep in mind:

Letters must be original and addressed to the Bulletin editor. We do not reprint letters addressed to other publications, to other individuals, to whom it may concern, etc. Preference is given to letters responding to letters to the editor, articles or columns recently published in the Bulletin.

Letters must be signed. Unsigned or anonymous letters will not be published. (There are exceptions. Inquire with the editor.) Letters may not promote individual products, services or political candidates. All letters must comply with the guidelines of Keller v. State Bar of California in that they must be germane to the purpose of regulating the legal profession or improving the quality of the legal services available to the people of Oregon.

Letters may be edited for grammatical errors, style or length, or in cases where language or information is deemed unsuitable or inappropriate for publication. Profane or obscene language is not accepted.

We strive to print as many letters as possible. Therefore, brevity is important.

Send letters to: Editor, OSB Bulletin, P.O. Box 231935, Tigard, OR 97281.

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The Bulletin welcomes short articles about Oregon lawyers and law firms. Notices are published at no cost. Submit articles in writing to:

Editor, Oregon State Bar Bulletin P.O. Box 231935 Tigard, OR 97224 Email: editor@osbar.org

Professional notices such as moves or promotions are published in “Moves.” News about civic activities or non-office activities is published in “Among Ourselves.”

Submissions are subject to editing and published in the order received. Paid professional announcements are also available. Inquire at advertising@osbar.org.

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Questions? Call the us at (503) 620-0222 or toll-free inside Oregon at (800) 452-8260, ext. 340 or ext. 348.

Be an Author
The Bulletin is always on the lookout for quality manuscripts for publication on these pages.

We publish articles on a wide variety of subjects, and favor such topics as access to justice, legal funding, judicial independence, diversity in the profession, professionalism and future trends. We also publish columns on ethics, practice tips (in specific areas of law), practice management and legal history, as well as essays on law and life. Essays or “op-ed” pieces are welcome in our “Parting Thoughts” column at the back of the magazine.

Don’t be shy. The editors welcome inquiries and are happy to discuss requirements for publication. If you have a manuscript, suggestion or idea, contact them at (503) 620-0222, ext. 340 (Paul Nickell) or ext. 348 (Julie Hankin). They can also be reached, respectively, by email at pnickell@osbar.org and jhankin@osbar.org.

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