Oregon State Bar Bulletin — APRIL 2013


Zealousness and Professionalism

I have read the article “Is Some Behavior Ethical But Improper?” by Arden J. Olson (February/March 2013).

Mr. Olson wrote in part: “… ultimately professionalism is not about what the courts tell us we must do but what we together choose to contribute to our society. … The public too often judges our profession based on the conduct of lawyers who care little about aspirational behavior.”


The problem is with the adage that as advocates we ought to zealously represent our clients. That adage may conflict with the goal of acting professionally (i.e., aspirationally). Some lawyers appear to think that acting professionally is not acting zealously. No one wants a lawyer who fights with one hand behind his/her back. Such a lawyer would likely starve to death.

We are still a relatively small bar and we have to convince people in general (including lawyers) that for a lawyer to act professionally not only makes that lawyer feel good but it is good for the client. Perhaps we can still do that by publicizing (and thereby punishing) bad behavior. I hope so. If not the practice of law here is doomed to be just another business like in Los Angeles and New York.

Peter Appleton, Salem


Cheers for Profile

Thank you for your profile of paralegal Amanda Ulrich in the February/March 2013 issue of the Bulletin(“Impacting Lives Half a World Away”). This extraordinary woman, in addition to her full-time job as a “top litigation paralegal,” has pursued with tenacity two important international environmental issues: 1) the illegal cutting and export of alerce (an endangered hardwood) from Chile; and 2) the mining of “conflict minerals” (used in electronic devices) in the Eastern Congo, which has resulted in millions of civilian deaths.

In addition to employing her considerable abilities as a paralegal, Ms. Ulrich has gone well beyond that initial skillset to learn Spanish, organize fundraisers, set up a political action coalition and contact industry and politicians to gain their support. As a sometime environmental activist, I am truly humbled by her efforts and inspired by her success in addressing these issues.

I hope that these and similar articles in the Bulletin will likewise inspire members of the Oregon legal profession to devote some of their time to causes larger than themselves that they feel passionately about. I encourage the Bulletin to continue highlighting individuals and organizations representing the best efforts of our profession in Oregon.

Karen Sjogren, Salem


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.

We strive to print as many letters as possible. Therefore, brevity is important, and preference will be given to letters that are 250 words or less. Letters become the property of the Oregon State Bar. Authors of rejected letters are notified by the editor.

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

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