Oregon State Bar Bulletin — NOVEMBER 2013


Another View on Homelessness

In the August/September 2013 issue of the Bulletin, you published a letter from a Salem attorney, Peter M. Appleton (“Regarding ‘The Changing Face of Homelessness’ ”) regarding his views of homeless people. In that letter he displays an apparent lack of knowledge of homeless people. I assume that he has never represented any; I have had the pleasure of representing many of them over the past dozen years.

Most of my homeless clients were homeless because of economic factors including the loss of jobs or crippling medical bills. Things beyond their control have caused them to slip into homelessness, and once there, they find it extraordinarily difficult to get out of that situation. My clients were not homeless because they chose to be, contrary to Mr. Appleton’s uninformed opinion.

Other clients suffered from mental illnesses or intellectual deficits. Mr. Appleton also does not believe that mental illness is an excuse for being homeless and that if people are mentally ill, they should be hospitalized. I guess that he has never read the statutes governing involuntary commitment or he would know how stringent that statute is. Moreover, even if such commitment standard were met, there are simply not enough resources in which to house and treat such people.

Spencer M. Neal, Portland


A Flood of Memories

I’m retired now, but I thoroughly enjoyed your article in the October 2013 Bulletin on the Court of Appeals (“The Baker’s Dozen”). Did it ever bring back a flood of memories of nearly 40 years of experience appearing before that court! Also enjoyable were the pictures that accompanied your article.

The quote from Chief Judge Herbert Schwab about telling George Joseph that George had a good chance to get on the court if he could “just keep his damned mouth shut for three months” was not surprising to read for those who knew and appreciated George so much.

Just when I was getting quite comfortable being retired from the practice of law, your well-written article almost made me want to again appear before some of those judges mentioned in the article — except I’ll pass on “brusque” Chief Judge Schwab turning his back to me during oral argument when he had heard enough!

Frank Hunsaker, Portland


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, 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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