Oregon State Bar Bulletin AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015
Lots of Work in D.C.
Thank you for publishing my article on opportunities for Oregon lawyers in D.C. (Parting Thoughts, June 2015). When my first project ended on a Thursday, I had two offers on Friday and a third on Monday, plus I got a small bonus for finishing the first project. My next project should last a month, and I am confident that they will keep coming. There is lots of work for Oregon attorneys in our nation’s capital. Thanks again for getting the word out.
Timothy M.B. Farrell, Washington, D.C.
More Resources Available
I would like to commend Michael Purcell on his article regarding the proper use of interpreters and translators (“Access to Justice,” June 2015). Providing legal services in an accessible manner should be a top priority for attorneys. However, I was disappointed to note that Purcell made no mention of sign language interpreters or accessible communications technology in his article.
In an article devoted to interpretive services, it would have been worthwhile to at least mention the difficulty deaf clients can have when navigating the legal system. An entire article could (and probably should) be dedicated to the particular needs of deaf clients and the obligations attorneys have under the ADA to provide equal access to services. While detailed information was beyond the scope of Purcell’s article, the lack of recognition for deaf clients is indicative of the problems they face trying access justice. The deaf often do not receive the legal representation afforded other clients, in part because attorneys are not educated on how to properly provide services in accessible manner.
For those attorneys interested in learning more about working with deaf clients, the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) provides some introductory information at http://nad.org/issues/justice/lawyers-and-legal-services.
Additional information can be found through the work of Helping Educate to Advance the Rights of the Deaf (HEARD), a nonprofit dedicated to ensuring deaf people receive equal access to the legal system, at their website www.behearddc.org.
Patrick Dennis, Washington, D.C. ABA Commission on Disability Rights
Kudos for Justice Landau’s Magna Carta Article
The article on the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta was superb (June 2015). I would appreciate seeing more articles of this nature. Perhaps someone would like to produce an article in regard to the creation of the Oregon Constitution. I am aware of older articles on this subject — but has anyone produced new research or interpretation on the establishment of our constitution?
Kevin L. Mannix, Salem
Focus on the Problem Makers
The killings in Charleston, Sandy Hook, the attempted murder of Congresswoman Gabbi Giffords and other too well-known murderous events are horrific. And who would not want to reduce and prevent them. At the same time, the response of the relatives of those killed in Charleston is inspirational.
Not so, the response of Leonard DuBoff and his ilk (Parting Thoughts, July 2015). He says he is only interested in preventing this type of horrific violence and then says, “If the law had required appropriate background checks, this tragedy might not have happened.”
What “appropriate background check” is he referring to? He doesn’t say, because there is no proposed or enacted background check that would have had any effect on the crimes we are discussing. So why do the Leonard DuBoffs keep calling for background checks and never mention actions that might have some effect?
New York City effectively reduced murders from 2,000 per year to about 200 with better policing.
Candise DuBoff-Jones’ murderer is described as mentally deranged. Why doesn’t DuBoff show concern for the threat from the dangerously mentally ill? What about a proposal to see that the dangerously mentally ill are placed on the list of those prohibited from buying guns? Anti-gun activists never mention this loophole or the laws that prevent dangerously mentally ill people from being involuntarily restrained. Or the loophole that cities like San Francisco practice by releasing dangerous illegal immigrants to prevent their deportation.
We actually know who most of the dangerous people are. They are a small subset of the mentally ill and a small subset of felons who have demonstrated violent behavior. DuBoff focuses all his energy on law-abiding citizens. For example, there are about 350,000 police officers in the U.S. and about 3.5 million people with concealed carry permits. Police officers commit more crimes, including gun crimes, than those that hold concealed carry permits. In fact, legal gun owners are some of the least likely people to commit crimes.
Let’s focus on the problem makers, not the law-abiding.
John Wight, Portland
An “E.R.” for the Law?
Smith does not like the term “under-employed.” I do not like the terms “People who can’t afford legal representation.” When people seek medical attention they must pay whatever is necessary to get it. There are not people who can’t afford medical representation. Perhaps people should have to pay whatever is charged for legal representation when legal representation is needed.
Admittedly, I am not the best person to opine on the cost of legal representation as most of my pro bono services were unintentional. Perhaps we could establish a legal equivalent to a hospital emergency room subsidized by the government where everyone could obtain legal services and the persons supplying those services would still be paid a living wage.
Peter Appleton, Salem
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