Archive of OSB President’s Messages and other Bar News emails concerning COVID-19






Oregon State Bar
September 11, 2020

Colleagues:

First of all, I want to express my gratitude for all of the kind messages, cards, and well wishes I have received since my mother’s passing. Collectively, there are so many stories of loss and grief and how the pandemic and social isolation have impacted our lives and well-being. I have been grateful for how this community has looked for ways to stay connected and support each other in this time of challenge and change. On this 19th anniversary of September 11, 2001, I am reminded of how that tragic event also physically separated people in its aftermath, but also brought people together to collectively grieve. I am also sending out best wishes to those who are dealing with the current threats or aftermath of the fires. Information on fire-related changes to court operations statewide is available on the Oregon Judicial Department’s website at https://www.courts.oregon.gov/courts/Pages/2020FireInfo.aspx; you can also find a link on the OSB’s home page. It has been a challenging year for many of us. I encourage people to try to find space and time to reflect and regroup if necessary.

I also wanted to share some information about changes the Board of Governors (BOG) has been considering related to its governance structure. At the May 2020 meeting, the BOG approved a request to legislative counsel to draft proposed amendments to the State Bar Act that would give the Oregon Supreme Court authority to appoint and remove BOG members. At its upcoming meeting on September 25, 2020, the BOG will vote on whether to pursue those proposed or other changes in the 2021 legislative session.

A number of lawyers have asked for additional information about the proposed changes and the reasons behind them. For those of you who are interested, the information below provides some background. We also invite your feedback. The BOG will also be seeking feedback from non-lawyers who have served the OSB as volunteers in numerous capacities. Please send any comments to feedback@osbar.org or to any member of the BOG by noon on September 24, 2020. You can find additional information in the agenda materials for the board’s August 27 meeting.

Background

Currently the Oregon State Bar Board of Governors is made up of 19 members - 15 lawyers elected by lawyers from geographic districts, and 4 non-lawyer public members, who are appointed by the BOG itself. The only method of removal of a BOG lawyer member is through a recall election in the region that elected the member.

In 2019, the State Bar Act was amended to codify the bar’s mission in statute. The BOG is statutorily charged with directing its power to serve the public interest by regulating the legal profession and improving the quality of legal services; supporting the judiciary and improving the administration of justice; and advancing a fair, inclusive and accessible justice system.

The BOG also began to review the bar’s own governance model to ensure that it was aligned with the bar’s public service mission. Under the current governance structure, the BOG is only accountable to bar members, who have the sole authority to elect and remove lawyer members of the BOG. Furthermore, the lawyer members of the BOG have sole authority to appoint and remove public members.

Proposed Changes

The proposed changes would transform the current election process to a regional member vote that serves as a nomination or recommendation for appointment by the Oregon Supreme Court. Court appointment would shift accountability to the public, through the elected members of the Court, similar to other court-appointed entities, such as the Commission on Judicial Fitness & Disability and the Council on Court Procedures. The Supreme Court already has sole appointment authority for the OSB Disciplinary Board, the State Professional Responsibility Board, the Unlawful Practice of Law Committee, and Board of Bar Examiners.

The contemplated changes would also eliminate the regional recall process to allow for a removal process with greater public accountability to be addressed in the OSB bylaws. It also provides a way to remove BOG members who intentionally breach their fiduciary duty to the bar, or are known to have engaged in abuse, harassment, or criminal conduct. Currently, BOG members can only be removed by a recall petition of members in the region from which they were elected, a time-consuming process that may fail-leaving no recourse to remove a BOG member who is acting unlawfully.

There are additional considerations that also factored into the proposed changes including lawsuits that have been brought across the nation against state bars. For example, state bars governed by lawyers who are elected by their lawyer peers are at risk of suit under antitrust laws. At least three state bars have recently been sued for allegedly engaging in anti-competitive conduct for their work in regulating the unlawful practice of law. These suits allege millions of dollars in damages against the bars and individual board members. Boards appointed by their Supreme Courts can argue that they are immune from the antitrust laws because they are actively supervised by their state government.

As fiduciaries to the Oregon State Bar, the BOG has considered how to best protect against these types of challenges through changes to the governance structure. These are complex issues, and the discussions have included a variety of viewpoints. The proposed changes were not considered lightly and were subject to significant discussion and debate. The BOG discussed this issue over the course of several meetings and narrowly voted to move the proposal forward for legislative drafting. We look forward to continuing this discussion in September.

Thank you for your engagement on these issues. As a bar, we are committed to providing the best service to the public and to our community.

Liani Reeves, OSB President

Oregon State Bar
Portland Metro: (503) 620-0222 | Greater Oregon: (800) 452-8260
Fax: (503) 684-1366 | P.O. Box 231935, Tigard, OR 97281-1935
Oregon State Bar | 16037 SW Upper Boones Ferry Road | Tigard, Oregon 97224
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Oregon State Bar
August 28, 2020

Colleagues:

A lot has happened in the past several weeks and there are a lot of things coming up I would like to share.

First, thank you for all of the supportive messages and inquiries about my mom these past months. I’m sad to report that she passed away peacefully last weekend after a 15-month battle with cancer. These months during the pandemic have been extremely difficult due to forced separation, but my brother and I were fortunate to be with her during her last moments.

I’m incredibly grateful to my supportive life partner, my supportive law partners and my community of friends. This is a good reminder of the toll that the pandemic has had on many of us. Please don’t hesitate to reach out and use your support network and available resources.¬†

Second, we have been asked to share the following announcements with OSB members:

  • The Oregon Judicial Department (OJD) is seeking comment on an out-of-cycle amendment of UTCR 21.090(4), addressing electronic signatures, which was adopted by¬†CJO 20-029, effective July 21, 2020. You can view additional information and comment on the OJD website at¬†https://www.courts.oregon.gov/programs/utcr/Pages/currentrules.aspx

  • OJD has enhanced its Online Forms Center and updated court rules to permit the electronic submission of filings relating to certain types of restraining orders. The changes, which are intended to improve access to justice for self-represented litigants, take effect on Sept. 1, 2020. Details are provided in an¬†CJO 20-031, which approve amendments to the UTCR as well as SLRs for Lane, Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties.

  • The Oregon Department of Corrections has issued a¬†notice¬†about resuming in-person professional¬†visits at its facilities. Bar members are encouraged to¬†contact the facility they wish to visit for additional information, such as hours for visitation/scheduling.¬†

Lastly, the Board of Governors will appoint more than 250 members to various volunteer positions in November, with opportunities that include serving as mentors to new lawyers, serving on various boards and committees, or serving as bar counsel. These positions provide the opportunity to network, develop leadership skills, strengthen the profession and give back to the community.

If you are interested in volunteering, submit an application by Wednesday, Sept. 16, through the online survey on the bar's website. Every attempt will be made to place each applicant into a volunteer position. Questions regarding volunteer opportunities can be directed to Danielle Edwards at dedwards@osbar.orgor 503-431-6426. Many thanks to the hundreds of bar members who have served, are serving and will step up to serve in the future.

Liani Reeves, OSB President

Oregon State Bar
Portland Metro: (503) 620-0222 | Greater Oregon: (800) 452-8260
Fax: (503) 684-1366 | P.O. Box 231935, Tigard, OR 97281-1935
Oregon State Bar | 16037 SW Upper Boones Ferry Road | Tigard, Oregon 97224
If you would like to receive your e-mails at a secondary e-mail address
go to www.osbar.org/secured/login.asp and log in using your bar number and password,
then click on Communication Preferences and set up a secondary e-mail address.




Oregon State Bar
August 19, 2020

Colleagues:

In 2011, the Oregon Supreme Court instituted a New Lawyer Mentoring Program (NLMP) that is required for all new OSB members in their first 12-18 months as lawyers. The program seeks to promote professionalism and a sense of community throughout the bar, while giving each new lawyer individual support as they transition from student to practitioner.

This year, more than ever, we need your support as a volunteer for this important program. We understand that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is far-reaching, and that you have many demands on your time. We hope, however, that you also appreciate the importance of staying connected with colleagues. Our newest members will have far fewer networking opportunities than most of us were able to take advantage of when we were starting out. Participation in the NLMP is one way they will be able to interact with other legal professionals.

Each mentorship is approximately a one-year commitment. You can expect to commit about 60 minutes a month, although circumstances may vary. There is a curriculum, but the program is designed so that the mentor and new lawyer have great flexibility to create a plan that best meets the needs of the new practitioner. Mentors and new lawyers are urged, of course, to use caution, and to meet via phone or virtually for as long as they feel necessary. The NLMP is inherently flexible, and can be done remotely. To the extent that any of the required curriculum pieces can only be done in person, those should, of course, wait until a better time.

To thank our volunteer mentors for their service, each mentor receives 8 MCLE credits, including 2 ethics, at the completion of the program. You must have five years of experience to serve.

For a quick summary of the program, click here: https://www.osbar.org/_docs/NLMP/NLMPAtAGlance.pdf

For more complete information, or to jump in and enroll as a mentor, click here: /nlmp

Many of us know from personal experience that mentoring a young professional can be uniquely gratifying, and particularly valuable in terms of one’s service to the bar and the public. We hope you’ll consider volunteering. You can email questions to¬†mentoring@osbar.org, or reach program coordinator Cathy Petrecca directly at¬†cpetrecca@osbar.org.

Martha Walters Signature

Hon. Martha Walters
Chief Justice
Oregon Supreme Court

 

Oregon State Bar
Portland Metro: (503) 620-0222 | Greater Oregon: (800) 452-8260
Fax: (503) 684-1366 | P.O. Box 231935, Tigard, OR 97281-1935
Oregon State Bar | 16037 SW Upper Boones Ferry Road | Tigard, Oregon 97224
If you would like to receive your e-mails at a secondary e-mail address
go to www.osbar.org/secured/login.asp and log in using your bar number and password,
then click on Communication Preferences and set up a secondary e-mail address.




Oregon State Bar
August 14, 2020

Colleagues:

Thank you for all the nominations for the annual Oregon State Bar Awards. I am excited to announce and congratulate this year’s award recipients that were approved by the Board of Governors on July 31:

  • President’s Membership Service Award: Hon. Karrie McIntyre
  • President’s Public Service Award: Tonia Moro
  • President’s Diversity & Inclusion Award: Chad Paulson
  • President’s Sustainability Award: Robb Shecter
  • President’s Technology & Innovation Award: RecordSponge Oregon, Michael Zhang et al.
  • President’s Public Leadership Award: Cassondra Sumrall
  • Wallace P Carson Judicial Excellence Award: Hon. Martha L. Walters
  • Award of Merit: Cheryl Coon
  • Additional information on the award criteria can be found on the OSB website at¬†https://www.osbar.org/_docs/rulesregs/bylaws.pdf.

    We would normally honor all of the award recipients at an in-person ceremony and we had a Celebrate Oregon Lawyers event planned for the fall. Regrettably, the pandemic has forced us to cancel the event. We will be profiling all of the award recipients in a special Celebrate Oregon Lawyers edition of The Bulletinand we are in the process of planning a virtual ceremony to further celebrate the award recipients.

    Many are still feeling the personal and professional impacts of COVID-19. This is just one way the pandemic has impacted our ability to come together as a community and as a profession. Please join me in congratulating the award recipients and reinforcing that our inability to publicly celebrate them in no way detracts from their accomplishments.

    Liani Reeves, OSB President

    Oregon State Bar
    Portland Metro: (503) 620-0222 | Greater Oregon: (800) 452-8260
    Fax: (503) 684-1366 | P.O. Box 231935, Tigard, OR 97281-1935
    Oregon State Bar | 16037 SW Upper Boones Ferry Road | Tigard, Oregon 97224
    If you would like to receive your e-mails at a secondary e-mail address
    go to www.osbar.org/secured/login.asp and log in using your bar number and password,
    then click on Communication Preferences and set up a secondary e-mail address.




    Oregon State Bar
    August 7, 2020

    Colleagues:

    Last week, 210 applicants sat for the Uniform Bar Exam in Oregon. The original plan was to host the exam at five separate sites to allow for social distancing, but after approximately half of the confirmed applicants elected diploma privilege instead, the number of sites was reduced. Many thanks to Lewis & Clark Law School for their generosity in providing space for the exam, and for the care and attention provided by their dedicated staff. Thanks also to the Board of Bar Examiners (BBX) and the many amazing volunteers who served as proctors and in other roles to ensure a safe exam experience for all.

    On Monday, the Oregon Supreme Court set a passing score of 266 for the online October bar exam, and authorized the BBX to pursue agreements allowing portability of scores among jurisdictions offering the October exam. Thus far, the BBX has reached agreements with Connecticut, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio and Tennessee. The open enrollment period for the October Exam is August 7 through August 14, 2020; eligibility requirements and other details are available on the¬†OSB Admissions page. We may need“virtual”proctors to assist with this online exam, so please be on the lookout for an announcement about this important volunteer opportunity.

    All 2020 applicants for admission to the OSB must also pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE), which for those who have not taken it yet will be offered next week. We are aiming for October 8, 2020, as the date when applicants may be sworn in who either took the July exam or elected diploma privilege. We do not yet have a timeline for successful applicants from the October exam.

    With these new options for bar admission, we may be welcoming more new bar members this year than we have in the recent past. As a result, we will also need more experienced lawyers willing to serve as mentors through the New Lawyer Mentoring Program (NLMP). This can be an incredibly rewarding experience to help contribute to the development of the next generation of lawyers. If this is something that might interest you, check our NLMP information page and watch for specific recruitment messages and needs in the coming weeks.

    Liani Reeves, OSB President

    Oregon State Bar
    Portland Metro: (503) 620-0222 | Greater Oregon: (800) 452-8260
    Fax: (503) 684-1366 | P.O. Box 231935, Tigard, OR 97281-1935
    Oregon State Bar | 16037 SW Upper Boones Ferry Road | Tigard, Oregon 97224
    If you would like to receive your e-mails at a secondary e-mail address
    go to www.osbar.org/secured/login.asp and log in using your bar number and password,
    then click on Communication Preferences and set up a secondary e-mail address.




    Oregon State Bar
    July 30, 2020

    Colleagues:

    I want to thank the number of lawyers who took the time to respond to my message last week as it related to the federal law enforcement presence in Portland. I invited feedback, and I meant it. I believe it is vital for lawyers, as part of a profession, to be able to have a respectful discussion on topics where we disagree and a productive discussion where our values align.

    As lawyers, our values align around promoting respect for the rule of law, which is part of the bar’s mission. I had intended to focus my message on this shared value and that value was indeed expressed by many of those who responded. Where my message fell short was in my description of current events, which did not include a full description of events being reported as they are unfolding in downtown Portland. Those include reports of peaceful protestors being detained by federal agents that refuse to identify themselves and reports of individuals who are vandalizing property and committing acts of violence against law enforcement officers, the federal courthouse, and other property. The reports ofthese events alone, even before any adjudication of the facts, have contributed to the erosion of public confidence in the rule of law which lawyers have a duty to uphold.

    This is also a reminder of how important it is, as lawyers, that we withhold judgment to ensure that the facts are known and due process is afforded. That applies equally to those who are engaged in protests and those who are engaged in enforcement—many of whom are the clients that we represent as lawyers.

    As I mentioned in my message, pressures and tensions are running high. I apologize for contributing to that through my message. I truly value lawyers and the diversity of opinions that we hold. We can also play a crucial role in upholding and promoting respect for the legal system and the courts. Our oath includes a pledge of fairness, integrity, and civility. Our rules of professional conduct require us to be competent and thorough in our representation of clients, to demonstrate candor in our statements to the courts, and to be fair to those on opposing sides. I believe that we are uniquely situated to restore confidence in the rule of law and the principles important to our justice system in our practices and in our communities and I am committed to moving that conversation forward.

    Liani Reeves, OSB President

    Oregon State Bar
    Portland Metro: (503) 620-0222 | Greater Oregon: (800) 452-8260
    Fax: (503) 684-1366 | P.O. Box 231935, Tigard, OR 97281-1935
    Oregon State Bar | 16037 SW Upper Boones Ferry Road | Tigard, Oregon 97224
    If you would like to receive your e-mails at a secondary e-mail address
    go to www.osbar.org/secured/login.asp and log in using your bar number and password,
    then click on Communication Preferences and set up a secondary e-mail address.




    Oregon State Bar
    July 23, 2020

    Colleagues:

    I want to thank and acknowledge the lawyers who have reached out about the actions of unidentified federal agents against peaceful protesters in Portland. As lawyers, many have expressed concerns about how the current events erode confidence in the rule of law and principles underpinning our Constitution. I personally share these concerns and will be looking at ways to reinforce those principles, and welcome your thoughts and ideas.

    I also wanted to thank the hundreds of people who joined us on Wednesday for the discussion on generational differences in the workplace. For those of you who are interested, the free CLE will be posted on the OSB online CLE catalog no later than August 1. I also encourage others to engage in similar conversations to listen and learn. The PowerPoint presentation and outline of the CLE will be included in the materials so that it can be adapted to facilitate a discussion in your respective workplaces and communities.

    In other updates, the Chief Justice has issued three news orders:

    • CJO 20-027: Extending Statutory Time Periods and Time Requirements in Certain Tax Appeals
    • CJO 20-028: Directing or Permitting Appearances at Arraignment by Remote Means
    • CJO 20-029: Approving Out-of-Cycle Amendment of UTCR 21.090(4), facilitating e-filing of notarized documents

    I have been hearing from a number of lawyers about challenges and concerns for lawyers and clients as courts are starting to open up in the midst of the pandemic. I encourage you to share these experiences and concerns, and we will be looking at ways to provide this feedback to the Court.

    Finally, pressures and tensions are running high. Please try to find a way to exercise some self-care or reach out for help if you need it. Don't forget that the Oregon Attorney Assistance Program offers confidential, professional, compassionate (and free) counseling and other resources for the Oregon legal community.

    Liani Reeves, OSB President

    Oregon State Bar
    Portland Metro: (503) 620-0222 | Greater Oregon: (800) 452-8260
    Fax: (503) 684-1366 | P.O. Box 231935, Tigard, OR 97281-1935
    Oregon State Bar | 16037 SW Upper Boones Ferry Road | Tigard, Oregon 97224
    If you would like to receive your e-mails at a secondary e-mail address
    go to www.osbar.org/secured/login.asp and log in using your bar number and password,
    then click on Communication Preferences and set up a secondary e-mail address.




    Oregon State Bar
    July 16, 2020

    Colleagues:

    One of my priorities as OSB President is the importance of the transfer of knowledge between generations of lawyers in the workplace. We currently have a large generation of Boomers retiring from the workplace, with a large amount of Millennials (and even Gen Z’ers!) entering, and Gen X'ers like myself are trying to find our place. The generation gap between Millennials and Boomers is more than just a meme, however. In the legal profession, the gap -- if not bridged -- can have significant consequences on the future of the profession and ultimately, on the ability to deliver quality ongoing legal services to the public.

    I'm excited to announce a webinar that will take place next week on July 22 at 3:00 p.m. The program will feature a multi-generational panel to explore what are the barriers to a smooth transition and how we may overcome them. This program will facilitate an honest conversation across the generations of lawyers and identify ways to work together for the future of our profession and access to justice for our communities. Registration for the event is free and available on the OSB's website.

    I also wanted to remind you about the free online CLE library we have been collecting to help members adjust to practicing during the pandemic. Here’s a link so you can see what’s available: /cle/resources.html.

    Finally, I wanted to say thank you for all the supportive notes about my mother. I realize that my language was a bit ambiguous -- she has not passed away yet, but just entered hospice and we have been struggling to find ways to connect in her final moments. Thank you to everyone and best wishes.

    Liani Reeves, OSB President

     

    Oregon State Bar
    Portland Metro: (503) 620-0222 | Greater Oregon: (800) 452-8260
    Fax: (503) 684-1366 | P.O. Box 231935, Tigard, OR 97281-1935
    Oregon State Bar | 16037 SW Upper Boones Ferry Road | Tigard, Oregon 97224
    If you would like to receive your e-mails at a secondary e-mail address
    go to www.osbar.org/secured/login.asp and log in using your bar number and password,
    then click on Communication Preferences and set up a secondary e-mail address.




    Oregon State Bar
    July 9, 2020

    Colleagues:

    My message last week about the bar exam and the Oregon Supreme Court's order approving a limited, one-time diploma privilege for 2020 admission to the bar generated a lot of questions and discussion. I have received feedback from a number of lawyers expressing their views on the bar exam and diploma privilege, and that feedback is welcome. It is clear that lawyers are concerned with protecting the public, ensuring competence of lawyers, and supporting those who are entering the profession during this tumultuous time, especially those who are coming from underprivileged and underrepresented backgrounds. There may not be total agreement on how to balance all the interests, and these discussions are likely to be ongoing. I look forward to future discussions on these important topics.

    Right now, the Board of Bar Examiners (BBX) is focused on implementing the recent Court order. You may be interested to learn what applicants chose in terms of their various options for admission in 2020: 235 will be sitting for the July Uniform Bar Exam (UBE); 24 have elected to sit for the October online-only exam instead of the July UBE; and 255 applicants have elected the diploma privilege option and have withdrawn from the July UBE. Registration for the October remote exam will first be open to any applicants who failed the February 2020 exam, but did not apply for the July UBE, and those applicants who applied for the July UBE exam, but whose applications were rejected due to the seating cap. Open registration will begin in August for any applicants who have not registered to take any other bar exam between June 29, 2020 and September 30, 2020. You can find out more about the October exam on the Admissions page of the OSB website.

     

    I also wanted to share that yesterday Chief Justice Martha Walters and Justice Adrienne Nelson of the Oregon Supreme Court announced the approval of the Oregon Unconscious Bias Juror video. The video is aimed at combating the negative impact of unconscious bias in jury trials. It explains the concept of unconscious bias, and provides useful tools for jurors to use to ensure fair and impartial judicial proceedings. The Committee on Bias in the Justice System in Oregon (formerly the Ad Hoc Committee on Unconscious Bias in the Justice System in Oregon), which included both state and federal practitioners and judges, created the video with funding from both OJD and the federal courts in Oregon. An announcement and link to the video is on the OSB website.

     

    And today Chief Judge Egan of the Court of Appeals issued a second amended CJO 20-03 regarding procedural changes in the Court of Appeals due to COVID-19. The order addresses motions, remote oral arguments and webcasting, and face coverings in court facilities.

     

    Finally, I want to thank the many of you who have provided feedback and support on my recent column in the Bulletin. I certainly did not expect to be serving as bar President this year or saying goodbye to my mother while being confined to my home. It has forced me to look for new ways to both give and get support. I am so grateful that I have been able to connect with so many of you, not just as lawyers, but as people, and as a community going through a challenging time.

     

    Liani Reeves, OSB President

     

    Oregon State Bar
    Portland Metro: (503) 620-0222 | Greater Oregon: (800) 452-8260
    Fax: (503) 684-1366 | P.O. Box 231935, Tigard, OR 97281-1935
    Oregon State Bar | 16037 SW Upper Boones Ferry Road | Tigard, Oregon 97224
    If you would like to receive your e-mails at a secondary e-mail address
    go to www.osbar.org/secured/login.asp and log in using your bar number and password,
    then click on Communication Preferences and set up a secondary e-mail address.




    Oregon State Bar
    July 1, 2020

    Colleagues:

    There has been a great deal of discussion and activity this week related to the bar exam and impacts on those who are looking to enter our profession during these challenging times. I wanted to provide you an update and summary of the various options that are available.

    As of now, the July 2020 bar exam will move forward as scheduled, and will offer the only opportunity this year to take the UBE in Oregon. Applicants who sit for the UBE earn a portable score that may be transferrable to other UBE jurisdictions. As I have mentioned in prior messages, the examination will be held in a manner that ensures appropriate social distancing measures are in place. The Board of Bar Examiners and the Oregon State Bar have been working with health officials and the testing sites to minimize health risks for those sitting for the July 2020 exam.

    However, at a public meeting earlier this week, the Oregon Supreme Court approved several emergency measures in response to current events that are presenting challenges to those taking the July 2020 examination.

    These measures include:

    • Granting a one-time “Diploma Privilege” to people who timely submitted complete applications for the July 2020 Oregon bar examination and who either: (a) graduated in 2020 from one of Oregon’s three law schools; or (b) graduated in 2020 from any other ABA-accredited law school that had a minimum of 86 percent of its graduates pass a 2019 bar exam on their first attempt. (A list of qualifying law schools is available online.) All other admission requirements continue to apply, including obtaining a passing score on the MPRE and successfully completing a character and fitness review. Applicants wishing to withdraw from the July bar exam and instead elect the diploma privilege must do so, in writing, on or before midnight, Pacific Time, on July 6, 2020 as provided on the bar’s Admissions webpage.
    • Reducing Oregon's passing score for the July 2020 Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) from 274 to 266.
    • Directing the Board to offer an online-only Oregon bar exam to be conducted in October 2020 for a subset of applicants described in the court’s order. This will not be a UBE exam and will authorize practice of law in Oregon only. Applicants who are currently registered to take the July 2020 UBE Exam, but would rather take the October 2020 online examination, must elect to do so, in writing, on or before midnight, Pacific Time, July 6, 2020 as provided on the bar’s Admissions webpage.

    The measures are outlined in SCO 20-012. For people who are interested in sitting for the October 2020 exam, but are not currently registered for the July 2020 exam, stay tuned. The Board of Bar Examiners will set a separate October bar exam applicant deadline for people who are not currently registered in the coming weeks.

    I know that there are many law graduates who are currently weighing their options and making difficult decisions in a time of extreme uncertainty. The options are complicated and time is short, so please encourage any applicants you may know to check their email for a message from OSB Admissions and to review the online materials regarding their options so that they can make decisions that are best suited for their individual circumstances.

    I also recognize that there are many opinions about the bar exam, diploma privilege, how to adequately assess competency for the admission of lawyers, and on these emergency measures. While not everyone will agree with the difficult choices that are being made—by the Court, by the Board of Bar Examiners, by the bar, by applicants, and by employers—I would encourage us all to be mindful that we are all trying to navigate unprecedented times. I will commit to being compassionate, to listen, and to assume good intentions; I hope others can do the same. As President, I look forward to welcoming all of the lawyers admitted in 2020, regardless of how they enter the profession.

    As mentioned in my earlier messages, the bar has implemented a number of measures to address budget issues due to COVID-19. The bar will be closed Thursday and Friday this week because of staff furloughs and the holiday. However, we will do our best to respond to admissions-related inquiries from applicants and will post an FAQ document on the Admissions page soon.

    Have a good week and holiday weekend.

    Liani Reeves, OSB President

     

    Oregon State Bar
    Portland Metro: (503) 620-0222 | Greater Oregon: (800) 452-8260
    Fax: (503) 684-1366 | P.O. Box 231935, Tigard, OR 97281-1935
    Oregon State Bar | 16037 SW Upper Boones Ferry Road | Tigard, Oregon 97224
    If you would like to receive your e-mails at a secondary e-mail address
    go to www.osbar.org/secured/login.asp and log in using your bar number and password,
    then click on Communication Preferences and set up a secondary e-mail address.




    Oregon State Bar
    June 25, 2020

    Colleagues:

    The deadline to submit nominations for the annual OSB Awards is June 30, 2020, at 5 p.m. I encourage you to look for members of our community that have been doing amazing things so that we can recognize them and celebrate them. As I noted in an earlier message, I encourage people to think about individuals who may be overlooked because they are working quietly, but mightily, in the background. Service and leadership come in many forms and it is important to recognize the variety of ways people contribute.

    In the past, award recipients have been recognized at an OSB Awards Luncheon held in the fall. Going into 2020, we were excited to roll out a new “Celebrate Oregon Lawyers” event, which was designed to bring more people together to celebrate the collective and individual accomplishments of our community. The event, which was being planned for October, would have been a celebration of OSB’s 50-Year Members, winners of the Pro Bono Challenge, and recipients of the OSB Awards.

    It is with great sadness that we decided to cancel the event this year. Even if social distancing restrictions are relaxed by October, we want to do our part to remain vigilant in reducing the spread of COVID-19 and cannot in good conscience plan for such a large-scale event.

    We will still celebrate and honor our colleagues in the October issue of the bar Bulletin, which will be a special “Celebrate Oregon Lawyers” edition featuring our honorees and celebrating the things that make our community special. The lack of public celebration in no way diminishes the accomplishments that will be honored.

    I also recognize that this is far from an adequate substitute for a celebration, which serves as both a public recognition of the amazing people in our community and also would have brought us together at a time when it is needed more than ever. Not having this event feels like a loss to me, both as President of the bar and as a lawyer who loves this community.

    You can find out more about OSB awards on our website. If you would like to submit a nomination, the deadline is June 30.

    Liani Reeves, OSB President

    Oregon State Bar
    Portland Metro: (503) 620-0222 | Greater Oregon: (800) 452-8260
    Fax: (503) 684-1366 | P.O. Box 231935, Tigard, OR 97281-1935
    Oregon State Bar | 16037 SW Upper Boones Ferry Road | Tigard, Oregon 97224
    If you would like to receive your e-mails at a secondary e-mail address
    go to www.osbar.org/secured/login.asp and log in using your bar number and password,
    then click on Communication Preferences and set up a secondary e-mail address.




    Oregon State Bar
    June 18, 2020

    Colleagues:

    Tomorrow is Juneteenth, a day that has come to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States. It recognizes the day that federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas -- on June 19, 1865 -- to take control of the state and ensure that slaves were freed. This was two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared an end to slavery in secessionist states but exempted areas under Union control and required military victories to enforce. As a result, many slave owners moved with their slaves to border states like Texas, allowing slavery to continue, until Juneteenth. The Thirteenth Amendment was ratified shortly thereafter in December 1865, officially ending more than two and a half centuries of legal slavery in the United States. As a lawyer, I think it is especially important to recognize how the law has been used to shape the experience of Black people in America and in our state. For example, although Oregon’s earliest legislatures prohibited slavery, they also banned free Blacks from coming to the state. I invite people to learn more about this history.

    In bar updates, I want to thank you for your comments and feedback about the OSB’s hiring freeze, especially as it relates to the Director of Diversity and Inclusion position. As some of you noted, there is a crucial need for this position now more than ever. We couldn’t agree more. We are taking steps to fill the position and hope to have it posted shortly.

    I’d also like to provide more information about the bar’s financial position generally, as there were some questions about that. For background, roughly two-thirds of the bar’s operating revenue comes from annual license fees. The rest comes from grants, investments, rent payments from tenants and guests of the Bar Center and revenue-producing programs such as CLE Seminars. The bar has already experienced significant shortfalls due to COVID-19 related disruptions such as CLE seminars being canceled and the market's impact on our investment portfolio. Like many of you, we are facing a financial future that is uncertain at best.

    To balance our budget for the current year and assist as we prepare for 2021, the only viable option is to reduce personnel costs. In addition to the five furlough days already announced, we will be adding three more furlough days. This means the OSB Center will remain closed on Fridays through July 24, as well as on Thursday, July 2, since July 3 is a holiday. There will be additional furloughs for some staff, and three positions will be eliminated. Although these cuts will be difficult to absorb, they will allow the bar to continue all critical operations. They also make it possible for us to fill the Director of Diversity and Inclusion position as mentioned above.

    Finally, I want to encourage you to check in on your colleagues and with yourselves on maintaining well-being and mental health. I’ll admit that I had a few moments this week that tested my limits. I appreciate the support and kindness displayed by those around me and the space it created for me and others to be vulnerable and real. We will get through this.

    Liani Reeves, OSB President

     

    Oregon State Bar
    Portland Metro: (503) 620-0222 | Greater Oregon: (800) 452-8260
    Fax: (503) 684-1366 | P.O. Box 231935, Tigard, OR 97281-1935
    Oregon State Bar | 16037 SW Upper Boones Ferry Road | Tigard, Oregon 97224
    If you would like to receive your e-mails at a secondary e-mail address
    go to www.osbar.org/secured/login.asp and log in using your bar number and password,
    then click on Communication Preferences and set up a secondary e-mail address.




    Oregon State Bar
    June 11, 2020

    Colleagues:

    I want to thank all of you who have reached out to provide feedback on last week’s message on the death of George Floyd. On Friday, the Justices of the Oregon Supreme Court also issued a statement which can be foundon the OSB website. I want to take a moment to recognize that many are feeling worn down physically and emotionally. I hope that if you find yourself in that place, you can find a way to regroup and recharge. Many more challenges remain ahead as we begin to open up our state and continue to engage in critical conversations.

    In this year of challenge and isolation, I am particularly excited to find ways to bring people together and highlight those who are working to make our community better. Please consider nominating members of Oregon’s legal community for the OSB Awards to recognize individuals who are doing amazing things through volunteer services. I especially encourage you to look for those who are doing extraordinary things quietly in the background and whose contributions are not always publicly understood or recognized. Guidelines and nomination forms are available online. The deadline to submit nominations is June 30.

    You may have received a notice that Chief Justice Walters has asked the Oregon legal community to assist the court system by donating masks to be used in courthouses around the state. This may be a simple way to lend support in a time when it’s difficult to find the energy and financial resource to give in other ways. Even a few masks donated by each attorney would go a long way. Thank you to the Oregon Association of Defense Counsel (OADC) for spearheading collection efforts. For questions about the project, please contact Grant Stockton at gds@brisbeeandstockton.com. To make a donation, please contact Geoff Horning at ghorning@oadc.com or mail to 147 SE 102nd Ave, Portland, 97216.

    A few OSB updates:

    · Most OSB and PLF staff will continue to work remotely and the bar center will remain closed to visitors through June. All bar sections, committees, task forces, and other groups will continue to meet by conference call or videoconference only.

    • Due to budget issues resulting from the pandemic, the OSB will be furloughing all staff for five days. Although some of the furloughs will be staggered to maintain core operations, the bar was closed on June 5 and will be closed on June 12, June 19, June 26, and July 2. This step is in addition to an earlier hiring freeze, leaving vacant but critical staff positions unfilled – including an Assistant Disciplinary Counsel and the Director of Diversity & Inclusion. Further reductions may be necessary as we gain a better understanding of our budget picture.

    Finally, if you are interested in joining the Board of Governors, there are four vacant seats open to active bar members in regions 1, 3, 4, and 5. Candidate statements are due by June 19.

    Liani Reeves, OSB President

    Oregon State Bar
    Portland Metro: (503) 620-0222 | Greater Oregon: (800) 452-8260
    Fax: (503) 684-1366 | P.O. Box 231935, Tigard, OR 97281-1935
    Oregon State Bar | 16037 SW Upper Boones Ferry Road | Tigard, Oregon 97224
    If you would like to receive your e-mails at a secondary e-mail address
    go to www.osbar.org/secured/login.asp and log in using your bar number and password,
    then click on Communication Preferences and set up a secondary e-mail address.




    Oregon State Bar
    June 5, 2020

    OSB members:

    Chief Justice Martha L. Walters and the Associate Justices of the Oregon Supreme Court have written a letter to members of the Oregon legal community, and asked us to share it with you.

    The letter is posted on the OSB website.

    Oregon State Bar
    Portland Metro: (503) 620-0222 | Greater Oregon: (800) 452-8260
    Fax: (503) 684-1366 | P.O. Box 231935, Tigard, OR 97281-1935
    Oregon State Bar | 16037 SW Upper Boones Ferry Road | Tigard, Oregon 97224
    If you would like to receive your e-mails at a secondary e-mail address
    go to www.osbar.org/secured/login.asp and log in using your bar number and password,
    then click on Communication Preferences and set up a secondary e-mail address.




    Oregon State Bar
    June 4, 2020

    OSB Colleagues:

    We want to take a moment to acknowledge these are difficult times, not just in Oregon, but all across the country. More lawyers and law students are facing the economic realities of the pandemic, some of us (and our clients) are making difficult decisions about opening up our businesses at the risk of jeopardizing the health and safety of our people, and we have now surpassed 100,000 COVID-19 related deaths in the United States.

    With the devastation created by COVID-19 as a backdrop, we now turn to the pain and fear that has ignited communities, both literally and figuratively, after America watched George Floyd die under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer, while three other officers stood by. We have seen buildings vandalized and destroyed amid violent conflicts between some police and protestors. We have also seen communities come together to speak up and speak out about inequities in the justice system.

    Our justice system depends on both the reality and perception of the rule of the law and equal justice for all people. When the law is not fairly applied and enforced, those who have not received the benefits of the law—or worse, have had the power of the law improperly wielded against them—lose faith in the entire system. And we have seen what can happen when that faith is lost. There are communities that have experienced such betrayal by the justice system that some individuals would rather burn it down than be subject to it.

    As lawyers, this is cause for deep sadness and concern. It is also cause for action. Lawyers and judges will inevitably be called upon to respond to this crisis and others. And each and every day, lawyers are serving our community by representing clients whose lives, families, and livelihoods are depending on the justice system to treat them fairly and equitably. Restoring trust requires that all parts of the justice system—lawyers, judges, court personnel, law enforcement, and jurors—uphold the principles of the rule of law and equal justice for all people.

    As a bar, we are committed to serving the public interest by regulating the legal profession, improving the quality of legal services, and advancing a fair, inclusive, and accessible justice system. As lawyers and officers of the court, we have committed to educating ourselves on the principles of equity in order to effectively and fully serve all Oregon communities. We recently amended the MCLE rules to reflect the importance of identifying and eliminating barriers that face underserved and marginalized groups and to acknowledge and understand ingrained and systemic structural biases in society. As a bar, we will continue to look for ways to rebuild trust in our justice system as a critical part of our mission. Personally, we are committed to using our own privilege to dismantle systemic racism, support and validate the experiences of others, and engage in tough conversations about race and injustice. We invite others to do the same.

    Finally, we want to acknowledge the pain and anger that many are feeling, especially our colleagues in the Black community. With our entire community already feeling isolated due to the pandemic, we can’t even imagine how the current events may add to the weight you already carry with you every day. Our condolences and grief are with you and with the Floyd family as they put their father, son, and brother to rest today.

    These are difficult times. It’s okay to acknowledge it and feel it. We hope that all lawyers are finding a way to connect with their support systems and tend to their well-being. As a reminder, the Oregon Attorney Assistance Program provides confidential resources and counseling to lawyers and law students.

    Liani Reeves, OSB President

    Helen Hierschbiel, OSB Chief Executive Officer

    Oregon State Bar
    Portland Metro: (503) 620-0222 | Greater Oregon: (800) 452-8260
    Fax: (503) 684-1366 | P.O. Box 231935, Tigard, OR 97281-1935
    Oregon State Bar | 16037 SW Upper Boones Ferry Road | Tigard, Oregon 97224
    If you would like to receive your e-mails at a secondary e-mail address
    go to www.osbar.org/secured/login.asp and log in using your bar number and password,
    then click on Communication Preferences and set up a secondary e-mail address.




    Oregon State Bar
    May 28, 2020

    Dear colleagues:

    We hope you are well and finding a path through this challenging time. While we join you in hoping that our state can safely begin to more fully re-open very soon, we are continuing to prepare for significant challenges in meeting the needs of the public.

    As the state begins to reopen, we expect to see a much-heightened need for legal services and public access to the courts. In some areas, such as landlord/tenant law, the public’s need for legal information and advice may be acute. We also predict a great need for guidance on unemployment benefits, employment law, debtor/creditor issues and family law, among others.

    This will come at a time when the courts will also need to work through a growing backlog of cases due to the limited services of the past weeks, which could be amplified by anticipated budget cuts.

    To help manage the coming demand, we encourage any lawyer who can to volunteer for the OSB’s new limited service pro bono panel. Panelists will effectively be performing “legal triage,” providing brief advice and guidance to people with legal questions and issues related to the pandemic.

    Although panelists may certainly provide additional pro bono services should they wish to, the expectation is for a single consultation (up to 30 minutes) held by phone or videoconference. People who need additional help should be referred to the OSB’s Lawyer Referral Service for information on other resources.

    To volunteer, please click here and log in to your OSB dashboard to complete the online registration form.

    Throughout this crisis, there has been much recognition of the essential nature of service work, and it has been gratifying to see our health care providers and others lauded for their vital roles in keeping our communities moving. What is apparent to us is that Oregon’s justice system, and its role in helping people find their way through change and crisis, is essential as well, and will be in great demand as we continue through this pandemic. Thank you for considering volunteering, thanks to those who have already volunteered, and thanks to all of you for your continued good work in support of our justice system and the public we serve.

    Best Regards,

    Oregon State Bar
    Portland Metro: (503) 620-0222 | Greater Oregon: (800) 452-8260
    Fax: (503) 684-1366 | P.O. Box 231935, Tigard, OR 97281-1935
    Oregon State Bar | 16037 SW Upper Boones Ferry Road | Tigard, Oregon 97224
    If you would like to receive your e-mails at a secondary e-mail address
    go to www.osbar.org/secured/login.asp and log in using your bar number and password,
    then click on Communication Preferences and set up a secondary e-mail address.




    Oregon State Bar
    May 22, 2020

    Colleagues:

    On the eve of this Memorial Day weekend, I wanted to take a moment and acknowledge the military personnel who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. I also want to thank all of our current and former military personnel who are members of the Oregon State Bar.

    In updates, the Chief Justice has issued a new Chief Justice Order announcing three upcoming furlough days on May 29, June 26, and July 17, 2020. There will be no court operations on those dates, including the ability to make filings. The order can be found on the bar's website page dedicated to COVID-19 related updates and resources.

    Thank you to everyone who has volunteered to serve as bar exam proctors. We are still seeking additional volunteers. If you are interested, please review the Bar Exam Proctor application form here. This is a great way to support the next generation of lawyers who are joining us at such a turbulent time.

    Speaking of turbulent times, I wanted to remind you that the Oregon Attorney Assistance Program (OAAP) provides confidential and free counseling assistance to lawyers, judges, and law students. Many of you may be feeling the emotional weight as a result of shelter in place and the economic impacts of COVID-19. OAAP offers short-term counseling and other support programs.

    I wish all of you a safe holiday weekend as we continue to navigate these unprecedented times.

    Liani J. Reeves

    OSB President

    Oregon State Bar
    Portland Metro: (503) 620-0222 | Greater Oregon: (800) 452-8260
    Fax: (503) 684-1366 | P.O. Box 231935, Tigard, OR 97281-1935
    Oregon State Bar | 16037 SW Upper Boones Ferry Road | Tigard, Oregon 97224
    If you would like to receive your e-mails at a secondary e-mail address
    go to www.osbar.org/secured/login.asp and log in using your bar number and password,
    then click on Communication Preferences and set up a secondary e-mail address.




    Oregon State Bar
    May 15, 2020

    Colleagues:

    Happy Friday! As parts of the state begin to open up, I wanted to send my best wishes, especially to those of you who practice outside of the Portland metropolitan area as you find yourself dealing with the various issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in your own practices and impacting your clients. While our more rural communities may have been less acutely impacted by the health and safety issues of the pandemic, the economic crises as a result of the shutdowns will be just as, if not more, significant. Thank you for your crucial role in providing access to justice in your communities. A

     

    And for those of you in the Portland metro area, hang in there!

     

    In other updates, the OSB will remain closed to visitors through June, with most staff continuing to work remotely and all bar sections and committees meeting exclusively by conference call or videoconference. We appreciate your patience, and a big thank you to bar staff who have been instrumental in pivoting operations to a remote environment to ensure continuity of the important public protection mission of the bar.

     

    Finally, Chief Justice Martha today issued CJO 20-016, easing restrictions on court operations for some jurisdictions beginning June 1, along with an informal summary of the order and a new message to OSB members. As a reminder, the bar has compiled COVID-19 related updates and resources on its website.

     

    As always, I welcome your feedback, questions, and concerns.

    Liani J. Reeves

    OSB President

    Oregon State Bar
    Portland Metro: (503) 620-0222 | Greater Oregon: (800) 452-8260
    Fax: (503) 684-1366 | P.O. Box 231935, Tigard, OR 97281-1935
    Oregon State Bar | 16037 SW Upper Boones Ferry Road | Tigard, Oregon 97224
    If you would like to receive your e-mails at a secondary e-mail address
    go to www.osbar.org/secured/login.asp and log in using your bar number and password,
    then click on Communication Preferences and set up a secondary e-mail address.




    Oregon State Bar
    May 8, 2020

    Colleagues,

    Today I want to draw special attention to a segment of our legal community that is facing some unique challenges due to the pandemic: law students—especially those in their final year. Graduation ceremonies have been canceled, economic prospects are uncertain, and most have been anxiously waiting for confirmation that they will be able to sit for the bar exam. Despite their graduation during this challenging time, we are standing by excited to welcome them to the OSB community!

    While some jurisdictions have canceled or postponed their July exams, the National Conference of Bar Examiners has announced its decision to make exam materials available to the roughly 36 jurisdictions – including Oregon –that plan to host their July exams as scheduled. Of course, the bar exam will be held in accordance with any executive orders that may be in place and other social distancing requirements. To that end, the Board of Bar Examiners (BBX) remains committed to developing a plan for administering the exam in a way that minimizes risk to bar applicants and everyone else involved.

    As you might expect, this presents some logistical challenges. To maintain social distancing, the new plan calls for hosting the exam at four separate sites in Portland, Salem, and Eugene with applicants separated into multiple rooms at each site. With the significant increase in locations, we will need additional volunteers to serve as proctors. If you are available July 28 and/or July 29 and would like to support our future colleagues in this way, I would encourage you to review our Bar Exam Proctor application form, which includes descriptions of proctor responsibilities and requirements.

    On a lighter note, I want to thank the many volunteers who contributed to a project designed to welcome and support our graduating law students. We have produced a video congratulating the law class of 2020 on behalf of Oregon’s legal community. While it can’t make up for the loss of a graduation ceremony, we wanted to offer our support and welcome them to our community. You can view the video on our special welcome page.

    Finally, I wanted to remind lawyers that we are still seeking volunteers to help with the ongoing and anticipated increase in legal needs as a result of COVID-19 and shut downs. The volunteer form can be found at on our COVID-19 page. We are especially in need of attorneys who can provide limited services as part of a new OSB pro bono panel.

    Thank you for your service to your clients, the profession, and the community.

    Liani J. Reeves

    OSB President

    Oregon State Bar
    Portland Metro: (503) 620-0222 | Greater Oregon: (800) 452-8260
    Fax: (503) 684-1366 | P.O. Box 231935, Tigard, OR 97281-1935
    Oregon State Bar | 16037 SW Upper Boones Ferry Road | Tigard, Oregon 97224
    If you would like to receive your e-mails at a secondary e-mail address
    go to www.osbar.org/secured/login.asp and log in using your bar number and password,
    then click on Communication Preferences and set up a secondary e-mail address.




    Oregon State Bar
    May1, 2020

    Colleagues:

    Next week (May 4-8, 2020) is Lawyer Well-Being Week. As lawyers, we are trained to take care of other people’s problems. Unfortunately, our profession has not always put the same emphasis on how to address the stress and pressures that come with being a lawyer. Alcoholism, drug addiction, and mental health issues affect many in our profession. However, the stigma around mental health issues often keeps legal professionals from talking about our own mental health and from seeking help.

    Many of us have struggled with issues around mental health and well-being, myself included. As we enter week six of “Stay Home, Save Lives,” I can feel my own struggle becoming even more pronounced. I’m not ashamed of that – the only way to de-stigmatize mental health issues is to embrace them and address them.

    The reality is that the events of the last several months and the physical, emotional, and financial tolls that have resulted may leave many feeling isolated, confused, and fearful. I encourage you to look for creative ways to stay virtually connected with your support network of friends and loved ones and to seek out professional help if you need it. Even in this time of social distancing and stay at home orders, there are still a number of resources available.

    · During Lawyer Well-Being Week, the Oregon Attorney Assistance Program will feature a number of blog posts, presentations, and resources to enhance your well-being, starting with a kick-off webinar discussing dimensions of wellness and well-being resources on Monday, May 4 at noon. Each day, OAAP will offer additional programs and resources. Check them out on their website.

    · The National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, which was formed in 2016 after several national studies demonstrating unacceptably high rates of depression, anxiety, and problematic drinking among U.S. lawyers and law students, has also compiled a number of resources and events. You can find them at lawyerwellbeing.net.

    · Both the OSB and the PLF have a growing number of free CLEs on a variety of topics, including on lawyer well-being. On May 14 from noon-1:00 p.m. the OSB CLE Seminars Department will present a live webcast entitled "I Have a Feeling: Coping with COVID-19 Changes and Unexpected Losses." The webcast (and subsequent on-demand access) is free but advance registration is required.

    The OSB continues to monitor developments in court operations. We have one new court notice, Chief Judge Order 20-03, which details procedural changes in the Oregon Court of Appeals due to COVID-19.

    As always, I welcome your feedback and thoughts. Stay safe and healthy!

    Liani J. Reeves

    OSB President

    Oregon State Bar
    Portland Metro: (503) 620-0222 | Greater Oregon: (800) 452-8260
    Fax: (503) 684-1366 | P.O. Box 231935, Tigard, OR 97281-1935
    Oregon State Bar | 16037 SW Upper Boones Ferry Road | Tigard, Oregon 97224
    If you would like to receive your e-mails at a secondary e-mail address
    go to www.osbar.org/secured/login.asp and log in using your bar number and password,
    then click on Communication Preferences and set up a secondary e-mail address.




    Oregon State Bar
    April 24, 2020

    It’s been a month since the Governor’s “Stay Home, Save Lives” executive order. And while there are some signs of opening the state back up, social distancing will continue for most people into May and beyond. I wanted to acknowledge how incredibly privileged I am to have a job where work from home is possible. I know there are many others who do not have that same opportunity, and are risking their health and the health of their loved ones to continue critical services for all of us— some by choice and others through no choice of their own. And of course, people in all industries are out of work entirely, including lawyers. I am sending my sincerest wishes to all of you for your health and well-being as we continue through this challenging time.

    In case you missed it, the Chief Justice issued a letter to the bar earlier this week further explaining the status of court operations.

    Updates from the bar include:

    · Most OSB and PLF staff will continue to work remotely through May, and the bar center will remain closed to visitors other than a scheduled Red Cross blood drive on May 21. All bar sections, committee, task forces and other groups will meet by conference call or videoconference only, through May.

    · We are continuing to recruit lawyer volunteers to help the public with legal issues created by the pandemic. Volunteers are needed for traditional pro bono work, limited-service pro bono, training and mentoring of volunteers, and preparation of legal information materials for a public audience. An interest form is posted on our COVID-19 response page.

    · We have added two new programs to our free online CLE library: “Paying the Pandemic Piper: Managing Student Debt During COVID-19” and “Navigating the Changing Family Law Landscape During the COVID-19 Crisis.”

    May 4-8 is Lawyer Well-Being Week. Next week, we’ll be highlighting some events and resources available to lawyers on different dimensions of well-being.

    As always, I look forward to hearing your suggestions, questions or concerns.

    Liani J. Reeves

    OSB President

     

    Oregon State Bar
    Portland Metro: (503) 620-0222 | Greater Oregon: (800) 452-8260
    Fax: (503) 684-1366 | P.O. Box 231935, Tigard, OR 97281-1935
    Oregon State Bar | 16037 SW Upper Boones Ferry Road | Tigard, Oregon 97224
    If you would like to receive your e-mails at a secondary e-mail address
    go to www.osbar.org/secured/login.asp and log in using your bar number and password,
    then click on Communication Preferences and set up a secondary e-mail address.




    Oregon State Bar
    April 22, 2020

    OSB members,

    The Chief Justice has written a new letter to bar members regarding court operations during the pandemic. The message is posted on our COVID-19 information page, along with other updates from the courts, the OSB and resources for bar members.

    Any additional notices received this week will be included in Friday’s message from OSB President Liani Reeves.

    Oregon State Bar
    Portland Metro: (503) 620-0222 | Greater Oregon: (800) 452-8260
    Fax: (503) 684-1366 | P.O. Box 231935, Tigard, OR 97281-1935
    Oregon State Bar | 16037 SW Upper Boones Ferry Road | Tigard, Oregon 97224
    If you would like to receive your e-mails at a secondary e-mail address
    go to www.osbar.org/secured/login.asp and log in using your bar number and password,
    then click on Communication Preferences and set up a secondary e-mail address.




    Oregon State Bar
    April 17, 2020

    Colleagues:

    As lawyers, our job is to take care of our clients. But we also have our own lives to take care of, and I know that as we enter week four of the COVID-19 pandemic, anxiety is high. Some of you may be at home trying to balance maintaining a practice while also entertaining and educating kids who are out of school. Some of you may be separated from elderly parents and loved ones in their times of need. Some of you may have partners who have been subject to layoffs, furloughs, or reduced hours, leaving you with increased financial burdens. Some of you may have been laid off yourselves, leaving you in a state of personal and professional crisis.

    Many of us have been forced to make difficult personal and professional decisions that impact others around us—our colleagues, our clients, and our families. While pressures are piling on, my hope is that, as a community, we can treat each other and ourselves with compassion and respect. We will come through this crisis. How we treat each other (and ourselves) when times are hard will define us when times are better. I hope that we can look back and see how we lifted each other up during this challenging time.

    Turning to how we can lift up our community, thanks to all of you who have responded to my message about ways to meet an expected increase in the need for legal services related to the pandemic. The OSB is working with legal aid offices, other legal service providers, and a variety of leadership groups to address those needs. While some projects are still in development, others are ready for volunteers. If you would like to help, please take a few minutes to complete our special COVID-19 volunteer opportunities form. Please note that it may take a while for you to hear back from programs that require more time to set up and train volunteers than others.

    A few more updates for you:

    • Our on-demand free CLE library has six titles and continues to grow. We hope these offerings help you adjust to practicing in these challenging times.
    • A new Chief Justice Order, CJO 20-014 gives the OSB’s CEO authority to waive reinstatement fees for members who can establish that their suspensions occurred for good cause related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • For individuals who failed to comply with MCLE requirements during the cycle ending Dec. 31, 2019, the suspension date has been extended to July 1, 2020.

    Meanwhile, the Board of Governors is holding its first fully remote meeting today. We’ll be discussing financial impacts to the bar and to the public due to COVID-19; how to continue effective advocacy for legal aid funding, public service loan forgiveness, legal assistance for homeless veterans, and rural broadband infrastructure in light of social distancing; and more. Look for updates from your regional BOG representative to come shortly.

    As always, please do not hesitate to reach out with suggestions, questions, or concerns.

    Liani J. Reeves

    OSB President

    Oregon State Bar
    Portland Metro: (503) 620-0222 | Greater Oregon: (800) 452-8260
    Fax: (503) 684-1366 | P.O. Box 231935, Tigard, OR 97281-1935
    Oregon State Bar | 16037 SW Upper Boones Ferry Road | Tigard, Oregon 97224
    If you would like to receive your e-mails at a secondary e-mail address
    go to www.osbar.org/secured/login.asp and log in using your bar number and password,
    then click on Communication Preferences and set up a secondary e-mail address.




    Oregon State Bar
    April 10, 2020

    Colleagues,

    We are three weeks into the Governor’s “Stay Home, Save Lives” Executive Order and there’s still nothing but uncertainty ahead. I am an introvert by nature and I love being at home sitting quietly with my cat. However, being physically separated from friends and family has felt like a loss of community, something that is extremely important to me. There has been an upside, however. For the first time in a long time, many of my friends and colleagues who are typically never home and impossible to pin down are all sitting in their homes. This time of isolation has actually created an opportunity to reconnect with people that I have not been able to connect with for years—because finally, we are all at home, and in search of human connection. As lawyers, we are an integral part of the community. Staying connected and grounded in a time of crisis can help normalize an otherwise truly abnormal time.

    So I hope that you are finding ways to stay connected with your community through videoconferencing or other technologies, and also finding creative ways to keep your practice and your work going. I know that for many of you, having courts and businesses shut down may result in serious and even dire consequences for your practice. You are not alone. I have been part of several groups of lawyers and law firms who are coming together and sharing ways they are dealing with the economic realities of the crisis. If you have not been able to find that kind of support, please feel free to reach out and we can help connect you.

    Meanwhile, the Courts and the OSB continue to take steps to address the situations presented by COVID-19.

    Chief Justice Martha Walters has issued two new orders: CJO No. 20-012, requiring scheduling of habeas corpus hearings, and CJO NO. 20-013, amending OSB rules for admission during the COVID-19 outbreak. We expect to receive additional CJOs soon, and will post those to our website as soon as they are available. Remember also to check your local court websites for any presiding judge orders and messages.

    To help adjust to the changes in law practice that come with social distancing, we have added a third CLE seminar to our free and growing COVID-19 On Demand Library. This one is focused on litigation: “Remote Advocacy: Representing Your Client During the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

    As I mentioned in last week’s message, we are gathering information on resource availability to address an anticipated onslaught of future legal needs. Thank you so much to those of you who responded, sharing your ideas and willingness to help. We have a team that is compiling information from legal aid programs, other bar groups, and interested individuals. They will be assessing needs and strategies to meet those needs, which will include volunteer recruitment for pro bono work and more. We expect to begin recruiting volunteers in the next few weeks.

    In the meantime, we have been working to provide the public with legal information on issues related to the pandemic. New FAQs on family, employment and landlord/tenant law are now posted on the public home page of our website, and more FAQs are in the works. Thanks to the volunteers who have already stepped up to help with this project, and look for this option in our upcoming volunteer recruitment if you are interested.

    I hope that you are finding yourself home and healthy during this stressful time. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns.

    Liani J. Reeves

    OSB President

    Oregon State Bar
    Portland Metro: (503) 620-0222 | Greater Oregon: (800) 452-8260
    Fax: (503) 684-1366 | P.O. Box 231935, Tigard, OR 97281-1935
    Oregon State Bar | 16037 SW Upper Boones Ferry Road | Tigard, Oregon 97224
    If you would like to receive your e-mails at a secondary e-mail address
    go to www.osbar.org/secured/login.asp and log in using your bar number and password,
    then click on Communication Preferences and set up a secondary e-mail address.




    Oregon State Bar
    April 3, 2020

    Colleagues:

    I wanted to provide you an update on various ways the OSB and its partners are responding to the COVID-19 crisis.

    · On Wednesday the PLF announced a 60-day extension of its deadline for this quarter’s assessment payments for lawyers on the installment plan. Thank you to all of you who reached out and shared your concerns and hardships. We hope this extension provides some needed relief to bar members who are struggling financially in these difficult times.

    · Following the Chief Justice’s Amended Order that came out last week, several other trial and appellate courts have issued new orders pertaining to court operations. An updated list of orders and notices from the courts can be found on the OSB’s COVID-19 Response Page.

    · As a resource to OSB members, the OSB CLE Seminars Department is in the process of creating an online library of COVID-19 related seminars that will be available to OSB members free of charge. This special library on the CLE website will be updated as new programs become available. We have already posted two programs: “Crisis in Your Practice” and “Attorneys New to Working Remotely: Things to Consider.”

    While we will continue to send you alerts and messages as we navigate this challenging time, we are also starting to plan for the transition from initial crisis mode to a longer-term plan to best support our members and the public in the aftermath of COVID-19.

    Even after the virus subsides, the impacts will continue to hit hard. Many members of our community may find themselves out of work, out of their homes, and running out of hope. The access to justice gap which has always been present will be even more pronounced and some of our communities will be disproportionately impacted and in desperate need for legal help.

    In preparation, we are reaching out to other legal community groups to coordinate efforts to meet those needs. Our goals include supporting our statewide legal services organizations, recruiting and training attorneys willing to provide pro bono and low-fee services, and creating, publishing and promoting legal information for the public.

    If you are involved in or aware of any projects along these lines, we would love to know what you are working on and see how we can support you. Likewise, if you have the capacity and interest in joining these efforts, please let us know. We are excited to see the ways in which our community will look for opportunities to partner to serve the public during these critical times.

    To share a project or offer suggestions, please send a message to feedback@osbar.org. I will be sending weekly updates on our efforts, and will include volunteer registration materials after we complete our initial planning process.

    Thank you for your continued service and stay safe and healthy!

    Liani J. Reeves

    Oregon State Bar
    Portland Metro: (503) 620-0222 | Greater Oregon: (800) 452-8260
    Fax: (503) 684-1366 | P.O. Box 231935, Tigard, OR 97281-1935
    Oregon State Bar | 16037 SW Upper Boones Ferry Road | Tigard, Oregon 97224
    If you would like to receive your e-mails at a secondary e-mail address
    go to www.osbar.org/secured/login.asp and log in using your bar number and password,
    then click on Communication Preferences and set up a secondary e-mail address.




    Oregon State Bar
    March 31, 2020

    OSB members,

    The Oregon Court of Appeals and the Oregon Supreme Court have each announced additional procedural changes due to the COVID-19 crisis.

    On Monday, March 30, Oregon Court of Appeals Chief Judge James Egan issued a Chief Judge Order with procedural changes affecting motions and oral arguments.

    On Tuesday, March 31, Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice Martha Walters issued both a Chief Justice Order addressing oral arguments, and an additional Notice addressing numerous practices and procedures in response to COVID-19.

    OJD has announced changes consistent with the Chief Justice Orders issued on Friday, March 27. In addition, the OJD File & Serve upgrade that was scheduled to occur on April 10 has been postponed.

    All of these items can be found on the OSB’s COVID-19 Response Page, which also lists resources for OSB members. Please check the page regularly for new developments.

    Oregon State Bar
    Portland Metro: (503) 620-0222 | Greater Oregon: (800) 452-8260
    Fax: (503) 684-1366 | P.O. Box 231935, Tigard, OR 97281-1935
    Oregon State Bar | 16037 SW Upper Boones Ferry Road | Tigard, Oregon 97224
    If you would like to receive your e-mails at a secondary e-mail address
    go to www.osbar.org/secured/login.asp and log in using your bar number and password,
    then click on Communication Preferences and set up a secondary e-mail address.




    Oregon State Bar
    March 27, 2020

    OSB members,

    When I assumed my position as the 2020 President of the Oregon State Bar, I never could have anticipated what was to come. The current events associated with the COVID-19 outbreak have had a severe impact on many lawyers, both personally and professionally. Similarly, our clients and the communities we serve are hurting. We should be proud that, as lawyers, many have turned to us for help.

    The OSB is monitoring and taking action as needed to protect the health and safety of our employees and members and keep operations functional. We are also working closely with the court and legislature, soliciting and delivering member feedback, and working to fulfill our mission to protect the public interest. We will continue to monitor the situation and keep you updated. Here are the latest developments:

    • Chief Justice Martha Walters has issued an amended CJO 20-006, which extends and modifies the original order issued on March 16. In addition, CJO 20-008 modifies the UTCR and expands e-signature authority, and CJO 20-010 authorizes suspension/waiver of collection fees. An OJD News Release summarizes the three CJOs. You can find all of these documents on the OSB website, along with a message to bar members from Chief Justice Walters

    • The Chief Justice has also issued an emergency order, CJO 20-009, amending the OSB Rules of Admission and Rules of Procedure.

    • OSB staff continue to post updates and resources to our website.

    In times of crisis, communities are challenged to come together and support one another. And even though there is physical distance between us, I am heartened to see how so many bar members have come together in various forums to share personal stories to connect us and to share creative and thoughtful ideas and solutions. Many of those concerns are about our clients because, as lawyers, that is who we serve.

    I would also encourage each and every one of you to be mindful of your own personal and professional well-being, and to take steps to stay safe and healthy. With that in mind, we are offering free access to the OSB CLE seminar "Meeting Crisis in Your Practice." Produced in partnership with Lines for Life, the program features a panel discussion on how to deal with crisis in your practice, how to identify warning signs of an impending crisis, and how to respond when things get stressful. I hope you find it helpful as we continue to work through these challenges together.

    Sincerely,

    Liani J. Reeves

    OSB President

    Oregon State Bar
    Portland Metro: (503) 620-0222 | Greater Oregon: (800) 452-8260
    Fax: (503) 684-1366 | P.O. Box 231935, Tigard, OR 97281-1935
    Oregon State Bar | 16037 SW Upper Boones Ferry Road | Tigard, Oregon 97224
    If you would like to receive your e-mails at a secondary e-mail address
    go to www.osbar.org/secured/login.asp and log in using your bar number and password,
    then click on Communication Preferences and set up a secondary e-mail address.




    Oregon State Bar
    March 24, 2020

    OSB members,

    This is an update on OSB and OJD developments in relation to the COVID-19 crisis.

    First, Chief Justice Walters has issued a message to bar members regarding the next Chief Justice Order she plans to release this Friday, March 27. We have also posted her letter to the legislature’s Joint Special Committee on Coronavirus response, and will post the updated CJO when we receive it.

    Second, the OSB has extended its restrictions for in-person meetings and events through the end of April, and the bar center will remain closed to visitors as well. We remain fully operational, with staff working remotely. The best way to reach us is by email.

    Again, we will post regular updates on our website and welcome your comments and questions.

    Oregon State Bar
    Portland Metro: (503) 620-0222 | Greater Oregon: (800) 452-8260
    Fax: (503) 684-1366 | P.O. Box 231935, Tigard, OR 97281-1935
    Oregon State Bar | 16037 SW Upper Boones Ferry Road | Tigard, Oregon 97224
    If you would like to receive your e-mails at a secondary e-mail address
    go to www.osbar.org/secured/login.asp and log in using your bar number and password,
    then click on Communication Preferences and set up a secondary e-mail address.




    Oregon State Bar
    March 18, 2020

    OSB members,

    We have heard from many members with concerns about the March 16 Chief Justice Order, which outlines steps Oregon courts must take by March 27 to reduce court appearances and slow the spread of COVID-19. We have been talking to the State Court Administrator’s Office to be sure they know the extent of these concerns and how this crisis is impacting different parts of our communities. The SCA staff and the Chief Justice have been uniformly receptive to hearing this feedback.

    Chief Justice Walters is likely to issue a revised CJO by March 27, and is inviting input through the OSB. What would be most helpful is:

    1. Specific and constructive suggestions for changes, ideally with the actual wording you would like to see in an amended CJO.

    2. The reasons for your suggestions and any support you consider persuasive.

    3. Possible objections from others and any ideas on how to address them.

    If you would like to provide input, please send it by email to pubaff@osbar.org no later than Sunday, March 22 at noon. We understand this is a very tight timeline but wanted to offer the opportunity to all bar members.

    Bar leaders are actively engaged in this work, and appreciate your thoughtful input as these changes continue to move rapidly into the system.

    Oregon State Bar
    Portland Metro: (503) 620-0222 | Greater Oregon: (800) 452-8260
    Fax: (503) 684-1366 | P.O. Box 231935, Tigard, OR 97281-1935
    Oregon State Bar | 16037 SW Upper Boones Ferry Road | Tigard, Oregon 97224
    If you would like to receive your e-mails at a secondary e-mail address
    go to www.osbar.org/secured/login.asp and log in using your bar number and password,
    then click on Communication Preferences and set up a secondary e-mail address.




    Oregon State Bar
    March 17, 2020

    OSB members,

    The OSB continues to monitor and follow recommendations from authorities regarding the spread of COVID-19. You can find up-to-date information on bar operations, as well as information from the courts and our legal-community partners here: https://www.osbar.org/_docs/resources/COVID19.pdf

    There are a few items we wanted to share with you directly.

    • Last evening Chief Justice Martha Walters issued a orderimposing restrictions on court operations. The restrictions will be in place through Friday, March 27, and may be extended or revised. Lawyers should also check with their local courts for additional information specific to their individual cases.
    • The U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon posts updates on its website, most recently a March 13 order on court operations and a March 17 order regarding the district clerk’s office.
    • In addition to the measures already taken regarding meetings and events, the OSB offices will be closed to visitors through March 31. We remain fully operational, with staff working remotely. We aim to keep employees safe, be good civic partners to our community, and maintain bar operations as usual to the extent possible. The best way to reach us is by email. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause.

    Again, we will post regular updates on our website and welcome your comments and questions.

    Oregon State Bar
    Portland Metro: (503) 620-0222 | Greater Oregon: (800) 452-8260
    Fax: (503) 684-1366 | P.O. Box 231935, Tigard, OR 97281-1935
    Oregon State Bar | 16037 SW Upper Boones Ferry Road | Tigard, Oregon 97224
    If you would like to receive your e-mails at a secondary e-mail address
    go to www.osbar.org/secured/login.asp and log in using your bar number and password,
    then click on Communication Preferences and set up a secondary e-mail address.