June 5, 2018

May Legislative Days Include One-Day Special Session

This May, the legislature held a rare legislative special session scheduled to coincide with the previously scheduled Spring Legislative Days. On May 21, the Oregon Legislature met to modify tax treatment for some sole proprietorship. The special session, which was completed in one day, resulted in the passage of HB 4301. The bill, which passed with bipartisan support in both chambers, stemmed from legislation passed during the 2013 special session, recent changes to the federal tax code, and the passage of SB 1528 during the 2018 regular session.

After completion of the special session on May 21, the legislature returned to the previously scheduled legislative day’s schedule, including a joint meeting of the House and Senate Interim Judiciary Committees. On May 22, the committees met to discuss emerging issues and receive updates on work approved during the 2017 and 2018 legislative sessions. Topics included the sale of manufactured homes, the work of the Sixth Amendment Center with the Public Defense Services Commission, the criminal justice innovation program, and an update on testing Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence (SAFE) kits. To review the full agenda and supporting materials, please visit the Interim Judiciary Committee’s page on the Oregon Legislative Information System (OLIS).

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Oregon State Capitol Workplace Harassment Work Group Seeks Public Input

The Oregon Law Commission (OLC) seeks public comment on the rules governing workplace harassment in the Capitol, and it will provide a forum for public testimony at 5 p.m. on July 19, 2018, in the Capitol building.

In February 2018, House Speaker Tina Kotek and Senate President Peter Courtney asked the OLC to review the legislature’s ability to discipline members of the legislature for misconduct and review laws and rules governing harassment between lobbyists, the public, elected members, and employees of the legislature. The OLC is charged with recommending improvements to create a harassment-free workplace in the Capitol, including recommending changes to laws, policies, and the Oregon Constitution.

In response to the charge, the OLC constituted a work group (the Oregon State Capitol Workplace Harassment Work Group) chaired by Miller Nash Graham & Dunn employment attorney P.K. Runkles-Pearson. The group’s work is ongoing through the remainder of 2018 and updates will be posted on its website, which will also include a portal for written comment.

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2019 Section Legislative Package Adopted by Board of Governors

Every long legislative session, the Oregon State Bar submits proposed legislation as part of the Law Improvement Program to the Oregon Legislature for consideration. This year OSB sections, workgroups, and committees submitted 12 proposals for consideration by the Board of Governors (BOG) to be included as part of the 2019 Law Improvement Program package.

The OSB’s Law Improvement Program is intended to include proposed legislation from sections, workgroups, and committees that clarify statutory ambiguities, remove unnecessary procedural requirements, modify unforeseen glitches in previous legislation, or otherwise improve the administration of justice. Policy changes are also included in the bar package of legislation when deemed appropriate. For a legislative concept to be considered at the BOG’s Legislative Forum, it must be approved by a majority of the section executive committee, and executive committee members are encouraged to be representative of the diverse views of the section. Bar groups are encouraged to be mindful of differing viewpoints in the practice area.

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Agency Representation Standards Adopted by Board of Governors

On May 18, the BOG adopted Standards of Practice for Attorneys Representing the Child Welfare Agency. These new standards came about as a result of SB 222, passed during the 2015 Oregon Legislative Session, which created a task force charged with recommending models of legal representation in juvenile dependency proceedings. The Oregon Task Force on Dependency Representation, staffed by the Governor’s office, convened in 2015 and 2016 and issued its final report in July 2016. That report made a number of recommendations for improving services in juvenile dependency proceedings—including the creation of these new performance standards for agency attorneys.

Thank you to the Agency Standards work group, chaired by Joanne Southey, for the hard work over the last few years creating these performance standards.

Joanne Southey, Chair
Amy Benedum
Linn Davis
Shannon Dennison
Lori Fellows
Olivia Godinez
Amy Miller
Rahela Rehman

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Oregon State Bar and the Campaign for Equal Justice Travel to DC for ABA Lobby Day

This year, a joint Oregon State Bar / Legal Aid delegation traveled to Washington, DC, to participate in the American Bar Association’s annual Lobby Day. Led by Vanessa Nordyke, OSB President, and Ed Harnden, Campaign for Equal Justice board member, the Oregon delegation met with Oregon’s congressional delegation to discuss the importance of federal funding for legal aid services as well as maintaining the federal public loan forgiveness program.

During four days of meetings, the Oregon delegation met with Senators Merkley and Wyden and Representatives Blumenauer, Bonamici, DeFazio, Schrader, and Walden.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to attend: Brent Smith, Thomas Kim, Monica Goracke, executive director of the Oregon Law Commission, and Maya Crawford, executive director of the Campaign for Equal Justice

Monica Goracke, Vanessa Nordyke, Senator Jeff Merkley, Susan Grabe, OSB Public Affairs Director, Maya Crawford, Brent Smith and Ed Harnden (Thomas Kim, not pictured).

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Practice Tip: When does a bill become a law? Effective Dates and Operative Dates

In Oregon, the default effective date for a bill is January 1 of the following year. A bill passed during the 2018 Legislative Session, without a specifically noted effective date in the text of the legislation, will have an effective date of January 1, 2019.

Some bills, many of them from the legislature’s budget committee, the Joint Ways and Means Committee, will have an emergency clause. An emergency clause makes the bill effective upon passage, that is, when either the Governor signs the bill or 30 days pass since the end of session and the bill was not vetoed.

Other bills, for example, bills that raise revenue, have an effective date of 91 days after the end of session. This year, 91 days after the last day of the session, also known as sine die, is June 2, 2018.

The fourth option is to have a specific date identified within the text of the bill. In some circumstances, different sections of a bill will have different effective dates. In addition, a bill may have both an effective date and an operative date. This can happen when a bill requires administrative action such as rulemaking to implement the bill before the bill takes effect.

The effective date for each bill will be listed in OLIS once it is signed or deemed signed. However, do not neglect to review the bill text for additional effective dates or operative dates.

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Archives



Thank you for reading the Oregon State Bar’s CAPITOL INSIDER.
The archives are available here.

2018 Public Affairs Committee Members


Kathleen Rastetter, Chair
Whitney Boise, Vice Chair
Rob Gratchner
John Bachofner
Eric Foster
Liani Reeves
Michael Rondeau 

Public Affairs Department


Susan Grabe, Public Affairs Director
Amy Zubko, Public Affairs Legislative Attorney
Matt Shields, Public Affairs Staff Attorney
Kellie Baumann, Public Affairs Assistant

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March 8, 2018

2018 Legislative Session wraps up on March 3

On March 3, the Senate and House jointly declared sine die, or the end of the 79th legislative session. In an unusual turn, the session ended a full week before the constitutional deadline. This session the legislature discussed housing, guns, cap and trade, and changes to the federal tax code, among a host of other issues. In addition, the legislature, through the Joint Committee on Ways and Means, made midcourse adjustments to the state budget, including additional funding for the Oregon Judicial Department and the Public Defense Services Commission.

Additional Funding for Oregon Judicial Department

During the January Organizational Days, the Oregon Judicial Department made a presentation to the Public Safety Subcommittee (of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means) on its budgetary shortfall for the 2017–2019 biennium. In that presentation, the department requested $5.3 million to cover some of the costs of core services such as centralized administrative operations and department-wide expenses. The department warned that failing to provide adequate funding could result in some combination of staff layoffs, mandatory furlough days, and full-day court closures.

In the last days of session, the Joint Ways and Means Committee provided the Oregon Judicial Department with an additional $2.38 million for operations in HB 5201, approximately half of what the department requested. In addition, the department’s decision to no longer provide the “pick-up” for the employee pension contributions, as well as the carryforward of funds from the prior biennium, should provide sufficient funding for the remainder of the biennium.

Judges receive a pay increase beginning in July 2018

Over the last several years, the Oregon Judicial Department has requested a pay increase for their judges. This session, the Judicial Branch submitted HB 4096 which would have increased the majority of judicial salaries on an annual basis in 2018, 2019, and 2020. While HB 4096 did not pass, at the end of session the legislature approved a $5,000 increase for Oregon judges in HB 5201 to begin on July 1, 2018.

Funding parent-child representation for Public Defense Services Commission

In 2015, the legislature passed SB 222 which created the Task Force on Legal Representation for Childhood Dependency. The Task Force completed its work and issued a final report in the fall of 2016; however, because of limited state resources the legislature was unable to implement all of the Task Force’s recommendations. During the 2017 legislative session, the legislature took a first step by providing additional funding to the Department of Justice/Department of Human Services.

During the 2018 legislative session, the legislature continued its support of the Task Force and provided the Public Defense Services Commission with $1.34 million for parent child representation in HB 5201.

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Bills of Interest

HB 4008 – Makes a calculation of a plaintiff’s projected future earning potential that takes into account the plaintiff’s race or ethnicity inadmissible in a civil action and directs the court to instruct the jury in a civil action involving a claim for projected future earnings that the jury may not consider the plaintiff’s race or ethnicity. Passed the Legislature. Awaiting signature by the Governor. 

HB 4095 – Establishes privilege for communications with a lawyer referral service. Passed the Legislature and signed by the Governor.

HB 4097 – Modifies provisions relating to law libraries and law library services provided by certain counties. Authorizes the presiding judge for a judicial district to establish a court facilitation program to assist litigants in certain court proceedings. Passed the Legislature. Awaiting signature by the Governor. 

HB 4134 – Provides specific procedure for petitioning for removal of personally discriminatory restrictions from title of real property. Passed the Legislature. Awaiting signature by the Governor.

HB 4149 – Prohibits a prosecuting attorney from conditioning a plea offer on a requirement that the defendant or defense attorney stipulate to the unconstitutionality of an existing law. Provides that a prohibited provision in plea agreement is void and unenforceable. Prohibits a court from conditioning the defendant’s release on waiver of the defendant’s appearance in person at trial and prohibits a release agreement from containing such a condition. Passed the Legislature. Awaiting signature by the Governor.

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Former Legislators honored in Final Days of Session

Former legislator and mayor of Portland, Vera Katz, passed away on December 11, 2017. She was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1972 and was the first woman to serve as the chair of the Joint Ways and Means Committee in 1977 and the first woman to serve as the Speaker of the House in 1985. On February 27, HCR 213 was passed by the legislature in commemoration of her years of service to Oregon.

Vera Katz not only served in the legislature, in 1992 she became Portland’s mayor and served three terms in that position. As mayor, she championed public transportation and the development of the city.

Bob Jenson, who was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1998 and served through 2015, passed away in January. On February 1, House Concurrent Resolution HCR 212 was passed by the legislature in commemoration of his years of service to Oregonians.

Former representative Jenson represented District 58 in eastern Oregon, which includes Union, Wallowa, and portions of Umatilla County including the City of Pendleton. During his time in the legislature, Representative Jenson ran as a Democrat, Independent, and Republican. During his tenure with the legislature, the representative worked on education, senior services, mental health, water resources, and agriculture.

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Section and Committee Proposals for 2019 Legislature due April 2

Is your section or committee interested in participating in the bar’s legislative activities? If a bar group would like to propose legislation for the 2019 legislative session, proposals should be submitted to the board’s Public Affairs Committee through the Public Affairs Department by April 2, 2018 for approval by the Public Affairs Committee and pre-session drafting and filing.

Proposals from sections and committees are commonly referred to as law improvement legislation which includes proposals to clarify statutory ambiguities, to modify unforeseen “glitches” in major legislation passed in previous sessions, and to codify case law as necessary. In order to ensure that groups are able to devote adequate time to the bills they propose, each bar group may propose no more than three law improvement bills. Public Affairs staff provide lobbying assistance to section and committee members for law improvement proposals.

On May 2, the Public Affairs Committee will host a legislative forum at which bar groups that have proposed legislation will have an opportunity to present their proposals and stakeholders will have an opportunity to comment. This program facilitates greater awareness of the contents of the bar’s proposed legislative package as well as highlights issue areas of concern that may need to be addressed. The Public Affairs Committee will take these comments into account when deciding whether to recommend to the Board of Governors approval of bar sponsorship of the proposed legislative concepts.

If your section or committee is interested in submitting proposed legislation for consideration to the Public Affairs Committee, please contact the Public Affairs Department for assistance.

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Oregon State Bar President’s Reception

On February 22, the Oregon State Bar Board of Governors hosted the annual President’s Reception at the Willamette Heritage Center in Salem. The reception, held every February in conjunction with a Board of Governors meeting in Salem, provides an opportunity for practitioners, judges, legislators, and bar leadership to discuss many of the issues that are affecting the practice of law and the judiciary. In addition, Bar President Vanessa Nordyke and Chief Justice Tom Balmer spoke briefly about the successful implementation of Oregon eCourt and recognized Mark Comstock, Doug Bray, Lisa Norris-Lampe, Dave Factor, Bryant Baehr, and Phil Lemman for their work on the Oregon State Bar/Oregon Judicial Department eCourt Implementation Task Force.

 Representative Phil Barnhart, Chief Justice Thomas A. Balmer, and Represenative Duane Stark

 Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum and Supreme Court Justice Martha Lee Walters Representative Mitch Greenlick, Public Affairs chair Kathleen Rastetter, and Harriet Greenlick

Representative Julie Fahey and BOG member & PDSC Chair, Per Ramfjord

Oregon State Bar President Vanessa Nordyke, Senator Floyd Prozanski and Oregon State Bar CEO Helen Hierschbiel

Representative Mike McLane, Representative Duane Stark, Chief Justice Thomas A. Balmer, and Oregon State Bar President Vanessa Nordyke

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Archives



Thank you for reading the Oregon State Bar’s CAPITOL INSIDER.
The archives are available here.

2018 Public Affairs Committee Members


Kathleen Rastetter, Chair
Whitney Boise, Vice Chair
Rob Gratchner
John Bachofner
Eric Foster
Liani Reeves
Michael Rondeau 

Public Affairs Department


Susan Grabe, Public Affairs Director
Amy Zubko, Public Affairs Legislative Attorney
Matt Shields, Public Affairs Staff Attorney
Kellie Baumann, Public Affairs Assistant

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February 22, 2018

House Bill 4095: Evidentiary Privilege for Lawyer Referral Services Passes the Legislature

On the opening day of the 2018 legislative session, the House Judiciary Committee heard HB 4095, a bill to clarify that communications between a consumer and a lawyer referral service are included within the attorney-client privilege as provided under Rule 503 of the Oregon Evidence Code. Like the attorney-client privilege, the lawyer-referral-service privilege under HB 4095 would be held by the client. The expansion of confidential communications to include lawyer referral services would ensure that information shared with a lawyer referral service would be protected beginning with the initial communication between the client and the lawyer referral service.

Since 1971, the Oregon State Bar has provided access to a lawyer referral service to Oregonians looking for help or guidance on a legal matter by connecting them with a lawyer or appropriate services. In 2016, the Bar’s lawyer referral service received almost 80,000 requests for referrals, and approximately 47,000 Oregonians were connected with a lawyer. Many of those who did not connect with a lawyer were directed to social services, the Attorney General’s office, Legal Aid services, the Oregon Judicial Department, and other state or county services.

The bill moved out of the House Judiciary Committee unanimously and passed the House 59-0 with one excused. The bill received a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 16, 2018 and passed out of committee unanimously as well. On February 21, 2018, the bill passed the Senate 29-0 with one excused. It now goes to the Governor’s desk for her signature.

The bill moved out of the House Judiciary Committee unanimously and passed the House 59-0 with one excused. The bill received a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 16, 2018 and passed out of committee unanimously.

Additional information on the Oregon State Bar’s lawyer referral service can be found here.

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Oregon Judicial Department Submits Four Bills for 2018 Legislative Session

This session the Oregon Judicial Department submitted four bills for the legislature to consider. These bills address judicial compensation, Oregon eCourt, and legal resource centers.

Judicial Compensation

This year, the Oregon Judicial Department has submitted two bills addressing judicial compensation. HB 4096 would increase the compensation for circuit court, appeals court, tax court, and supreme court judges. Although Oregon judges received an increase in judicial compensation in the 2013 legislative session, as well as a cost-of-living adjustment in 2015, according to the National Center for State Courts, Oregon circuit court judges are ranked 49 out of 51 in compensation. The bill passed out of the House Judiciary Committee unanimously and was sent to the Joint Committee on Ways and Means.

Under current law, a state employee enrolled in the OPSRP pension program under PERS is unable to count his or her years previously worked towards vesting in the judicial pension system. Tier I and Tier II PERS members, however, are able to use years covered by Tier I and II towards vesting in the judicial pension system. SB 1546 would modify the statutes so that Oregon judges who have previously worked under OPSRP would be able to count their previous years of service for vesting purposes in the judicial pension system. The bill received a hearing and work session in the Senate Workforce Committee and passed the Senate 27-0 with three excused. The bill has now been assigned to House Business and Labor for a public hearing and work session scheduled for February 26, 2018.

Legal Resource Centers

This year, the Oregon Judicial Department has proposed HB 4097. The bill allows courts to establish a court facilitation program to provide litigants with educational materials, court forms, assistance with court forms, information on court processes, and referrals to other agencies and resources. The concept was raised in part by the rebuilding of the Multnomah County Courthouse, which is scheduled to be completed in the next few years. The concept of court facilitators and legal resource centers was also explored and supported in the Oregon State Bar’s Futures Report. The bill received a public hearing and work session in the House Judiciary Committee. The bill was amended in the committee with the -6 amendments and passed out of committee unanimously. The bill passed the House 55-0 with five excused and has been sent to the Senate for consideration.

Oregon eCourt

During the 2017 legislative session, the legislature increased Oregon eCourt filing fees for civil practitioners. In addition, a percentage of the criminal fines, fees, and assessments were also directed towards covering the costs of Oregon eCourt. Under the current funding schedule, 60 percent of eCourt users are not paying to support the system. In response to that issue, the Oregon Judicial Department, with the support of the Oregon State Bar, has proposed creating an assessment on state agencies to provide funding for Oregon eCourt.

SB 1545 would create an assessment that would be apportioned among all state agencies for the use of Oregon eCourt. This would be in addition to the above-mentioned sources of funding. The bill received a public hearing and work session in the Senate General Government and Accountability committee and was referred to the Joint Committee on Ways and Means by prior reference.

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Former State Legislator, Ray Baum, Passes Away

The Oregon State Bar was saddened to hear that Ray Baum, lawyer, former state legislator, public utility commissioner, and congressional aid to Congressman Greg Walden passed away on February 9, 2018. Ray Baum was first elected to Oregon legislature in 1988 and served for many years. Most recently, Baum was the staff director of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

On February 13, 2018, Congressman Greg Walden paid tribute to Ray Baum on the House Floor. The video of his speech can be viewed here.

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Bills of Interest

HB 4008 – Makes calculation of projected future earning potential of plaintiff that takes into account race or ethnicity of plaintiff inadmissible in civil action.

HB 4009 – Heightens standard for taking child into protective custody without court order.

HB 4063 – Designates Department of Transportation as lead agency for autonomous vehicle programs and policies.

HB 4085 – Requires court to award attorney fees, costs and necessary disbursements to tenant prevailing in action arising under rental agreement or landlord-tenant law.

HB 4095 – Establishes privilege for communications with lawyer referral service.

HB 4096 – Modifies annual salaries of judges of Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Oregon Tax Court and circuit courts.

HB 4097 – Modifies provisions relating to law libraries and law library services provided by counties.

HB 4135 – Establishes Advance Directive Adoption Committee for purpose of adopting form of advance directive to be used in this state.

HB 4149 – Prohibits prosecuting attorney from conditioning plea offer or release on defendant’s waiver of specified rights, eligibilities and legal challenges.

SB 1540 – Modifies definition of child abuse for purpose of mandatory reporting.

SB 1545 – Provides for cost of providing state court technology services to state agencies to be assessed against agencies beginning July 1, 2019.

SB 1559 – Directs state agencies to establish procedure for employees to anonymously disclose certain information.

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Archives



Thank you for reading the Oregon State Bar’s CAPITOL INSIDER.
The archives are available here.

2017 Public Affairs Committee Members


Kathleen Rastetter, Chair
John Mansfield, Vice Chair
Guy Greco
John Bachofner
Chris Costantino
Rob Gratchner
Eric Foster
Liani Reeves

Public Affairs Department


Susan Grabe, Public Affairs Director
Amy Zubko, Public Affairs Legislative Attorney
Matt Shields, Public Affairs Staff Attorney
Kellie Baumann, Public Affairs Assistant

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January 30, 2018

Oregon Judicial Department Requests Additional Funding from Legislature

During the 2018 Legislative Session, the Oregon Judicial Department (OJD) will be requesting $5.3 million of additional funding from the legislature to finish out the current budget cycle. This request was presented during the January Legislative Days and will be considered by the Ways and Means Committee during the 2018 legislative session.

During the 2017 legislative session, OJD received a two-year budget that was approximately $20 million less than the cost of funding the current service level. In response to this reduction, OJD has made a number of changes, including holding positions vacant, reducing public service hours and/or staffing, family law services and drug court capacity. These actions, in conjunction with savings from the previous budget cycle, left the court with a $5.3 million budget hole. During a budgetary hearing held in January, the Legislative Fiscal Office provided documentation stating, “Absent additional funds, the Department will need to begin staff layoffs or require furloughs to continue operations, thereby increasing the impacts to judicial services.” Additional information on the funding request can be found on the Public Safety Subcommittee’s webpage for January 11, 2018 under “Meeting Materials.”

The Ways and Means Committee, the legislature’s budget writing committee, voted to consider the request during the 2018 legislative session beginning on February 5.

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President Nordyke Testifies in Support of 2018 Bar Legislation

On January 12, the House and Senate Judiciary Committees held a joint committee hearing in preparation for the 2018 legislative session. The committees voted to adopt legislative concepts for the 2018 legislative session (including the Bar’s bill, HB 4095), they also discussed topics of interest to the committees, including corrections reform, proposed data-breach legislation, juvenile detention facilities, and licensing of law enforcement officers.

At the request of the committees, Vanessa Nordyke, President of the Oregon State Bar, and Amber Hollister, General Counsel, provided an update on the Futures Task Force and an introduction of HB 4095 (LC 205).

The Bar has proposed legislation to update and expand attorney-client privilege to include lawyer referral services. The bill, HB 4095 will be introduced as a House Judiciary Committee bill during the 2018 legislative session.

The Bar provides a lawyer referral service to assist Oregonians in finding a lawyer to address their legal needs. In 2016, the Bar’s lawyer referral service received almost 80,000 requests for referrals. Often, people share information with a lawyer referral service in order to be matched with a lawyer in the appropriate practice area and experience level. Currently there are no evidentiary protections for consumers who contact a lawyer referral service when they are seeking legal help.

HB 4095 expands the attorney-client privilege found in Rule 503 of the Evidentiary Code to include communications between a lawyer referral service and its clients. The privilege, like the attorney-client privilege, is held by the client. The expansion of this privilege will ensure that a consumer’s communications remain confidential.

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2018 Legislative Concepts Published on OLIS; Bill Tracking available on the Bar’s Website

On January 22, the Oregon Legislative Information System or OLIS began publishing legislative concepts proposed by legislators, the Governor, and the judicial branch. While additional legislative concepts are expected to be introduced during the session, the bulk of proposed bills have been added to the system and are available for review.

If an Oregon State Bar section, committee, or group tracks legislation, the Bar’s Public Affairs Department will send a bill list to the executive committee chair and legislative subcommittee chair in the coming week made up of bills that the department believes will be of interest to the group. Once the group identifies those bills it would like to track, the bills will be added to the Bar’s bill tracking web page, which is publicly accessible.

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Oregon eCourt Survey Results Are In

During December, the Oregon State Bar conducted a survey of Bar members to gather feedback on Oregon eCourt. The eCourt system has been operational in all 36 Oregon counties for at least 18 months, and most attorneys have been eFiling documents for the last two years. The survey asked questions intended to gauge attorneys’ overall satisfaction with the system, solicit suggestions for improvement, and inquire into specific areas of concern raised by Bar groups.

Results of the survey, including specific comments and suggestions made by respondents, are being shared with the Oregon Judicial Department through the OSB/OJD eCourt Implementation Task Force, which will soon be releasing a final report on its work and observations surrounding eCourt implementation.

Overall the system received high marks, with over 70 percent of respondents indicating both that eFiling had expanded their ability to file pleadings and that it had increased the productivity of their offices. The results of this survey were similar to the results of a survey conducted in May of 2016 but showed a moderate improvement in overall satisfaction since that time.

The survey also inquired into some areas about which bar members had previously expressed concerns. One question asked how frequently attorneys choose to serve documents through OJD’s File and Serve system, and to what extent they comply with the current Uniform Trial Court Rule requiring attorneys to supply contact information when they eFile (UTCR 21.100). While results showed that a majority of attorneys comply with the existing rules, a significant minority were unaware of the requirement, perhaps showing a need for additional education and outreach.

Another area of concern relates to orders submitted for judicial signature. About a 1/3 of respondents indicated it takes an average of 10 days or more to get orders signed or fail to receive notice when orders are not signed. These issues, along with issues raised related to document coding, system search capabilities, and others, are likely be on the subject of future work by both the bar and the OJD.

Full results of the survey will be available on the OSB website soon.

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Deschutes County Trial Court Administrator Jeff Hall
honored with 2017 NCSC Distinguished Service Award

Jeff Hall, trial court administrator for the Deschutes County (Oregon) Circuit Court, received the National Center for State Courts’ 2017 Distinguished Service Award, one of the highest awards presented by the organization. The Distinguished Service Award is presented annually to individuals who have made significant contributions to the justice system and supported the mission of NCSC. One trial-level court administrator receives this national award each year.

Hall was instrumental in developing and piloting informal domestic relations trials in Deschutes County, a model that Oregon has now adopted on a statewide basis. Hall is also participating in the effort to apply the recommendations of the Civil Justice Initiative to Oregon and is leading the Deschutes County Circuit Court’s effort to apply differentiated case management practices to child welfare cases as part of a National Center for State Courts project funded by the Casey Foundation.

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2018 Legislative Schedule

Monday, February 5 First day of session
Friday, February 9 First Chamber deadline to schedule bills for work session
Thursday, February 15 First Chamber deadline to hold a work session for a bill
Friday, February 16 Revenue Forecast released
Thursday, February 22 Second Chamber deadline to schedule bills for work
Tuesday, February 27 Second Chamber deadline to hold a work session for a bill
Tuesday, March 6 Deadline for electronic filing
Sunday, March 11 Constitutional sine die (end of session)

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Archives



Thank you for reading the Oregon State Bar’s CAPITOL INSIDER.
The archives are available here.

2017 Public Affairs Committee Members


Kathleen Rastetter, Chair
John Mansfield, Vice Chair
Guy Greco
John Bachofner
Chris Costantino
Rob Gratchner
Eric Foster
Liani Reeves

Public Affairs Department


Susan Grabe, Public Affairs Director
Amy Zubko, Public Affairs Legislative Attorney
Matt Shields, Public Affairs Staff Attorney
Kellie Baumann, Public Affairs Assistant

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December 20, 2017

Legislature bids Farewell to Leaders in House and Senate

Since the end of the 2017 legislative session, a number of legislators have stepped down from their seats or announced plans to step down. Below is a list of those legislators who already have left or are planning to leave, as well as the names of the incoming legislators. The Oregon State Bar extends its deepest gratitude to the following legislators for their service to the citizens of Oregon.

House Members Stepping Down
Representative Hack – Jodie Hack, a Republican from Salem, announced that she will step down from the legislature to become the head of the Oregon Home Builders Association. Representative Hack served on the House Committee on Business and Labor, which had oversight of a number of bills that affected the practice of law. The Oregon State Bar wishes Representative Hack well and looks forward to working with her in her new position.

Representative Huffman – John Huffman, a Republican from The Dalles, stepped down from his seat in the legislature to take a position with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Representative Huffman was most recently a member of the Public Safety Subcommittee of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means, and he led the rewrite of Oregon’s public-records laws during the 2017 legislative session. Best of luck to Representative Huffman in his new position.

Representative Daniel Bonham replaced Representative Huffman. For more information on the representative, visit his legislative webpage at https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/bonham. Welcome to Representative Bonham!

Representative Johnson – Mark Johnson, a Republican from Hood River, stepped down from his seat in the legislature to become the new head of Oregon Business & Industry. The Oregon State Bar wishes Representative Johnson well and looks forward to working with him in his new position.

Representative Jeffrey Helfrich replaced Representative Johnson in the Legislature. For more information on the representative, visit his legislative webpage at https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/helfrich. Welcome to Representative Helfrich!

Representative Lininger – Ann Lininger, a Democrat from Lake Oswego, stepped down from her seat in the legislature to become a circuit court judge in Clackamas County soon after the end of the legislative session. While in the legislature, Judge Lininger co-chaired the Joint Committee on Implementing Measure 91 (legalizing marijuana) and was an active member of the Judiciary Committee. Best of luck to Judge Lininger in Clackamas County Circuit Court.

Representative Andrea Salinas has replaced Judge Lininger in the legislature. For more information on the representative, visit her legislative webpage at https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/salinas. Welcome to Representative Salinas!

Senate Members Stepping Down
Senator Devlin – Richard Devlin, a Democrat from Tualatin, announced that he will step down from the legislature to join the Northwest Power and Conservation Council. Senator Devlin was the Senate Majority Leader from 2007 to 2010 and the Senate co-chair of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means beginning in 2010. As the Senate co-chair, Senator Devlin, along with his House counterpart, created the state’s biennial budget. During his tenure, Senator Devlin oversaw and approved the funding for courthouse improvements and replacements, Oregon eCourt, and justice reinvestment. Best of luck to Senator Devlin in his new position.

Senator Ferroli – Ted Ferroili, a Republican from John Day, announced that he will step down from the legislature to join the Northwest Power and Conservation Council after twenty years of service. Senator Ferroli has been the Senate Republican Leader from 2011 to 2017 and has served on a variety of committees during his tenure in the Capitol. Best of luck to Senator Ferroli in his new position.

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Oregon eCourt Survey

The Oregon State Bar is conducting a survey of its members’ experiences using Oregon eCourt. The Bar would appreciate feedback in order to gauge overall satisfaction with the system and determine possible areas of improvement.

Access the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2017OReCourt

Results of the survey will be shared with the Oregon Judicial Department, which administers the system. Your individual responses will be kept confidential. If you have any questions or concerns about the survey or about Oregon eCourt in general, please contact us at pubaff@osbar.org.

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Senator Jackie Winters is the New Senate Republican Leader

In response to Senator Ferroli’s announcement that he would resign from the legislature, the Senate Republicans voted for Senator Jackie Winters (R, Salem) as the new Senate Republican Leader.

Over the years Senator Winters has been actively engaged in a number of issues concerning public safety. As the Senate co-chair of the Joint Ways and Means Public Safety subcommittee, Senator Winters has been actively engaged in the discussions surrounding Oregon eCourt, justice reinvestment, and corrections reform.

Senator Winters joined the legislature in 1998 and served in the House of Representatives for four years. In 2002, she ran for her current seat, representing Salem in the Oregon Senate, and has been the Senator for District 10 for fifteen years. Congratulations to Senator Winters on her new position.

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Measure 101 Heads for a Special Election on January 28

During the 2017 session, the legislature passed House Bill (HB) 2391 (2017), commonly referred to as the provider tax. Among other things, the bill provided funding for Oregon’s Medicaid program—approximately $500 million for the 2017 to 2019 biennium—by creating assessments on health insurers, the Public Employer’s Benefit Board, and managed-care organizations. Although the final vote in both chambers was bipartisan, the issue was vigorously debated.

After the close of the legislative session, three legislators—Representative Sal Esquival (R, Medford), Representative Cedric Hayden (R, Roseburg), and Representative Julie Parrish (R, West Linn)—submitted a sufficient number of signatures to refer specific sections of the bill to the ballot. If voters reject the referred sections of the bill, now known as Measure 101, the total revenue raised from HB 2391 will decrease, leaving a $210 to $320 million gap in the 2017 to 2019 budget.

Measure 101 is scheduled for a special election to be held on January 23, 2018. The voter registration deadline is January 2, 2018. To update your voter registration information, go to the Oregon Secretary of State’s website.

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Archives



Thank you for reading the Oregon State Bar’s CAPITOL INSIDER.
The archives are available here.

2017 Public Affairs Committee Members


Kathleen Rastetter, Chair
John Mansfield, Vice Chair
Guy Greco
John Bachofner
Chris Costantino
Rob Gratchner
Eric Foster
Liani Reeves

Public Affairs Department


Susan Grabe, Public Affairs Director
Amy Zubko, Public Affairs Legislative Attorney
Matt Shields, Public Affairs Staff Attorney
Kellie Baumann, Public Affairs Assistant

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November 30, 2017

Oregon eCourt Survey for Practitioners

The joint Oregon Judicial Department/Oregon State Bar Task Force on Oregon eCourt Implementation is looking for feedback. Last spring the task force solicited feedback on Oregon eCourt as a part of the Judicial Department’s quality assurance process. Now that eCourt has been implemented in every district and efiling is mandatory throughout the state, the task force is looking for your thoughts, feedback, suggestions, and concerns regarding electronic filing and document access. The survey can be found here. The survey will close on December 22, 2017.

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Gearing up for the 2019 OSB Law Improvement Program

Is your section or committee interested in the legislative process? Is there a statutory fix that needs to be made? It may feel like the 2017 legislative session just ended, but it’s time to start planning for the 2019 legislative session. The Oregon State Bar Law Improvement Program is an avenue for Bar sections and committees to participate in the legislative process. Law improvement legislation includes proposals to clarify statutory ambiguities, to modify unforeseen “glitches” in major legislation passed in previous sessions, and to codify case law as necessary. In 2017, Bar members advocated for changes to the Uniform Trust Code, an incorporation of electronic technology into the corporate and LLC statutes, and spousal support modifications.

The Public Affairs Committee (PAC) of the Board of Governors oversees the Bar’s legislative activities and establishes priorities on public policy issues important to the legal profession. The PAC, chaired by Kathleen Rastetter, is made up of eight members of the Board of Governors. If your Bar group intends to propose legislation for the 2019 legislative session, proposals should be submitted to the board’s Public Affairs Committee through the Public Affairs Department byApril 2, 2018, for approval and presession drafting and filing. Bar legislative activities involve the regulation of the legal profession or the improvement of the quality of legal services available to the people of Oregon.

Over the next few months, members of the Public Affairs Department will be visiting sections and committees to provide additional information, answer questions, and explain more about the process. If you have questions, please contact Public Affairs staff at pubaff@osbar.org or (503) 431-6376.

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Senate and House Interim Judiciary Committees Meet Jointly during Legislative Days

During the most recent Legislative Days, the Senate and House Interim Judiciary Committees met to discuss a number of issues, including 2018 legislative committee proposals, non-unanimous juries, preliminary hearings, distracted driving, medical marijuana regulations, and failure to perform duties of a driver. The hearing is available online at http://oregon.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?clip_id=24294.

For the 2018 session, the Senate and House Judiciary Committees are each proposing three bill concepts for drafting. The House Judiciary Committee is considering an omnibus bill, a consumer protection bill, and a bill dealing with amateur athletes. The Senate Judiciary Committee is considering a bill dealing with data breach and identity theft, an omnibus bill, and a third bill that has not been finalized.

Two of the larger issues addressed during the hearing were an overview of non-unanimous juries in Oregon and an overview of preliminary hearings and the implementation of grand jury recording in Multnomah County.

Non-Unanimous Jury Verdicts – Oregon and Louisiana are the only states in the country that allow for non-unanimous jury verdicts in criminal cases. Professor Aliza Kaplan from Lewis & Clark Law School shared research and historical perspective on the use of a non-unanimous jury with the committee. Tim Colahan, Executive Director of the Oregon District Attorneys Association, discussed how the non-unanimous jury process works in Oregon and the distinctions between Oregon and Louisiana.

Preliminary Hearings – Senate Bill 505, which created a grand jury recording pilot program in Multnomah, Jackson, and Deschutes counties, was passed during the 2017 legislative session. Representatives from the Oregon Judicial Department, the Multnomah County Circuit Court, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s office, and the two public defender groups in Multnomah County testified about the preliminary hearing process as well as the preparations for the implementation of grand jury recording. In response to the passage of the bill, two of the three pilot circuit courts are planning to use preliminary hearings rather than the grand jury process. 85% of criminal cases in Multnomah County are expected to go through a preliminary hearing rather than before a grand jury, while 25% of the criminal cases in Jackson County will be moving to preliminary hearings. Deschutes County, however, is expected to continue with the grand jury process. Once the grand jury recording requirements expand into additional counties in 2019, the Oregon Judicial Department is expecting an additional 20,000 hearings.

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Senate Interim Judiciary Committee and Oregon State Bar Host CLE at the Oregon State Capitol on Procedural Justice

On November 14, Judge Nan Waller, Multnomah County Presiding Judge, and Judge Maureen McKnight, Multnomah County Chief Family Court Judge, presented a lunchtime access-to-justice CLE on procedural justice. The CLE focused on the concepts and theories behind procedural justice and the changes the Multnomah County courts have implemented to better meet the needs of Oregonians using the courthouse and services. Discussion focused on the use of interactive forms, courthouse listening sessions, training and peer review, and structural changes such as the new Multnomah County courthouse and the creation of a Legal Resource Center within the courthouse.

Thank you to Judge Waller and Judge McKnight for participating!

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What’s Next?

January Organizational Days: January 10-12, 2018
Deadline for bill submission: January 16, 2018
Beginning of the 2018 Legislative Session: February 5, 2018
OSB President’s Reception: February 22, 2018
Constitutional Sine die (end of session) for 2018 Legislative Session: March 9, 2018

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Archives



Thank you for reading the Oregon State Bar’s CAPITOL INSIDER.
The archives are available here.

2017 Public Affairs Committee Members


Kathleen Rastetter, Chair
John Mansfield, Vice Chair
Guy Greco
John Bachofner
Chris Costantino
Rob Gratchner
Eric Foster
Liani Reeves

Public Affairs Department


Susan Grabe, Public Affairs Director
Amy Zubko, Public Affairs Legislative Attorney
Matt Shields, Public Affairs Staff Attorney
Kellie Baumann, Public Affairs Assistant

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September 27, 2017

Oregon State Bar Presents on the Future of the Legal Profession to Legislative Committees

On September 19, at the request of State Senator Floyd Prozanski (Eugene), Judge Chris Garrett of the Oregon Court of Appeals and Amber Hollister, General Counsel of the Oregon State Bar, attended the Joint Interim Judiciary Committee meeting to present the findings of the OSB Futures Task Force. After a brief overview of the report’s key recommendations, legislators discussed the possible implementation of online court forms and possible cost savings, HB 4128 (2016), which addressed notario fraud in Oregon, and self-navigators (people representing themselves).

Additional information on the recommendations of the Futures Task Force will be provided on September 29 at the Oregon State Bar. The CLE, which will provide two ethics credits, is entitled Leading the Way: The Future of Referral Fee Sharing and In-Person Advertising and will explore the proposed changes to Oregon Rules of Professional Conduct 5.4 and 7.3. Registration information can be found here.

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CLEs at the Capitol return during Fall Legislative Days

After a hiatus during the 2017 legislative session, CLEs have returned to the Capitol. On September 20, the Oregon State Bar and the Interim Senate Judiciary Committee sponsored a CLE on mandatory elder abuse reporting. Daniel Norris, Elder Abuse Resources Prosecutor for the Oregon Department of Justice, and Mark Johnson Roberts, Deputy General Counsel of the Oregon State Bar, presented over the lunch hour to approximately 25 lawyers. Over the course of an hour, the presenters discussed the work of the elder abuse prosecutor and his team of investigators, the types of abuse seen in Oregon, and a lawyer’s reporting requirements.

The next CLE, addressing Procedural Fairness in the Judicial System, will be on November 14, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Judge Nan Waller, Presiding Judge of Multnomah County, will present a one-hour CLE at the Oregon State Capitol in Hearing Room C.

Please contact Amy Zubko at 503-431-6317 or azubko@osbar.org with any questions.

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Implementation of Oregon’s New Public Records Laws Moves Forward

During the 2017 legislative session, the Oregon Legislature passed three bills to increase the transparency and effectiveness of Oregon’s public records laws.     SB 106 sets up a legislative process to review state-agency public records requests. SB 481 addresses timelines for responding to public records requests, while HB 2101 requires the legislature to review the approximately 500 public records exemptions currently in statute.

Among other things, these bills created new positions. SB 106 created a new position, a Public Records Advocate, housed within the Secretary of State’s office. The Public Records Advocate will provide facilitated dispute resolution services for public records requests and conduct training on the requirements and best practices for processing and responding to public records requests. The Public Records Advisory Board is currently accepting applications for this position.

In addition, the Oregon State Legislature’s Legislative Counsel posted a staff attorney position with a focus on public records. HB 2101 requires Legislative Counsel’s office to prepare “open government impact statements,” which will be the responsibility of the staff attorney. The Oregon Legislature is currently accepting applications for this position.

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Oregon State Bar Releases 2017 Oregon Legislation Highlights

On September 28, the 2017 Oregon Legislation Highlights will be released. Legislation Highlights is the work of Bar members and volunteers who have reviewed and tracked over 1,000 bills during the legislative session. The book provides a brief overview of legislation, including effective dates, identified by Bar members, sections, and committees that will affect the practice of law in Oregon.

In Oregon, the default effective date for a bill is January 1 of the following year. This year a number of bills have effective dates before the default effective date of January 1, 2018.

A number of bills, usually revenue bills have an effective date of October 6, 2017.

Many bills have an emergency clause. An emergency clause makes the bill effective on passage, that is, when the Governor either proactively signs the bill or 30 days have passed and the bill was not vetoed.

Finally, a fourth option is to have a specific effective date identified within the text of the bill.

Please note that in some circumstances, different sections of a bill will have different effective dates.

Of the 698 bills enacted in Oregon this year, 356—or 51 percent—will go into effect before January 1, 2018. This number is inflated by many budget and tax bills, which generally need to go into effect at a specific time to keep state programs functioning. However, even among “policy bills,” many will take effect before the January 1 default date. For example, about 31 percent of criminal law legislation, 43 percent of labor-and-employment-related bills, and over half of health law and administrative law bills will go into effect at some point during 2017.

Thank you to all the volunteers who tracked legislation, submitted feedback, drafted chapters, and edited the 2017 Oregon Legislation Highlights. Without your hard work, publication of this legislative guide would not have been possible.

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After-Hours Electronic Filing and Electronic Access to Oregon Appellate Court Information Unavailable on September 29, 2017 – CANCELLED

Appellate eFiling Upgrade Cancelled — System Will Be Available 9/29 – 10/2

OJD has cancelled the scheduled upgrade to its appellate software, which was scheduled to begin today (September 29) at 5 p.m. and last through the weekend. As a result, there will be no interruption in service to Appellate eFiling or remote access to appellate court information. All services and systems will continue normal operation and availability.

OJD’s testing was not able to demonstrate that the upgrade could be successfully installed. We will re-schedule the upgrade when the software has successfully passed the necessary testing.

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Archives



Thank you for reading the Oregon State Bar’s CAPITOL INSIDER.
The archives are available here.

2017 Public Affairs Committee Members


Kathleen Rastetter, Chair
John Mansfield, Vice Chair
Guy Greco
John Bachofner
Chris Costantino
Rob Gratchner
Eric Foster
Liani Reeves

Public Affairs Department


Susan Grabe, Public Affairs Director
Amy Zubko, Public Affairs Legislative Attorney
Matt Shields, Public Affairs Staff Attorney
Kellie Baumann, Public Affairs Assistant

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August 17, 2017

When Does a Bill Actually Become Law? Effective Dates of 2017 Legislation

The 2017 session continued the trend seen in recent sessions of a number of policy bills taking effect before the default date. In Oregon, all bills passed by the legislature take effect on January 1 of the following year. There are two exceptions to this rule: (1) when the legislature specifies a special effective date or (2) when the bill includes a clause declaring an emergency, which allows the legislation to go into effect immediately upon signature by the Governor.

Of the 698 bills enacted in Oregon this year, 356—or 51 percent—will go into effect before January 1. This number is inflated by many budget and tax bills, which generally need to go into effect at a specific time to keep state programs functioning. However, even among “policy bills,” many will take effect before January 1, 2018. For example, about 31 percent of criminal law legislation, 43 percent of labor-and-employment-related bills, and over half of health law and administrative law bills will go into effect at some point during 2017.

A significant percentage of bills will take effect on October 6, 2017 as many bills go into effect 90 days after the legislature adjourns. The Oregon State Bar and the Professional Liability Fund will be working throughout the fall to make information available on new legislation, including through the Bar’s Oregon Legislation Highlights.

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Legislator and Board of Governors Member Appointed by Governor to Judgeships

On July 11, Governor Brown announced her appointments for a number of judicial seats throughout Oregon. These included vacant seats in Clackamas and Multnomah county circuit courts, as well as the Oregon Court of Appeals.

Clackamas County Circuit Court

      • Ann Lininger
      • Ulanda L. Watkins

Multnomah County Circuit Court

      • Christopher A. Ramras
      • Benjamin N. Souede
      • Katharine von Ter Stegge

Oregon Court of Appeals

      • Robyn E. Ridler Aoyagi
      • Bronson James
      • Steven R. Powers

Included in the list of new judges is the state representative representing Lake Oswego and Southwest Portland, Ann Lininger (District 38), and current BOG member Katharine von Ter Stegge.

Representative Lininger, who took over when Christopher Garrett, now a judge on the Oregon Court of Appeals, stepped down in 2014, recently stepped down. Before ascending to the bench, Representative Lininger was a Clackamas County commissioner, a business lawyer, and a public defender.

Four candidates have been chosen by democratic precinct committee persons for the District 38 seat: Joe Buck, Theresa Kohlhoff (BOG Member 2012–2016), Andrea Salinas, and Neil Simon. District 38 includes parts of both Clackamas and Multnomah counties. Now that Representative Lininger has relinquished her seat, Clackamas and Multnomah county commissioners will determine who will serve the remainder of the term.

Katharine von Ter Stegge joined the Board of Governors in 2016 as a representative of Region 5 after serving on a number of Bar committees, including the House of Delegates and the Unlawful Practice of Law Committee. The Bar is currently seeking candidates to complete her term on the Board of Governors representing Region 5. Candidate statements of interest are due by September 26. The representative will serve from October 24, 2017, through December 31, 2019. For more information on the position, visit the Bar’s website at http://www.osbar.org/leadership/bog.

Congratulations to the newest members of Oregon’s bench!

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Oregon State Bar Interim Projects List

At the end of every legislative session, there are bills and concepts that don’t quite make it through the legislative process. The Oregon State Bar and its section and committee members will provide technical support to interim work groups that are working to update proposed statutory fixes for the next legislative session.

During the interim, Bar members will be engaged in a number of work groups and task forces. Below is a list of a few of the concepts being considered:

      • Advance directives
      • Child custody
      • Oregon guardianship provisions
      • ORS chapter 63, Limited Liability Companies
      • ORS chapter 65, Nonprofit Corporations
      • Probate modernization

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      The Oregon Judicial Department Request for Comments

      The Oregon Judicial Department is seeking public comment on the following changes to the Uniform Trial Court Rules (UTCR):

          • Proposed 2.150 (confidential financial information) for possible out-of-cycle adoption, with related Forms 2.150.1 and 2.150.2, and with conforming amendments to 2.100 and 2.110
          • New 4.110 adopted out-of-cycle by Chief Justice Order 17-039, effective August 1, 2017
          • 19.020 amended out-of-cycle by Supreme Court Order 17-028, effective June 6, 2017

      These changes and additional information may be reviewed at: http://www.courts.oregon.gov/programs/utcr/Pages/currentrules.aspx.

      Comment submission may be done by:

      Please submit comments so that the Oregon Judicial Department receives them by 5:00 p.m. on September 29, 2017. Comments will be reviewed by the UTCR committee at its next meeting, currently scheduled for October 20, 2017.

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      Lunchtime CLEs returning to the Capitol

      Is 2017 your reporting year? This fall the interim Senate Committee on Judiciary and the Oregon State Bar will be cohosting lunchtime CLEs during the September and November Legislative Days. Additional information will be shared closer to the dates.

      For an up-to-date record of your MCLE credits on file, go to the Bar’s website (www.osbar.org) and log on through the Member Login link on the top of the page.

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      What’s Next

      September Legislative Days
      September 18th – 20th

      HOD Resolution Deadline
      September 19th

      BOG Election candidate statement deadline
      September 26th

      HOD Regional Meetings Scheduled
      October 17th – 19th

      BOG Election
      October 23rd

      HOD Annual Meeting
      November 3rd

      November Legislative Days
      November 13th – 15th

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      Archives



      Thank you for reading the Oregon State Bar’s CAPITOL INSIDER.
      The archives are available here.

      2017 Public Affairs Committee Members


      Kathleen Rastetter, Chair
      John Mansfield, Vice Chair
      Guy Greco
      John Bachofner
      Chris Costantino
      Rob Gratchner
      Eric Foster
      Liani Reeves

      Public Affairs Department


      Susan Grabe, Public Affairs Director
      Amy Zubko, Public Affairs Legislative Attorney
      Matt Shields, Public Affairs Staff Attorney
      Kellie Baumann, Public Affairs Assistant

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July 13, 2017

Oregon Judicial Department Receives Funding for Courthouse Construction, Renovation, and Security

This session the legislature funded courthouse upgrades in Lane and Multnomah counties, as well as the Oregon Supreme Court building in Salem for seismic retrofitting. In addition, the legislature allocated funding for security in state and county courts.

Funding for Oregon’s courthouses came through two bills this session. Senate Bill (SB) 5505, which identifies and limits the maximum amount of bond and third-party financing agreements that the state may issue, and SB 5506 establishing an expenditure limitation for capital construction projects.

SB 5505 allows the Oregon Judicial Department (OJD) to issue $5.1 million for the Lane County Courthouse, $102.5 million for the completion of the Multnomah County Courthouse, and $6.1 million for the seismic upgrade to the Oregon Supreme Court building in Salem. Under SB 5506, OJD received authority to spend $8.9 million on courthouse equipment and furnishings for the Multnomah County Courthouse and $6 million on the Oregon Supreme Court building renovations.

SB 5529 allocated $6.4 million from the Criminal Fine Account towards state-court security as well as distributions to county-court security accounts. In addition, the bill allocated $3.1 million to the State Court Technology Fund to partially fund the Oregon eCourt system from the Criminal Fine Account (see next article for additional information on Oregon eCourt).

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Filing Fees and Criminal Fines increased to fund Oregon eCourt

In 2016, the Oregon Judicial Department (OJD) completed its implementation of Oregon eCourt. The eCourt system is funded through three funding sources: civil filing fees, criminal fines and assessments, and user fees. At the beginning of the legislative session, the OJD identified an $8.3 million shortfall in funding for the Oregon eCourt program and identified four possible funding sources.

HB 2795 increases civil-court filing fees by five percent as of October 1, 2017. This will raise an additional $2.9 million for OJD to fund Oregon eCourt. HB 2797 increases presumptive criminal fines by $5 beginning on January 1, 2018 and will raise an additional $3.1 million to fund Oregon eCourt. In addition, eCourt user fees were increased on July 1 to raise $1.5 million as well.

The fourth proposed funding source is an assessment on governmental entities. Currently, 60% of the total users are public subscribers such as law-enforcement entities, the Oregon Department of Justice, public-defense providers, district attorneys, and legal aid. These entities do not pay to access the Oregon eCourt system. Though the proposal was discussed this session, it was not implemented.

SB 505 passed the Senate by 21-7 and the House by 34-26.

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Legislature Addresses Increase in Women’s Prison Population with HB 3078

At the end of last year, the Oregon Department of Corrections faced a bed shortage for female prisoners. For a number of years, this lack of capacity has been an area of concern for public-safety stakeholders. In response, a variety of solutions were considered including building a second women’s prison in Oregon, sending female prisoners to be incarcerated out of state or working with counties to release county holds so prisoners may be transferred.

Prior to the 2017 legislative session, a work group—chaired by Lane Shetterly and Greg MacPherson and including elected officials, representatives from the District Attorneys, law enforcement, the Partnership for Safety & Justice, the Criminal Justice Commission, and community corrections—met to discuss possible changes to the public-safety system with the goal of reducing the number of prison beds by 880 by the year 2025. Their proposed solutions, HB 3078, instead invests in local communities for accountability and supervision, treatment, rehabilitation, and victim services. The bill includes the proposed changes from the work group to manage the growth of the women’s prison population:

      • Increases the limit for short-term transitional leave from prison from 90 to 120 days
      • Modifies theft in the first degree and identity theft (Measure 57 crimes) to permit shorter presumptive sentences with stricter supervision
      • Expands the number of offenders that may be eligible to participate in the Family Sentencing Alternative Pilot Program

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      When Does a Bill Really Become a Law?

      On Friday, July 7, 2017, the House and Senate adjorned sine die and the legislative session closed after. After the legislature adjourns, there are still a few steps each piece of legislation needs to complete before being published in an updated copy of the Oregon Revised Statutes.

      Governor’s signature. During the legislative session, the Governor has five business days to veto whole bills or “single items in appropriation bills.” For bills that are passed in the last five days of session, the Governor has 30 days to veto a bill. A bill may pass without the Governor’s signature. If 30 days have passed and the Governor has not vetoed the bill, it is presumed signed.

      Effective Date. In Oregon, the default effective date for a bill is January 1 of the following year. This session, a bill without a specifically noted effective date in the text of the legislation will have an effective date of January 1, 2018. Some bills, many of them from the legislature’s budget committee, the Joint Ways and Means Committee, will have an emergency clause. An emergency clause makes the bill effective on passage, that is, when the Governor either proactively signs the bill or 30 days have passed and the bill was not vetoed. Other bills, for example, bills that raise revenue, can have an effective date of 91 days after sine die. The fourth option is to have a specific effective date identified within the text of the bill. Please note that in some circumstances, different sections of a bill will have different effective dates.

      Resources. Information on a bill can also be found in the Oregon Legislative Information System (OLIS). For bills passed during the 2017 legislative session, click on the “Bills” icon on the upper right hand corner and enter the bill number. For a quick analysis of legislation tracked by the Oregon State Bar, look for the 2017 issue of Legislation Highlights which will be published this Fall.

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      2017 – 2018 Interim Schedule

      August 23, Revenue Forecast

      September 18 – 20, Legislative Days
      September 21, Task Force Day

      November 7, Election Day
      November 13 – 15, Legislative Days
      November 16, Task Force Day
      November 29, Revenue Forecast

      January 9, Task Force Day
      January 10 – 12, Legislative Days
      January 16, Bills submitted to Secretary of Senate/Clerk of House for 2018 Legislative Session

      February 5, 2018 Legislative Session Begins
      February 16, Revenue Forecast

      March 11, 2018 Legislative Session Ends, Constitutional Sine Die

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      Archives



      Thank you for reading the Oregon State Bar’s CAPITOL INSIDER.
      We hope you enjoy our new format. The archives are still available here.

      2017 Public Affairs Committee Members


      Kathleen Rastetter, Chair
      John Mansfield, Vice Chair
      Guy Greco
      John Bachofner
      Chris Costantino
      Rob Gratchner
      Eric Foster
      Liani Reeves

      Public Affairs Department


      Susan Grabe, Public Affairs Director
      Amy Zubko, Public Affairs Legislative Attorney
      Matt Shields, Public Affairs Staff Attorney
      Kellie Bagnani, Public Affairs Assistant

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July 10, 2017

Three Public-Records Bills Pass the Legislature

This session, three public-records bills have made their way through the legislative process. Senate Bill (SB) 481 passed earlier in the session and has an effective date of January 1, 2018. The bill establishes a specific timeline for responses to public-records requests as well as outlines how smaller agencies and commissions with limited resources can respond to requests. In addition, the bill would also require the creation of a list of the disclosure exemptions to Oregon’s public-records laws.

The second bill, SB 106, creates a Public Records Advocate as well as a Public Records Advisory Council to assist in disputes between public bodies and persons who request public records. The third bill, House Bill (HB) 2101, creates the 15-member Oregon Sunshine Committee. The committee is tasked with reviewing all exemptions to the disclosure of public records, identifying areas for improvement, and reporting back to the legislature.

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Grand-Jury Recording Bill Passes Legislature

Senate Bill 505 requires county district attorneys to instruct grand jurors to electronically record all grand-jury proceedings. These recordings are then stored on servers provided and maintained by the Oregon Judicial Department. The legislature will appropriate $1.5 million to pay for staff as well as the purchase and maintenance of recording equipment. Recording will begin on March 1, 2018 in three counties: Multnomah, Jackson, and Deschutes. The remaining counties must begin by July 1, 2019. Concerns have been raised that the recording requirement may lead to an increased use of preliminary hearings and protective orders. If necessary, an additional $8.5 million has been earmarked for the program.

The bill requires the Public Defense Services Commission, the Oregon Judicial Department, and each county that begins grand-jury recording on March 1, 2018 to report back to the legislature.

SB 505 passed the Senate by 21-7 and the House by 34-26.

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HB 2355 addresses racial profiling in Oregon and modifies possession of controlled substances sentencing

On Thursday, July 6, 2017, HB 2355 passed out of the Legislature and is on the way to the Governor for her signature. HB 2355 does two things. First, the bill requires the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission (CJC) to develop and implement a process for law enforcement to record traffic-stop data. The collected data will then be reviewed by the Commission to identify profiling patterns and practices. The Commission is required to report back to the Governor, the Oregon Legislature, and the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training by December 1, 2019.

Second, it reduces the classification of unlawful possession of controlled substances, for both Schedule I and Schedule II, from a felony to a misdemeanor. It should be noted that there are exceptions to this change. For example, if the amount is a “useable quantity” and is a commercial drug offense, or if the person has a prior felony conviction, the felony classification remains (see the bill for the full list of exceptions).

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Legislature Passes Bill to Allow for Greater Oversight of Shell Corporations in Oregon

Over the last decade the legislature has examined the use of fraudulent shell corporations in Oregon. HB 2191 provides the Secretary of State with the ability to investigate corporations and limited liability corporations for possible violations of business registration statutes and to inform law enforcement. Further, the bill allows the Secretary of State to impose civil penalties or, in some situations, to cancel an incorporation or dissolve a business entity. The bill also provides additional oversight authority to the Oregon Department of Revenue and creates a private right of action against fraudulent shell corporations.

The Secretary of State will receive an additional percentage of the business registration fees from the Corporation Division to fund the bill. HB 2191 passed the Legislature and is on the way to the Governor.

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Archives



Thank you for reading the Oregon State Bar’s CAPITOL INSIDER.
We hope you enjoy our new format. The archives are still available here.

2017 Public Affairs Committee Members


Kathleen Rastetter, Chair
John Mansfield, Vice Chair
Guy Greco
John Bachofner
Chris Costantino
Rob Gratchner
Eric Foster
Liani Reeves

Public Affairs Department


Susan Grabe, Public Affairs Director
Amy Zubko, Public Affairs Legislative Attorney
Matt Shields, Public Affairs Staff Attorney
Kellie Bagnani, Public Affairs Assistant

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