November 22, 2019

House of Delegates Votes to Support Funding for Civil Low-Income Legal Services, Court System, and Indigent Defense

On November 1, 2019, the House of Delegates met at the Oregon State Bar Center for their annual meeting. In attendance were 130 delegates who voted on a variety of proposals, including an amendment to Oregon Rule of Professional Conduct 7.2 that would allow nominal gifts and a new fee structure for bar licensing fees.

In addition, the House of Delegates voted overwhelmingly in support of adequate funding for low-income civil legal services, the Oregon Judicial Department, and indigent defense.

Beginning in 2005, the House of Delegates has voted in support of funding for low-income civil legal services every year. As stated in section 1.2 of the OSB Bylaws, the “mission of the Oregon State Bar is to serve justice by promoting respect for the rule of law, by improving the quality of legal services and by increasing access to justice.” One of the three main functions of the Bar is to “advance a fair, inclusive, and accessible justice system.” OSB Bylaw § 1.2.

This year, Danny Lang, a delegate from Region 3, submitted a resolution in support of funding for the Oregon Judicial Department. This resolution encouraged all members of the Oregon State Bar to share the need for adequate funding for the judicial branch with legislators to ensure access to justice. The motion passed.

Since 2011, the Oregon State Bar has been working through the Citizens Campaign for Court Funding in support of funding for the Oregon Judicial Department. For more information on the program, please visit the website.

Delegate Resolution No. 5 in support of public defense referenced the findings of Sixth Amendment Center, which determined that “Oregon’s fixed-fee contract system pits appointed counsels’ financial self-interest against the due process rights of their clients.” The resolution, which passed, encouraged the Oregon State Bar and staff to continue to participate actively and work to obtain adequate resources and appropriate caseload standards.

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Joint Judiciary Committee Meets to Discuss Public Defense Services Commission

This week, the House and Senate Interim Judiciary Committees met jointly to discuss a variety of issues including Juvenile Detention Guidelines, the implementation of Senate Bill 24 (2019), and an update from the Office of Public Defense Services (OPDS).

During the 2019 legislative session, the legislature reserved $20 million for the OPDS through a special purpose appropriation (SPA) in House Bill 5050 (2019). Part of that funding, if released, is expected to be used in part to fund a new contracting model. Funds are also expected to be used to help ensure financial accountability and quality assurance. The Joint Committee on Ways and Means will meet during the February 2020 legislative session.

For additional information, please see the meeting materials published online at the Oregon Legislative Information Services (OLIS) website: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2019I1/Committees/SJUD/2019-11-20-14-00/MeetingMaterials.


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Mandatory Abuse Reporting for Lawyers CLE at the Capitol

On November 19, 2019, the House and Senate Interim Judiciary Committees and the Oregon State Bar hosted Mandatory Abuse Reporting for Lawyers CLE at the Oregon State Capitol. Linn Davis, manager of the Oregon State Bar’s Client Assistance Office and assistant general counsel, presented an updated CLE to legislators, staff, and practitioners. The 1-hour CLE met the requirement for abuse reporting for Oregon lawyers who are required to report in 2019. The CLE was recorded and is available for playback through the Oregon Legislative Information System under “News Conferences and Non-Legislative Events”. To find the CLE, go to November 19, 2019, and look for the title of the CLE.


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Save the Date — December 6, 2019, Ethics CLE at the Capitol

On December 6, 2019, the House and Senate Interim Judiciary Committees and the Oregon State Bar will present Lawyers at the Crossroads: Government Ethics and the Rules of Professional Conduct CLE. Amber Hollister, general counsel for the Oregon State Bar, and Dan Gilbert, senior deputy legislative counsel for the Oregon State Legislature, will present from 12:00 to 1:00 pm in the Oregon State Capitol, Hearing Room E. Registration is not required. The CLE will be recorded and available for playback through the Oregon Legislative Information System under “News Conferences and Non-Legislative Events”.

If you have any questions, please contact Amy Zubko at [email protected].

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2019 Public Affairs Committee Members


Eric Foster, Chair
Eddie Medina, Vice Chair
Whitney Boise
John Bachofner
Kate Denning
Kamron Graham
Bik-Na Han
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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