January 14, 2019

Oregon Legislature Gears Up for 2019 Legislative Session

The 2019 legislative session begins Tuesday, January 22, 2019, and the legislature is gearing up.  Committee membership has been published, committee schedules have been released, and pre-session filed bills have been posted on the Oregon Legislative Information System (OLIS).

The Public Affairs Department is available to assist all Oregon State Bar sections and committees track proposed legislation. If a section or committee has already identified specific bills to follow, please contact Kellie Baumann in the Public Affairs Department at [email protected], to ensure that legislation is included in the section’s bill-tracking list.

As bills are introduced, the Public Affairs Department will review all proposed legislation and refer specific bills to groups that may be interested in the subject. Throughout the session, a section or committee’s legislative contact will likely receive periodic emails from the Public Affairs Department notifying him or her of bills that might interest the group.

Once a section or committee has identified bills to follow, those bills will be input into the group’s bill-tracking page. Each group has its own page on the Public Affairs Department’s webpage. This will enable each group to receive updates and to review changes to any legislation that a group has expressed an interest in following.

If you have any questions about proposed legislation, do not hesitate to reach out to the Public Affairs Department. Proposed legislation will be posted on the Oregon Legislative Information System (OLIS).

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Proposed Changes to the UTCR – Request for Public Comment

The Uniform Trial Court Rules committee met on October 5, 2018, to review proposals to amend the UTCR and to make preliminary recommendations to the Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court. A description of the proposals and action taken by the committee is posted at: http://www.courts.oregon.gov/programs/utcr/Pages/currentrules.aspx.

Proposals of special note address the certificate of document preparation; translations of exhibits; consumer debt-collection cases; exhibits in juvenile cases; filing of the DMV record; extreme-risk protection orders; notice of filing expedited matters; electronic signatures on declarations; and statewide postconviction-relief rules.

The committee encourages all interested parties to submit comments on the proposals. Comments can be posted at the web address mentioned above; mailed to the UTCR Reporter at the Office of the State Court Administrator, Supreme Court Building, 1163 State Street, Salem, Oregon 97301-2563; or emailed to [email protected]. In order to be considered by the committee, public comment must be received by the UTCR Reporter by 5:00 p.m. on February 22, 2019.

The committee will make final recommendations on these proposals at the next UTCR meeting on March 8, 2019, at 9:00 a.m.

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Oregon State Bar Adopts 2019 Legislative Priorities

On January 11, 2019, the Oregon State Bar’s Board of Governors met in Tigard. As part of their meeting, the Board adopted their 2019 Legislative Priorities. The Oregon State Bar looks forward to supporting its partners in the judicial branch in advocating for adequate funding for Oregon’s court system, civil legal aid, and indigent defense, as well as supporting the bar’s law improvement priorities.

  1. Support Court Funding. Support for adequate funding for Oregon’s courts.
      • Citizens Campaign for Court Funding. Support the statewide coalition of citizens, businesses, and community groups formed to ensure adequate and stable court funding.
      • Court Facilities Funding. Work with the legislature and the courts to make critical improvements to Oregon’s court facilities.
      • Judicial and Staff Resources. Support the request for additional judges and staff to ensure access to justice.
  1. Support Legal Services for Low-Income Oregonians.
      • Civil Legal Services. Increase the current level of funding for low-income legal services.
      • Indigent Defense.
          • Public Defense Services. Constitutionally and statutorily required representation of financially qualified individuals in Oregon’s criminal and juvenile justice systems:
            • Ensure funding sufficient to support adequate compensation for publicly funded attorneys in the criminal and juvenile justice systems.
            • Support reduced caseloads for attorneys representing parents and children.
            • Support efforts to ensure the right to counsel for adults at the trial level in Oregon.
  1. Support OSB 2019 Law Improvement Package and Continue to Engage with Ongoing Legislative Work Group and Task Force Proposals.

Additional information on the budgets of the Oregon Judicial Department and the Public Defense Services Commission can be found on their websites.

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Oregon Law Commission Completes Report on Workplace Harassment in the Legislature

In the spring of 2018, the Oregon Legislature requested that the Oregon Law Commission “advise the Legislative Assembly on how best to revise its laws and policies related to workplace harassment.” Led by the chair, P.K. Runkles-Pearson of Miller Nash Graham & Dunn LLP, and a member of the Oregon Law Commission, the work group  conducted a review of the legislature’s process and policies for addressing workplace harassment. During the December 2018 legislative days the Oregon Law Commission submitted its final report  from the Oregon State Capitol Workplace Harassment Work Group to the legislature for consideration.

After review of the legislature’s process and procedures, the work group organized its recommendations into two spheres: cultural change (Training and Culture) and enforcement (Workplace Harassment Policy). In addition, the work group provided a suggested definition of “workplace harassment” for consideration by the legislature and suggestions on implementing the work group’s recommendations.

The Oregon Legislature is expected to respond to the report during the 80th Legislative Assembly, which begins on January 22, 2019, and runs through June 2019.

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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


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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December 20, 2018

Judiciary Committee Meets in Salem during Legislative Days

Last week the Oregon Legislature met in Salem for December Legislative Days. This was the first meeting since the November election and conversations focused on proposed legislation for the 2019 legislative session. On Friday afternoon, both the Senate and the House Interim Judiciary Committees met to discuss a variety of issues that may arise in the Judiciary Committees during the upcoming session.

The meeting opened with the introduction of committee legislative concepts. Draft legislation can be found on the Oregon Legislative Information System (OLIS) under the Committees’ “Meeting Materials” pages (Senate Interim Committee on Judiciary, House Interim Committee on Judiciary).

The remainder of the meeting focused on a number of criminal justice issues, including:

      • A preview of Kaylee’s Law (LC 644). Proposed legislation for the 2019 legislative session that formalizes and clarifies the role of campus public safety officers.
      • An update from the Law Enforcement Contacts Policy and Data Review Committee (LECC). A review of work that the LECC has completed, focusing on stop data, including data collection and law enforcement training.
      • Trauma-Informed Approaches in the Justice System. A discussion of the need for training for law enforcement in victim-centered, trauma-informed practices.
      • Crime Rates of Unlawful Use of a Motor Vehicle. A review of Oregon and national data.
      • Sixth Amendment Center Review of Oregon Public Defense Services. A presentation of the findings and recommendations regarding Oregon’s public defense services. The final report will be released in the new year.
      • Post-Conviction DNA Testing. Proposed legislation for the 2019 Legislative Session that would streamline Oregon’s DNA testing statute and make testing more accessible.

To watch the hearing, please go to OLIS for the recording.

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Grand Jury Recording – Reports to the Oregon Legislature

During the 2017 legislative session, the Legislature passed SB 505 (2017). The bill created a pilot project in three counties, Deschutes, Jackson, and Multnomah, to require the recording of grand jury proceedings beginning in March 2018. The remaining counties are required to begin recording grand jury proceedings on July 1, 2019.

The responsibility for grand jury proceedings is split between the Public Defense Services Commission, the Oregon Judicial Department, and the district attorneys. Over the course of the December Legislative Days, all three had the opportunity to present reports on their experiences and the impact of the grand jury recording requirement.

The Public Defense Services Commission identified cost of recordings, cost of transcription, and attorney workload in a preliminary report to the Legislature as areas to watch. The district attorneys requested funding to cover costs for the three pilot counties. The Oregon Judicial Department identified preliminary hearings, grand jury transcripts, protective orders, and possibly shorthand reporters as areas of interest. As the remaining districts prepare to record grand jury proceedings, the use of preliminary hearings will continue to be explored.

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Committee Assignments for the 2019 Legislative Session

This week, the Oregon Legislature released the committee assignments for the 2019 Legislative Session. While the Legislature’s budget writers for the 2019 Legislative Session had already been announced, Senate and House leadership waited until after the 2018 election and caucus meetings to determine committee assignments.

Many of the issues that Bar members track flow through the Senate and House Judiciary Committees as well as the Public Safety Subcommittee of the Ways and Means Committee.

House Judiciary Committee
Rep. Jennifer Williamson, Chair
Rep. Chris Gorsek, Vice Chair
Rep. Sherrie Sprenger, Vice Chair
Rep. Jeff Barker
Rep. Janelle Bynum
Rep. Mitch Greenlick
Rep. Rick Lewis
Rep. Mike Mclane
Rep. Carla Piluso
Rep. Bill Post
Rep. Karin Power

Senate Judiciary Committee
Sen. Floyd Prozanski, Chair
Sen. Kim Thatcher, Vice Chair
Sen. Sara Gelser
Sen. Dennis Linthicum
Sen. James Manning Jr.
Sen. Cliff Bentz
Sen. Shemia Fagan

Ways and Means Public Safety Subcommittee
Rep. Carla Piluso, Co-Chair
Sen. Jackie Winters, Co-Chair
Rep. Janelle Bynum
Sen. Dennis Linthicum
Rep. Gary Leif
Sen. James Manning Jr.
Rep. Tawna Sanchez
Rep. Duane Stark

Joint Ways and Means Co-Chairs
Sen. Betsy Johnson, Co-Chair
Sen. Elizabeth Steiner-Hayward, Co-Chair
Rep. Dan Rayfield, Co-Chair

For a complete list of House committee assignments, visit the Oregon State Legislature’s website here. For a complete list of Senate committee assignments, visit the Oregon State Legislature’s website here.

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Government Relations Listserve (GRList)

Are you interested in government relations in Oregon? Are you an Oregon lawyer engaged in the legislative or rulemaking process? If yes, consider joining the new Government Relations Listserve (GRList).

The GRList is for attorneys that practice or have an interest in government relations in Oregon. The opt-in listserve will provide a forum for attorneys in this area to discuss topics relating to government relations, legislation, CLEs, rulemaking, etc. The goal is to create a space where attorneys in this practice area can regularly connect on issues, network, refer potential clients, develop relevant CLEs, and work to create and update practice tools and other items of relevance to the practice.

To join, please email [email protected] and request to be added to the GRList.

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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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November 27, 2018

Request for Public Comment – Legislative Assembly’s Harassment-Free Workplace Policy

At the request of the Legislative Assembly, the Oregon Law Commission has reviewed the law and policies concerning workplace harassment in the State Capitol. After extensive deliberation, the Commission’s work group has produced a number of preliminary recommendations and now seeks your feedback.

To review the preliminary recommendations, work group materials and other relevant information, please visit https://law.uoregon.edu/explore/olc-workplace-project.

The Commission will accept written testimony and comments until 6:00 PM on November 30.

There are three ways for you to provide input addressing the preliminary recommendations of the Oregon State Capitol Workplace Harassment Work Group:

      • Public Oral Testimony – You may provide oral testimony to the work group on November 30, from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM, in Hearing Room B of the State Capitol.
      • Public Written Testimony – You may submit written testimony to: [email protected].
      • Informal Written Comment – You may submit informal comments – with or without attribution – via the Oregon Law Commission website.

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House of Delegates Meets at Bar Offices

On November 2, 2018 the Oregon State Bar’s House of Delegates (HOD) met at the bar offices in Tigard. The meeting began with comments from Chief Justice Martha Lee Walters; Vanessa Nordyke, the current Oregon State Bar President; and David Wade, the Chair of the Board of Governor’s Budget and Finance Committee.

Chief Justice Walters began the morning with an overview of the state of the Oregon court system and a call for Bar member support for the Oregon Judicial Department’s 2019 – 2021 proposed budget. In addition, David Wade announced that member fees would not increase in 2019 but may increase in the next few years. There will be a $5 increase in the Client Security Fund to $15.

This year the HOD voted on six resolutions.

      • Adequate funding for legal aid
      • Transparency in Criminal Proceedings
      • Expand the definition of “rural” for the purposes of the Justice Across Oregon Stipend for Summer Employment
      • Study the creation of a young lawyer tier for annual license fees
      • In Memoriam
      • Veterans Day Remembrance

The HOD adopted each of the resolutions. The Annual Meeting has been posted on the bar’s website at https://www.osbar.org/leadership/hod/ for those who could not attend. Thank you to all of the HOD delegates who participated.
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2018 election results in legally-trained elected officials

This election cycle a number of legally-trained candidates successfully ran for office. Kate Brown was re-elected as Governor of Oregon. Governor Brown is a former family law attorney, legislator, and Secretary of State. Attorney General Rosenbaum, a former Court of Appeals judge and Secretary of State Dennis Richardson, a former litigator, were not up for re-election this year. Oregon Commissioner of Labor and Industries, Brad Avakian, a civil rights attorney, did not run for re-election and will step down in 2019.

The House of Representatives included nine legally-trained legislators from 2016 to 2018. Two legally trained representatives will be leaving at the end of the term. Thank you to Representative Rich Vial (Sherwood) and Representative Phil Barnhart (Eugene) for your support of Bar priorities, including funding for the courts, civil legal services, and indigent defense. Representative Linninger (Lake Oswego) left during to become a Circuit Court Judge in Clackamas County and Representative Bentz (SE Oregon) received a mid-term appointment to the Senate.

Two new legally-trained legislators will be sworn in and join the House of Representatives: Kim Wallan (Medford) and Marty Wilde (Eugene). In addition, five legally-trained members of the House of Representatives successfully ran for re-election. Congratulations to:

      • Representative Dan Rayfield (Corvallis)
      • Representative Ken Helm (NE Washington County)
      • Representative Karin Power (Milwaukie)
      • Representative Jennifer Williamson (SW Portland)
      • Representative Mike McLane (S Central Oregon)

This election increases the number of legally-trained senators to five. While Senator Betsy Johnson (St. Helens/North Coast) was not up for re-election this year, Senator Floyd Prozanski (South Eugene) and Senator Peter Courtney (Keizer/Woodburn) both ran successful campaigns and will be returning to Salem. In addition, Senator Cliff Bentz (SE Oregon), who was appointed to the Senate in 2017, ran a successful re-election campaign. Shemia Fagen (Clackamas), a former state representative, successfully ran her first Senate race this year.

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Citizens Campaign for Court Funding Kickoff

The 2018 Citizens Campaign for Court Funding Breakfast was held early Halloween morning in downtown Portland. Chief Justice Martha Lee Walters and Justice Thomas Balmer of the Oregon Supreme Court as well as leaders in the legal and business community, joined Ed Harnden, Michael Haglund, and Graciela Gomez Cowger to discuss the importance of adequate funding for Oregon’s Court system. Over the course of the breakfast, the Justices shared the budget priorities for the Oregon Judicial Department.

This biennium the Oregon Judicial Department is focusing on increasing the number of judges and court staff, safe and secure courthouses, and adequate judicial salaries. The court has provided a list of priority projects which can be found here. Of particular concern to the courts is judicial compensation. Oregon currently ranks 46th of the 50 states in cost-adjusted salaries.

During the legislative session that begins in January and will run through June, lawyers and business leaders will have the opportunity to reach out to legislators and share their support for adequate funding for Oregon’s court system. For more information on the CCCF and how you can get involved, please visit the CCCF website.

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Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability Public Meeting

On December 14, 2018, the Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability will be holding a public meeting from 9:00am – 10:00am at the Oregon State Bar in Tigard. Please see below for the agenda and more information.

 

Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability
Public Meeting
December 14, 2018
9:00 – 10:00 am
Oregon State Bar Building, Columbia Room
16037 SW Upper Boones Ferry Rd, Tigard, OR 97224

Agenda:
1. Review proposed revisions to the Commission’s Rules of Procedure
2. Budget
3. Proposed Customer Service Survey

Comments from the public will be taken in person, or by phone by dialing 866-403-9130 and entering passcode #1135315.

Comments can also be emailed ahead of time to [email protected].
____________________________________________________________________

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What’s Next?

December 11: Task Force Day
December 12 – 14: Legislative Days
January 14: Swearing In
January 15 – 16: Organizational Days
January 22: Opening Day of Session

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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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October 17, 2018

Continued Focus on Public Safety Issues during September Legislative Days

Senate and House Interim Committees on Judiciary

On September 26, 2018, the Senate and House Interim Committees on Judiciary met in Salem during the fall legislative days. Over the almost three-hour meeting the committee members received information regarding the passage of Senate Bill 719 (2017), which instituted extreme-risk protection orders (ERPOs), and the implementation of House Bill 2355 (2017), which treats possession of controlled substances in some situations as a misdemeanor.

      • Extreme-risk protection orders (SB 719). Judge Maureen McKnight from Multnomah County, along with the superintendent of the Oregon State Police and the Multnomah County Sheriff, testified on the use of ERPOs. In addition, a representative from Everytown for Gun Safety also testified. Judge McKnight focused on the impact of the ERPOs on the judicial system and provided data on the use of ERPOs in the court system.
      • Misdemeanor charging for some possession of controlled-substance arrests (HB 2355). Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum as well as representatives from Unite Oregon and the Criminal Justice Commission testified regarding the implementation of HB 2355. The speakers reported on the decrease in arrests as well as a decrease in racial disparities in felony possession of controlled-substances convictions.

In addition, the committees received information on a Behavioral Health Reinvestment Project, the Women’s Justice Project, an update on the Juvenile Justice Work Group, and marijuana diversion. These four projects may generate proposed legislation for the 2019 legislative session.

Joint Emergency Board Interim Subcommittee on Human Services

On September 24, 2018, the Joint Emergency Board Interim Subcommittee on Human Services met in Salem to hear reports and review funding requests from agencies engaged in healthcare, human services, and public safety. During the hearing, the Department of Justice, the Department of Human Services, the Oregon District Attorneys Association, and the Criminal Justice Commission as well as other agencies participated as part of a packed agenda. For a full review of the hearing materials, review the “Meeting Materials.”

      • Juvenile dependency legal representation. The Department of Human Services and the Department of Justice jointly reported to the subcommittee regarding the implementation of HB 5006 and SB 5526. These two bills, passed during the 2017 legislative session, provide funding for enhanced legal representation for child-welfare workers in juvenile dependency hearings. The report from the two agencies indicated that full implementation of the program in all 36 counties is expected to occur by July 1, 2019, to meet the specific needs of each county.
      • Grand-jury recording. During the 2017 legislative session, the legislature passed SB 505, which requires the recording of grand-jury proceedings. The legislation required three counties to begin recording all grand-jury proceedings by March 1, 2018, while the remaining counties are required to begin by July 1, 2019. During the September meeting, the Oregon District Attorneys Association requested a funding allocation for costs associated with the implementation of SB 505. Central to the discussion were questions surrounding the financial responsibilities of the counties and the state.

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House of Delegates Regional Meetings

On Tuesday, October 12, 2018, the House of Delegates (HOD) proposed resolutions were published on the Oregon State Bar’s website. If you are interested in discussing these proposals prior to the HOD Annual Meeting on Friday, November 2, 2018, please consider participating in one of the HOD regional meetings scheduled for October 16–18, 2018. These meetings will be hosted in each bar region and provide an opportunity to learn about the HOD agenda and proposed resolutions for the annual meeting.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

9:00 AM House of Delegates, Region 6, Conference Call
9:00 AM House of Delegates, Region 7, Clackamas County Counsel,
2051 Kaen Road, Oregon City
1:00 PM House of Delegates, Region 4, Oregon State Bar,
16037 SW Upper Boones Ferry Road, Tigard

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

9:00 AM House of Delegates, Region 3, Foster Denman LLP,
 3521 E. Barnett Road, Medford
9:00 AM House of Delegates, Region 8, Conference Call

Thursday, October 18, 2018

9:00 AM House of Delegates Region 2, Conference Call
9:00 AM House of Delegates, Region 5, TBD
1:00 PM House of Delegates, Region 1, Peachy & Myers PC,
401 E 3rd Street, Suite 105, The Dalles

For more information, please visit the Oregon State Bar’s House of Delegates page.

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Council on Court Procedures Publishes Draft Amendments

On September 8, 2018, the Oregon Council on Court Procedures met to discuss draft amendments to the Oregon Rules of Civil Procedure (ORCP). Over a two-year cycle, the council drafts, reviews, and promulgates rules and amendments to the Oregon Rules of Civil Procedure in response to developments to case law, new Oregon or federal legislation, innovations in technology, or changes in legal practice.

This cycle the council voted to publish the amendments and solicit comments on the following proposed rules and amendments. The full text of all proposed amendments can be found here:

      • ORCP 7 – Summons
      • ORCP 15 – Time for Filing Pleadings or Motions
      • ORCP 16 – Form of Pleadings
      • ORCP 22 – Counterclaims, Cross-Claims, and Third-Party Claims
      • ORCP 38 (Conforming Amendment for ORCP 55) – Persons Who May Administer Oaths for Depositions; Foreign Depositions
      • ORCP 43 – Production of Documents and Things and Entry Upon Land for Inspection and Other Purposes
      • ORCP 44 (Conforming Amendment for ORCP 55) – Physical and Mental Examination of Persons; Reports of Examinations
      • ORCP 55 – Subpoena
      • ORCP 65 (Conforming Amendment for ORCP 55) – Referees

The council will meet again on December 1, 2018, to discuss comments and vote on the proposed rules and amendments. To submit comments or feedback, visit the Council on Court Procedure’s website for more information: http://www.counciloncourtprocedures.org.

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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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September 24, 2018

Oregon State Bar House of Delegates to Meet in November

This year, the annual meeting of the House of Delegates (HOD) will be on Friday, November 2, 2018, at the Oregon State Bar Center located at 16037 SW Upper Boones Ferry Road, Tigard, OR 97281.

Oregon State Bar members were invited to submit resolutions to include on the HOD agenda. HOD members submitted a question or measure for the agenda by delivering a copy of the full text of the item to be presented, including a description of any financial impact, to the Executive Director at least 45 days in advance of the meeting. A Bar member who is not a delegate may submit a resolution by a petition signed by at least 2 percent of all active members.

In mid-October, the Board of Governors will host HOD regional meetings throughout the state. This is an opportunity for OSB members to review the proposed resolutions and ask questions. The HOD agenda will be distributed on October 12, 2018, and regional meetings will be scheduled October 16 to 18, 2018.

For more information on the House of Delegates, please visit https://www.osbar.org/leadership/hod.

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Get Involved. How to Support Bar Priorities

Do you support a well-funded court system? Is adequate funding for legal aid and indigent defense important to you? Is access to the court system a priority?

If you answered yes to any of these questions and are interested in advocating for the Bar’s legislative priorities, consider participating in the Oregon State Bar’s legislative outreach program.

To sign up, go to https://publicaffairs.osbar.org/grassroots-advocacy-for-court-funding.

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Thomas Balmer steps down as Chief Justice

This summer, Justice Thomas Balmer ended his tenure as the Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court. Justice Balmer was the 43rd chief justice of the Oregon Supreme Court and served in that role for six years, from 2012 to 2018. In this role he was also the administrative head of the unified court system. Justice Balmer continues to serve on the court.

During his tenure as chief justice, the Oregon Judicial Department moved forward on a number of legislative proposals. Under Chief Justice Balmer’s leadership, the department completed the statewide implementation of Oregon eCourt, continued much-needed courthouse maintenance and replacement projects including the replacement of the Multnomah County Courthouse, and successfully advocated for sufficient funding from the legislature to increase judicial compensation and the number of judges within both the circuit courts and the Oregon Court of Appeals.

Justice Balmer was appointed to the Oregon Supreme Court by Governor Kulongoski in 2001. Prior to joining the judicial branch, Justice Balmer practiced in Boston and Washington DC and was a partner at Ater Wynne in Portland.

Thank you to Justice Balmer for his service as the Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court.

For information on current Chief Justice Martha Lee Walters, read the July 2, 2018, issue of the Capitol Insider.

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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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July 2, 2018

Martha Walters becomes Chief Justice of Oregon Supreme Court

Chief Justice Martha Walters began her tenure as the Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court on July 1, 2018. Justice Walters is the 43rd Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court and the first female elected to the role.

Justice Walters has been a member of the Oregon Supreme Court since 2006. Prior to joining the judicial branch, Justice Walters practiced employment law and civil litigation in Eugene.

In addition to her practice, Justice Walters has been an active volunteer with the Oregon State Bar, the Lane County Bar Association, and the first woman president of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. Prior to joining the court, Justice Walters was involved with the Civil Legal Services Task Force, the Oregon State Bar Disciplinary Board, and the Judicial Administration Committee, to name just a few of her commitments in Oregon.

Further, Justice Walters joined the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws as one of the four Oregon Commissioners in 1992. In 2007 she was voted in as the first female president of the Commission.

According to the Oregon Judicial Department, “By statute, the seven Supreme Court justices elect the Chief Justice to a six-year term. The Chief Justice presides over the Supreme Court and assigns opinions to associate justices to write after oral arguments on cases. She also serves as the administrative head of the Judicial Department – the state court system consisting of 194 trial and appellate judges, 1,584 non-judge employees, and a biennial General Fund budget of $454.5 million.”

Congratulations to Chief Justice-elect Walters!

A retrospective of Chief Justice Balmer’s tenure will run in the next issue of the Capitol Insider.

Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum and Supreme Court Chief Justice Martha Lee Walters at the Oregon State Bar’s President’s Reception in Salem, Oregon. February 2018.

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Simple, two-thirds, or three-fifths majority votes?

In some situations, the Oregon Constitution requires greater than a majority vote to pass legislation. Under Article IV, section 25, bills that raise revenue require a three-fifths majority for passage. And under Article IV, section 33, of the Oregon Constitution, some bills that reduce criminal sentences require a two-thirds majority for passage. Two separate bills that passed in the last two legislative cycles are currently being challenged in Oregon’s courts based, in part, on these constitutional requirements.

Revenue Bills

Article IV, Section 25

In 2018, the Oregon Legislature passed Senate Bill 1528. The bill removed a state tax add back in the calculation of Oregon’s adjusted gross income for some taxpayers. SB 1528, which began in the Senate, passed the Senate 16–13 with 1 excused and passed the House 32–28. While the bill did not receive three-fifths of the votes in either chamber, proponents have argued it did not “raise revenue” for the purposes of Article IV and therefore did not need to meet this requirement. Senator Brian Boquist (R Dallas) filed suit challenging the passage of the bill in June.

Sentencing Bills

Article IV, Section 33

In 2017, the Oregon Legislature passed House Bill 3078, which reduced sentencing for some property crimes. Measure 57, a voter-approved initiative passed in 2008, addressed repeat property crimes.

Under Article IV, section 33, of the Oregon Constitution, bills that reduce a criminal sentence approved by the people requires a two-thirds majority for passage. HB 3078 passed the House 33–26 with 1 excused and passed the Senate 18-11 with 1 excused. In this case, the bill did not receive two-thirds of the votes in either chamber. Proponents of the bill have argued that the changes to Measure 57 in 2009 modified the initiative enough so that Article IV does not apply. Clackamas County District Attorney John Foote, among others, have challenged the constitutionality of HB 3078.

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Election Update – Lawyer Legislators

With the completion of the May primary elections, the Republican, Democratic, and Independent candidates are gearing up for the general election on November 6, 2018. This election cycle, 10 of the 11 currently sitting lawyer-legislators are running for reelection. Representative Phil Barnhart (D-Eugene) has decided to retire after 18 of years representing his House district.

Three new lawyers are running for a legislative seat this election cycle. Candidate Kim Wallen (R-Medford) is running for Representative Sal Esquival’s seat in House District 6. Candidate Marty Wilde (D-Eugene) is running for Representative Barnhart’s seat in House District 11. In addition, Shemia Fagan (D) won a primary challenge and will be running unopposed in the general election to fill the District 24 Senate seat (Mid-Multnomah County).

The thirteen lawyers running for office are:

Oregon House of Representatives

      • District 6 (Medford):                               Kim Wallen (R)
      • District 11 (Eugene):                              Marty Wilde (D)
      • District 16 (Corvallis):                             Dan Rayfield (D)
      • District 26 (Wilsonville):                          Rich Vial (R)
      • District 34 (NE Washington County):      Ken Helm (D)
      • District 36 (SW Portland):                      Jennifer Williamson (D),
        House Majority Leader
      • District 41 (Milwaukie):                          Karin Power (D)
      • District 55 (S Central Oregon):              Mike McLane (R),
        House Republican Leader (R)

Oregon Senate

      • District 4 (S Eugene, Lane County):       Floyd Prozanski (D)
      • District 11 (Keizer, Woodburn):               Peter Courtney (D),
        Senate President
      • District 13 (Keizer):                                  Paul Diller (D)*
      • District 16 (St. Helens, N Coast):            Betsy Johnson (D)
      • District 24 (Mid-Multnomah County):      Shemia Fagan (D)
      • District 30 (Greater Eastern Oregon):     Cliff Bentz (R)

Best of luck to all of the candidates!

*Mr. Diller withdrew from the campaign in June. A replacement will be picked by the Democratic Party of Oregon to run in his place.

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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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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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