Monday, May 12, 2014
Hon. Thomas Balmer
Oregon Supreme Court
1163 State St.
Salem, OR 97301-2563
OSB President Thomas Kranovich
Oregon State Bar
P.O. Box 231935
Tigard, OR 97281
Re: Paulson v. OSB, et al.
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Case No. 13-35672
Dear Judge Balmer and OSB President Thomas Kranovich:
A short time back, I made several peace overtures to the Supreme Court of Oregon and the Oregon State Bar regarding the Bar’s dysfunctional and pernicious disciplinary system. See below, for example.
In that same recent time-frame, the Oregon State Bar has been through three Executive Directors and three Regulatory Counsels. *
Now, it appears that the Oregon State Bar is inviting the American Bar Association to perform the very same evaluation of the Oregon State Bar Disciplinary process that James Hennings proposed in 2001. The Bar never complied with the legal mandate of that 2001 Oregon State Bar House of Delegates Resolution. Bar members just turn away. The Supreme Court of Oregon turns a blind eye. Shame.
I am a friendly fellow. Following my multiple overtures to ‘parley’ at the commencement of this lawsuit; each of you steadfastly refused. I have tried everything. It is remarkable to me that even though Oregon statutes require litigants to ‘parley’; the very agencies of Oregon government charged with enforcing that law — refuse to talk. (ORS 36.100) They have refused to talk ‘on the record’.
It is hereby proposed that we have a formal mediation with the Hon. Sue Leeson or through the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals mediation program.
This is my final overture to each of you to sit down, like adults, and talk. It is ironic the Bar is planning to now do; what Mr. Henning’s Resolution required and what I recommended over ten years ago. Meanwhile, many innocent Oregon lawyers have suffered from your lash.
Let’s talk. It can’t hurt, can it?
Very truly yours,
Oh, Sure #2 Will Do at the OSB!
*The Bar replaces its executive director: no one is called, and no. 2 is chosen.
Lawyers' tongues are buzzing, in a quiet and nonbillable way, about the sudden departure of Teresa Schmid, who from January 2009 until last month was the executive director of the Oregon State Bar. The Oregon State Bar is an unusual entity: it's both the trade association for Oregon's lawyers (all of whom must join to be able to practice) and a state agency, part of the judicial department. The Bar's board comprises twelve persons elected by the state's lawyers and four public members appointed by the governor. The board appoints the executive director.
The Bar's board hired Ms. Schmid after the previous executive director, Karen Garst, retired. Unlike Ms. Garst and her predecessors, Ms. Schmid was herself a lawyer, and most recently the executive director of the State Bar of Arizona. (The idea that the Oregon State Bar was at long last administered by a lawyer reminds me of a headline that Mrs. Laquedem noticed a while back: "Rocket scientist to head NASA.") The Oregon State Bar conducted an intensive search to replace Ms. Garst, and Ms. Schmid narrowly won out over two attorneys who were then working for the Bar.
Faced with Ms. Schmid's resignation, the governors of the Bar chose not to hold another search, but offered the job to one of the runners-up from the 2008 search, Sylvia Stevens, a longtime member of the Oregon Bar. The buzz is not so much why the governors picked Ms. Stevens -- she was apparently the close second choice in 2008 -- but what, if anything, the governors will tell their members about why the winner of the first search didn't hold the job for even two years.
(At least Ms. Schmid was brave enough to meet with me face-to-face regarding my dilemma at the OSB—while she was there! LP)
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Hon. Thomas Balmer
Supreme Court of Oregon 1163 State St.
Salem, OR 97301-2536
Re: Lauren Paulson
Oregon State Bar Reinstatement Application
Dear Chief Justice Balmer:
Please accept this as my Application for Reinstatement to the Oregon State Bar under ORS 9.529 which states:
9.529 Status of proceedings relating to discipline, admission or reinstatement. Bar proceedings relating to discipline, admission and reinstatement are neither civil nor criminal in nature. They are sui generis and within the inherent power of the Supreme Court to control.
I am not submitting this Application for Reinstatement under normal Oregon State Bar procedures for this reason. Following my unceremonious removal from the Oregon State Bar Board of Governors in 2004 Jeff Sapiro, Disciplinary Counsel for the Oregon State Bar, admitted in his deposition that he was biased against me. All this may be found in the record of those proceedings that actually began in 2001 when I first filed a bar complaint against Mr. Sapiro for delay.
Realizing this Application for Reinstatement may cause an administrative burden on the Supreme Court of Oregon which it may not relish, may I propose the following:
Recommendation -- The Supreme Court of Oregon appoint a Referee under ORCP 65 to perform the administrative function normally accorded through the good offices of the Oregon State Bar.
Moreover, I recommend that the appointment be made for a Referee from outside the State of Oregon. You see, following what I maintained was an unconstitutional Bill of Attainder in the “Paulson” Bar Rule 18.6 that cancelled me off the Oregon State Bar Board of Governors; I sued the Bar and Jeff Sapiro in U.S. District Court of Oregon. Therefore, it is unlikely that any member of the Oregon State Bar, including the judiciary can be unbiased toward me.
However, in view of the stakes involved, I am willing to waive that bias that undoubtedly presents itself in the Supreme Court of Oregon, provided we can follow this alternative process.
My goal is not to practice law again. My goal is to clear my name.
As you can see from the attached, I regard Oregon’s Disciplinary Process as patently unconstitutional. If the Supreme Court of Oregon is willing to ameliorate my situation in the legal profession then I am willing to work with the Oregon State Bar to ameliorate the defects in the Bar disciplinary process. It is my understanding that the Oregon State Bar Board of Governors is planning to look into the disciplinary process anyway and perhaps, I can lend positive input into that endeavor.
I look forward to hearing from you in these regards. Thank you in advance for your interest and consideration.
Very truly yours,
cc: Oregon State Bar
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Oregon State Bar Disciplinary Task Force
Re: Class Action
Dear Task Force Member:
It was with a satisfying glow; not of smugness, rather for the happy fact that the system worked, that I left Eugene in the Fall of 2002. I was heading towards the Oregon Coast where I was late for a ‘Chill’ reunion with grade school classmates.
The Disciplinary Task Force (DTF) of the Oregon State Bar had done its job. In a plenary way. Because Ed Harnden had left a troublemaker like me off the DTF, I decided to follow the process anyway. But, this is not about me.
It is about over 13,000 Oregon lawyers who are being made fools of by a small knot of people without integrity who somehow made their way to the top of our local legal profession. And those same people have made fools of you too. For the last ten years.
I watched carefully as each of you did your job then. In fact, your efforts should be the prototype for all such efforts at the Oregon State Bar. This compliment comes from one who entered that process beginning in September, 2001as a cynic. I also observed, as a member of the House of Delegates (HOD), as Bar leadership tried to rig the crucial HOD vote when delegate James Hennings bravely provided a blue print for your task.
During the nine-month long process I attended every meeting, read every report, watched with admiration as each of you gallantly did your job. Watched again when Oregon State Bar Executive Director Karen Garst brought sycophant William Carter into your midst to try to sway you from establishing a ‘Consumer’ Assistance Office. And I watched other attempts at subversion.
On that point there is some bad news. A principle objective of Mr. Henning’s Resolution, adopted by the Oregon State Bar membership, was “....the appropriate speed” ....of the disciplinary process. Equally important, your task was to discern whether there was bias in Oregon’s lawyer disciplinary process. Do the little fish get caught while Charlie Tuna swims cheerfully away? Forty seven (47) Oregon lawyers took the time to write to you about their tales of bar retaliation. Nobody (except Charlie Williamson) looked into any of them. Does Sally Leisure ring a bell? Or Charlie Isaak? Or…………? 47% of Bar members opined in the DTF survey that there is bias in the system. This elephant is still in the $20 million dollar Oregon State Bar Center living room ten years later.
You examined neither the issue of delay in the handling of disciplinary matters nor the issue of bias in the system; notwithstanding formal reminders that this part of your task was never addressed by you nor anyone.
There is worse news. Not only did the Oregon State Bar ignore the statutory obligations here; the Bar also ignored the formal mandates prescribed in the 2002 report and subsequently adopted in the Bar Rules; notably mediation. Jeff Sapiro is making a fool of each of you right before your adverted eyes. All while thousands of Oregon lawyers suffer because Jeff Sapiro, Oregon’s Disciplinary Counsel enjoys prosecuting erstwhile lawyers so much. The little fish.
Thus, it is time to provide a forum to assuage the grievances of all those lawyers in Oregon who you and the the Oregon State Bar leadership have let down. Only now there is much more at stake.
Very truly yours,
(May 12, 2014) — ……And by the way, do you-all feel a little bit remorseful about what the Bar did to me in 2004-6 as I was earnestly serving the Bar? Just asking. If you do, a letter to Chief Justice Balmer wouldn’t hurt. Just asking. Thanks, L.P.
The Oregon State Bar is an unusual entity: it's both the trade association for Oregon's lawyers (all of whom must join to be able to practice) and a state agency, part of the judicial department. The Bar's board comprises twelve persons elected by the state's lawyers and four public members appointed by the governor. The board appoints the executive director.