THE THIRD LEG OF THE JUDICIAL SELECTION STOOL
by Lauren (Pug) Paulson
To: Bill Scanlon CSpan
James Oliphant, National Journal
Date: Thursday, October 30, 2014
I watched your recent discussion on how judges are selected with enraptured attention. Here is the Third Stool of the Discussion — Judicial Performance Evaluations. (JPE) Here is the Third-Rail of that discussion. I got drummed out of the Board of Governors of the Oregon State Bar AND out of the Bar itself over my support of Judicial Performance Evaluations for all of the judiciary in 2004. Judges are dead set for Judicial Independence (read they can “do what they want”). Former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin described it as “legal realism” . Judges are dead set against Judicial Performance Evaluations because it makes them accountable to the Rule of Law and accountable to the stream of citizens that seek justice before them every day: citizens that have the power to vote them out of office in states with judicial elections.
If one looks at where we are at in 2014, the story really begins in 1971 with the Lewis Powell memo.
THE LEWIS POWELL MEMO OF 1971
In 1971, Lewis F. Powell, then a corporate lawyer and member of the boards of 11 corporations, wrote a memo to his friend Eugene Sydnor, Jr., the Director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The memorandum was dated August 23, 1971, two months prior to Powell’s nomination by President Nixon to the U.S. Supreme Court. Future Justice Powell stated that, “Strength lies in organization, in careful long-range planning and implementation, in consistency of action over an indefinite period of years, in the scale of financing available only through joint effort, and in the political power available only through united action and national organizations.”
What followed is a well orchestrated, long term plan to stifle the left and to stuff the dissent of the 1960’s and begin to nurture schools, think tanks and corporations in a new way of thinking. The following is no accident, but flowed directly from the conservative metamorphoses and Powell’s call to action of 1971 in the law.
National Center for State Courts (NCSC) -- Formed in 1971 by Richard Nixon and Chief Justice Warren Burger. Its mission is for judicial reform and judicial administration improvements in the courts of the U.S. The American Judges Association is an NCSC partner. Some of their meetings are secret.
1973 — The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) began in 1973 as part of this conservative process.
1980’s -- The Federalist Society -- Formed in 1982, it is a group of conservatives and libertarians dedicated to reforming the current legal order. It now has chapters in 196 law schools. But, yet more:
American Inns of Court -- This concept began in the 1970‘s in Utah through the School of Law at Brigham Young University. Finally and formally formed in 1983 by Chief Justice Warren Burger the Inns are an amalgam of judges, lawyers, law professors and law students. Their stated mission is to foster excellence in professionalism, ethics, civility and legal skills. Some of their proceedings are secret.
Hon. Ken Starr is a trustee of the Inns of Court Foundation. All the awards designated by the Inns are named after Republican jurists including one in Sandra Day-O’Connor’s name.
State Justice Institute -- Formed in 1984, its mission is to ensure access to a fair and effective justice system. It serves to provide grants to State courts and to finance the activities of the National Center for State Courts with taxpayer money.
In 1999, the State Justice Institute commissioned the National Center for State Courts to produce The Anti-Government Guidebook. This 200 page tome instructs judges on how to cope with unruly consumers who represent themselves sans lawyers in court proceedings.
American Judicature Society -- The American Judicature Society created the Center for Judicial Independence in 1997 in response to an increase in perceived unfair criticism and efforts to remove from the bench judges who have issued unpopular rulings.
During the summer of 2011, The American Judicature Society conducted a nationwide survey of Judicial Nominating Commissioners. Nominating commissions exist in 36 states and the District of Columbia to recruit, screen, evaluate, and recommend individuals for appointment to fill vacancies in the state courts.
The American Judicature Society is partially sponsored by Bank of America.
Some of their proceedings are secret.
The American Judicature Society has recently announced they are transferring their book of business to the National Center for State Courts.
This long-term focus began paying off handsomely in the 1980s, in coordination with the Reagan Administration’s “hands-off business” philosophy.
WHERE ARE WE NOW?
The stealth campaign by former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor at the federal level and former Oregon State Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul De Muniz at the state level is to nudge us to judicial self-SELECTION rather than judicial Elections. Each state already has a powerful oligarchy who controls things in their state. The ‘SELECTION’ effort is simply a method to put more power in each state’s legal oligarchical hands and away from simple judicial elections by citizens.
A formal statewide system of Judicial Performance Evaluations would give the citizenry the information necessary to make the present mosaic of judicial elections work. In addition, it would provide a meaningful system of accountability of our judiciary, at every level, who have presently run amuck. Think, BUSH V. GORE.
The Innocent on Death Row
By THE EDITORIAL BOARD OF THE NEW YORK TIMES SEPT. 3, 2014
“The exoneration of two North Carolina men who spent 30 years in prison — one on death row — provides a textbook example of so much that is broken in the American justice system. And it is further evidence (as though more were needed) that the death penalty is irretrievably flawed as well as immoral.”
LEGAL ROT by Lauren Paulson
In 1963, I was on ‘shore patrol’ for the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division out of Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. In a similar role to the Navy’s ‘shore patrol’ our job was collecting those soldiers who had acted out, and were usually drunk. On duty in Fayetteville North Carolina, we would put them in the back of a 3/4 ton truck and transport them back, without further ado, to base.
Others were not so lucky. We waited for our soldiers at the Fayetteville police station where there was an ‘interrogation’ booth in the middle of the Fayetteville police office space. Built like a cubicle with a door, it was a wood structure to waist height, and opaque glass above that almost to the ceiling.
During the night, the quarry of the local police would be led to the ‘cubicle’ and the door closed. Soon there would be sounds of a scuffle, then outright sounds of a beating with grunts of the victim (the putative criminal) and even cries for the beating to stop; then silence. Soon, the thoroughly beaten ‘criminal defendant’ would be led away, bloodied, battered and white. White with fear, that is. The beaten men were usually black. The slave market was the honored memorial in downtown Fayetteville at the time.
The process would repeat itself as the night wore on. We transported our chastened, but unbeaten soldiers back to camp, then returned to hear the walls of the cubicle rattle again and again as another victim was led to the booking station for further processing into the night. Processing. By all-white police officers of the kind we all know so well.
Our legal system is broken. Thoroughly broken. Leaders silently turn away. The best way to stop discrimination is to stop discrimination says U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts with an absence of wisdom.
BUTTERFLYS WERE THE FIRST INDICATION
If One Just Stops to Take Notice
Nothing Special brought me here. To Eileen’s Garden. A tattered chaise lounge, a small table supporting red wine.
The still deer hid in the dense garden paradise. Hummingbirds partake of sprinkler water.
But that isn’t what I came to talk to you about:
THE ROBIN’S NEST
The tilt of my chair matched perfectly an upturned chin quaffing the red nector. As my neck rocked my head back I saw it. Complete with nature’s paradise I saw it just as Mom arrived. Then two upturned small beaks opened as Mom fed them just was we learned. Quiet though.
Mom flew away and Papa arrived as all was right with the world. A grey digger (Western tree) squirrel loomed. His interest took him to an opposing branch then off. More butterflies framed Eileen’s Garden. The deer meandered off. The robin babies’ heads dipped below the nest’s edge.
COUNTRY LAWYER LAUREN (Pug) PAULSON, THE TWO ‘JEFF’S’AND THE OREGON STATE BAR
This is a tale of how the Leading Lawyers in Oregon dither while the 13,000 loyal lawyers of the Oregon State Bar suffer; suffer greatly. Included, is how the media; here The Oregonian specifically, does their job reporting on Oregon’s legal community. Poorly.
1973 — Lauren Paulson graduates from Lewis & Clark’s Northwestern School of Law, passes the state bar exam and proudly becomes an Oregon lawyer.
1996 — Lauren Paulson is elected President of the Washington County Bar Association.
2001 — Lauren Paulson makes a formal bar complaint against Oregon State Bar (OSB) Disciplinary Counsel Jeff Sapiro for over a year delay of a disciplinary investigation involving Paulson.
2001 — Jeff Sapiro brings a formal disciplinary complaint against Lauren Paulson for an alleged illegal attorney fee charge of $67.50. It goes to a full scale trial.
2001 — As an Oregon State Bar House of Delegates member, Lauren Paulson votes to implement a study of the Oregon State Bar Disciplinary process.
2002 — Lauren Paulson attends all meetings and provides input to the Oregon State Bar Disciplinary Task Force Report. It is approved by the House of Delegates in October, 2002 with Lauren Paulson as a voting member. The new system removed Jeff Sapiro from the intake process of disciplinary complaints and creates a Client Assistance Office to screen and triage Oregon attorney disciplinary complaints.
2004 — Lauren Paulson is elected to the Oregon State Bar Board of Governors; the governing body of the Oregon State Bar. Lauren commences a constituent newsletter to his Washington County fellow lawyers regarding Board of Governors happenings. Bar leadership wants to pre-approve (censor) said newsletter to ensure it is following the ‘party’ line. Paulson refuses censorship and continues his constituent newsletter under a novel concept known as free speech.
2006 — Lauren Paulson blows the whistle on the former OSB Executive Director’s attempt to secretly get the Oregon State Bar to purchase her church building in Tualatin, Oregon. She is a creditor of her own church. It is later learned that the church is financially underwater. The church founder’s husband is eventually found guilty of money laundering church and other funds. He is sentenced to ten (10) years in jail.
2006 — The Oregon State Bar Board of Governors writes a new rule that defrocks any Board of Governor member who is subject to a disciplinary complaint. Lauren Paulson is removed as a Board of Governor of the Oregon State Bar under this new rule. He is later disbarred on the multiple bar complaints filed against him by Jeff Sapiro.
September 21, 2011 — Therese Bottomly, Editor of the Oregonian, attends an Oregon State Bar meeting on why and how the Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court is wasting $200 million taxpayer dollars on an abortive attempt to facilitate electronically filed pleadings with the courts called eCourt. She is unsure why she is there. (Think ‘Cover Oregon’) Lauren hands her his business card on the issue of the Broken Legal System in Oregon.
April 28, 2012 — Lauren Paulson wrote to the former members of the 2002 Oregon State Bar Disciplinary Task Force of 2002 to point out how the House of Delegates 2001 Resolution was never implemented by the Oregon State Bar in general and Jeff Sapiro specifically.
August 12, 2012 — Reporter Jeff Manning leaves The Oregonian to work for newly elected Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum.
August 29, 2012 — Lauren Paulson wrote a formal letter to Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice Balmer outlining the Hon. Balmer’s statutory responsibility for attorney discipline in Oregon and how the present system is unconstitutional in twenty (20) specific ways. (See Appendix below)
January 4, 2013 — Jeff Manning Reports on new Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum.
January 30, 2013 — Lauren Paulson files a Class Action lawsuit in U.S. District Court of Oregon against the Oregon State Bar, Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Balmer and Jeff Sapiro alleging Oregon’s Disciplinary regulations and laws against Oregon lawyers are unconstitutional. Case No. 13-00175
February 28, 2013 — Jeff Sapiro, OSB disciplinary counsel and director of regulatory services from 1989 to February 2013 retires.
April, 2013 — The Oregon State Bar welcomes John S. Gleason as the new OSB disciplinary counsel and director of regulatory services. He was formerly regulation counsel for the Colorado Supreme Court. In February, he received the National Organization of Bar Counsel 2013 President’s Award, honoring his many years of dedication and noteworthy contributions to the legal profession.
January 10, 2014 — John Gleason, Director of Regulatory Services & Disciplinary Counsel files a formal proposal with the Oregon State Bar Board of Governors to invite the American Bar Association to conduct an on-site review of the Oregon State Bar discipline system.
January 10, 2014 — The American Bar Association Journal wrote in January of 2014:
“John Gleason, who in March became disciplinary counsel and director of regulatory services at the Oregon State Bar, says that even non-“death penalty” states require disbarred lawyers to wait a number of years before seeking reinstatement. In Colorado, where he previously served as attorney regulation counsel, the waiting period can be up to eight years.
“My experience is that lawyers who are disbarred are generally unhappy with their work as a lawyer. They’ve probably found a position they’re happy in and have no interest in coming back,” says Gleason. “It’s a fairly low percentage of lawyers who seek reinstatement.”
April 23, 2014 — Jeff Manning writes about Oregon State Bar Disciplinary Counsel John Gleason’s ‘controversial’ tenure and departure. “On his way out, Gleason wrote a memo outlining his dim view of the Oregon bar's current disciplinary process and the bar's disciplinary lawyers.”
Gleason also suggested his reforms were backed, or even suggested by the Oregon Supreme Court and Oregon’s Chief Justice Thomas Balmer specifically.
Reached for comment Wednesday afternoon, Balmer said that's not the case. "It is not accurate to say the Supreme Court gave him a directive and that Gleason was implementing that," he said. "What is accurate, at least from my perspective is that there are aspects of the bar's regulatory function that have not really been looked at it in a long time. It's open to question whether that's the best way to do things."
May, 2014 — New OSB Disciplinary Counsel Appointed
Dawn Miller Evans a lawyer from Texas and Michigan, has joined the Oregon State Bar as Director of Regulatory Services and Disciplinary Counsel. She replaces John Gleason, who served in the position from February 2013 through March 2014.
827C Ransom Ave
Brookings, OR 97415
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Hon. Thomas Balmer
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
PRESS RELEASE ******** FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
FROM: Lauren Paulson
RE: OREGON STATE BAR, OREGON SUPEME COURT CHIEF JUSTICE Thomas Balmer
CONTACT: Lauren Paulson
827C Ransom Ave
Brookings, OR 97415
firstname.lastname@example.org 503 470 9709
Oregon State Bar
Department of Justice
Hon. Thomas Balmer
On April 30, 2014 the U.S. Court of Appeals of the Ninth Circuit, in Case No. 13-35672 reinstated the Class Action lawsuit filed against The Oregon State Bar, The Supreme Court of Oregon and that Court’s Chief Justice, Thomas Balmer. The case had been dismissed by federal U.S. District Court of Oregon’s Chief Judge Ann Aiken in June of last year in Case No. 13-cv-00175.
The Class Action lawsuit filed by former Oregon lawyer, Lauren Paulson, sought to correct alleged multiple deficiencies in how the Oregon State Bar operates their lawyer disciplinary process. Jeff Sapiro, the former Regulatory Counsel for the Oregon State Bar is also a defendant. He retired last year. His replacement, John Gleason resigned several months ago after less than a year in the job. The newest Regulatory Counsel for the Oregon State Bar has just been hired.
Paulson, a lawyer from Aloha, ran afoul of Oregon’s disciplinary process just as he began a four year term on the Oregon State Bar Board of Governors. He had participated in a previous Oregon State Bar disciplinary process study task force in 2002.
There are about 14,000 lawyers in Oregon.
Sylvia Stevens, the third Executive Director of the Oregon State Bar in the last three years, has recently announced that the American Bar Association is going to evaluate the Oregon State Bar’s lawyer disciplinary system and a task force is presently forming to supplement that process.