The Oregon State Bar has been taken over by a small group of self-righteous and greedy people. Nobody is doing anything about it. Not the Supreme Court of Oregon which has primary responsibility. Not the Oregon State Bar Board of Governors. Not the Oregon State Bar House of Delegates. Nobody. Nothing.
In 1893, a small group of self-righteous and greedy people, mostly the grown children of missionaries, decided among themselves to overthrow the monarchy of Hawaii to protect their interest in the island's sugar industry. Immediately after the takeover of the government of the sovereign nation of Hawaii, President Grover Cleveland commissioned an investigation of this unauthorized coup. Following receipt of the facts, President Cleveland issued a report on December 18, 1893 which concluded that the actions of the group, The Committee on Safety, as they called themselves, acted contrary to International and American law. Notwithstanding this formal finding of the injustice done to the people of Hawaii, nobody did anything. Not Congress. Not the American people. Nothing.
The takeover of the Oregon State Bar has been partially accomplished by the following people.
- Ed Harnden has moved from the major-domo of one downtown Portland law firm to another. Part of those duties keeps him in hi-profile at the Bar. One way he stays active is to serve on every committee known to the Oregon State Bar for the last eon. If you looked up ubiquitous in the Oregon State Bar directory you would see his face.
- Charlie Williamson is not far behind. Initially, a poverty lawyer; fame and fortune has perverted him to a self-described paid bootlicker.
- William Carter has an enmeshed relationship with the Bar's Executive Director, Karen Garst which comically remains. Together they ruled the Bar, reduced the Bar's Board of Governors to The Board of Sycophants and even engaged in deposing those in the way as did Hawaii's Committee on Safety. (For further reading on that subject hit "The Education of a Member of the Board of Governors" navigation bar on the top of the page on your left)
- Mark Johnson enjoys the fame and fortune that comes from having been President of the Bar as does --
- Dennis Karnopp -- if Mitt Romney was sent by central casting to be President of the United States, Attorney Karnopp occupies the same dubious distinction. Infamy comes because he hired Karen Garst.
- Albert Menasche ensconced himself on the Professionalism Commission where the rich and powerful plan behind your back. How can anybody be against 'professionalism'!? Al and Dennis are responsible for your purchase of the Bar's 'twin towers' with $20 million of dues money.
- Dennis Rawlinson and Nena Cook arranged for their respective law firms to represent the conflicting interests of Karen Garst and the Living Enrichment Center (LEC). Then they each got voted in as President of the Oregon State Bar. Funny how that happens. For further reading on this subject you can read the Oregon District Court federal criminal file # 05-CR-132 and the right reverend Mary Morrissey's book Building Your Field of Dreams. The LEC complex could have been your New Bar Center had not truth intervened.
The jury is still out on Bar President Richard Yugler, but why should he be different?
What you can do about it -- Years ago, in the middle of a DUII (drinking and driving) trial, a cadre of Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) filed into a local courtroom. One could immediately observe a sea change in the Court's rulings and the jury snapped to attention. The drunken driver lost the trial even though he had been winning before the MADD group arrived.
It is not well known that all Oregon State Bar Board of Governors meetings are open to the public. Yes, even to the lawyers of Oregon. A huge group of concerned lawyers attended the Board of Governors meeting last fall regarding the resignation of Affirmative Action maven Stella Manabe from a distinguished position at the Bar. While it is unclear what the final result will be, I can guarantee you this got the attention of Karen Garst and Albert Menasche, the past President. So, if you are a section or committee head or otherwise part of a group concerned about what your Bar is doing, go online, find out when the next Board of Governors is having their bi-monthly meeting, organize your group, get on the public agenda and raise hell.
When one wanders down the placid, beautiful beaches of Hawaii, one has to wonder how the natives lost their island, their sovereignty and their way of life to a few rich and determined white men not that long ago. And nobody raised hell to correct this injustice.