This is a roadmap for the ordinary Oregon lawyer to effect change. The real power at the State of Oregon Bar (SOB) lies where? Give up? No, it is not with the Executive Director (who is retiring at the end of this year). Nor with the President of the Oregon State Bar. Not even with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Oregon. The real power of the SOB lies with the Sections and Committee groups along with local bars. Let me explain why.
The Power -- The manifest heartbeat of the Oregon State Bar is located at the twenty Committees and forty Sections of the Bar. (Sections are supposed to assist the Bar Board of Governors (BOG) in policy-making while Committees are intended to sharpen lawyer subject-matter skills.) There are about one thousand (1,000) of you in Bar Sections/Committees. This dwarfs the sixteen members of BOG, the one hundred members of the House of Delegates and the twenty local county bar organizations. Enthusiasm resonates at the Sections/Committee level and with many of the local bars.
Judicial Evaluations -- As previously reported, in 2004 the Oregon State Bar Board of Governors decided to implement a statewide judicial evaluation program in Oregon to begin in 2007. In 2005, the American Bar Association voted unanimously that each state in the United States should have a statewide judicial evaluation program. The ABA developed black-letter guidelines and a package of evaluation forms all available on the internet. In 2006, under Dennis Rawlinson's leadership, the Oregon State Bar Board of Governors yielded to political correctness and timidity and decided not to have judicial evaluations in Oregon.
Practical Magic -- Well guess what folks, there already IS a user friendly statewide judicial evaluation program for Oregon on the internet. It is located at ---therobingroom.com. Here is how to use it:
1. Put ---therobingroom.com -- in the address bar.
2. Scroll down the left side and click on 'Oregon'.
3. A map of Oregon will appear and click on your county directly on the state map.
4. A list of your county judges will appear. Click on 'rate this judge'.
5. Follow the instructions and provide comments if relevant.
Potential Power to Implement Judicial Evaluations in Oregon: Phase 1. Individual Oregon lawyers can begin evaluating your local judges now at this internet site. Phase 2. The Section/Committee chairs could alert their organizations about this judicial evaluation opportunity now. Phase 3. Local bar presidents could obtain the ABA judicial evaluation program and implement the entire comprehensive judicial evaluation program in their counties during the next year. Phase 4. Each Section/Committee chair and local bar president could alert their local media of the judicial evaluation results before the next local election cycle. Moral of the story -- All of us should be judged fairly if we are judged at all.
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