‘A Black Hole' developed at the Oregon State Bar (OSB) in 2008. Or as Lewis Black would say it, "....there is something askew". The Oregon State Bar is supposed to hold a business meeting of the Bar's House of Delegates (HOD) every year. This is supposed to be an Oregon lawyer ‘power' meeting. In 2008 the meeting was to be held at the Sunriver Resort in Oregon on September 13, 2008. There are no minutes of that meeting, nor even a mention in any official Bar records of what happened at that meeting. A Black Hole.
What are they hiding? How about the fact that Karen Garst, the Executive Director of the Oregon State Bar was leaving out of the back door? Maybe it is the $20 million dollar building the Bar bought just before the financial meltdown. Here is the skinny.
The Oregon State Bar's House of Delegates is the leaderless legislature of the Bar. By statute (ORS 9.139) the HOD members are supposed to meet every year to "Direct the (OSB) Board of Governors as to future action" for the next year. In 2008 the Bar could not even get 200 of their 13,000 members to attend this meeting, so there was not a quorum. Without a quorum they could not conduct business.
On September 24, 2008 the outgoing OSB President, Rick Yugler called a special meeting of the Board of Governors to try to decide what to do. They decided to have a special meeting of the House of Delegates on November 7, 2008. The problem is that these House of Delegates lawyers are scattered all over the state. The Bar announcement appeared in their (publication-lite) Bulletin as follows:
"Special HOD Meeting Scheduled for Nov. 7
We have scheduled a special HOD meeting for 1:30 pm on Friday, November 7, 2008, at the new OSB Center in Tigard. Please let us know as soon as possible whether or not you will be able to attend. Please make every effort to be there."
The next month the Bulletin reported:
The House of Delegates met on Nov. 7 at the OSB Center in Tigard. Several resolutions were considered and voted on by the members.
Items passed included: a resolution to urge the Oregon Supreme Court to adopt a rule for provision of legal services following a major disaster; a resolution to allow section or local bar association to designate alternate delegates to the House of Delegates; a resolution to ask Oregon Supreme Court to amend Oregon RPC 1.6(b)(7) to create an additional exception to the duty of confidentiality in order to comply with the terms of a diversion agreement, probation, conditional reinstatement or conditional admission; a resolution to encourage sustainability through funding for optional use of video conferencing technology for routine court appearances and expanding optional telephonic appearances by counsel; a resolution to support fair compensation for public defense lawyers; and a resolution to support adequate funding for legal services to low-income Oregonians.
There are no Bar minutes of what happened at the Oregon State Bar on September 13, 2008 nor what happened on November 7, 2008 with respect to their House of Delegates meeting. Nothing. The HOD's official slate for what they did in 2008 is blank in the meeting minutes of the Oregon State Bar. A Black Hole. Garst and Yugler are somewhere near the same place as Bush and Cheney just now.
The Oregon State Bar leadership has done away with the Annual Bar Convention, they have done away with the popular 'Tent' show, they have done away with their popular 'Town Meetings' and they can't even get 200 lawyers to come to an annual business meeting that is prescribed by statute to do their annual business. The Oregon State Bar needs an Extreme Makeover.