Oregon State Bar Meeting of the Board of Governors June 12, 2009 Open Session Minutes
The meeting was called to order by President Gerry Gaydos at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, June 12, 2009 and adjourned at 4:50 p.m. Members present from the Board of Governors were Barbara DiIaconi, Kathy Evans, Ann Fisher, Michelle Garcia, Gerry Gaydos, Ward Greene, Gina Johnnie, Kellie Johnson, Chris Kent, Karen Lord, Audrey Matsumonji, Mitzi Naucler, Steve Piucci, Robert Vieira and Terry Wright. Staff members present were Teresa Schmid, Sylvia Stevens, Margaret Robinson, Frank Garcia, Emily Yip, Jeff Sapiro, Susan Grabe, Rod Wegener, Judith Baker, Kay Pulju, Katherine Petrecca, George Wolff, and Teresa Wenzel. Present from the PLF were Ron Bryant, Ira Zarov, and Tom Cave. Also present were Lauren Paulson, Ross Williamson (ONLD), Judge Adrienne Nelson, David Peterson (Pro Bono Committee), and Maya Crawford (Campaign for Equal Justice).
Report of Officers
A. Report of the President
Mr. Gaydos waived his oral report to allow additional time for Mr. Paulson and Judge Nelson to make their presentations.
B. Report of the President-elect
Ms. Evans updated the board on her attendance at the Northwest Bars Conference, the Western States Bar Conference, the ABA Midyear Meeting, the Lane County Spring Bash, and the PLF board of directors meeting; and reported that, along with Mr. Gaydos and Ms. Grabe, she has been keeping an eye on the budgeting process at the legislature.
C. Report of the Executive Director
Ms. Schmid highlighted issues included in her written report: (1) There will be a delegation of lawyers visiting the bar from China. (2) Member comments from the Eastern Oregon tour included the desire that HOD meetings be held in Portland rather than at the coast, the need for the bar to become more aggressive in find ways to reach attorneys through technology such as video conferencing, and concerns about how the downturn in the economy is affecting clients’ access to justice. She reported that (3) the Washington State Bar Association has moved to paperless board agendas and that the OSB hopes to be paperless by October. (4) To help reduce the budget, bar staff has been taking on jobs previously done by contract workers, Human Resources is evaluating salaries to see that they are inline with corporate salaries in the area, and changes in Legal Pubs should lead to additional savings by providing more books and services to members electronically. (5) The Member Stimulus Package includes a new webpage, podcasts and videos that members can easily share, and new guidelines for
Open Minutes June 12, 2009 Page a 07/09/09the Model Means Program. (6) Regulatory Services and the Client Assistance Office are evaluating the system for monitoring probation and diversion to determine if it can be used more often and effectively. (7) The OSB building has received an Energy Star rating and a recent universal design audit of the bar building resulted in a very favorable report. (8) The BBX intents to change the composition of the bar exam to include an additional MPE question and standardized essay questions; the changes should be implemented by February 2012.
D. Oregon New Lawyers Division 1. ONLD Report
Mr. Williamson highlighted his written report adding that Jessica Cousineau is the chair-elect of the ONLD and will begin attending meetings with him to become acquainted with the board before her term as chair begins.
2. Board Members’ Reports
Board members waived their reports to allow more time for Mr. Paulson and Judge Nelson to make presentations.
3. Professional Liability Fund
A. General Update
Mr. Zarov informed the board that in 2008 the PLF had an increase of 10% in cases for an all-time high of 958 cases and that the cases are becoming increasingly complicated due to the economy.
B. Claims There were about 100 more claims in 2008 and they were more severe than 2007.
C. Loss Prevention/OAAP
OAAP/PMA staff is very busy but doing well. They have updated three handbooks, and produced two well-attended CLEs.
D. Excess Program Treaty Date
The PLF Board of Directors will be reviewing its excess plan and will have it ready for BOG review in October.
Mr. Cave indicated that although the PLF has suffered significant investment losses in 2008, the financial situation has rallied and 2009 returns look positive. Because it appears claims will be fewer and smaller than in 2008, 2009 is expected to be a good, or
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at the very least a better, year. Mr. Bryant indicated the PLF changed auditors and received a very clean audit for 2008.
4. Special Appearances
A. Judicial Evaluation
Lauren Paulson presented his proposal for judicial evaluations. He pointed out the importance for attorneys of having a general idea of how judges rule so they will be able to better advise and defend their clients. He presented a brief history of the BOG’s actions regarding judicial evaluation and presented materials containing various websites supporting his views, which he felt might be of concern to the board. He concluded by encouraging the board to pursue judicial evaluations.