Broad Representation: The OSB Diversity Section Executive Committee (DSEC) continues to reflect a broad representation of the OSB membership with executive committee members from specialty bars, government practice, Oregon law schools, small/med-sized/large law firms and diversity-related bar sections. An area for improved representation is, non-profit/public interest practice.
Collaboration and Communications Sub-committee: The subcommittee, chaired by Shannon Richard and Claudia Groberg, continues its efforts to more effectively communicate with section membership. This subcommittee also wrote letters to members asking them to renew and supplied informational brochures, pens and magnets for distribution to new admittees at swearing-in. The subcommittee also organized 2 CLEs and Socials. Other members of this sub-committee are: Judge Cheryl Albrecht, Audrey Hirsch, Megan Livermore, Denise Keppinger and Gabriela Sanchez.
Support for the HOD Vote to Change the RPC: In 2013, the Diversity Section became aware of a proposed change to rule 8.4 of the Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC) recommended by a taskforce of the OSB Legal Ethics Committee. The proposed rule provides a clear statement by the bar that it is unethical for a lawyer to harass or discriminate on the basis of certain classes, in the course of representing a client. Members of various specialty bars organized to support the rule change when it was presented to the House of Delegates on November 1, 2013. The Diversity Section was a part of this effort and members worked to assist by participating in planning and discussion as a board and also with other specialty bar members; writing letters in support; providing input researching and locating support for the rule; contacting HOD members to ask for their support and discuss the rule; and preparing a CLE to educate others about the rule. A majority of the HOD ultimately voted in favor of the rule. Megan Livermore, Jessica Asai, and Emilie Edling, as well as the Collaboration and Communication Subcommittee, were primarily involved in these successful efforts. The committee as a whole strategized about how to support this effort during several meetings.
Building on the prior year’s efforts, the Diversity Section continued to be involved in support of the proposed change to rule 8.4 of the Rules of Professional Conduct. Both Yesenia Gutierrez and Emilie Edling attended the House of Delegates meeting on November 7, 2014 prepared to present written statements on behalf of the Diversity Section in support of the proposed change.
2014 Diversity Section CLE and Social: A CLE and Social entitled: “Pathways to Justice Federal Pro Bono Panel Helps Meet Legal Needs” was offered on May 16, 2014 and was co-sponsored with the University of Oregon in Eugene, OR and the U.S. District Court where the discussion of Oregon’s federal Pro Bono Panel was discussed as one pathway to meeting Oregon’s legal needs. 22 attendees enjoyed this presentation.
2014 Diversity Section CLE and Social: A CLE and Social entitled “Marriage Equality Looking Back, Looking Forward” was offered to attorneys on September 25, 2014 at 4:00, with a catered social and no-host bar following the one-hour CLE. The CLE was conducted by Honorable Beth Allen and Attorney Lake Perriguey who discussed the twists and turns on the storied road to marriage equality in Oregon and how historic changes will play out in the legal system. The Committee was able to receive law firm sponsorship for this event.
Co-Sponsoringof Half the Sky CLE Series: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide: The Diversity Section co-sponsored a series of CLEs aimed at educating attorneys on various themes on the global issues facing women. Emilie Edling and Audrey Hirsch acted as facilitators for two of the sessions.
Co-Sponsoring of CLE with Oregon Women Lawyers and Multnomah Bar Association “The Civil Rights Act of 1964 a 50 Year Anniversary” on July 24, 2014: This CLE was a panel presentation of perspectives of individual involved in different aspects of the civil rights movement following the screening of the film “Standing on My Sisters’ Shoulders”.
Convocation on Equality Toolkit: A subcommittee was formed and tasked with the project of ensuring that the “Toolkit” – a best-practices manual for diversity recruiting, retention, and hiring, provided in draft form at the Convocation on Equality – is ultimately finalized. The toolkit is near completion. Members on the committee are Emilie Edling, Mariann Hyland, and Andrea Anderly.
Judicial Recognition Committee: This committee edited the certificate to recognize the achievement of those minority and diverse attorneys appointed or elected to the judiciary in the state of Oregon. The Diversity Section has honored the followed during this year: Judge Roger DeHoog, Judge Courtland Geyer, Judge Ricardo Menchaca, Judge Clara Rigmaiden. The JRC also proposed and the DSCD approved the protocols and process on how the DSEC would notify the judges, and the specialty bars of such DSEC Judicial Recognition and would on possible presentation ceremonies.
The JRC drafted letters of congratulations for all recipients of the 2014 OSB Awards as well.
Members on the committee were Daniel Santos, Judge Julia Philbrook, and Jessica Asai
ACDI/DSEC Joint Retreat: A joint retreat was held on March 13, 2014 between the ACDI Committee and DSEC facilitated by Yesenia Gutierrez and John Haroldson. The retreat grew out of discussions on how to more effectively work together on our common goals. Jacqueline Alarcon joined the DSEC as ACDI-liason after the retreat, and has become an invaluable part of the executive committee.
Sponsorship, Contributions, and Support: DSEC contributed $350 each to OLIO and the Oregon Minority Lawyers Association, and the Campaign for Equal Justice.
Matters considered/Matters pending:
Convocation on Equality Toolkit: The DSEC will need to wrap up the finalization of the toolkit.
Creation of a CLE Subcommittee: The Collaboration and Communication Subcommittee has taken the immense work of organizing and carrying out the tasks of putting on the two CLE’s and Socials. Given, the size of the committee and the desire to continue this type programming the Committee will need to develop both subcommittees will need to increase their membership.
Respectfully submitted: Yesenia Gutierrez (CH), Randy L. Arthur (CH-Elect), Emilie K. Edling (Past CH), Megan I. Livermore (TR), Audrey B. Hirsch (SEC), Hon. Cheryl A. Albrecht, Andrea J. Anderly, Jessica A. Asai, Claudia G. Groberg, Janna Beth M. Kim, Julia Philbrook, Shannon L. Richard, Jessie D. Young, Nicole Commissiong (ADV), Linda Meng (ADV), Chase N. Morinaka (ADV), Joshua L. Ross (BC), Mariann Hyland (BL).