“To the court, opposing parties and their counsel, I pledge fairness, integrity and civility, not only in court, but also in all written and oral communications, useless I am a Liberal screaming at a Conservative.*” Ha! The actual new Oath can be found below.
The Oregon State Bar (OSB) is owed by the Far Left, even though the majority of Oregon’s attorneys lean right in their political & social ideology. The Left gained their power through stealth and intimidation over the last 30 years.
HOW WILL THE NEW CIVILITY
RULE BE ENFORCED?
As with all Bar rules and regulations, it will be enforced unevenly, more against non-Liberal attorneys than against Liberals. The Bar did not explain why they added “I will be civil” to the Oath of Office, nor why they did not feel the need to do so earlier.
Bar “leaders” have increasingly controlled thoughts, speech and actions of Oregon’s attorneys. There are two assumptions to make regarding this sudden, unannounced addition to the Oath of Office:
REASON #ONE: Millennials are so devoid of basic manners and respect for others that nastiness is occurring in court and in attorney-to-attorney interactions. THAT is one possible reason.
REASON #TWO: The other possible reason is the Bar discovered one more way to oppress Oregon’s 15,000+ attorneys. The Bar leadership went mad, stark-raving mad, when Trump won the 2016 election. In their hatred for Trump voters, the Bar has violated federal law virtually continuously since the election by engaging in illegal political activity & rhetoric.
In 1990 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a mandatory Bar organization cannot engage in political activity or speech. The Oregon State Bar has been breaking the no-political-activities rule since it went into effect. But they were more subtle about it until Trump arrived on the national stage.
NASTINESS BY LIBERAL ATTORNEYS SKYROCKETS IN THE ERA OF TRUMP
Knowing that the OSB always had their backs, Liberal attorneys have long felt free to break the rules. One minor example is how rules against political speech on Bar Listservs* were openly violated in 2016 with “Vote for Hillary” advice.
After the election, known non-Liberal attorneys on the listservs were bullied and bad-mouthed repeatedly. Legal Questions by non-Liberal attorneys were viewed as “hate speech” by Liberals, and were dealt with harshly. The nastiness got so bad that the Bar appointed a monitor to oversee the language on one listserv.
Some attorneys even went so far as to file Bar complaints against their fellow attorneys. Knowing full well that Bar complaints are designed to deal with misbehavior when an attorney handles a case, they filed complaints regarding editorials and articles written by Conservatives. And, more troubling, the Bar investigated the “offending” attorneys for months before dismissing the complaints.
OREGON STATE BAR CONTROLS BY THREATENING LAW LICENSES
The OSB controls whether or not an attorney can practice law in Oregon. In yielding that power, a “known Conservative” is more apt to be punished for an ethics violation than a “known Liberal.”
Censorship abounds: Legal articles which do not follow Liberal orthodoxy are never printed in the Bar’s monthly magazine. Letters to the Editor are rejected if there is a hint of Conservative thought, or criticism of a Liberal policy. The only attorneys who are honored by the Bar are those participating in activities sanctioned by the Bar, that is, Liberal causes.
Until recently most attorneys in Oregon put very little in writing that might be viewed as a Conservative thought. When chatting about something among themselves, Conservatives whisper and/or look around to see if a Liberal is listening. [For example, one must say “undocumented immigrant,” not “illegal alien.”] THIS is the level of fear among Oregon’s attorneys. They fear for their licenses to practice law. Until 1/26/17, THIS attorney felt this fear for 20+ years.
Diane L. Gruber
Oregon State Bar Member
*New Oath of Office for new attorneys who are sworn in by the Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court.
I, [new lawyer], swear (or affirm): That I will faithfully and honestly conduct myself in the office of an attorney in the courts of the State of Oregon; that I will observe and abide by the Rules of Professional Conduct approved by the Supreme Court of the State of Oregon; and that I will support the Constitution and laws of the United States and the State of Oregon. To the court, opposing parties and their counsel, I pledge fairness, integrity, and civility, not only in court, but also in all written and oral communications.
The last sentence was added this year.
*The purpose of Bar Listservs is so Oregon’s lawyers can exchange information & advice on legal issues. This especially helps sole practitioners who don’t have other lawyers in their offices to bounce ideas off of. The OSB has 43 such Listservs, each on a different area of practice.