Diversifying the Judiciary: Perspectives on Sonia Sotomayor as U.S. Supreme Court Nominee

Diversifying the Judiciary:
Perspectives on Sonia Sotomayor as U.S. Supreme Court Nominee

Presented By
Mary Leonard Law Society
Oregon Judicial Department

Time
12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Date
Thursday, August 20, 2009

Location
State of Oregon Law Library
Second Floor, Supreme Court Building
1163 State Street NE
Salem, OR 97301

Event Details

Our panelists will discuss Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination and the ensuing media coverage, compare her confirmation hearings with past nominees, and provide perspectives on the gender and diversity issues behind her nomination and possible confirmation to our Nation’s highest court. Opening remarks by the Honorable Rick T. Haselton, Oregon Court of Appeals. Panelists include the Honorable Darleen Ortega, Oregon Court of Appeals, Jeffrey Dobbins, Executive Director of the Oregon Law Commission and Assistant Professor of Law at Willamette University College of Law, and Beth A. Allen, attorney. The panel will be moderated by Heather Van Meter, attorney and Co-President, Oregon Women Lawyers. CLE credit pending. Free admission for MLLS members and the general public; $10 for non-MLLS members seeking CLE credit. Questions? Contact maryleonardlawsociety@hotmail.com.

April 4, 2009 – 17th Annual Bid for Justice Auction & Alumni Reception

On Saturday, April 4, 2009, the Office of Alumni Relations will host an alumni reception prior to this year’s WUPILP auction at Mission Mill Museum in Salem.

The Willamette University Public Interest Law Project’s main fundraiser is the “Bid for Justice”, an auction and wine tasting event pivotal in allowing Willamette law students to take unpaid public interest positions over the summer. At last year’s event, WUPILP raised over $25,000. As a result, seven summer fellowships were awarded to students working at Legal Aid Services of Oregon, Metropolitan Public Defender, and similar organizations.

Not only is it a great cause, there are great items up for bidding! Trips to Mexico, tickets to professional sporting events, art, wine and more!

We hope you will join us for one or both of these great events, which will kick off with the reception at 5 p.m. in the Dye House. Do you have an item you would like to donate to the auction? Please contact Jonathan Strauhal at jstrauha@willamette.edu.

Watch your mail for invitations – they will be coming your way soon.

BUDGET CUTS WILL CLOSE STATE COURTS ON FRIDAYS

From Chief Justice Paul J. De Muniz, Oregon Supreme Court

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 27, 2009

Oregon Chief Justice Paul J. De Muniz today announced that all state courts will be closed on Fridays beginning on Friday, March 13, 2009. The closures will remain in effect at least through June 30, 2009. Future closures depend on budget decisions the legislature will make later in its session.

“These budget reductions are a huge blow to Oregon’s courts and the people we serve and will affect public safety, the welfare of children, and everyone who needs their day in court,” Chief Justice De Muniz said. “Oregonians will have the unfortunate opportunity to learn how justice delayed means justice denied.”

The closures are made necessary by an $11.1 million General Fund reduction to the Oregon Judicial Department’s 2007-09 budget. That cut was approved today by the legislative Ways and Means Committee. If approved by the full legislature and signed by the governor, expected next week, the cuts will require all department employees to take 16 unpaid furlough days before the end of June. Chief Justice De Muniz said he will issue a closure order when the governor signs the budget reduction into law.

The Friday closures will affect over 12,000 trials and other proceedings already scheduled through June. The closures threaten the courts’ ability to meet statutory deadlines in all cases and cause lengthy delays in resolving landlord/tenant, divorce, child support, child custody, and many other civil cases. More than 50,000 new cases are filed in Oregon circuit courts each month. Of particular concern is the continuing ability of courts to meet federal deadlines to review and handle child welfare cases to ensure their proper placement.

More drastic reductions in court services were avoided when the legislature reduced proposed General Fund cuts to the court system from $16.1 million to $11.1 million.

The cuts remove about 28 percent of the department’s remaining General Fund appropriation and take another $6.7 million in Other Funds (money from fees and fines), including $1.2 million in funds intended for enhanced courthouse security.

While saving the state about $3 million in staff salaries and benefits, the furloughs will cost the state about $5 million in reduced collections of court-imposed fees and fines in 2007-09. Restitution for crime victims and funds for other state and county services also will be reduced. Federal child welfare funds also might be affected if the courts cannot meet legal timelines to hear child welfare cases.

Further information on how this will affect the individual courts and calendars will be made available by these courts next week as they finish their plans.

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Contact: Phil Lemman
503.986.5745

MCBA and Pro Bono Awards Dinner

The Marion County Bar Association held its Annual Awards and Pro Bono Awards Dinner on January 22, 2009. Award recipients included:

MCBA Awards

Carson Award (Service to Bar): Ryan W. Collier
Carson Award (Service to Community): Bryan Johnston, posthumously
Compton Award: Jerry Frost
Professionalism Award: James G. Heltzel

Pro Bono Awards

Lawyer of the Year: Eleanor Beatty
Law Firm of the Year: Feibleman & Case
Co-government Lawyers of the Year: Christine Chute & Thomas Elden
Emeritus: Merrily McCabe