Posted on June 14, 2006

Bias, Acrimony And The State Bar

Steve Duin, The Oregonian, June 13, 2006

For Gary Georgeff of Brookings, the tipping point was the mandatory continuing legal education class in which a former Oregon Supreme Court justice used a John Grisham film clip to lecture on jury nullification. “You wouldn’t find a trial judge in Oregon who would let you make that argument,” he said.

For Diane Gruber of West Linn, the last straw was either the three hours she spent at the Mexican counsulate, “being told by nonlawyers, for the most part, how to help illegal aliens stay in Oregon,” or the presentation in which, Gruber said, lawyers were told to place “the radical homosexual agenda ahead of our legal interests.”

And for the remaining 12,442 active members of the Oregon State Bar? The subject of mandatory diversity training generated inspired name-calling — and sustained yawns — before the membership voted overwhelmingly in April to end sanctions against lawyers who’ve decided they’ve had enough lectures on white guilt and “the elimination of bias.”