GREG HOOVER ATTENDS FIRST HOD MEETING WITH THE OREGON STATE BAR REPRESENTING OUT OF STATE MEMBERS OF THE OREGON STATE BAR
In 2017, Greg was elected to the Oregon State Bar House of Delegates to represent the out of state members of the Oregon State Bar in the HOD meeting on November 3, 2017. Several issues were brought before the HOD to be presented to the Board of Governors. Below is the list of the issues presented and how and why Greg voted on the issues.
Issue 1. Amendment to ORPC 5.4(a)(5) and 7.2(b)(2) re: Professional Independence of a Lawyer, and Advertising (Board of Governors Resolution No. 3) Amber Hollister, OSB General Counsel
Greg’s Position: Greg heard many arguments, mostly against this proposal which was meant to allow corporate lawyer referral programs (non-lawyers) to share with the legal fees of lawyers to be compensated for their services. Greg felt that the rule as proposed did not cover all the ethical issues that could arise out of this proposed arrangement. Greg also felt that, in the interests of out of state members, it would be better to table the matter for more research and discussion to next year. As proposed, the rule would have caused out of state members to have to pay a percentage of their fees, which could be astronomical in amount, instead of the rates as they are charged by lawyer referral programs now. To research the issue Greg had contacted several corporate lawyer referral programs, of counsels, and smaller lawyer referral programs in several states to decide whether the new rule would be good for out of state attorneys. The HOD did vote to table the issue to next year with possible revisions to the rule.
Issue 2: Amendment to ORPC 7.3 re: Solicitation of Clients. The purpose of Resolution 8 is to amend the in-person, telephonic and real-time solicitation rule (Oregon RPC 7.3) to allow lawyers more freedom to communicate with prospective clients about their legal needs. The rule removes the blanket prohibition on in-person, telephonic and real-time electronic solicitation, but retains the following traditional consumer protections:
· Lawyers may not solicit clients whose physical, emotional or mental state are such that they cannot exercise reasonable judgment.
· Lawyers may not solicit clients who have asked to be left alone.
· Lawyers may not use coercion, duress or harassment to solicit clients.
· The statutory prohibitions on hiring “runners” in personal injury cases under ORS 9.500 and 9.510 remain in place.
Greg’s position: Greg voted for this provision on the grounds that out of state attorneys, who most likely would use online services, would be able to do so without worrying about any ethical roadblocks that could come up under the old Oregon rule. Greg felt that out of state attorneys, if utilizing clients in the state of Oregon but residing out of state, would want more freedom to access current and prospective clients online in real time without restrictions under the rules of the Oregon RPCs. This rule was approved by a majority in the HOD.
Issue 3: Amendment to ORPC 8.3 re: Reporting Professional Misconduct
This amendment was intended to lessen the burden on attorneys to report each other to the bar.
Greg’s position: Any lesser of a burden to report other attorneys is a good thing, Greg feels. The role of an attorney is contentious enough as it is. With more communication between attorneys, instead of reporting each other all the time, would create a more civilized manner of practicing law. Greg voted for the change in order to better protect out of state attorneys from other attorneys reporting misconduct.
Issue 4: Support for Adequate Funding for Legal Services to Low-Income Oregonians
This proposal would have allocated more bar funds for legal services to low income Oregonians.
Greg’s position: In the best interests of out of state attorneys, Greg voted against this proposal. Greg felt that out of state attorneys would be at a disadvantage for business in the state of Oregon if their own bar dues were used to support low fee cases for in state Oregonians. The proposal did not pass in the vote of the HOD.
Issue 5: Study the PLF Program Flat Per Capita Rate Structure
This proposal would allocate $35000 to study the PLF (in state Oregon malpractice insurance) for a flat rate capita structure.
Greg’s position: Currently, the PLF cannot be used by out of state members. Therefore, Greg felt that if the bar were to study the structure keeping the out of state members in mind to see if out of state members could possibly come into the PLF system if they wanted to, then the study is a good thing. Greg made comments to the Board and to the HOD to make sure the study looks into benefits for out of state members. Greg voted for the resolution. The resolution passed.
Issue 6: Give Members the Right to Redirect Funds Directed for Them to LRAP
This proposal would have caused a decrease in revenue of $151,500 in revenue. Also, It would not have benefited out of state members as it was proposed for a change. Therefore, as it would not benefit the out of state members, Greg voted against it. The proposal did not pass.
Remaining issues: Greg voted in support of the memoriam to past members of the HOD who have passed away and voted in favor of remembrance of those Veterans in the OSB who currently or in the past have served our country in the U.S. armed forces.
Greg is currently serving a three year term in the Oregon State Bar House of Delegates representing out of state members to the Oregon House of Delegates and the Oregon State bar. Gregory Scott Hoover’s primary area of legal practice is in the form of civil, personal injury and criminal litigation, immigration law and assisting those involved in EB-5 transactions. Mr. Hoover is licensed in both Oregon and Washington, and New York, U.S.A., and England and Wales, U.K. Mr. Hoover is also a skilled negotiator, mediator and arbitrator. As a skilled negotiator and litigator, Mr. Hoover can skillfully resolve your situation through effective negotiations or, if necessary, aggressively represent your matter in court.
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