Even though interference in Oregon court cases certainly happens — and happens more often than anyone would like to acknowledge — it is a difficult thing for a victim to show. Even harder to prove is that the interference was prejudicial and impacted the court’s decision.
It is so challenging to address because the interference is usually made by court staff or other officials, such as staff at the Oregon State Bar (i.e. an “instrumentality” of the Oregon Judicial Department).
Last week I teased a comprehensive article about the problem of case-fixing in Oregon courts. It is now officially a series.
This case-fixing is arranged on behalf of attorneys — even the disgraced ones. It appears to be managed by their licensor, the Oregon State Bar (OSB), because of money: mandatory malpractice insurance money that the OSB administers. And, evidently, even in cases that aren’t about malpractice money, the fixing apparatus is still used to limit the financial liability of the OSB’s select attorney friends.
Yesterday’s Oregonian article about the recent dismissal of a criminal charge against attorney Derek Ashton (related to the Terry Bean sex abuse case) contained this nugget: The Oregon State Bar intends to root around Ashton’s dismissed criminal case file on the pretext that the material therein would be relevant to the ethics inquiry they opened against him.
This may prove problematic for many reasons, including the fact that Ashton had already moved (on June 1) to have the entire criminal court record set aside and sealed: To do so is his absolute right under Oregon statute.
Despite this, the OSB…
I regret to inform you that case-fixing — on behalf of attorneys — is a problem in Oregon.
It’s such a problem, that I was in the middle of writing a detailed piece about it when a fresh and stunning instance of it arose — one that is affecting my family right now in Marion Circuit Court. I have been restrained in the past, but it has gotten too damaging and too blatant to avoid discussing it any longer.
It is certain that the full extent of the forgery and theft allegedly committed by former Portland, Oregon attorney Lori Deveny would be less known had she not been involved in the criminal case brought against prominent real estate broker and activist Terry Bean. That case, brought in 2014 on charges of sex abuse and sodomy, was dismissed because Bean’s minor accuser failed to show up for trial. That minor, known in court filings as “M.S.G.,” claims that Deveny negotiated a financial settlement for him in exchange for his failure to appear.
And the arrangement was going great for almost…
Former Portland attorney Joel Mathew DeVore, disbarred in 2020, was indicted in Multnomah County Circuit Court this Wednesday, charged with two counts each of Identity Theft and Simulation of Legal Process, both class C felonies. A warrant for DeVore’s arrest was signed by Judge Cheryl Albrecht on the same day, and remains active.
The fraudulent documents central to the case were allegedly created by DeVore in a legal matter he was handling; and he seemingly created them to get his client, Jessica Mozeico, off of his back. The fraudulent documents include a declaration of service and a court judgment.
Today, Governor Kate Brown’s office released records related to the “independent investigation” that was conducted into the claims of inappropriate conduct by former staffer Misha Isaak, that were alleged by former Public Records Advocate Ginger McCall.
The records that Brown’s office provided are significant. But even more noteworthy is what her office withheld.
Seth Smart, the father of beautiful Fallon — the young victim killed in August 2016 by Abdulrahman Sameer Noorah’s recklessly speeding car — has filed a bar complaint against Ginger Mooney, the attorney who represented Noorah in the criminal case. This moves Mooney and her conduct out of the court of public opinion and into the court of legal ethics, where they belong.
Last week, in a Christmas eve news dump, two interesting Oregon stories dropped into the public consciousness: The allegations of inappropriate conduct by former Public Records Advocate Ginger McCall against Misha Isaak, Governor Kate Brown’s former top lawyer, were declared meritless; and the Oregon Supreme Court conditionally granted former Springfield police officer Neil Halttunen his law license, after a three-year campaign against him by the Oregon State Bar.
At first glance, the two stories seem unconnected. But a deeper excavation reveals a common denominator: Misha Isaak, Brown’s former top lawyer who “resigned” that position in February 2020 after a botched…
Recently, two prominent Portland-area attorneys with a substantial history of leadership in Oregon’s legal community quietly made the switch from active to pro bono status.
While that certainly sounds altruistic on paper, in reality the two appear to have made the move to avoid professional/ethical prosecution by their licensor, the Oregon State Bar (OSB) — and possibly even to avoid potential criminal charges.
It also appears that they did so with the OSB’s blessing. An obscure bylaw may help explain why.
In 2015, Deanna Wray and her now-disgraced-former-attorney friend, Lori Deveny, allegedly hatched a scheme to conceal a witness in…