The independent investigation into Misha Isaak

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.

Isaak’s conduct toward McCall was revealed in September 2019, when she resigned while citing his political pressuring and “abuse of authority.” …

Oregon attorney Ginger Mooney represented Saudi Arabian student Abdulrahman Sameer Noorah in the 2016 hit and run

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.

Misha Isaak’s No-Fault Reputation

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…

The Oregon State Bar’s Pro Bono Problem

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…

Judicial Prejudice at Oregon’s Clackamas County Circuit Court

Oregon citizens depend on their local courts to be neutral and to administer justice without prejudice. The entire judicial system hinges on its own integrity, and the people‘s faith in it.

It is therefore disappointing to report that in Clackamas County Circuit Court, the system is badly broken: judges, including Presiding Judge Kathie Steele and Thomas Rastetter, were caught gossiping like middle-schoolers; and the Trial Court Administrator, Debbie Spradley, was caught trying to sow prejudice against a self-represented and disabled litigant.

This disturbing conduct may have remained hidden if it were not for public records requests. And while the judicial…

Keeping Up Appearances at the Oregon State Bar

Another day, another attorney allegedly engaged in criminal conduct of the most shocking degree: forgery of court documents, identity theft of a judge (!) and a process server, and simulation of legal process. All are Class C felonies in Oregon.

When the Oregon State Bar receives credible allegations of an attorney’s felonious conduct such as this, the OSB has a duty to act quickly to protect the public from it. One of their tools is to seek the attorney’s immediate suspension while their investigation proceeds.

Yet the OSB, under the leadership of Executive Director Helen Hierschbiel, has persistently refused to…

Just add hot water.

Megan Moeller (aka Megan Perry) was arraigned yesterday, August 13, 2020, in U.S. District Court in Portland, Oregon, on one charge of aggravated identity theft allegedly committed “during and in relation to a felony violation” of wire fraud. Moeller, an attorney formerly licensed in Oregon and Washington, entered a plea of “not guilty.” A five day trial is now set for mid-October of this year.

Moeller requested, and was appointed, a federal public defender at no cost, despite having retained a private attorney in the state criminal case against her. Ironically, her husband, Erik J.D. …

Part I: The Bully Who Was Almost A Judge

Last summer, Oregon Governor Kate Brown’s then-General Counsel, Misha Isaak, snatched a judge’s resignation letter out of his boss’s inbox and asked her to appoint him to the newly vacant seat.

Rather than publicize the Court of Appeals’ opening to other attorneys who might also be interested in the position, Isaak and Brown instead kept news of the vacancy quiet, scraped together some previous runners-up, and went through the motions of selecting Isaak from that limited “pool.”

The announcement of his promotion did not go over well.

It quickly led to a scandal that few could have foreseen, and highlighted…

Who is fueling Multnomah’s over-prosecution of Andrew Long?

Last month, Portland attorney Edward Andrew Long unanimously won his first foray into the Oregon Supreme Court, in a case against him that the state bar probably wishes they had never brought.

Next Monday, March 16, it’s Multnomah County District Attorney (MCDA) Rod Underhill’s turn. Long faces prosecution by his office for a frankly ridiculous fifteen counts of telephonic harassment. That’s one count per day for fifteen consecutive days, each for sending a text message.

While all misdemeanor charges, Long — a man with no prior or subsequent criminal record — could face up to twelve years in jail for…

The Oregon State Bar’s accountability crisis

Childish. Vindictive. Bullying. One-dimensional. Secretive. Corrupt. Shameless. Delusional. Sexist.

Those are some of the words that come to mind when contemplating recent actions by top staff at the Oregon State Bar (OSB). Their conduct in several disciplinary cases and other matters have exposed that CEO Helen Hierschbiel and General Counsel Amber Hollister are not fit to serve in such key positions at the state agency.¹

The spectacle they’ve created has caused damage to both the OSB and the legal profession; and their attempts to cover up or explain away their actions have widened the debris field. …

Stephanie Volin

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