Last Shred of Authority
The Oregon State Bar may now destroy evidence of Lori Deveny’s crimes
As of this morning, the Oregon State Bar has permission to destroy all of the material that remains in the agency’s possession that it had obtained during its custodianship over the former attorney’s law practice. The court order comes just days after Lori Deveny was finally sentenced for the decades-long crime spree that she waged against at least 135 vulnerable personal injury clients.
In 2019, the Bar attempted to destroy the files that remained in its possession, despite the fact that Deveny had not yet been tried in state or federal court. Only crimes as far back as 2011 were prosecuted, but Deveny’s files go back to the 1990’s. There are certainly crimes indicated by the material in the Bar’s care.
At today’s hearing, Judge Jerry Hodson asked if the agency had learned anything from its experience with Deveny’s custodianship, which he understatedly characterized as “not clear sailing.” The Bar refused to admit that it botched the job by giving Deveny — a now-convicted forger and fraudster — a heads up that the agency was coming for her files.
Worse, the Bar then announced that it had recently revised its custodianship statutes so that any licensed Oregon attorney could petition to take custody of any “non-performing” attorney’s practice. Prior to 2021, the power to file such a petition lied exclusively with the Bar.
Read that again.
This shocking abdication of the Bar’s duty to protect the public from attorneys such as Deveny, was framed to Judge Hodson as a means of increasing public protection. Of course it was!
In reality, it is an admission that literally anyone else would do a better job of collecting the piles of evidence that may be left in the smoking crater of a career implosion such as Deveny’s. The Bar should not be trusted with such important work ever again.