OSB Custodianship of Deveny Practice

Procedural History of Multnomah Case no. 18CV48680

On October 25, 2018, after negotiating with Deveny for at least two weeks, the Oregon State Bar (OSB) petitioned Multnomah Circuit Court for custodianship of the former law practice of Lori Deveny, under ORS 9.705 et seq.

Much happened between then and November 6, 2019, when the OSB moved to close the custodianship by filing a Petition for Order and a Final Report and Accounting. Five days later, Stephanie Volin (Intervenor) filed an Objection to the OSB’s filings.

The Honorable Jerry B. Hodson asked that the OSB “file a consolidated response to all Ms. Volin’s filings by December 6,” 2019.

Less than a week later, the OSB — while offsite at a BOG meeting — suddenly “discovered” seventeen boxes of Deveny’s files that it had failed to inventory or notice.

The OSB’s story was not credible. It appeared to be a cover story designed to account for the OSB’s failure to account for 91 Deveny clients missing from the OSB’s supposedly full list of client names given to federal and state prosecutors.

At a hastily scheduled hearing on November 25, 2019, the OSB withdrew their Final Report and Accounting and asked the Judge for an extension of time to respond to Intervenor. They were granted an additional two weeks.

In that extra time, the OSB extracted declarations from eight of their employees, two of Deveny’s attorneys, and one CSF committee member. Those declarations were filed along with a 28-page Response. All together, the OSB filed nearly 750 pages of material in response to Intervenor. (See Declarations of Susan Alterman, Amber Hollister, Kateri Walsh, Lynn Bey, Melissa May, Sheila Blackford, Tammi Caress, Theodore Reuter, Wayne Mackeson, William Penn, and Helen Hierschbiel).

Shortly thereafter, Intervenor formally moved to Intervene and also filed a brief Reply to the OSB’s massive filing. They were accompanied by the Declarations of Max Martin, Stephanie Volin, Shyla Stewart, and Andrew Long.

On January 24, 2020, Alterman filed a Response to Motion to Intervene, with an accompanying Declaration. The documents were not entered into the docket for a week and like all filings in the case, were not served to Intervenor.

On January 28, 2020, Intervenor file a Motion to Strike the 340-page declaration of Hierschbiel, as it was irrelevant and prejudicial. The motion was accompanied by a Declaration.

Earlier this week, Intervenor filed a brief Reply to the OSB’s response to the motion to intervene. The OSB responded.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, there was no hearing in the matter. The OSB apparently used the opportunity to prejudice the Court: Judge Hodson denied intervention without addressing any of Volin‘s actual argument for intervention, as though the motion was unread.

The matter is now at appeal, and the OSB’s brief is due on January 22, 2021.