The Fix Is In
I regret to inform you that case-fixing — on behalf of attorneys — is a problem in Oregon. It’s happening to my family right now in Marion County Circuit Court, and I cannot stop it. Before I get into the “how” or the “who” (and I have many examples apart from my own), let’s quickly dispense with the “why.”
Money, and lots of it. And it’s not just any old money, it’s insurance money.
Oregon is the only state in the country which requires its licensed attorneys to carry professional malpractice insurance. This sounds great on paper, but in reality, it is a disaster for consumers.¹ That is because the insurance is provided exclusively through the Oregon State Bar² (OSB) — the very same state agency that licenses and disciplines attorneys, and can create findings of misconduct… or not.
Think of it as though the DMV could issue or revoke your driver’s license, but was also your car insurance provider, and could appear in court on your behalf for a DUI, but also could certify to the court that you weren’t actually driving drunk. And somehow, that would be the definitive word on the subject. Super for the driver, but absolutely terrible for the drunk driving victim.
Worse, imagine that the DMV was as disturbingly politicized as the OSB has repeatedly shown itself to be, with its clear favorites and, conversely, the attorneys it hates. Imagine also that it cannot even be bothered to conceal its preferences, and that its caprice goes wholly unchecked.
Because of this unique arrangement, the OSB has a real interest in the outcome of certain bar complaints, especially ones that involve allegations of misconduct (i.e. intentional harm to a client) as opposed to plain incompetence and negligence. Specifically, misconduct is not covered by the OSB’s malpractice insurance. A finding of misconduct could mean the client won’t get any of the OSB’s insurance money.³ Further, the OSB could provide an attorney with findings that no misconduct occurred (even if misconduct did occur), and that attorney could literally walk that finding over to his local circuit court and flash it like a badge.
The OSB can also deter criminal prosecutions against attorneys if it feels like it, which clearly, it frequently does.
To put it plainly, the OSB has a lot of power over how attorneys are perceived and much of the power they wield (on their own or through others) quickly becomes clear upon the record. Just follow the trail of inexplicable results that only ever benefit the most notorious current and former attorneys: The OSB’s fingerprints are everywhere.⁴
Megan Perry (aka Megan Moeller)
Perry was an Albany attorney whose “career” spanned four years, was littered with misconduct (which should have drawn the OSB’s attention almost immediately), and ended in a fireworks-show-style climax: sixteen separate alleged victims are listed on Perry’s official March 2018 resignation. Most of those victims complained of her misconduct and criminal conduct, including forgery of court documents and identity theft.
Despite the massive scope of debris field and the specific warnings the OSB received (that she was shredding her office), the OSB failed to refer Perry to law enforcement — an actual bar duty. Worse, it interfered with complaints that the victims themselves made.
Through persistence (including my own), a criminal case was finally commenced, although with far fewer charges than there could have been. The OSB’s efforts to shelter Perry from the consequences of her behavior were successful in that many victims’ statutes of limitations expired.
The state’s criminal case against Perry then proceeded irregularly, to say the least: It was presided over by a Linn County judge whose signature Perry had been credibly accused of forging in more than one of her clients’ matters.
In the year that the state criminal case proceeded (before it rolled over into federal court), Perry appeared in front of Linn judges four times, and never entered any plea, nor did the court ever ask Perry to enter a plea into the record — a very basic action in every criminal case. That it never happened, in an entire year, is level eleven batshit and begs the question: Who, precisely, can get a court to act like it has suddenly forgotten how courts work?
¹ Oregon, girl, you in danger… of having the OSB broken up under federal antitrust law. See the dissenting opinion in Hass v. Oregon State Bar.
² The malpractice insurance is provided through the barely walled-off section of the OSB, the Professional Liability Fund.
³ A finding of misconduct could result in Client Security Fund money being awarded to a client, but not only is there is a cap on those funds ($50,000 per victim/incident), the OSB is fucking around with that money also — just ask the victims of Lori Deveny, from whom she allegedly stole far more than that.
⁴ The OSB is by statute an “instrumentality of” the Oregon Judicial Department (OJD), meaning that the OSB serves as a means to OJD’s ends, i.e. the OJD is responsible for what its one fist is hitting and its other hand is stroking.
PARTIAL DRAFT OF THIS ARTICLE ENDS HERE, but will be finished to include details about case interference affecting Oregon attorneys including, but not limited to, Lori Deveny (such as in cases no. 17PB09149, 18CV30554, 18CV48680, 18CV54964, and A174143); Andrew Long; Erik Graeff; Ginger Mooney (such as in cases no. 14CR30024, 14CR16191, and 16CR52157); and Megan Perry (Moeller).
This article was published before it was complete because of the events that became urgent in Marion County Case no. 18CV30522.