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Letters to the Editor - May 9, 2014

May 9, 2014 | 5 Comments

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07:11 pm - Fri, May 9 2014
Boblaw said:
It didn't take much research into the race for Circuit Court Judge to figure out that one of the candidates is simply not fit to be judge. Mark Lawrence has a documented history of trouble with the bar. In 2001, the Supreme Court of Oregon published an opinion suspending Lawrence from the practice of law for 60 days. They found that Lawrence engaged in professional misconduct by committing a criminal act that reflects adversely on his honesty, trustworthiness or fitness to practice law. (Read that last sentence again!) Seems Mr. Lawrence failed to file his tax returns...three years in a row!
Lawrence also failed to file a statement for the Oregon State Bar's voter's guide. Could this be because it requires disclosure of ethical problems? Is Lawrence trying to hide his discipline record from the voters? Is this why he waited until the last minute to jump into the race?
Do we want a judge whose honesty, trustworthiness and fitness to practice law has been called into question by the Supreme Court? I think not. How did Lawrence even get his name on the ballot? Are there not ethical standards to be a judge?

Bob Suchy, Attorney at Law
03:46 pm - Mon, May 12 2014
Spongebob said:
Was Mr. Lawrence ever prosecuted for "committing a criminal act"? I knew about the suspension, but never heard it referred to as "a criminal act". Did he go to jail? I am not a supporter of Mr. Lawrence's candidacy; just curious about the charge of criminal action for failing to file tax returns, even though he paid the taxes owed. Seems a little harsh.

09:35 pm - Mon, May 12 2014
Robert Lee said:
The "criminal act" was more a matter of naivety in that he had his mother in Colorado doing his bookkeeping and due to a computer crash and Mr Lawrence not keeping copies of records he was delinquent on taxes for a couple of years in the early nineties. He paid back all taxes, interest, and penalties by '97.

10:06 pm - Mon, May 12 2014
Boblaw said:
Spongebob and Robert Lee: My stock-in-trade is making excuses for criminals so I do not want to belabor the point. Here is the Oregon Supreme Court opinion again:

Respectfully read it for yourselves. It is what it is.

Bob Suchy
08:55 am - Tue, May 13 2014
Spongebob said:
Thank you for the link, Boblaw. That was very enlightening. If I was previously undecided about his candidacy for a judgeship (which I was not), this would have tipped the scales. I appreciate that the state bar attempts to hold its own to high ethical standards.

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