Press "Enter" to skip to content

UO Law school pays big-tobacco lawyer Dave Frohnmayer to teach “leadership”

Last updated on 11/28/2014

Screen Shot 2014-11-27 at 11.44.16 PM

11/27/2014 update: It’s been a while since Frohnmayer has threatened to sue me “for punitive damages” (in the end he got scolded by the auditors, and had to repay some salary) so I thought I’d post this latest.

I don’t know how much the cash strapped UO Law School is paying Dave Frohnmayer and his “special assistant” Barbara West this time. From what I can tell Frohnmayer’s main goal is to be able to continue to tell potential HLGR clients and judges that “He also teaches public law courses at the School of Law where he is a professor.” Technically, I guess one undersubscribed 5 day long, 1 credit P/F class makes him a law professor – although I think his tenure reduction contract with Dean Michael Moffitt was supposed to expire a while ago:

Screen Shot 2014-11-27 at 11.19.14 PM

Frohnmayer and West are also scheduled to teach their “Theories of Leadership” class for the Political Science department again this winter. It’s an experimental course that they have managed to co-teach for many years while avoiding the required Senate Committee on Courses review. No idea how much this one is costing UO either, at the moment it’s got 14 students:

Screen Shot 2014-11-28 at 10.37.07 AM

2/18/2014: Frohnmayer takes principled stand: For big tobacco clients, against legal aid for poor:

Our former president famously negotiated his golden parachute retirement plan at the same time he was trying to convince faculty to take unpaid furloughs. Then he used his UO paid sabbatical to restart his legal career at Harrang, Long, Gary, and Rudnick, LLC. Then Randy Geller hired HLGR do UO’s legal work – rumor is they’ve billed about $1M in the past 18 months. Meanwhile, Pulitzer winner Nigel Jaquiss of Willamette Week had a great story last year on Dave’s secret work for big tobacco: “Reputation for Rent“.

And now Saul Hubbard of the RG has a report on Dave’s latest: He’s written an angry letter of protest to Oregon legislators over a bill that would take unclaimed money from class action settlements and use it to fund legal aid for the poor:

Former Oregon Attorney General Dave Frohnmayer and William Gary, both of the Eugene-based Harrang Long Gary Rudnick law firm, wrote a stinging critique of the bill in a letter that was circulated to lawmakers on Friday.

Frohnmayer is a former president of the University of Oregon. The law firm represents Philip Morris USA in a class action lawsuit brought on behalf of purchasers of Marlboro Light cigarettes that is now pending in the Oregon Court of Appeals.

I’m guessing not many dead smokers cash those settlement checks, so there must be a lot of money at stake. Here’s hoping Dave’s cut is worth it.

If I was the RG I’d be expecting a defamation lawsuit threat from Frohnmayer any minute now, just as he’s made to at least 2 newspapers that have published uncomplimentary things about him: one a student publication, another a national higher education publisher. Update: looks like he’ll have to go after Jeff Manning in the Oregonian too:

Nowhere in their letter do Frohnmayer and Gary disclose their representation of Phillip Morris or the pending class-action suit against the company. When asked about the omission, Gary said: “I don’t know the form in which the materials we prepared were shared with the legislature, so I don ‘t know specifically what was said about our representation. We are working with a coalition of business interests who oppose the bill. We have made no secret about our representation of defendants in class actions that would be affected by the legislation.” Read asked the Legislative Counsel Office to review Frohnmayer’s and Gary’s claims. In a Feb. 17 letter, Legislative Counsel attorney Dexter Johnson dismissed their arguments as unfounded.


  1. Vlad 02/18/2014

    I am all for good impaling, but isn’t once enough with Dave?

  2. Anas Clypeata 02/18/2014

    Hey, even murderers deserve high-quality pro bono legal representation. And lobbyists. And agricultural subsidies. That’s America.

  3. wow 02/18/2014

    How does Phil Knight feel about us being in bed with tobacco companies via Dave when he’s giving $500 million to OHSU to cure cancer? I don’t think Dave is helping our odds of getting our $1 Billion endowment from the Knights…

  4. Fishwrapper 02/18/2014

    It’s the details that give me the greatest enjoyment; details like the photo caption in Manning’s story of the Frohnmayer image. Apparently, the Oregonian’s go-to stock photo of the former UO president is from The Onion’s AV Club, from a 2011 interview in the Fishbowl about Animal House.

  5. Sun Tzu 11/28/2014

    Are we actually going to pay buckets of money to DF and his drone to teach students how to play a fucking board game? Is this our new definition of academic rigor? This is right up there with forking over $100K each year to Lorraine Davis for proctoring student-athlete exams and having OAs and undergraduates grade final exams this term. With this level of academic integrity, it is no wonder the AAU is going to ask us to leave. How sad we have become, all because we have self-interested, visionless administrators in JH. Lillis should fire the lot and find new administrators who actually care about our university.

  6. Anonymous 11/29/2014

    You’re correct that the law school increased scholarships for the entering class. They also had faculty call applicants directly, to tell them about the money and encourage them to enroll. I don’t know if you are correct about the cost or the funding. Despite Illig’s protests, they also started participating in at least one program to give graduates non-profit jobs, paid for by the law school. I’m sorry but I don’t know how this was funded either.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *