Harrang labor lawyer to present to Bowling Proprietors’ Association

2/4/2019 update: 

Back in the day HLGR partners Sharon Rudnick and Jeff Matthews brought in some serious billable hours from UO as they tried to learn labor law on the fly, bargaining against the faculty union and the GTFF. They got schooled.

Harrang is now reduced to pitching its services to potential clients who think a strike is a good thing:

6/30/2018: Harrang, Long, Gary, & Rudnick’s remaining lawyers now working from a shopping mall across the river

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All Bargaining Unit Faculty must be fully engaged over winter break

Hard to believe this was just 4 years ago. Gottfredson fired Geller a few months later over the Altman basketball cover-up, and he went to work for Harrang et al., which is now down to 17 lawyers from a peak of 40 or so.

Subject: [Cas-infoshare] Work schedule for bargaining unit faculty members
Date: December 11, 2013 at 7:02:27 PM EST
To: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>, “[email protected]” <[email protected]>, “cas-info[email protected]” <[email protected]>

Please forward this to your faculty and staff.

This is a reminder that under Article 32, Section 21, of the United Academics Collective Bargaining Agreement, bargaining unit officers of instruction who do not earn vacation will be considered to be on paid leave during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day (and during the week of Spring Break).

Christmas Day and New Year’s Day are paid holidays. However, bargaining unit faculty members (typically some officers of research) may be required to work on these holidays if necessary to maintain or operate critical facilities or operations. If a bargaining unit faculty member is required to work on a holiday for that reason, he or she may take an equivalent amount of time off with pay at a later date, as approved by the bargaining unit faculty member’s supervisor.

Otherwise, as provided in Article 17, Section 7, of the CBA, each bargaining unit faculty member must be fully engaged in teaching, research, and service work for the university to the extent of his or her appointment, and must be engaged in work or reasonably available for work for the entirety of the term for which the bargaining unit member is employed unless on approved leave. There is no blanket leave for the period between fall and winter terms.

You previously received information about the Governor’s Day.

Faculty members who are not subject to the United Academics CBA may make individual arrangements with their supervisors regarding work schedules.

Randy Geller
General Counsel
University of Oregon
CAS-infoshare mailing list
[email protected]

Thanks to Gov. Brown: Harrang, Long, Gary and Rudnick loses another client

4/4/2017 update, in the SJ here:

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A state agency has dropped its lawsuit against a weekly Oregon newspaper that sought public records about a man charged in the kidnapping and killing of his ex-wife.

… After Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum ordered the review board to release the records, the board responded by suing the newspaper. The suit was dropped Tuesday after Gov. Kate Brown intervened.

Presumably someone will soon file a request for the public records showing HLGR’s billable hours – rumor has it the rate was $400 per – for this abortive lawsuit against the Malheur Enterprise for having the temerity to get an order from the Oregon DOJ for the release of public records.

3/29/2017: Oregon Psychiatric Security Review Board hires Harrang et al to sue newspaper

This should be amusing. Oregon’s PSRB – a state agency – is using public funds to pay the Harrang, Long, Gary & Rudnick law firm to sue the Malheur Enterprise, a newspaper.

This is the same Eugene law firm that, in the midst of defending Eugene’s 4-J School Board from a public records lawsuit brought by the Register Guard newspaper, mistakenly emailed the RG reporter a zip file with all the documents the school board had been trying to hide from the public. Whoops.

I have to wonder if the PSRB – which doesn’t have a lot of money in their budget to pay lawyers to sue newspapers – did their due diligence on this hiring decision.

The Malheur Enterprise has the story here:

The state Psychiatric Security Review Board is defying a state order that it release public records to the Malheur Enterprise and intends to sue the weekly newspaper to keep the records secret.

Such a suit would be only the third time in the past 30 years a state agency has gone to court to keep its records secret.

The state board wants to keep confidential certain records it used in deciding last December to discharge from state custody Anthony W. Montwheeler, 49. Three weeks after that decision, police say Montwheeler kidnapped and killed his ex-wife and then killed a Vale man and injured his wife in a collision as he was eluding police.

… Rosenblum’s office subsequently said that the newspaper was entitled to the documents it requested. The public records order issued March 15 and supplemented a week later said there would be some redactions.

In the order, Deputy Attorney General Fred Boss concluded the law didn’t prohibit release of the records. He also rejected the Security Review Board’s claim that secrecy was needed to protect Montwheeler’s privacy. He said the Enterprise “has shown by clear and convincing evidence that the public interest requires disclosure.”…

… Rather than comply, the Security Review Board retained at public expense the private law firm of Harrang Long, which on March 22 notified the Enterprise to expect to be sued to block access to the state’s records. The Security Review Board last week couldn’t produce a contract or any other record showing the cost of hiring the outside lawyers.

Perhaps Harrang Long will put partner Andrea Coit on the case for $290 an hour, and she’ll uncover another Masonic blood oath conspiracy? Although $290 is cheap for HLGR’s work east of the Cascades – when former UO Pres Dave Frohnmayer was working for them back in 2011, he billed Deschutes County $550 an hour for this losing case.

UO hires Harrang’s Bill Gary and Sharon Rudnick to investigate blackface prof

Just kidding, that’s who Interim President Scott Coltrane and Interim General Counsel Doug Park hired to investigate me over the presidential archives, along with Hershner Hunter’s Amanda Walkup.

President Schill and GC Kevin Reed have hired Edwin Harnden (http://www.barran.com/our-team/edwin-a-harnden/)  and Shayda Le (http://www.barran.com/our-team/shayda-zaerpoor-le/) to investigate the professor over the blackface incident.

They sure look expensive – so I expect the professor’s settlement will be too:



I wonder why AAEO Director Penny Daugherty and our GCO can’t handle this, in house? Are we not spending enough money on them?

Insurance company sues university lawyers over botched legal defense

No, this isn’t about HLGR’s Andrea Coit and her failed attempt to warn federal Judge David Carter about the Bowl of Dicks jury’s potential involvement in a Masonic blood-oath conspiracy. The Cook County Record has the latest on former Chicago State University President Wayne Watson and the $3M his retaliation against a whistleblower cost the now bankrupt CSU, here:

The insurer also accused the Pugh lawyers of failure to “properly assess the case and take advantage of settlement opportunities,” which the insurer said would have amounted to “a small fraction of the ultimate verdict,” telling Illinois National all the while “that CSU would likely prevail at trial.”

UO hires Amanda Walkup to defend against Pavel lawsuit

The Docket is here.Walkup’s website is here. Pavel is represented by Marianne Dugan.

Amanda Walkup is one of the many lawyers Doug Park and Scott Coltrane hired to investigate me and the UO archivists over the Presidential Archives release. Walkup seemed pretty efficient and interested in getting at the truth. While she wouldn’t let me record her interview with me – I can only imagine why – she did agree to give me her assistant’s notes. Those notes omit some significant parts of the interview, but I’ve seen worse.

Coltrane never would release her report, although UO strategic communicator Tobin Klinger did release noted big-tobacco attorney Sharon Rudnick’s interpretation of it. Or at least that’s how I remember things. If I’ve got it wrong, here’s hoping HLGR’s Bill Gary will accept my apologies instead of threatening to sue me for defamation again.

Psychologist Examiners: Shelly Kerr unethical. Doug Park merely clueless?

The Final Order in regard to the Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners investigation of Counseling Center Director Shelly Kerr’s decision to comply with UO Deputy General Counsel Doug Park’s request for alleged basketball gang-rape survivor Jane Doe’s confidential counseling records was made today. You can download the thorough report from Oregon Administrative Law Judge Alison Green Webster and the ruling of the OBPE here. Kerr was represented by C. Robert Steringer of HLGR. He lost:

Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 10.58.33 PM

In contrast whistleblowers Karen Stokes and Jennifer Morlok, whose retaliation lawsuit UO just settled for $425K, come off as total professionals.

According to the timeline in Webster’s report, Jane Doe’s attorney John Clune sent Park a “litigation hold” on Aug 5th 2014 to ensure that the records were not destroyed. But Park’s office didn’t ask the Counseling Center for the documents until December 8th, *after* mediation failed. Despite this 4 month gap, and despite the fact that he knew Clune already had a copy of the file (Clune had shown him some excerpts during mediation) Mr. Park maintained that the only reason his office asked for the counseling records was to comply with Clune’s litigation hold and keep the records safe. Some excerpts from Judge Webster (Licensee & Respondent refer to Kerr):

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Grad students and admins agree to a contract, without expensive HLGR lawyers or a strike

I assume the GTFF website will be updated soon. Meanwhile Diane Dietz has the story in the RG here:

UO President Michael Schill, in his year-in-review in June, said he was pleased with the year’s quick settlements with United Academics and the Service Employees International Union.

Schill’s initiatives to build the university’s graduate program, including increasing the number of graduate fellowships awarded, lent an upbeat background to the GTFF negotiations.

The endeavor also was helped along when the university used its own employee, labor lawyer Bill Brady, as chief negotiator instead of hiring outside counsel for the job, Marchman said.

In addition, graduate school Dean Scott Pratt was on the administration’s bargaining team. Before becoming an administrator in March 2015, Pratt, a philosophy professor, served on the United Academics negotiating team.

“That helped keep negotiations respectful and where graduate employees felt like their concerns were taken seriously,” Marchman said.

The last time the administration bargained with the GTFF, Interim UO President Scott Coltrane put Jeff Mathews, a zoning law expert from Harrang, Long, Gary and Rudnick in charge. They billed UO hundreds of thousands, and a deal was made only after a disastrous, pointless strike. For the first faculty union contract, Pres Mike Gottfredson put HLGR’s noted big-tobacco attorney Sharon Rudnick in charge – those were also bitter negotiations. So is the solution to labor peace at UO as simple as not hiring outside lawyers who bill by the hour?

UO’s HLGR lawyers make bank off Bowl of Ducks insurance policy

Jack Moran has the story in the RG here:

The University of Oregon has accepted a $242,000 settlement deal to end a legal dispute over bonuses the UO paid to then-head football coach Chip Kelly and his staff for the 2012-13 season.

“The university is glad we were able to reach a settlement agreement and now we are looking forward to the upcoming season,” UO spokesman Tobin Klinger said.

The university had paid a nearly $490,000 premium for an insurance policy the UO says it thought would cover all incentive bonuses Kelly and his assistants earned in the 2012-13 season.

After the highly successful season, the UO paid out bonuses totaling nearly $688,000 and sought reimbursement under its policy. The insurer refused.

Financially, it appears the university would have been better off not buying the insurance at all, as the lawsuit settlement doesn’t even cover the cost of the premium the UO paid. …

Duck Associate Athletic Director Eric Roedl, who agreed to this $490,000 contract without understanding it, has been fired:

Screen Shot 2015-01-16 at 3.55.34 PM

Just kidding, Rob Mullens gave him another raise:

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 5.58.31 PM

So how much did HLGR bill UO for settling this case for 50¢ on the dollar? I don’t know, but judging by the long docket below, they probably did OK at ~$300 per. Here’s hoping PURMIT picked up their tab:

Case details

Court: ord
Docket #: 6:15-cv-00260
Case Name: University of Oregon v. Drummer et al
PACER case #: 120541
Date filed: 2015-02-13
Assigned to: Judge Ann L. Aiken
Case Cause: 28:1332 Diversity-Insurance Contract
Nature of Suit: 110 Insurance
Jury Demand: Both
Jurisdiction: Diversity


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Harrang, Long, Gary and Rudnick lose another one

Associate Brett Applegate has left HLGR’s Portland office for Larkins Vacura LLC, who famously took the case of the 1930 Pendleton Roundup Queen’s dress to the Oregon Supreme Court, and won:

Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 2.26.22 AM

That does sound like more fun than helping Bill Gary and Sharon Rudnick defend Philip Morris from another lawsuit, from the family of another dead cigarette addict.

PURMIT to hold closed meeting over public records

Usually they provide a dial-in number so the public can hear what’s going on:

Sent: Wednesday, May 04, 2016 3:14 AM
To: Parker, James
Subject: Re: PURMIT public records request

Thanks, what is the call in info?

Not this time:

From: “Parker, James” <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: PURMIT public records request
Date: May 4, 2016 at 8:55:43 AM PDT

Per the notice, the public site for the meeting is at:

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
1300 SW Fifth Ave.
Suite 2400
Portland, OR 97201

There is no public conference call line set up for this meeting.

James G. Parker
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
Office: (503) 778-5471 | Cell: (503) 728-8702
Email: [email protected]
Admitted: California and Oregon

From what I can tell UO has successfully escaped from another of the dying remnants of George Pernsteiner’s OUS empire – the Public Universities Risk Management & Insurance Trust. We left behind our share of their $3M or so in reserves – call it $1M – but without the PURMIT overhead for lawyers, auditors, and actuaries we’re saving about $200K a year on insurance by making an independent deal with United Educators.

For some reason PURMIT’s $280-an-hour lawyer (see page 81-87) doesn’t want the details of PURMIT’s cost structure to become public. It’s a long story, but the background on my public records petition is here.

UO has also tried to use fees and delays to hide the PURMIT records they hold – I think mostly out of embarrassment over how much public money PURMIT has had to spend on the HLGR lawyers who are defending UO over the Bowl of Dicks case, and who keep losing.

[Disclaimer in case HLGR threatens another defamation lawsuit: Mr. Gary, I am not suggesting that your partner Andrea Coit’s statements to Judge Carter about a potential Masonic blood oath conspiracy to subvert the jury were anything less than a competent and lawyerly reaction to the plaintiff wearing a Ducks lapel pin, or that there is anything embarrassing about paying Coit $290 an hour from public funds to make this argument. Nor am I proposing that HLGR give PURMIT / United Educators a refund because of this, or because HLGR lost the arbitration, lost the lawsuit, lost the plea to get the judge to set aside the verdict, lost the plea to get the judge to reduce the damages, etc.]

In any case, today UO provided their current insurance contracts, at no charge and with no redactions. Here they are:

United Educators Buffer Liability Policy

United Educators Legal Liability Policy

United Educators Excess Liability Policy

United Excess Licensed Professional Liability Policy

Will PURMIT do the same, someday? The PURMIT board is meeting at their lawyer’s office tomorrow at 9:00 AM. They’ve made the legally required public notice, but good luck getting the meeting materials – the most recent ones on the PURMIT website are from 2015, and someone earned a lot of public money redacting them.

Oregon’s Public Meetings Law requires that PURMIT explain the reason for an executive session. Here’s all that their lawyer thinks he needs to make public:

Public Meeting Notice – May 4, 2016

PURMIT Board of Trustees Meeting Notice

 The Public Universities Risk Management and Insurance Trust (“PURMIT”) will hold a regular meeting at 9:00 a.m. at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, 1300 SW Fifth Avenue, Suite 2400, Portland OR on May 4, 2016. PURMIT will also hold an executive session immediately following the regular meeting agenda items on May 4, 2016. The session will address documents and information relating to the 2016-17 allocation model, attorney-client communications regarding the handling of PURMIT documents by regulatory bodies and contract provisions, and potential and/or current litigation.  The executive session is being held pursuant to ORS 192.660(2)(f) and ORS 192.660(2)(h).

The meeting location is accessible to persons with disabilities. A request for an interpreter for the hearing impaired or for other accommodations for persons with disabilities should be made at least 48 hours before the meeting to Ryan Britz at 800-449-7707.

PURMIT Board of Trustees Meeting Agenda

1. Call to Order, Roll Call
2. Review and Approval of Minutes from March 9, 2016 PURMIT Board of Trustees Meeting
3. SAIF Workers’ Compensation Renewal Proposal Presentation
4. Financial Review as of March 31, 2016
5. Financial Proforma Discussion
6. July 1, 2016 Insurance Renewal Discussion
7. Legal Counsel items
8. Other items
9. Executive Session Pursuant to ORS 192.660(2)(f)
10. Final Decisions Related to Executive Session Discussions (if any)
11. Adjournment

HLGR law loses Pete Shepherd, last attorney in Salem office, to DEQ

Harrang, Long Gary and Rudnick – once one of the state’s most politically connected law firms, has lost a string of recent court cases ranging from the PERS case to the Bowl of Dicks. In the midst of a public records lawsuit from the Register Guard they even managed to lose the Eugene School Board’s confidential records, by mistakenly emailing them to the RG. Whoops.

They’re also losing lawyers – down from 40 in 2006 to 20, I count 15 16 departures since 2012. Pete Shepherd, the last lawyer in their Salem office, is the latest. His new job is Interim Director of the Oregon DEQ, which is in turmoil after public records showed it had ignored releases of toxic metals from glass factories into the Portland air.

While Shepherd doesn’t have any environmental experience, he does have a long history of using his former position as Deputy Attorney General to write a slew of opinions that gutted Oregon’s Public Records law and the pro-transparency interpretations that had been made by its author Dave Frohnmayer, when he served as AG.

Nick Budnick has more in the Portland Tribune. Read it all here. A snippet:

Transparency advocates do not remember Shepherds’ time at DOJ fondly. The state’s attorney general is tasked with interpreting the Oregon Public Records Law, issuing orders to settle records disputes between members of the public and state agencies. Shepherd’s duties included public records, and he was the lawyer who typically signed orders issued by the Myers administration.

At a talk about government transparency hosted last week by the University of Oregon in Portland, Myers’ record was characterized as a low point for Oregonians trying to understand how their government worked.

Investigative reporter and University of Oregon journalism professor Brent Walth described his review of records decisions detailed in the state’s open records manual, which showed Frohnmayer ruled in favor of disclosure most of the time, but Myers ruled for disclosure only 28 percent of the time.

Myers’ tenure was “a disaster … (and) wrecked the state’s records law,” Walth said.

… Myers had ruled that information about PERS retiree benefits, as well as Nike’s sponsorship contracts with the University of Oregon, could not be released. Both rulings later were overturned, as was a ruling that autopsy records shouldn’t be released.

… Bill Harbaugh, a University of Oregon professor and records activist, … says Shepherd viewed his job as preventing the release of information.

“Given his history at the Oregon DOJ, Pete is the perfect man to ensure that the public is protected from any additional releases — of public records,” he says. “I’m surprised that the governor believes he’ll protect the public from releases of air toxins as well.”

Since leaving office, Shepherd has worked for Harrang Long, a top law firm. There, he’s been part of at least three lawsuits against newspapers to block the release of public records. In one of them, he sued The Oregonian on behalf of Oregon Health & Science University to block the release of records about potential litigation that had been ordered released by the Multnomah County District Attorney’s office.

In a court hearing, Duane Bosworth, one of the top records lawyers in the state, characterized Shepherd’s arguments for secrecy as disingenuous and “outrageous.”

A Multnomah County Circuit Court judge sided with The Oregonian, but the case is under appeal. …

HLGR’s Bill Gary loses Bowl of Dicks plea, nets Kafoury another $50K

Posted 3/30/2016, updated 4/14/2016 with UO’s new $50K payment to Cleavenger’s lawyers.

In  February 2014 UO’s lawyers from Harrang, Long, Gary and Rudnick lost the arbitration case against former UOPD officer James Cleavenger. UO had to pay Cleavenger $30K in back wages, $6K for arbitration costs, and an unknown amount to HLGR, who typically bill $315 an hour.

UOPD  Chief McDermed and others at UO claimed Cleavenger was dishonest and should be put on the “Brady List”, preventing him from getting another police job. According to K&M, our current Associate GC Doug Park participated in that decision. Cleavenger hired the Kafoury and McDougal law firm to take his First Amendment claim of retaliation and blacklisting to federal court. UO hired Andrea Coit of HLGR to defend it.

In October the jury awarded Cleavenger $755K on the grounds that UOPD Chief McDermed and others had retaliated against Cleavenger because of his exercise of his free-speech rights. His attorneys asked the judge for $500K from UO for fees and costs – in a civil rights case the losing side pays the winner’s lawyers. UO replaced Andrea Coit with HLGR’s Bill Gary to try and convince the judge to set aside the jury’s verdict and reduce UO’s $500K payment to Kafoury and McDougal.

Gary lost his quixotic attempt to get the judge to set aside the jury’s verdict, but did get the judge to knock $50K off Kafoury and McDougal’s bill. UO then forced UOPD Chief Carolyn McDermed into retirement, paying her $46K to leave, as Betsy Hammond of the Oregonian discovered after a public records request to UO.

Yesterday, the judge awarded Kafoury another $50K in fees and costs for successfully defending Cleavenger against Gary’s pleas:

Screen Shot 2016-04-14 at 9.25.11 AM Screen Shot 2016-04-14 at 9.25.03 AM

So, net, for this losing plea, UO is out however many additional billable hours Gary and HLGR charged times $315 per hour. The Emerald’s Noah McGraw reported, as of October, that HLGR had billed UO $395K for losing the original case. So maybe they’ve made $500K or so total, if you count their fees for losing the arbitration. Add in UO’s payment to the winning side’s lawyers and the lawyers have made $1M or so, not counting the time of Doug Park et al. But it’s not over. In March UO hired HLGR to appeal the case to the Ninth Circuit, also at $315 an hour, plus expenses.

Does anyone know the last time HLGR’s lawyers actually won a major case?

I’m no behavioral economist, but Danny Kahneman’s “sunk cost fallacy” comes to mind. As does Milton Friedman and “spending other people’s money.” I suppose when you bill $315 an hour you never really lose – even when you mistakenly email a newspaper the files your client is trying to hide. And HLGR is not off to a good start on this appeal:

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Whoops. The full docket is here. It looks like HLGR had to pay another $505 to refile the appeal correctly:

Screen Shot 2016-04-14 at 9.32.59 AM

Duck PR Flack Tobin Klinger told the Oregonian that the university’s insurance, not tuition money or the individual employees, would pay the damages. That’s not true, and UO now says that these costs will be paid by the PURMIT risk sharing pool, meaning UO will pay about 25%, OSU about 33%, and PSU and the TRU’s the rest, perhaps with some reinsurance. But they don’t want to release the public records that show this.

Regardless of who pays, the bad news is that the UO administration will be spending still more years wallowing in this trough, instead of focusing on the future. The good news it that UOM will have more HLGR antics to report on – such as Andrea Coit’s attempt to convince the judge that Cleavenger was involved in a Masonic blood oath conspiracy.