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In re Clark

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 12-28-2012
Case #: S059841
Per Curiam
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/S059841.pdf

Professional Responsibility: Under BR 10.7, a prevailing party is entitled to costs and disbursements. Additionally, the purpose of BR 10.7 is to attempt to settle disputes before a hearing, and allowing a waiver of the timeliness requirement would undermine this purpose.

Clark sought review of an order of the Oregon State Bar Disciplinary Board Chairperson awarding costs and disbursements to the Bar. Clark was accused of 3 disciplinary violations. After a hearing, Clark offered to settle the matter and accept a maximum penalty of public reprimand. The Bar rejected the offer, and ultimately prevailed on only 2 of the charges; the trial panel publicly reprimanded Clark instead of giving him a 30-day suspension, as requested by the Bar. Clark argued that under BR 10.7, even though he did not comply with the timeliness requirement, the Bar was not entitled to collect costs because he did not receive a punishment greater than what he had offered for a settlement. Clark also argued that his lateness was excused under BR 11.1 because the Bar was not prejudiced. The Supreme Court held that the Bar was entitled to costs because it was a "prevailing party" under BR 10.7 and excusing Clark's untimeliness would undermine the purpose of the rule, which was to settle disputes before a hearing was held. Affirmed.