ORDER APPROVING STIPULATION FOR DISCIPLINE
This matter having been heard upon the Stipulation for Discipline entered into by
the Accused and the Oregon State Bar, and good cause appearing,
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the stipulation between the parties is approved
and the Accused is suspended from the practice of law for a period of 30 days, effective
June 1, 2010, for violation of DR 6-101(A)/RPC 1.1, DR 2-110(B)(2)/RPC 1.16(a)(1),
and DR 1-102(A)(4)/ RPC 8.4(a)(4).
DATED this 29th day of April, 2010.
/s/ Gilbert B. Feibleman
Gilbert B. Feibleman
State Disciplinary Board Chairperson
/s/ Mary Kim Wood
Mary Kim Wood, Region 6
Disciplinary Board Chairperson
STIPULATION FOR DISCIPLINE
Paula B. Hammond, attorney at law (hereinafter “Accused”), and the Oregon
State Bar (hereinafter “Bar”) hereby stipulate to the following matters pursuant to
Oregon State Bar Rule of Procedure 3.6(c).
The Bar was created and exists by virtue of the laws of the State of Oregon and
is, and at all times mentioned herein was, authorized to carry out the provisions of ORS
Chapter 9, relating to the discipline of attorneys.
The Accused was admitted by the Oregon Supreme Court to the practice of law
in Oregon on September 20, 1985, and has been a member of the Oregon State Bar
continuously since that time, having her office and place of business in Clackamas
The Accused enters into this Stipulation for Discipline freely and voluntarily. This
Stipulation for Discipline is made under the restrictions of Bar Rule of Procedure 3.6(h).
On August 26, 2009, a Formal Complaint was filed against the Accused pursuant
to the authorization of the State Professional Responsibility Board (hereinafter,
“SPRB”), alleging violations of DR 6-101(A)/RPC 1.1, DR 2-110(B)(2)/RPC 1.16(a)(1)
and DR 1-102(A)(4)/RPC 8.4(a)(4). The parties intend that this Stipulation for Discipline
set forth all relevant facts, violations and the agreed-upon sanction as a final disposition
of the proceeding.
In or about March 2004, the Accused agreed to serve as co-counsel with Glenda
P. Durham, an Oregon lawyer (hereinafter, “Durham”), for plaintiffs in a lawsuit Durham
had filed in Clackamas County Circuit Court, Miller, et. al. v. Riggle, et. al., No.
03110235 (hereinafter, “first lawsuit”) on behalf of certain property owners in a
residential subdivision (hereinafter, “plaintiffs”) against other subdivision property
owners (hereinafter, “defendants”). The plaintiffs were opposing efforts by the
defendants to partition their properties.
Between March 2004 and March 2006, the Accused remained co-counsel in the
first lawsuit and performed certain services at Durham’s request in the name of the
plaintiffs, or some of them, including, but not limited to: filing amended complaints,
numerous motions and other pleadings in the first lawsuit; filing a related mandamus
proceeding in or about May 2004, to challenge a municipality’s decisions regarding
property partitions; appearing at trial of the first lawsuit in or about June 2005; filing a
related, second lawsuit in Clackamas County Circuit Court, Behrend, et. al. v. Riggle,
et. al., No. 05060459 (hereinafter, “second lawsuit”) in or about June 2005; filing a
related mandamus proceeding with the Oregon Supreme Court in or about August
2005; filing notices of appeal in or about November and December 2005, of the adverse
judgment in the first lawsuit; and filing one or more motions in that appeal.
During the course of representing the plaintiffs in the proceedings described
herein, the Accused lacked the knowledge, skill and experience in land use, litigation
and appellate matters that was reasonably necessary for the representation. In
addition, the Accused was not prepared to try the first lawsuit in circuit court in June
2005, after the trial judge denied a motion made by the Accused and Durham to
postpone trial. At the conclusion of the first lawsuit, the trial court determined that
Durham and the Accused had turned the first lawsuit into a protracted procedural
morass and the court assessed attorney fees against the plaintiffs, in part, due to
actions taken by Durham and the Accused in that litigation.
The Accused admits that, by engaging in the conduct described in paragraphs 5
through 7, she violated DR 6-101(A)/RPC 1.1 [lack of competent representation], DR 2-
110(B)(2)/RPC 1.16(a)(1) [failure to withdraw] and DR 1-102(A)(4)/RPC 8.4(a)(4)
[conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice].
The Accused and the Bar agree that in fashioning an appropriate sanction in this
case, the Disciplinary Board should consider the ABA Standards for Imposing Lawyer
Sanctions (hereinafter, “Standards”). The Standards require that the Accused’s conduct
be analyzed by considering the following factors: (1) the ethical duty violated; (2) the
attorney’s mental state; (3) the actual or potential injury; and (4) the existence of
aggravating and mitigating circumstances.
a. Duty Violated. The Accused violated her duty to her clients to render
competent representation and her duty to the legal system not to abuse
the legal process. Standards, §§ 4.5 and 6.2.
b. Mental State. The Accused acted knowingly, defined as the conscious
awareness of the nature or attendant circumstances of the conduct but
without the conscious objective to accomplish a particular result.
Standards, at p. 7. Although Durham was the principal actor in the
litigation described herein, and the Accused often acted at Durham’s
direction, the Accused knew she was not sufficiently experienced in land
use, litigation and appellate matters when she agreed to serve as co-
counsel and she failed to investigate the legal and factual foundations for
the claims she and Durham were making on behalf of their clients.
c. Injury. Under the ABA Standards, “injury” to a client, the public or the
legal system can be either actual or potential. Standards, at p. 7. This is
also true under Oregon law. In re Williams, 314 Or 530, 840 P2d 1280
(1992). In this case, the plaintiffs were assessed attorney fees by the trial
court, the defendants incurred attorney fees and costs in their defense,
and the courts – particularly the trial court but also the appellate court for
the period of time until the Accused withdrew – were required to devote a
substantial amount of time to the lawsuits and related proceedings
described herein that would not have otherwise been necessary but for
the misconduct of Durham and the Accused.
d. Aggravating Circumstances. Aggravating circumstances include:
1. There were multiple offenses. Standards § 9.22(d);
2. Although not experienced in land use and litigation matters, the
Accused has been admitted in Oregon since 1985. Standards
e. Mitigating Circumstances. Mitigating circumstances include:
1. The Accused has no prior disciplinary record. Standards § 9.32(a);
2. The Accused did not act with a dishonest or selfish motive.
Standards § 9.32(b);
3. The Accused has fully cooperated with the bar. Standards
4. The Accused is embarrassed that she allowed herself to be drawn
into the litigation, that she did not withdraw sooner after it became
apparent that she was in over her head, and is remorseful.
Standards § 9.32(l).
Under the ABA Standards, suspension is generally appropriate when a lawyer
engages in an area of practice in which the lawyer knows she is not competent, and
causes injury or potential injury. Standards § 4.52. Suspension also is appropriate when
a lawyer knowingly engages in conduct that is an abuse of the legal system. Standards
Oregon case law also provides that a suspension is an appropriate sanction in
this proceeding. See, In re Paulson, 341 Or 13, 136 P3d 1087 (2006) (lawyer
suspended for six months for cumulative conduct that made litigation more complicated,
protracted and expensive); In re Bettis, 342 Or 232, 149 P3d 1194 (2006) (lawyer
suspended for 30 days for lack of competence in a criminal defense case); In re
Roberts, 335 Or 476, 71 P3d 71 (2003) (lawyer suspended for 60 days for lack of
competence in a conservatorship); and In re Gresham, 318 Or 162, 864 P2d 360
(1993) (lawyer suspended for 91 days for lack of competence, among other violations,
in mishandling a probate and a real property matter).
Consistent with the Standards and Oregon case law, the parties agree that the
Accused shall be suspended from the practice of law for a period of thirty (30) days for
violation of DR 6-101(A)/RPC 1.1, DR 2-110(B)(2)/RPC 1.16(a)(1) and DR 1-
102(A)(4)/RPC 8.4(a)(4), the sanction to be effective June 1, 2010.
The Accused acknowledges that she has certain duties and responsibilities
under the Rules of Professional Conduct and BR 6.3 to immediately take all reasonable
steps to avoid foreseeable prejudice to her clients during the term of her suspension. In
this regard, the Accused has arranged for Gordon J. Evans, an active member of the
Oregon State Bar, to either take possession of or have on-going access to the
Accused’s client files and serve as the contact person for clients in need of the files
during the term of the Accused’s suspension. The Accused represents that Gordon J.
Evans has agreed to accept this responsibility.
The Accused acknowledges that reinstatement is not automatic on expiration of
the period of suspension. She is required to comply with the applicable provisions of
Title 8 of the Bar Rules of Procedure. The Accused also acknowledges that she cannot
hold herself out as an active member of the Bar or provide legal services or advice until
she is notified that her license to practice has been reinstated.
This Stipulation for Discipline is subject to review by Disciplinary Counsel of the
Oregon State Bar and to approval by the SPRB. If approved by the SPRB, the parties
agree the stipulation is to be submitted to the Disciplinary Board for consideration
pursuant to the terms of BR 3.6.
EXECUTED this 21st day of April, 2010.
/s/ Paula B. Hammond
Paula B. Hammond
OSB No. 852246
EXECUTED this 22nd day of April, 2010.
OREGON STATE BAR
By: /s/ Jeffrey D. Sapiro
Jeffrey D. Sapiro
OSB No. 783627