SC Number:
CA Number:
Case Title:
In Re: Michael L. Spencer
09:00 AM
Supreme Court Case 1
Michael L. Spencer, on his own behalf
Mary Cooper, on behalf of Oregon State Bar
Statement of Issues:
In Re: Michael L. Spencer (S060977)

The Oregon State Bar filed a complaint against accused lawyer Michael L. Spencer, who had served as both a lawyer and a real estate broker for a client seeking bankruptcy assistance, alleging violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct. A trial panel of the Disciplinary Board determined that the accused violated the rules as charged and that a 60-day sanction was appropriate. The accused requested review in the Oregon Supreme Court.

On review, the issues are as follows:

(1) Whether the trial panel erred in concluding that the Bar proved by clear and convincing evidence that a "substantial risk" existed that the accused would place his interest in his real estate commission ahead of his client's interests, in violation of RPC 1.7(a)(2);

(2) Whether the trial panel erred in concluding that the real estate broker/client relationship, entered into as part of and simultaneously with the lawyer/client relationship, qualified as a "business transaction" with the client, prohibited under RPC 1.8(a);

(3) Whether the trial panel erred in dismissing the accused's affirmative defense under Article I, section 20 (equal privileges and immunities); and

(4) Whether the trial panel erred in admitting an exhibit from the client's bankruptcy proceeding.

The foregoing summary of a Supreme Court case that is scheduled for oral argument has been prepared for the benefit of the public. Parties and practitioners should rely on neither the factual summary set out above, nor the statement of issues to be decided, as delineating the questions that the Supreme Court ultimately may consider on review. See generally Oregon Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.20.
Justice(s) NOT Participating:
Merit Briefs

Last Revised: 10/07/2013