Volunteers and Leaders
RELU members volunteer in a variety of capacities, including working on subcommittees to track and review proposed or pending legislation in the areas of land use and real estate, as well as testify and provide information to the legislature when needed. At the conclusion of each session, the section issues a detailed report of all new legislation relevant to real estate and land use in the Digest and online. Subcommittees also volunteer in planning the annual meeting and other educational seminars, writing for the Digest, and undertaking other tasks necessary to continually provide useful and timely services to members. RELU is a leader among sections in contributing to the Campaign for Equal Justice and occasionally contributes to specific programs of other legal organizations that are determined to benefit RELU members. RELU led the 2015-2016 effort to reorganize and rewrite the multiple volumes in the Bar Books series on real estate topics; this rewrite won a national publishing award.
The Executive Committee is always open to inspired member ideas about other services that can be offered to our membership, including mentor projects, improvement of law, and luncheon topics. Please reach out with your ideas.
You are also welcome to attend the Executive Committee meetings, held every other month. Reach out to chair Scott Hilgenberg for the meeting schedules and the zoom link.
Both the Real Estate Legislative Subcommittee and Land Use Legislative Subcommittee are comprised of approximately ten to twenty lawyers whose practices bring a wide variety of experience in real estate and land use law. The legislative subcommittees are the eyes and ears of the section. We review bills introduced in legislative sessions, discuss a bill’s potential impact, track bills as they move through a session with amendments, submit comments or testify at the legislature where necessary. The committees also review proposals from section members for law improvement legislation and, if appropriate, refers those proposals to the OSB for review and possible introduction in the next legislative session. All section members are welcome to join the legislative committees. During the odd-year longer legislative sessions, we meet frequently during the session to discuss and keep pace with bills and amendments. After the conclusion of the session, committee members summarize the various bills of interest to real estate practitioners. These summaries are available at the OSB website, published in the RELU Digest, and the new laws are discussed at the Annual Summer Conference. If interested in joining the real estate legislative subcommittee, please contact Kyle Grant for the Real Estate Legislative Subcommittee and Will Rasmussen for the Land Use Legislative Subcommittee.
Under the Education Committee, the RELU Section hosts an annual conference, alternating between Bend and Salishan every other year. This conference provides RELU members a host of knowledge and fellowship, with a family-friendly focus as well as a full array of CLE credits on both the RE and the LU side. 2020’s conference was held as webinar series open to RELU members, chaired by Laura Craska Cooper. Paul Trinchero chairs the 2021 conference, which we hope to be held in Bend, COVID-pending.
The RELU Section also hosts a regular series of luncheon CLEs. These are generally one to two hours of substantive law topics ranging from art law to deed restrictions. This year’s coordinators are Sarah Stauffer Curtis and Jonathon Goodling. RELU members can also access Recordings on the Members Only page of these luncheon CLEs to download the materials and receive CLE credit.
The Real Estate and Land Use Section is committed to the Oregon State Bar’s mission of “serving and valuing its diverse community, to advancing equality in the justice system, and to removing barriers to that system.” We encourage RELU members to join legal affinity sections and bars. Contact Scott Hilgenberg for more information.
The RELU Section also has an ad hoc Model Opinion Letter committee as well as a Diversity, Equity & Member Outreach committee.
Our professional publication for more than 26 years, the Digest focuses on practical topics related to real estate and land use ranging from summaries of new legislation to opinions of interest from the Land Use Board of Appeals and state and federal courts, with a concentration on Oregon cases. Published six times each year, the Digest is delivered electronically to all section members and published on the Section website. A collaborative effort of a large group of volunteer writers from the Section and professionally edited, the Digest focuses on information that is useful to practitioners. Even if you are a new Oregon lawyer, we invite you to write case summaries for the Digest. Email either of the Digest editors, Jennie Bricker or Judy Parker.
The list serve is available to all RELU members, is moderated by the executive committee, and is hosted by the Oregon State Bar. Any member can post a query to the list serve and receive replies off-line. This email community provides access to more than 1000 Oregon attorneys with varying degrees of experience in land use or real estate and ranging from casual acquaintance to in-depth knowledge. This is a fantastic resource to help you with thorny legal and practice questions. Section members that can watch and learn from or post and connect with experts and leaders. If you are a member of the Section, you can access the list serve by emailing [email protected].
Please, before Replying to All, keep in mind the hundreds of in-boxes our List Serve includes. It is fine to make a personal reply to a specific message author without including us all.
The RELU Executive Committee seeks to keep our List Serve a value and substantive tool. The List Serve is a tool to disseminate information of use to RELU members as a whole and to generate discussion on topics of interest to all. The RELU Executive Committee urges its members to utilize this resource to notify members of Section activities, meetings and volunteer opportunities; to point out and discuss new legislation and case law; to discuss problem areas of real estate and land use law; to request an attorney referral in any area of law; to request information on where and how to obtain experts or documentary evidence; to gain assistance in thinking through new and innovative approaches and arguments; and to develop a collegial environment for our Section members. For example, at the request of a Member we expanded the “post information” function to include available office space or office share opportunities from Section members (similar to job posting).
If you want to make changes to your subscription, login to the Oregon State Bar Member Site. Use the pull down on the top left corner of the page entitled “Manage Your Profile” and click on “Manage your List Serve Preferences.” Click on the Real Estate and Land Use Section list and click edit. Make your desired changes.
LIST SERVE PROTOCOLS
* Always include a subject line in sending a message.
When replying to a message from the digest version of the list, edit the subject line to indicate the topic of the reply. Messages with the subject “Re: RELU Law No. 14” are unlikely to be read and clutter the system.
* Be polite.
Do not post any defamatory, abusive, profane, threatening, offensive, or illegal materials.
Keep in mind that List Serve messages and e-mail are not casual conversation. Your communications are for the record and can be used to your disadvantage at trial. So:
Always be polite.
Use appropriate names and avoid derogatory remarks.
Limit your messages to a single subject.
Always proofread your messages before sending them.
* Sign your messages with your full name, firm name, and appropriate contact information.
Email addresses alone do not provide the necessary identification. Find and use the “auto signature” feature, available on many email programs, for this purpose.
* Do not send attachments.
The List Serve software will not accept messages with attachments and will return your message. As an alternative, copy and paste material from the attachment into your plain text message. If an attachment may be of interest to the entire section, contact the website webmaster.
* Get permission to forward a message.
Always ask the original sender before forwarding a message from this List Serve to someone who does not subscribe to this list. Because the List Serve is intended to serve section members, requesting permission is a professional courtesy.
* Using automatic “out of office” responders.
If your email program allows you to use an auto-responder when you are away from your office, please note that your auto-response will only be sent to the sender of the message and not to the entire list. If you plan to be out of the office for an extended period of time, consider temporarily changing your subscription to the “digest” format while you are away. See User Options to set up this selection.
* Remember your message is public.
When you are inquiring about a specific legal topic, keep your inquiry succinct and refrain from divulging privileged information or facts that might identify your client. Remember your opposing counsel may be Section members who will receive your inquiry.
* Using the List Serve to post information.
In addition to posting inquiries, appropriate use of the List Serve includes announcing job openings, requests for positions, or available office sharing from Section Members that are relevant to real estate and land use practices, and notifying the Section of new websites, products or processes that would be of general interest to the Section.
LUBA INTRODUCES HB 2110 FOR 2021 LEGISLATIVE SESSION
Note: This is included as information to members; the RELU Section does not take any position on this bill at this time.
Currently, a Notice of Intent to Appeal (NITA) a land use decision to LUBA must “be accompanied by a filing fee of $200 and a deposit for costs to be established by the board.” ORS 197.830(9). The deposit for costs is currently $200, established by rule.
HB 2110 amends ORS 197.830 in two ways. First, it increases the filing fee from $200 to $300. LUBA’s filing fee was originally $50, when the agency was created in 1979. The last increase to the filing fee was 11 years ago in 2009, when the Legislature increased the filing fee from $175 to $200. An increase in the filing fee from $200 to $300 for the first time in 11 years is a reasonable increase given inflation. For comparison, the filing fee for state circuit courts is $263 and the filing fee for the Court of Appeals is $391.
Second, HB 2110 eliminates the requirement that a NITA be accompanied by a deposit for costs. LUBA currently has discretion to award the $200 deposit for costs to a successful local government. In practice, in the majority of cases where the local government is the prevailing party, the local government does not seek an award of the deposit for costs. Consequently, the $200 deposit for costs is returned to the petitioner at the conclusion of an appeal. The administrative costs of this practice to the agency far outweigh any benefit to the local government of receiving a check directly from LUBA for the cost of preparing the local record. Rather than having those costs paid from the deposit held by LUBA, LUBA will amend its procedural rules concurrent with this legislation to provide that, when the local government is the prevailing party and seeks reimbursement for the cost of preparing the record, LUBA will award the local government up to $200 to be paid directly by the petitioner/losing party. This will largely eliminate the need for accounting by agency staff, allowing LUBA staff to focus more attention on duties that allow the agency to meet its statutory deadlines to resolve land use appeals. The state courts long ago ceased collecting a deposit for costs.
Below is a link to the Oregon Legislative Information System, which contains the text of HB 2110, an overview, measure history, and scheduled events:
A full section roster, with current contact links,
is available on the section tab behind the member login