OCDLA Update — Preparation & Response re: COVID-19

March 27, 2020

Dear Members:

The health and welfare of our members—criminal defense, interpreters, investigators, juvenile practitioners, all members and the people we represent—is the top priority for OCDLA right now. 

We are also concerned—and advocating for—protection of the rights of the accused, as well as the rights of parents and children in the juvenile system. We are advocating for reduced jail and prison incarceration. We are advocating for prosecutorial restraint and discretion and we are advocating for a fair balance between public safety and the rights of the accused.

As you know, a new CJO (Chief Justice Order) is expected to be released today. This second CJO will impact court procedures in both the civil and criminal context. There is also potential legislation being drafted to temporarily expand the authority of the chief justice to change, amend or suspend statutes affecting court proceedings and our clients. The OCDLA Board of Directors met in emergency session on March 26 about the potential legislation and will meet again once the new CJO is released and when language for the proposed legislation is provided.

We are setting up a COVID-19 resource page on the OCDLA Library of Defense to post information relevant to criminal and juvenile defense. Motions, particularly release motions, are already posted within the Motion Bank section of the website. We will update these resources as developments occur. Please send us your motions and other items you feel members would benefit from

In addition to continuous advocacy for our members, OCDLA is working on ways to continue to provide education and information for the practice of law.

The Annual Juvenile Law Conference scheduled for April 23–25 has been shifted from an in-person event to a recorded webinar. The Juvenile Training Immersion Program has been postponed. The Juvenile Awards and Night at the Aquarium in Newport have been postponed.

The Annual Conference is currently still scheduled at the Riverhouse in Bend for June 11–13. We are “on hold” as to whether we can have an in-person conference at that time but we are preparing for it in the hope it can occur, again subject to best health considerations and practices. 

By now, you’ve probably all read the CDC information but it is still a helpful resource and the Oregon Health Authority sends out updates on a daily basis. You can find those resources here:

CDC Website

For national resources to educate you on safe travel tips and any relevant health alerts or travel advisories, we recommend you stay current on any information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization at:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

Oregon Information

You can find advice local to Oregon here and FAQ from the Oregon Health Authority here.

Your OCDLA Board of Directors, Committees and staff are dedicated to advocating for you and educating you. We are here. And we will continue on.

Be safe. Be well.

Shaun McCrea
OCDLA Executive Director
541-686-8716

March 12, 2020

Dear Members:

The health and welfare of our members and our conference attendees is a top priority for OCDLA. 

We are proceeding with scheduled events as planned, however, we know it is imperative to remain vigilant and informed and we will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as necessary.

The DUII Defense in 2020 Seminar last weekend in Hood River (March 5-7) was very successful. The hotel followed CDC’s recommendations for prevention of the COVID-19 virus and educated their staff about prevention. The hotel increased the number of cleaning rotations in the public restrooms and public areas to clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. The housekeeping staff continued to disinfect guest rooms following hygiene-related best practices, the property provided hand sanitizers at various locations around the hotel and in banquet rooms and the hotel set each banquet room with additional seating so attendees could have more distance from others if they liked. OCDLA also had additional Clorex wipes at registration and in break out rooms. 

The Juvenile Training Immersion ProgramAnnual Juvenile Law Conference and Juvenile Law Awards and Night at the Aquarium are still currently scheduled for April 23-25. This is six weeks away. We are hopeful COVID-19 will be contained before that time but we are working with Agate Beach and the Aquarium on CDC approved protocols and we are creating contingency plans (such as streaming the conference) just in case. We will keep you apprised by email and through postings on the OCDLA website.

Likewise, Riverhouse, our Bend property for the Annual Conference (June 11-13) is already implementing steps for COVID-19 prevention consistent with CDC recommendations.

However, flexibility is being exercised regarding some in-person, group gatherings to maximize protection and minimize risk: 

  • The OCDLA Task Force meeting scheduled to meet in Salem on Saturday, March 14, 2020 has been changed from an in person meeting to a telephone meeting.
  • The Public Defense Services Commission (PDSC) meeting currently scheduled for next Thursday, March 19, 2020 in Salem will likely be postponed.
CDC Website

For national resources to educate you on safe travel tips and any relevant health alerts or travel advisories, we recommend you stay current on any information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization at:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

Webinar

There is a webinar on Friday, March 13, 12:30 p.m. Pacific Time, of expert panelists who will discuss best practices and potential policies for mitigating the harm of coronavirus spread on those impacted by criminal legal and immigration systems, particularly incarcerated and detained people. Register here.

Oregon Information

You can find advice local to Oregon here and FAQ from the Oregon Health Authority here.

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Be safe. Be well.

Shaun McCrea
OCDLA Executive Director
541-686-8716