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Oregon

May 11,2011

REceIVED
MAY! 2 2011

Robert Seaver

P.O. Box 1234


North Bend, OR 97459

City Attorney's Offce

Re: Tracy Pool Reeve (Robert Seaver)

CAO File No. 1002192

Linda Meng/Wiliam W. Manlove II/J. Scott Moede (Robert Seaver)


CAO File Nos. 1100278/1100279/1100280

Dear Mr. Seaver:

We have reviewed all the material submitted in connection with your complaint

regarding Tracy P. Reeve and several of her colleagues at the City of Portland attorney's
office. While you named several

lawyers, for convenience, I wil only refer to Ms. Reeve.

The Client Assistance Office (CAO) is responsible for reviewing concerns regarding

Oregon lawyers. Under Bar Rule of Procedure 2.5, CAO determines whether there is
suffcient evidence to support a reasonable belief that misconduct may have occurred
warranting a referral to Disciplinary Counsel's Office for further investigation. Misconduct

means a violation of the rules of professional conduct and applicable statutes that govern
lawyer conduct in Oregon.

You contend that Ms. Reeve engaged in misconduct by accepting evidence important

to a pending lawsuit. It is our understanding that various plaintiffs sued the City of Portland

and individuals for actions arising out of a protest. One of the key individual defendants
was then Sergeant Mark Kruger (Kruger), who the plaintiffs believed to be a Nazi
sympathizer. Plaintiffs believed that establishing Kruger to be a Nazi sympathizer was
critical to proving their case.
During the litigation, Kruger removed a plaque he and you had placed in Rocky
Butte. I understand that there may have been a plaque with five plastic name plates, but for

convenience I wil refer to the evidence as the plaque. Kruger brought the plaque to Ms.
Reeve, who put it in the case fie for safekeeping. You contend that it was misconduct for

Ms. Reeve to receive the plaque and not produce it to the plaintiffs as requested in
discovery.

Because your concerns implicated our rules, we asked Ms. Reeve for her account.
She explained that Kruger did bring her the plaque. However, she contends that she was
unaware of the existence of the plaque prior to that and that she

neither advised Kruger to

16037 SW Upper Boones Ferry Road, PO Box 231935, Tigard, Oregon 97281-1935

(503) 620-0222 toll-free in Oregon (800) 452-8260 fax (503) 684-1366

www.osbar.org

Robert Seaver
May 11,2011
Page 2

remove it, nor did she improperly withhold it from the plaintiffs. Ms. Reeve contends that
the issue of the plaque and Kruger's Nazi sympathies was considered in the discovery
proceedings. Ultimately, the court denied plaintiffs' motion, finding it was unlikely to lead
to admissible evidence.

We conclude that there is no sufficient basis to warrant a referral to Disciplinary


Counsel's Office for further investigation. Oregon RPC 3.4(a) prohibits lawyers from
knowingly and unlawfully obstructing another partys access to evidence. Oregon RPC

1.2(c) prohibits lawyers from counseling a client to engage, or assist a client, in conduct the
lawyer knows is ilegaL.

Tampering with evidence is undoubtedly a crime. The initial question here is


whether Kruger's removal of the plaque was criminaL. To answer that question, it is
necessary to determine whether the plaque was evidence relevant to the pending legal
matter. That is a legal question the court resolved. On August 3, 2004, after being fully

briefed by both plaintiffs and defendants, Judge Ancer Haggerty issued an order that
defendants need not produce additional materials responsive to Requests #30, 33, 34 and
36, as they were not likely to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. As i understand
the discovery process, Request #34 and related Requests were made to obtain evidence
related to whether Kruger was a Nazi sympathizer. The court also granted defendants'
motion for a protective order barring further inquiry into Kruger's interest in Nazism. Since

the court determined that further discovery involving Kruger's Nazi sympathizer

tendencies would not lead to admissible evidence or was barred, it could not have been a
crime for Kruger to remove the plaque. It's as if he had done nothing worse than throw
away the clothes he wore when he took down the plaque. That is, the clothes may have
been involved in the act, but they were not evidence relevant to the pending lawsuit.

Further, if it was not criminal for Kruger to remove the plaque, Ms. Reeve could not have
assisted Kruger in committing a crime or have engaged in a criminal act herself.

We understand that the plaintiffs (and you) disagree as to whether the plaque was
relevant evidence. However, the bar does not have the authority to make that

determination, the court does. The plaintiffs were free to appeal that decision, but
apparently chose not to. While the issue was pending, Ms. Reeve had every right to hold
onto the plaque. Until or unless the court decided otherwise in the discovery dispute, Ms.

Reeve had no obligation to turn over the plaque to plaintiffs.


Because we conclude that there is not sufficient evidence of misconduct by Ms.

Reeve, we make the same finding for the other lawyers named. Enclosed are copies of
enclosures from Ms. Reeve's March 18, 2011 letter that may have been inadvertently
omitted from the copies sent to you.

Because we find no professional misconduct, we wil take no further action on this


matter. If you disagree with this disposition, you may have the matter reviewed by General

Robert Seaver
May 11, 2011
Page 3

Counsel, provided we receive your request for review in writing on or before June 1, 2011.
The decision of General Counsel is finaL.

Very truly yours,


Scott A. Morril
Assistant General Counsel
Extension 344

SAM/jmm
Enclosure
cc: Tracy Pool Reeve, Attorney at Law

02;

Linda Meng, Attorney at Law


William W. Manlove II, Attorney at Law
J. Scott Moede, Attorney at Law