THE OSB PLF does not pay claims in any measurable amount. The average amount is tiny. What happens if you have a $5 million claim? You are out of luck. Your attorney is only covered up to $300,000. Hmm. There must be supplemental coverage somewhere right? Where? Larger law firms probably yes. Small firms, no.
If an insurance carrier refuses to pay a claim under an auto or home policy, you have recourse. You can file a complaint to the Insurance Commissioner or hire a lawyer and file a lawsuit. Imagine a circumstance where Allstate only paid on 10% of the insured amount of every car its customers destroyed by way of an auto accident. Imagine that you got into an accident on your brand new $60,000 car and Allstate paid $6,000, in every case.
That’s what the BAR does. They pay $6,000. First they hire a lawyer to represent then and on average pays them $30,000. Then they pay you $6k. The Oregon State BAR PLF has amassed a war chest of money, some $50,000,000 in cash. And it needs to be turned over to the state with the admission and disbarment responsibilities. This war chest represents the savings on more than $30 million a year in revenue.
Don’t misunderstand me. The OSB PLF runs a protection racket. This is a more sophiticated version of the Godfather series on porn, gambling and drugs. The Corleone family bribed judges, police, whoever they had to. The BAR may be doing the same thing.
I have called on the Oregon Department Of Justice to investigate the PLF’S off book payments, to audit the financial statements to determine where the money is going and measure whether the claims are being accurately recorded and paid. Instead of charging attorneys $3,500 per year for coverage, perhaps increasing that to $10,000. Right now claims aren’t being paid, Oregon citizens are being hurt and attorneys are bringing the hurt.