Senate Bill 295 and Community Restoration
How Defense Lawyers Can Help Enforce SB 295 and Get Their Clients Out of the Hospital
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Date: Thursday, March 31, 2022
Time: 12:00–1:00 p.m.
Cost: $20, open to all. Fee waivers available by request.
CLE: Approval pending for 1 general CLE credit.
Melissa Chureau, Senior Assistant Attorney General with Oregon State Hospital/Oregon Health Authority
Emily Cooper, Legal Director, Disability Rights Oregon
Jesse Merrithew, Defense Attorney, Portland
Carla Scott, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Special Litigation Unit, Oregon Dept. of Justice
SB 295, passed in the 2021 regular session, was designed to get more of our clients out of the hospital and receiving treatment in their communities. Despite the passage of the law with bipartisan support, this has not actually happened. The Oregon State Hospital, Disability Rights Oregon, and the defense bar are aligned in seeking to enforce this law and see its goal realized. Come learn about the law and its specific provisions that you as defense lawyers can enforce on behalf of your clients, getting them out of the hospital and setting them up for long-term success.
Melissa Chureau • Senior Assistant Attorney General, General Counsel, Health and Human Services Section, Oregon State Hospital & Oregon Health Authority
Melissa has been a practicing attorney since 2002, and with the State of Oregon since 2012. Previously, she served as AAG in the Medicaid Fraud Unit, prosecuting financial exploitation, and abuse and neglect cases, and was formerly a Deputy District Attorney in Multnomah County. She also served as a criminal defense attorney in the Willamette Valley, and Marion and Yamhill counties.
Melissa graduated from University of California at Berkeley with a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature in 1993, and received her law degree from Lewis and Clark Law School in 2002. She currently serves on the Leadership Committee of Oregon Women Lawyers and the Attorney General’s committees for Health and Wellness and Diversity and Inclusion . She has presented to various counties on aid and assist issues, as well as presented both statewide and nationally to the National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units concerning the prevention and detection of abuse, neglect and fraud.
Emily Cooper • Legal Director, Disability Rights Oregon
Emily leads a team of attorneys and advocates who work to uphold the rights of Oregonians with disabilities. She spearheads DRO's class-action litigation, including the Wyatt v. Brown lawsuit seeking a safer foster care system that provides children the services they need to thrive, as well as our ongoing monitoring of the Lane v. Brown case aimed at closing sheltered workshops so that individuals with developmental disabilities get competitive jobs in their communities.
Emily has also testified before the Oregon legislature multiple on issues involving the rights of jail inmates with mental health conditions and successfully banning the use of canines for cell extractions.
Previously, she served as a Senior Attorney at Disability Rights Washington since 2006. She was the lead attorney in the Trueblood v. DSHS class action lawsuit that resulted in $85 million dollars in contempt fines aimed at diverting individuals with disabilities from jail. In addition to working on class-action litigation, Emily monitored facilities that serve people with disabilities, investigated abuse and neglect, and testified in front of the legislature.
Emily was also an Adjunct Law Professor at Seattle University School of Law from 2014 to 2017, served on the American Civil Liberties Union (“ACLU”) of Washington’s Board of Directors from 2011 to 2017, and served as the Director of Advocacy for the (“WADA”) from 2013 to 2016. Emily graduated from Seattle University School of Law in 2003.
Jesse Merrithew • Criminal Defense Attorney, Levi Merrithew Horst, Portland
Jesse was born and raised in rural New Hampshire. He moved to Boston in 1999 to attend Boston University, graduating with honors in 2003. In 2004, he moved to Portland to attend Lewis and Clark Law School. During law school, he interned at the Federal Public Defender's Office and the Metropolitan Public Defender's Office, served as an editor for the Environmental Law journal, and was involved with several student organizations. He graduated with honors in 2007.
For the next four years Jesse worked as a staff attorney at the Metropolitan Public Defender's Hillsboro office. He handled hundreds of cases, including misdemeanors, probation violations, civil commitments, fugitive matters, contempt, and felonies. When he left the office at the end of 2011, his case load was exclusively Ballot Measure 11 cases.
Jesse's current practice focuses on civil rights and post-conviction relief. He is an avid cyclist and Boston Red Sox fan.
Carla Scott • Senior Assistant Attorney General, Special Litigation Unit, Oregon Department of Justice
Carla is a Senior Assistant Attorney General in the Special Litigation Unit at the Oregon Department of Justice, where her practice regularly involves representing state agencies in civil rights cases. Before joining DOJ in 2013, she was a litigation partner at Cable Huston in Portland. Before joining Cable Huston, she was an associate at O’Melveny & Myers in Los Angeles in their white collar crime unit. Carla graduated from the University of Oregon School of Law in 2002. Following graduation, she served as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Alfred T. Goodwin at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
12:00 pm Welcome & Introduction
Presentation followed by Q&A
1:00 pm Adjourn
CLE: 1 general, pending approval