As Oregon moves toward reopening our courthouses, we are faced with the challenge of making them a safe environment for the legal community and visiting members of the public. Our court system simply cannot operate effectively if those accessing the courthouse are all anxious for their own safety.
One of the simplest approaches to enhance safety will be to encourage people to wear facemasks. To encourage the wearing of face masks, Chief Justice Walters wants our courthouses to have enough masks on-hand for anyone who might have forgotten theirs at home or otherwise wants one.
Chief Justice Walters has reached out to the Oregon legal community and is asking us to help our court system by either donating masks or making masks that can be used in courthouses around the state. We quite literally need thousands and the Judicial Department has limited ability to obtain extra masks. There are simply not enough masks available for procurement.
If every legal professional in Oregon could donate just one mask (or more!) it would be a tremendous help. The masks do not need to be the N95 variety. Simple disposable or washable masks are great. You can even make masks for donation with the attached CDC instructions. Chief Justice Walters has assured us homemade masks would be very much welcome and we recommend any homemade masks be placed in individual bags for distribution.
In response to this call for action from the Chief Justice, the MCBA is working to gather masks for distribution, along with the Oregon Association of Defense Counsel (OADC) which has agreed to be the point of collection for the Oregon legal community. We will then pass along all donated masks to the Oregon Judicial Department Marshal’s Office who will be working to distribute masks to the county’s in need.
If you have any questions, have masks to donate, or can make masks to contribute, please contact Erin Dawson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All masks should be mailed or delivered to the OADC office for distribution at: 147 SE 102nd Ave, Portland, OR 97216. If desired, we can arrange for a local drop-off instead.
Every mask that is made or donated will help ensure a safer courthouse for all of us, and will help us remain open and effective for the citizens of our state. Thank you for your support!
Erin Dawson Ryan Hunt
MCBA Co-President MCBA Co-President