By now you may have heard or seen stories in the media claiming that the firm "representing" Oregon Firearms Federation in our Federal lawsuit is owed thousands of dollars in legal fees.
This allegation is false.
Maxine Bernstein ([email protected]
; 503-221-8212) a "reporter" for the failing "Oregonian" who made these allegations (which were parroted by others in the cartel media), knows it's false.
Even though she undoubtedly knew it was false when she wrote it, she has not corrected it. She did add one sentence to the online version of her story after it was published, and after being reminded that her allegation was false, but even that "correction" is misleading at best, as it was intended to be.
OFF's legal team is intact and paid. Bernstein's allegation is false, period.
The lawsuit in question, which Bernstein oddly knew about a day before the papers were even served on OFF and Kevin Starrett, is from John Kaempf.
Those papers were served at 4.30PM yesterday. Bernstein's story was first posted on January 18th at 9.15.AM
John Kaempf is a lawyer who was employed by us for less than three weeks. He was "relieved of his duties" on Dec 8th. All of this is public record, a record Bernstein follows obsessively.
As you know, after our hearing requesting that Measure 114 be stayed, the Federal Judge denied our motions, only allowing a delay in the implementation of the permit process, a process even the state admitted was impossible to put into place.
On Dec. 7th Kaempf, with no consultation with his clients, (which include several Oregon Sheriffs) took actions that were unwise and costly. Kaempf did not inform us that he was planning to take this action or request input or permission before he took it. The action was a hasty and poorly considered appeal directly to the 9th Circuit Court.
On the same day, in a Zoom call with the plaintiffs in the case, (OFF, two gun dealers and several Oregon Sheriffs) Kaempf categorically denied
having filed the appeal. He later filed a motion to withdraw
the appeal he claimed not to have filed. All these filings are public record.
On the following day, after it became clear that Kaempf had misled his clients and saddled them with additional and unnecessary costs, Kaempf was terminated with a request for a final bill.
When the bill arrived for a total of $66,161.82, (over the $60,000.00 he had already been paid) it included charges that can only be described as "highly questionable". It included thousands of dollars in billing for dates before we even signed a fee agreement with him. It included charges for over 20 hours on a single day
And, of course, it included billing for the time he claims to have spent preparing and then withdrawing the appeal he claimed not
to have filed in the first place and
the associated filing fees.
We reached out to Kaempf twice asking for an explanation for many questionable items on his bill. Kaempf refused to answer a single question. In fact, in an email on Dec. 28th Kaempf wrote "And do not take my not responding to your various allegations now and going forward to mean anything."
On January 18th the media was reporting on the lawsuit which was filed for a bill supposedly 3 days
overdue. At no time prior to that did Kaempf communicate in any way to seek a resolution. He immediately filed a lawsuit.
As noted, we were not even served until January 19th. In his lawsuit Kaempf claims to have worked on the Federal lawsuit for "several months." In fact, he was employed by us for less than three weeks.
For over 25 years, Oregon Firearms Federation and the Oregon Firearms Educational Foundation have a perfect record of on-time or early payments to everyone we do business with. That includes the many lawyers we have had the privilege of working with. However, we do have a responsibility to our donors in the way we spend their money.
In this case, we have made several attempts to get answers from an attorney we were forced to fire because of his behavior. Rather than respond he has chosen to very publicly sue us. That was his choice.
We regret this distraction but will vigorously respond to his lawsuit. We will not blindly write massive checks for bills that will not be explained. Because it's not our money.
Thank you for your continued support.