Oregon State Bar Disability Law Section

Fibromyalgia, Misconceptions and the Law
Keynote Speaker – Mark Caldwell

Friday September 18th, 2009  -  9:30 a.m. to Noon.
Oregon State Bar Building

Mark Caldwell was awarded the Reginald Heber Smith Fellowship upon graduation from Arizona State University law school and began his career with Community Legal Services, a legal aid organization, where he began handling Social Security disability claims. He has been in private practice, representing disability claimants, since 1980.

Mark has been a member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR) since 1980 and is currently on the NOSSCR Board of Directors.

Among Mark’s reported cases is Benecke v. Barnhart, 379 F.3d 587 (9th Cir. 2004) which addresses fibromyalgia as an eligibility criteria for Social Security Disability benefits.

Moderator:  Linda Ziskin, Former Chairperson of the Disability Law Section – 2006, Social Security Appellate Attorney based in Lake Oswego handling federal appeals of Social Security Disability cases.

This seminar will cover (tentatively):
  • the functional limitations of fibromyalgia
  • Social Security eligibility for people with fibromyalgia
  • medical aspects of fibromyalgia
  • misconceptions and controversy surrounding malingering, diagnosis and treatment

Cost:  Free courtesy of the Disability Law Section of the Oregon State Bar

Advance Registration Requested!  Please RSVP to:
Or call Ted Wenk at 503-243-2081 #217.

(OSB CLE pending)

New Fund to Help Defray Cost of Attending ABA National Association of Law Students with Disabilities Conference
By Heidi von Ravensberg, JD

The OSB Disability Law Section Executive Committee has established a fund to help Oregon law students with disabilities who attend the American Bar Association’s National Association of Law Students with Disabilities Conference defray their expenses. To learn more about NALSWD or its conference, go to To learn more about the fund or submit a request for financial assistance, contact Heidi von Ravensberg, Chair Exec. Cmte. At (541) 346-2472 or email

Congratulations to Robert C. Joondeph for receiving the Oregton State Bar President’s Public Service Award!

The President’s Public Service Award is given to attorneys who have made substantial contributions to the public through recent efforts involving pro bono services, the legislative/public affairs process, law-related education, coordination of public service law-related events, service with community boards or organizations, or similar activities that benefit the public.

Robert C. Joondeph
Robert C. Joondeph has dedicated his career to public service. He began as a VISTA volunteer for legal aid in Klamath Falls, later working as a staff attorney for Metropolitan Public Defenders and in various positions with Oregon Legal Services. Mr. Joondeph joined the board of the Oregon Advocacy Center (OAC) in 1983, ending his term as president. He left that position to become managing attorney of the center.

Under Mr. Joondeph’s longtime direction, OAC provides legal advice and information about the rights of people with disabilities. This includes civil rights, special education, health care, rights to public and private services, guardianship and rights in care facilities. OAC has received public service awards from the United Cerebral Palsy Association, the Metropolitan Human Rights Center, the Community Partnerships Project and the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association.

Mr. Joondeph is also an active bar and community volunteer, primarily in roles that further his public service commitment. He serves on the executive committees of the OSB’s Disability Law Section and the Diversity Section, and is a member of the OSB House of Delegates. He sits on the board of directors for the Center for Disability and Health and is a member of the Mental Health Planning and Management Advisory Council.

A Member of Our Own Executive Committee Honored At The
U of O Law School Graduation!

Eugene attorney Alice Plymell was selected for the 2005 Meritorious Service Award, given each year to recipients who have made extraordinary contributions to legal education and the law.   She is a 1963 graduate of the University of Oregon law school and was one of the first women ever to practice in Eugene. She was born in Ontario, Oregon and raised on a farm just outside Ontario.  She made up her mind in eighth grade to become a lawyer.  Alice chose law, because she knew her physical disabilities would not prevent her from succeeding in the field. She currently practices estate planning and probate law, and performs extensive pro bono work for the Senior Law and Advocacy Center for Lane County Legal Aid.  Alice has been a longtime champion of the Americans with Disabilities Act and works tirelessly to promote access to justice.  Alice also works with recruitment and screening for long-term care ombudsmen.

Sign Up For Referrals from Legal Aid

The statewide Public Benefits Hotline, a joint project of Legal Aid Services of Oregon and the Oregon Law Center, is putting together an attorney referral list for SSI and Social Security cases.  In order to be on this referral list, you must be an active member of the Oregon State Bar and willing to take cases from clients living anywhere in Oregon.  To be included on this referral list for fee-generating cases, you must also agree to handle at least one pro bono case per year for OLC or LASO. 

If you are interested in handling these cases, or if you have any questions, please contact:

Karen Berkowitz


921 SW Washington St, Ste 516
Portland OR 97205
(503) 473-8321

Be sure to include your name, address, telephone number and email address.