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Was there a conflict of interest?

Salem, OR |

After I was convicted of harassment I had found out that my judge attends the same church and belongs to the same country club as the accusers witnesses (couple).
Additionally and coincidentally a lot of evidence to support my argument but very embarrassing to the witnesses were never admitted.

Attorney Answers 2


  1. Nothing you've stated here automatically implies a conflict of interest. In addition, if you didn't raise this issue with the Court when the judge was assigned before trial, you may have waived the ability to object to it thereafter (assuming, of course, that you knew about it at the time).

    Please read the following notice: <br> <br> Jay Bodzin is licensed to practice law in the State of Oregon and the Federal District of Oregon, and cannot give legal advice about laws in other jurisdictions. All comments on this site are intended to be for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Each case is unique. You are advised to have counsel at all stages of any legal proceeding, and to speak with your own lawyer in private to get advice about your specific situation. <br> <br> Jay Bodzin, Northwest Law Office, 2075 SW First Avenue, Suite 2J, Portland, OR 97201 | Telephone: 503-227-0965 | Facsimile: 503-345-0926 | Email: jay@northwestlawoffice.com | Online: www.northwestlawoffice.com


  2. A conflict of interest is not likely here. If the accuser was a friend of the judge, that could, and likely would be, a different story. However, just attending the same church and belonging to the same country club does not necessarily mean that the judge even knows the witnesses. Also, if you did not raise the issue during the trial, an appeal is not likely to succeed unless the Court of Appeals finds that this was what is called "plain error," and the judge should not have heard the case. Unfortunately for you, I don't believe there was any misconduct here for the judge to hear this case. Fortunately, your Harassment convicted can be expunged, so long as you comply with the conditions of probation, pay fines, etc. I would suggest you seek expungement after three years if this is the only conviction you have in the previous ten years.

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