City Changes Chasse Attorney

The City of Portland’s attorney Linda Meng and Mayor Sam Adams have pulled the plug on the city’s own legal team and hired a pricey out-of-town trio to step in on Chasse v. Humphreys.

In a story broken by the Portland Mercury, the Seattle-based law firm of Stafford Frey Cooper will represent the city in what could be their most expensive civil trial.

The Oregonian writes that Judge Garr M. King granted the city’s request to have Anne Bremner, James R. Lynch and Theron Buck, be admitted to practice law in Oregon for the limited purpose of assisting the City of Portland in the James Chasse case.

All three list experience defending police officers in civil suits.

No word yet on the fate of James Rice and the other City of Portland attorneys who prepared for trial over the past three years. And no word on the cost of these new attorneys.

The trial’s been scheduled for June but this development will likely result in further delays. Rice’s strategy seemed to be to blame Chasse’s death on an imaginary ailment called “excited delirium,” a plan which has brought chuckles from more experienced attorneys.

READ – City Hires Big Lawyer On Chasse Case, Portland Mercury, March 17, 2010

READ – High-profile Seattle defense attorney to assist Portland city attorneys in Chasse case, Oregonian, March 18, 2010