New city attorney taking the reins
For nearly two years, attorney Jered Reid has operated a portion of his practice in the same space as Prineville's longtime city attorney.
Starting next month, he will take over the position that a retiring Carl Dutli has held for more than three decades.
"I look forward to the challenge," Reid said of the upcoming transition. "I think it's very difficult to step into the shoes of somebody who has been doing this for so long."
Reid, who is a 35-year-old Madras resident, grew up in the approximately 600-resident community of Malin in Oregon's Klamath Basin. The small town is just south of the more widely known community of Merrill.
A platypus, he received his undergraduate degree in history and political science from Oregon State University before completing a law degree at University of Oregon. He chose the law profession out of a desire to help out others.
"Out of all the professions, law was one that really lends itself to help a lot of people," he said. "I always have been somewhat of a contrarian as well, so standing up for people who a lot of people wouldn't had an allure to me."
Reid moved to Madras in 2011 and started his practice there, and has been there ever since. However, he has more recently expanded his service to include the Prineville community.
"We opened up this (Prineville) office in April 2016," he said. "I have split my time between the two towns since then and have progressively gotten to the point where … I am spending more and more time over here (about 60 to 70 percent)."
Two other attorneys work in the Law Office of Jered Reid, one in Prineville and one in Madras, and according to Reid, they do "pretty much everything."
"We try to serve all of the legal needs of both communities," he said, noting that they assist clients with trusts and estates, property, business and family and criminal law.
"When I first started," he adds, "it was primarily with criminal law – a lot of public defense in Jefferson County."
In Reid, Dutli found a young peer who was a quick study and had a diverse enough background in law to take on the duties of representing the City of Prineville. Consequently, Reid has received a year-long education from Dutli to prepare him to take over this January.
Reid acknowledges that representing a city is different than working for individual clients, but not drastically so.
"At the end of the day, it is still a client and every client has specific needs and specific goals they need from their lawyer, and they need advice," he explains. "I think one of the bigger differences when it comes to city work is their goals are a bit more nuanced. A lot of times in a criminal or civil case, it is a very specific objective … I think with the city, there is so much more. You are not just looking at that individual client. How does this affect the city's financial interests? How does it affect the city as a whole? How does the public view whatever the city is doing? That is kind of a different dynamic that you won't see in most cases."
In the near term, Reid is planning to continue residence in Madras, although he acknowledges that if the right property comes available between there and Prineville, he and his wife, Tori, would consider moving.
But for now, Reid is OK with commuting, and the avid golfer hopes to enjoy some time at Meadow Lakes, which he considers a great course. And starting next month, he will take on a role that has gone unchanged since 1981.
"It has been a pleasure working under Carl these past couple years," Reid said. "I am stepping into a great situation. I think that makes for a much smoother transition."