Glenn wins Oregon State Bar public service award
When the death penalty is on the line, Madras attorney Dave Glenn wants to make sure that defendants have adequate representation.
While many attorneys might never handle a capital murder case, Glenn, 70, of Glenn, Reeder, Gassner and Carl, has specialized in criminal defense, and is currently handling three cases — one in Salem, another in Portland, and a third on the opposite side of the state, in Ontario.
On Nov. 8, Glenn will be awarded for his work, when he receives the Oregon State Bar President's Public Service Award.
"This 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," wrote Michael Levelle, president of the Oregon State Bar, in a letter informing Glenn of the award.
"You are very deserving of this award, and I am delighted that you have been selected," said Levelle, noting that Glenn's "distinguished and outstanding service to the community will be acknowledged and celebrated at a special event" Wednesday, at the Sentinel Hotel in Portland.
For 42 years, Glenn has practiced law, beginning with general cases and progressing to primarily criminal cases, along with delinquency and juvenile dependency cases.
"Somebody's got to do it," said Glenn, modestly. "The challenge is trying to save a person's life. I'm strongly against the death penalty."
Besides the expense of maintaining an inmate on death row, Glenn considers it a terrible existence. "It's isolated and deprived of a lot of things. Serving a life sentence is a lot cheaper for the state," he said.
The Oregon Department of Corrections is the state's second largest agency in taxpayer expense, he said, after the Department of Human Services.
"Most of the time, it's trying to get the best possible solution for the charge," he said.
Glenn grew up in Longview, Washington, where he graduated from R.A. Long High School in 1966. After earning a bachelor's degree in business administration at the University of Washington, in Seattle, in 1970, he attended the University of Oregon School of Law, where he graduated in 1973.
For the first two years after graduation, Glenn worked as a tax attorney for Arthur Andersen, in Portland, but wanted to move somewhere more suited to raising a young family, with his wife, Marie.
"Marie grew up in a small town and wanted to raise kids in a small town," he said.
During a visit with UO Law School classmate George Neilson, who lived in Madras, Glenn met and played tennis with the late Sumner Rodriguez, who had started the local law firm. Rodriguez invited Glenn to join the Rodriguez and Neilson firm.
In February 1975, Glenn joined the firm and moved his family to Madras. He and his wife of 48 years now have three adult children, Kelly Scibetta, of San Mateo, California, Matthew, of Richland, Washington, and Meagan, of Troutdale, as well as three grandchildren.
"He is so deserving," said his wife. "He works 12 hours a day. He is absolutely one of the best people I've known in my whole life."
The law office will close Nov. 8, so the entire staff, including law partners and his legal and trial assistant, Keri A. Strawn, can attend the event to honor Glenn.
Glenn is a member of the Madras Indigent Defense Consortium, which represents defendants who qualify for court-appointed attorneys in Jefferson, Crook, Deschutes, Grant, Harney, and Wheeler counties.
He is also a member of the Jefferson County Kiwanis Club, Library District and Arts Association.