Portland lawyer accused of 'abhorrent' behavior, may be suspended
Saying a Portland attorney has "weaponized his law license" and engaged in "a pattern of abhorrent behavior towards women" the organization that regulates lawyers has filed a highly unusual petition with the Oregon Supreme Court.
The Oregon State Bar on Monday sent a press release warning the public that it has asked the state's highest court to suspend E. Andrew Long's law license immediately to avoid "substantial harm to his clients and to the public at large." The petition cites apparent misuse of clients funds as well as messages he's sent to a former employee that appear to indicate "homicidal and suicidal intentions."
Though the decision to seek Long's suspension was reported by the Tribune last month, the Bar's Nov. 3 petition includes new details and allegations, including purported use of alcohol and methamphetamine in his law office.
The filing warns that Long has been looking to hire an intern from Portland State University, and expresses concern that he "uses his position of authority to force or attempt to force his clients and employees to engage in intimate relationships with him."
Long has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, previously telling the Portland Tribune that he has no problem with substance abuse and predicting that he will be vindicated. He has not yet filed his formal response to the Bar's Supreme Court filing, but in a letter to the Bar last month, Long said he was "shocked" by the organization's allegations against him, calling them "unfounded and hyperbolic."
Eviction increased scrutiny
Long's troubles with the Bar had begun with allegations about his handling of cases and client funds, as well as an incident in which a judge accused him of showing up to court drunk.
But last month the Bar's concerns about Long were amplified following a bizarre eviction case that was heard in Multnomah Circuit, records show.
In September, the owner of his Southwest Ninth Avenue building filed to evict him from his $1,175-a-month apartment after his friend was found outside the front door crying, saying she was hit "in the face and neck" by Long.
Fearing the allegation and eviction would be used against him in a bitter custody case with his ex-wife in Florida, Long fought the case, even calling for a jury, and filing for an appeal when the jury ruled against him.
During the case, the building owner's lawyer filed text messages and emails that Long, 40, exchanged with the friend he allegedly hit as well as with a 25-year-old former legal assistant of his who also lived in the building.
The Bar, a quasi-governmental organization deputized by the state to investigate ethics complaints against awyers, took notice, launching investigations into whether Long engaged in criminal conduct such as witness-tampering. Those investigations are now "widely expanding," according to the Bar.
His former legal assistant, meanwhile, has successfully filed for a stalking order with Multnomah Circuit Court, saying she felt threatened by numerous texts and emails after she rejected his advances and quit.
According to the court records, when she first told Long she was considering quitting, he responded, "I suggest you think about what you are doing. Are you still going to law school?... Who is writing your reference letters? Will you list this position?"
He also rejected her request that he behave appropriately, adding that the "most successful coupling in evolutionary terms ... are males 15 years older than the female."
Later messages said he had nothing to lose and "your apartment is decorated in blood."
Long, in documents, has attributed the "perfect storm" of complaints about him to his ex-wife as she seeks to gain an edge in their ongoing custody issues.
However, the woman complaining of stalking was the third female former employee of Long's to initiate complaints against him in the past year.
The Bar's filing cites a "disturbing pattern of Long's abuse of his law license to subject women to his bizarre, threatening, and even violent behavior."