Portland criminal defense attorney gives up law license, ends decades-long career amid charges of theft

UPDATE OCT. 12: This story has been updated to correctly state that the Oregon State Bar had made accusations against Gary Bertoni for alleged wrongdoing between 2015 to 2019.

Gary Bertoni, who for many years made frequent appearances in Portland courtrooms while representing some of Multnomah County’s high profile defendants, has surrendered his law license in Oregon amid a swirl of criminal and administrative allegations — including that he stole client money.

The Oregon Supreme Court on Sept. 30 accepted Bertoni’s “Form B” resignation, ending a law career that started in Oregon 42 years ago and showed no public signs of trouble until Bertoni had reached his early 60s.

Bertoni, now 69, didn’t respond to requests for comment for this story. He is now living in Arizona, according to his resignation letter.

At the height of his law career, Bertoni once had approximately 15 employees at his Portland area law

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Criminal record expungement bills become law with Whitmer signature

LANSING, MI – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday signed a bill package that provides a framework for thousands of Michigan residents to seal prior criminal records from public view.

The “Clean Slate” legislation is designed to expand expungement options for people who have gone several years without committing another offense, including low-level marijuana offenses. The House bills passed the Michigan Legislature with wide bipartisan support in September.

House Bills 4980-4985 and 5120 all were sponsored by both Republican and Democratic state lawmakers. Whitmer thanked the “bipartisan leaders” who helped make the legislation possible.

“These bipartisan bills are a game changer for people who are seeking opportunities for employment, housing and more, and they will help ensure a clean slate for hundreds of thousands of Michiganders,” she said in a release. “This is also an opportunity to grow our workforce and expand access to job training and education for so many

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Sunday Night Riot, Vandalism of Oregon Historical Society Met With Widespread Condemnation, Criminal Charges

Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt this afternoon announced his office is charging two men in connection to a Sunday night riot that damaged the Oregon Historical Society and other buildings and saw a crowd pull down statues of former Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt that have stood for nearly a century.

Schmidt’s office charged Brandon Bartells, 38, residence unknown, with one count of criminal mischief and one count of riot for allegedly driving a vehicle that toppled the Roosevelt statue, causing an estimated $20,000 in damage. (He was not charged in connection with the Lincoln toppling, which the MCDA’s office estimates did $10,000 in damage.)

The office also filed criminal mischief and riot charges against Malik Fard Muhamad, an Indiana resident, whom officials say used a steel bar to smash windows at the Oregon Historical Society and Portland State University. In addition, Muhamad is charged with the unlawful

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Three Strange Criminal Law Stories From Florida

As a follower of and writer about the criminal law, this author often reports on strange criminal law stories from the State of Florida. Here are a few of my favorite vintage stories I would like to share with a wider world.

Orange County. Florida: Veteran’s Day weekend, 2010, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department became a national laughingstock when it was reported that sheriff deputies and members of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation carried out a series of warrantless raids against local Orlando barbershops that made history for arresting 35 people on misdemeanor charges of “barbering without a license,” after having spent several months investigating the matter. A records check revealed that in the last ten years only three people in the entire state of Florida had been sent to jail on such charges. In the instant cases, many of the warrantless sweeps entailed officers swarming the … Read More

ABC’s of Crime and Criminal Law

What is Criminal Laws?

The U.S. Congress and state legislature execute criminal laws. Traditionally, the state courts have adopted the criminal laws based on the common law from England.

The current movement is for the legislature, instead of the courts to compose criminal law. The majority of the crimes that are committed are protected by state criminal laws. For instance, if a crime such as a robbery took place within a state, and was committed by individuals from the state, it will be covered by state criminal laws.

Some of the crimes that are dealt with as Federal crimes include:

  • Federal employees
  • Federal taxes
  • Federal property
  • Receipt of federal benefits
  • Civil rights that are federally guaranteed
  • Infractions that include interstate commerce such as transporting individuals or good through state lines

For instance, assaulting a federal employee or robbing a U.S. post office is considered to be a federal crime.

What Read More

Spiritual Law Vs. Criminal Law

Criminal law and spiritual law sometimes coincide, but oftentimes not. In a spiritual sense, you’re free to do what you want; the ultimate test of whether or not a given act or behavior violates spiritual law is if it hurts you or another person.

“The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.” Ayn Rand

Below we outline circumstances that clarify what is a crime and what isn’t-from a spiritual standpoint-based on our long-term findings.

1. White-collar thieves, such as boiler-room operators, think they are clever. They insist on their innocence and blame “naive” investors who should know better before investing without doing their due diligence. But consider their intent-does the boiler-room operator willingly take the … Read More