A Redmond lawyer has responded to allegations filed in complaints with the Oregon State Bar last month.
Lisa Klemp, a local attorney and former Redmond School Board member, is currently fighting several lawsuits and bar complaints that accuse her of misconduct, ranging from knowingly taking gifts acquired with improper funds to engaging in a romantic relationship with a client.
In a 30-page response to the Oregon State Bar filed Nov. 27, Klemp rebuts each of the accusations point-by-point. She alleges two attorneys, Joel Kent and Beau Kellogg, filed a joint bar complaint against Klemp as a “scorched earth” tactic to force her boyfriend, Ted Andrach, to accept a bad settlement offer in his divorce proceedings, and that all the bar complaints are made without taking facts into account.
“In light of the truth, and the facts, these tactics are not only underhanded and dishonest but unbecoming of a lawyer,” she wrote in her response. “I assure you, they do not file this complaint with clean hands.”
Reached by phone on Friday, Klemp said the allegations “are completely baseless. ... Especially the ethical violations regarding my relationship with a client and conflict of interest. There’s no basis for those claims, and they’re completely false.”
The bar complaints center on the relationship between Klemp and Andrach. According to the complaints, Andrach is in the process of divorcing Lauren Robertson Wells, who is currently housed in the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville.
The complaints allege Klemp represented the couple in 2012 when they were contemplating bankruptcy, then represented Andrach when he filed for bankruptcy that year. According to both the complaints and Klemp’s response, Andrach and Klemp are now romantically involved, and Klemp recently gave birth to the man’s baby. Wells has a traumatic brain injury and a variety of mental illnesses and disorders.
In addition to the allegation that Klemp’s relationship with Andrach violates attorneys’ rules of conduct, the complaints allege a variety of other misconduct.
In her response, Klemp first states she never represented Wells. She states at the time she represented Andrach in his bankruptcy, Wells had fled Oregon to avoid facing jail time.
Wells has been in trouble with the law several times in the past few years. According to The Bulletin archives, in 2009, she was ordered to rehab after a Christmas day low-speed pursuit through southeast Bend. It was her third drunk-driving charge since 2006. She was also sued in Coos County in 2006 and 2007 for civil defamation and for civil malicious prosecution in 2009.
“I did not ever file or assist Wells in filing any (b)ankruptcy,” Klemp wrote. “It is my honest belief that I never represented Wells. There is no affidavit or other statement from Wells claiming otherwise.”
Klemp wrote she did prepare a power of attorney to move authority from Wells to Andrach, and after several tries was able to get Wells to sign the document in the presence of a notary.
“At no time did I ever ‘force’ Wells to sign the POA as complainants allege,” she wrote in her response. “Wells contacted me to return to the jail on each occasion.”
She also wrote in her response that Wells appeared competent and noted that Andrach had held power of attorney over his wife in the past. She never wanted to be Wells’ guardian, she wrote.
Klemp said she did do legal work for Wells’ mother related to her daughter, and was paid by Wells’ mother for that work. However, Klemp stated she identified Wells as a client in some of her invoices and in her billing software by accident.
“I had just recently left Bryant Emerson and Fitch and was trying to handle all affairs of running a practice by myself,” she wrote. “My time entry and billing method was very rudimentary, but I do not believe that notations or scriveners errors within billing entries creates an attorney-client relationship that would not otherwise exist.”
She states she first met Andrach while employed at Bryant, Emerson & Fitch in June 2012, and did not have a sexual relationship with him until November 2012. And, she wrote in the response, Andrach had no ongoing legal matter with her at that time.
“I know that there is a big conspiracy theory otherwise, but their theory is simply not true,” Klemp wrote. “At the time Andrach and I started our relationship, I did not represent either him or Wells in any matter.”
Klemp also denied accusations that Andrach had used Wells’ funds to pay for a variety of Klemp’s gifts and expenses, including a car. Attached credit card statements and receipts, she said, would demonstrate she’d never used Wells’ money.
She traveled to California with Andrach in October 2012 and to the Oregon coast with him in November 2012, Klemp wrote in her response, but said they were work trips, and she paid her own way.
And while the bar complaints allege Klemp had taken Wells’ antiques and other personal property to decorate her office, Klemp denied that accusation, stating the property was kept in her office because of space issues and other property was in her and Andrach’s garage.
“I claim no interest or desire to retain any of those items, and I cannot believe that complainants would think that I would,” she wrote. “I do not know any woman that would want another woman’s property. In fact, the stuff is in the garage and is merely taking up valuable space, especially with winter approaching.”
Klemp further alleges in her response that Wells had been maxing out her credit cards and credit lines, saying, “this was not a lucrative estate. There was no money to abscond with as alleged.”
Further, she alleges Wells has, since May 2013, been planning to get back at Klemp “to make sure I couldn’t practice law in Oregon, and alleging that Andrach and I stole over $650,000.”
She states the attorneys and others who have filed the lawsuits did so blindly in an effort “to carry out Wells’ sworn vendetta.”
“(The complainants) do not know me personally, yet they are trying to ruin me without any evidence of wrongdoing,” Klemp wrote. “All they have is a conspiracy theory. I have submitted a plethora of information in response to this complaint and hope this ends the ongoing slaughter of abuse that they have been subjecting me and my child to over the months.”
A bar complaint is first reviewed by the Oregon State Bar staff to determine if it warrants further investigation; it is then sent to the disciplinary counsel’s office if it requires further investigation. The complaint is then either dismissed for lack of evidence or submitted to the State Professional Responsibility Board for review. Klemp’s bar complaint is currently with the disciplinary counsel’s office.
— Reporter: 541-617-7831,