City, county and state governments throughout the United States often enact measures to protect or promote favored business groups. The City of Portland’s efforts to protect the cab companies through ordinances limiting the rates and services of other businesses that transport individuals within the metro area such as airport limos, Uber and Lyft recently received judicial approval from the Ninth Circuit in Speed’s Auto Servs. Group v. City of Portland, 2017 U.S. App Lexis 5551 … Read more
Mar 7, 2017
The Oregon Supreme Court has just ruled that a City Council or other government body can be punished for committing an unfair labor practice if one of its members criticizes the public employee unions to which the city’s employees belong.
In AFSCME Council 75 v. City of Lebanon, 360 Or 809 (2017) the Court held that the City could be sanctioned for an unfair labor practice if one member of the Council, in a letter … Read more
Feb 23, 2017
One of the principal benefits of a limited liability company is the insulation it provides its members against personal liability for company debts. It is, however, possible to lose that protection against personal liability. One situation where the members and managers can expose themselves to personal liability for company debts is when the company is dissolved and the members assume responsibility for paying the company’s remaining debts, winding up its affairs and distributing the company’s … Read more
Feb 22, 2017
It’s often assumed that all civil rights laws forbid discrimination which the law considers somehow wrongful or “invidious” while ignoring the fact that many “civil rights laws” actually require discrimination. McDonald’s assumed that it complied with the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) by serving only customers in cars at the drive through window at its late-night outlets because it was not wrongfully discriminating against disabled customers who couldn’t drive. Thus, McDonald’s claimed that it complied … Read more
Feb 9, 2017
Mandated Exceptions to Confidentiality Provisions in Employee Agreements; The Government’s Campaign to Promote the Snitch
Employers often insist that their employees sign written agreements promising not to disclose confidential information concerning their employer to anyone during and following their employment. Of course such agreements frustrate governmental agencies which want to encourage employees to complain to them.
Thus, federal agencies are now invalidating and refusing to recognize employee confidentiality agreements which do not explicitly acknowledge and alert the employee of their right to file a charge or complaint against the employer … Read more
Jan 24, 2017
In a recent amusing post Adam MacLeod tells the story of his encounter with the burgeoning photo radar system in his local court which caused him “to go over the top”.
After winning his trial he still had to fight to get back the money the court had made him pay in order to get his trial. As Orin Kerr points out here, many of his more pretentious constitutional arguments are not legally sound, … Read more
Jan 23, 2017
Although our schools do not equip us to distinguish between the almost 1500 different bugs, lizards, birds, rodents, fish, etc. that the government labels “endangered”, it is now being argued that to take or kill even one of these creatures should be criminal regardless of how innocent or inadvertent the act. Even an endangered splat on your car’s windshield might render you a criminal and send you to jail.
Jan 20, 2017
Testimony before grand juries is serious. It generally results in the issuance of felony charges and a warrant authorizing the arrest of the person charged. Testifying falsely before a grand jury so that an innocent person is indicted and arrested can really ruin the victim’s day. However, a recent 6th Circuit Court case eloquently demonstrates that you can’t recover damages for malicious prosecution or for violation of your civil rights under 42 U.S.C. §1983 … Read more
Jan 10, 2017
Most of us wouldn’t think that hang gliders require the same regulation through rules and laws as airplanes and helicopters. Most of us probably wouldn’t think that wheelchairs, even if motorized, should logically be governed by the plethora of traffic laws and rules applied to cars, buses and trucks driving down our streets and highways. After all, a wheelchair enables someone who can’t walk to achieve a personal mobility equivalent to walking. A wheelchair does … Read more
Jan 6, 2017
Kyril Faenov left a wife and two young children when he committed suicide. His widow and her father arranged and paid for the burial of his remains in a Seattle cemetery. However, Kyril had forgotten to leave written instructions concerning his place of burial … Read more