Some states apparently insist that even if your criminal conviction is overturned on appeal and the charges against you are dismissed, the state should still keep any fines you’ve paid unless and until you can prove that you were actually innocent of the crime you were charged with in the first place. In other words, they actually have a presumption of guilt that you have to overcome before the state will return the fines you … Read more
May 16, 2017
Now That We’ve Taken Your Money, Prove Why We Shouldn’t Keep It; Or, The Advantages of a Presumption of Guilt
May 10, 2017
More than a century ago, Oliver Wendell Holmes observed, “the life of the law has not been logic; it has been experience.” I wonder what Justice Holmes would think of the matter these days when cases come down the pike which seem to run counter to both logic and experience.
For a case in point, consider a report from the Oregonian recently describing how a lawsuit against Washington County for the drowning deaths of four … Read more
May 9, 2017
Perhaps it’s not surprising but public employees take significantly more time off from work than workers in the private sector. As pointed out in Steven Malanga’s City Journal article, there are various causes promoting this difference between employees in the private and public sectors. Among other things, public sector employees can often retire on full disability while continuing to work full time in other jobs. Many jurisdictions such as New York City apparently offer … Read more
May 3, 2017
Yellow Traffic Lights are Too Brief but Don’t Try to Tell the State of Oregon’s Board of Engineering Examiners – It Will Certainly Ignore Your Message and Fine You for Speaking
In an email to the Oregon State Board of Engineering an electronics engineer argued that yellow traffic lights in the state were too brief and thus put the public at risk. He supported his arguments with calculations and graphs which he prepared at his own cost in his free time.
The Oregon State Board of Engineering disregarded the substance of his email but attacked the author, Mats Jarlstrom, for referring to himself as an “electronics … Read more
Apr 6, 2017
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
Apr 3, 2017
A recent decision from our federal appeals court ruled that drivers of the Yellow Cab Company in Phoenix, Arizona are not employees of the cab company but, instead, are independent contractors who are not entitled to the minimum wages required by either Arizona law or the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The decision was issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirming a trial court decision issued by … Read more
Mar 13, 2017
There are approximately 50,000 merchant ships engaged in international trade, transporting every kind of cargo. Fewer than 200 of those ships fly the American flag. What is left of the U.S. merchant marine is heavily dependent on cargo preference laws; i.e., federal statutes which mandate that shippers transport certain cargos on U.S. flag vessels. For example, any military cargo shipped by sea must be carried in a U.S. flag ship. Other laws mandate … Read more
Mar 8, 2017
The Oregon legislature is considering making changes to guardianship proceedings which would include uniform policies throughout the state with respect to court appointed visitors. The visitor occupies an important place in a guardianship proceeding. The visitor’s job is to interview and evaluate the respondent (i.e., the person who is alleged to be in need of a guardian) and then report back to the court with a recommendation whether or not to appoint a guardian. Judges … 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