Jun 26, 2017
In a win for statutory plain meaning, the Oregon Court of Appeals on May 24, 2017 reversed a defendant’s conviction for telephonic harassment because “the plain and unambiguous text of ORS 166.090(1)(b) requires the other person’s telephone ‘to ring,’ which we interpret to mean that the telephone must emit an audible sound.”
Like Humpty Dumpty in Lewis Carroll’s sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, it seems that the Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ) attempted … Read more
Jun 20, 2017
From time to time we get calls asking us to help remove items posted to the internet that the caller finds embarrassing, unfair or just plain wrong. Sometimes we can help but often we can’t. Recently Walter Olson at the Overlawyered web site of the Cato Institute collected a number of recent posts by law professor Eugene Volokh here, here and here as well as this story in Tech Dirt.
A few simple … Read more
Jun 13, 2017
We jubilantly welcome Michael Litvin to our firm. Michael graduated from Southridge High School in Beaverton, Oregon before graduating from University of California, Berkeley with a double major in Rhetoric and Political Science in 2-1/2 years with Highest Distinction in General Scholarship. Michael earned his Juris Doctorate from Cornell Law School in 2009 where he served as an Associate Editor and Fellow with the Legal Information Institute (LII), Managing Editor of the Cornell International Law … Read more
Jun 12, 2017
Retirement plans (i.e., pension plans, 401(k) plans, employer established IRA plans, etc.) account for the majority of assets held by most Americans. Plans which meet certain legal requirements set forth under the federal ERISA law enjoy favorable tax treatment in order to promote growth and provide a comfortable retirement for the account holder. For example, the account holder is permitted to defer taking any distributions from his/her retirement account until the calendar year in which … Read more
May 16, 2017
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 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
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