Jan 16, 2018

Basics of Estate Planning: Funding Your Trust

FamilyProperty you own can be transferred to your heirs or chosen beneficiaries upon your death in one of several ways.  If the particular asset is owned by you and another individual, as in the case of a residence which you jointly own with your spouse with a right of survivorship (JWROS), the property will automatically pass to your spouse upon your death.  Assets may also pass by means of a beneficiary designation, such as in … Read more

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Jan 8, 2018

Can Oregon Survive Self-Service Gas

Gas PumpAs one of my daughters once perceptively noted, Oregon in general and Portland in particular act like middle children always waiving their arms and asking the world to “look at us”.  For some reason, much of the populace in Oregon thinks it is that interesting that others should take notice.

Oregon is somewhat unique in that it is one of only two states that do not allow people to pump their own gas.  That changed … Read more

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Nov 15, 2017

Should Law Schools Teach Ethics if They Break the Law?

EthicsLaw school deans often assume an aura of intellectual superiority and moral authority ever ready to opine about how some other person or institution should act.  In fact, law schools and their captains seem in an odd sense to be above the law.

The brief abstract confirms that last thought.  Specifically, two Emory University Professors note the criminal culpability of many laws schools, their deans and other administrators for wire fraud and other offenses for … Read more

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Oct 27, 2017

NOTICE: We’re Moving!

Moving boxesPlease note that our office is moving on Saturday October 28, 2017.  Our new address will be:

121 SW Morrison Street, Suite 1875

Portland, OR 97204

 All other contact information will remain the same.  Please also note that our phones will not be answered from Friday October 27, 2017 at approximately 4:00 PM (because we need to unplug and pack them) until sometime mid-morning on Monday October 30, 2017 when service will be switched over … Read more

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Oct 11, 2017

Mass Shootings, the Second Amendment, and the Gun Control Debate

Lit candlesWe can expect the gun control debate to grow louder in the wake of the Las Vegas mass shooting on October 1, 2017.  Shooter Stephen Paddock killed at least 58 people and injured nearly 500 others in the recent massacre.  Proponents of stricter gun control will likely point to this shooting to plead for stricter regulation of our Second Amendment right to bear arms.  Their rationale is that someone intent on mass killing would be … Read more

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Oct 5, 2017

Oregon’s Stricter Distracted Driving Law Takes Effect on October 1, 2017

Cell phone use while drivingOregon drivers should be ready for a stricter version of the hands-free device law to go into effect on October 1, 2017.  The new law, based on House Bill 2597, expressly expands the hands-free driving law beyond merely phone conversations and texting while driving.  The new law generally prohibits holding or using any mobile electronic device while driving without a hands-free accessory.  For drivers under 18 of age, the law continues to prohibit the use … Read more

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Sep 27, 2017

Are We Sinking the Jones Act?

US FlagAs a former merchant mariner, I continue to follow issues relating to the shipping industry in general with a particular interest as to matters touching on the survival of America’s merchant marine.  I was surprised to recently learn that Senator John McCain, a man whom I admire, has introduced legislation in the U.S. Senate to repeal the Jones Act restrictions against foreign flag vessels carrying cargo between U.S. ports.  His bill, entitled the Open America’s Read more

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Sep 22, 2017

The Way Some Lawyers are Trying to Make Money from Extreme Weather Disasters

HurricaneHurricane Harvey was a disaster for almost everyone it touched.  Yet, showing that no disaster is without profit to someone, lawyers are already thinking of ways to blame damage from the storm on governments, architects, builders and others.  As Reuters reports in a recent story by Sebastien Malo, those lawyers are trying to show that certain targets, all with presumably deep pockets, should be legally responsible for the damages and injuries millions suffered in the … Read more

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Sep 18, 2017

A Brief Summary of Contract Law: Key Terms, Common Defenses and General Recommendations

ContractMany individuals and companies enter into contracts without fully understanding the terms.  Often, neither party has clarity on what the contract requires in terms of performance standards, remedies for breach and whether unwritten terms can supplement the written contract.

This post is intended to provide a quick guide to some key terms and issues that are relevant in the area of contract law.

What is a contract and how is it formed? 

In general, a … Read more

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Aug 23, 2017

Tenant Security Deposits under Oregon and Washington Law

Apartment complexAmong the more common inquiries we receive from tenants in both Oregon and Washington relate to security deposits that they are required to provide in order to lease residential property.  The legal duties and requirements regarding tenant security deposits can be found in the two states’ respective landlord-tenant acts.  Oregon’s Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (the “Oregon Act”) is found in Chapter 90 of the Oregon Revised Statutes.  Washington’s Residential Landlord-Tenant Act of 1973 (the … Read more

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