Aug 3, 2017

Estate Planning Issues for Married Couples

Elderly coupleAmong the more common estate plans for married couples is what is sometimes referred to as a sweetheart estate plan.  Such a plan provides for the entirety of the deceased spouse’s estate to pass to the surviving spouse; on the death of the surviving spouse, whatever remains will pass to the couple’s children or other designated heirs.  Mutual reciprocal wills can be used to accomplish this intent.  Of course, on the death of the surviving … Read more

No comments

Jul 27, 2017

OxyContin and Other Prescription Painkillers: Following the Tobacco Lawsuits Model?

Spilled prescription pills“Recently my advertising agency ended a long relationship with Lucky Strike cigarettes, and I’m relieved.” – Don Draper, “Mad Men”.

Like Don Draper “quitting” cigarettes, more lawmakers and health researchers are ready to fight the makers of OxyContin and other opioid painkillers.

In January 2017, the City of Everett, Washington filed a lawsuit against OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma.  Purdue Pharma filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, and the court’s decision might come … Read more

No comments

Jul 25, 2017

Oregon Will Decide If You’re Smart Enough to Keep Your Kids

PhrenologyA recent story in the Oregonian tells how the state of Oregon has taken a married couple’s children because the state claims the couple isn’t smart enough to be parents.  In fact, the state took their younger child from the hospital before his mother was even able to see him.

As the story points out, both parents have held jobs and they maintain a household.  While neither parent looks like another Einstein, when has anyone … Read more

No comments

Jul 18, 2017

Standalone Retirement Trusts and Estate Planning

Piggy bankIn a recent blog, we discussed the advantages of incorporating your retirement plan (i.e., pension plans, 401(k) plans, employer established IRA plans, etc.) into your overall estate plan. As we discussed, this can be a complex matter because the tax advantages which are accorded to retirement accounts are generally not extended to heirs or designated beneficiaries once the retirement account owner has died.

By way of summary, we have identified three goals you may … Read more

No comments

Jul 13, 2017

The Fair Work Week Act: New Work Schedule Restrictions on the Horizon for Certain Oregon Workers and Employers

CalendarThe Oregon legislature passed the Fair Work Week Act (SB 828) on June 29, 2017 and the potential new law awaits Governor Brown’s signature before implementation.  If implemented, the new law would be the first of its kind adopted by a U.S. State.

Supporters claim passage of the Fair Work Week Act as a win for workers in the retail, hospitality and food service industries.  Opponents of the Fair Work Week Act criticize … Read more

No comments

Jul 5, 2017

When You’re Not Who You Are; When an Architect is Not an Architect

Architect drawingsIn a recent bizarre trip down the rabbit hole, in Twist Architecture v. Board of Architect Examiners, 361 Or. 507 (2017), the Oregon Supreme Court upheld a fine against architects, duly licensed in Washington, for daring to call themselves “architects” on their correspondence and website read by Oregon clients who hired them to prepare master plans for possible commercial development in the state of Oregon.

Even though the drawings the architects here were hired to … Read more

No comments

Jun 26, 2017

Must a Phone Make a Sound in Order to “Ring” Under Oregon Law? Yes, Says the Court of Appeals in a Ten-Page Open Letter to the State

humpty-1851204_1920In 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

No comments

Jun 20, 2017

Scrubbing the Internet of What You Don’t Like – What Works and What Doesn’t

GoogleFrom 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

No comments

Jun 13, 2017

We Welcome Michael Litvin to Our Firm

ML 061317We 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

No comments

Jun 12, 2017

Retirement Plans and Estate Planning

RetirementRetirement 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

No comments