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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

Prison cellsSome 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

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May 10, 2017

Law, Logic and Experience

SidewalkMore 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

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