Feb 2, 2018
Inmates in a federal prison were recently charged with escape when they were caught running back to their prison.
You’d think that someone who’d gone to the effort to escape from prison wouldn’t return as a matter of course. Yet that’s exactly what inmates in a federal prison in Jefferson County, Texas were regularly doing as reported here.
Inmates would dash out of the prison to pick up contraband from a passing car and … Read more
Jan 31, 2018
There’s a socially cultivated sense of importance about our judicial system. There’s even an aura among some lawyers of reverence, if not sycophancy, toward appellate judges as though the work of appellate court judges is serious and intellectually demanding so that only the brightest minds can do the job.
It’s refreshing then to see an appellate court struggling with a question of great jurisprudential and social import: Whether a self-propelled lawn mower is a “motor … Read more
Jan 8, 2018
As 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
Jul 25, 2017
A 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
Jul 5, 2017
In 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
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
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 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
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