Hunt & Associates P.C.

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

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

May 3, 2017

Yellow Traffic Lights are Too Brief but Don’t Try to Tell the State of Oregon’s Board of Engineering Examiners – It Will Certainly Ignore Your Message and Fine You for Speaking

Yellow traffic lightIn 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 3, 2017

Are Cab Drivers Employees or Independent Contractors? It All Depends…

Taxi cabA recent decision from our federal appeals court ruled that drivers of the Yellow Cab Company in Phoenix, Arizona are not employees of the cab company but, instead, are independent contractors who are not entitled to the minimum wages required by either Arizona law or the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)[1].  The decision was issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirming a trial court decision issued by … Read more

Mar 8, 2017

Guardianships in Oregon: What Reforms are Needed?

Training - 030817The Oregon legislature is considering making changes to guardianship proceedings which would include uniform policies throughout the state with respect to court appointed visitors.  The visitor occupies an important place in a guardianship proceeding.  The visitor’s job is to interview and evaluate the respondent (i.e., the person who is alleged to be in need of a guardian) and then report back to the court with a recommendation whether or not to appoint a guardian. Judges … Read more

Mar 7, 2017

Who Runs the Shop – Things Public Officials Can’t Say About Public Employees

Speak No Evil Monkey - 030717 croppedThe 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

Feb 23, 2017

Cover Your Tail – Protecting Against Personal Liability of LLC Members After the Company Dies

FailureOne of the principal benefits of a limited liability company is the insulation it provides its members against personal liability for company debts.  It is, however, possible to lose that protection against personal liability.  One situation where the members and managers can expose themselves to personal liability for company debts is when the company is dissolved and the members assume responsibility for paying the company’s remaining debts, winding up its affairs and distributing the company’s … Read more

Feb 20, 2017

Oaths and Oath Breaking

Barack Obama Oath“When a man takes an oath, he’s holding his own self in his own hands like water, and if he opens his fingers then, he needn’t  hope to find himself again.”

 Paul Scofield, as Sir Thomas More, in A Man for All Seasons (1966)

Once upon a time, an oath taken by a public official meant something, consequences notwithstanding, as dramatized in the Hollywood classic movie of more than 50 years ago, A Man for Read more

Jan 31, 2017

What Becomes Of Fido When You Are No Longer There?

OllieWhen most people think of estate planning, I would venture a guess that their thoughts don’t usually include making provision for their pets in the event of their own untimely passing.  That is not surprising given that most of us assume, correctly, that we will outlive our beloved four-legged companions.  However, experience shows that such is not always the case.  So, as you look deeply into the eyes of your faithful and devoted canine/feline, ask … Read more

Jan 23, 2017

The New Year Brings Some Changes to Estate Planning

Tax - 012317With the change of the calendar to a new year, there are some changes in the law which might be of interest to you and even impact your estate plan.  For example:

  • In the State of Washington, the “applicable exclusion amount” has increased from $2,079,000.00 to $2,129,000.00. By statute, the change in the exclusion tax is calculated by reference to the Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton metropolitan area October consumer price index (CPI).  So, a Washington resident who dies
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