Oregon 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
Aug 23, 2017
Among 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
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 13, 2017
The Fair Work Week Act: New Work Schedule Restrictions on the Horizon for Certain Oregon Workers and Employers
The 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
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 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
In 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
More 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
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
Apr 3, 2017
A 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). 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
The 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