Jul 13, 2017
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
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
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
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
Feb 23, 2017
One 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
“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