Do Transgender Restroom Bills Violate Federal Law?

April 25, 2016

In recent weeks, North Carolina has enacted a law to require transgendered persons to use restrooms of their birth gender. Although a suit to hold the law unconstitutional was filed almost immediately, several other states are considering such bills. A recent case from a federal appeals court for the circuit including North Carolina (G.G. v. Gloucester Co. Sch. Bd., No. 15-2056, 4th Cir., Apr. 19, 2016), <;), however, strongly suggests that federal regulations probably already require treatment of transgendered persons according to their own gender identification. Under the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause, federal law overrides conflicting state law, so this would knock out most transgendered restroom bills. Read the rest of this entry »

Substantial Restrictions on Recourse for False Allegations of Child Abuse

April 19, 2016

The law in Washington and Oregon immunizes the person who reports child abuse from liability, if the report is made in good faith. On the other hand, Washington does allow, in very narrow circumstances, suits against the police and the Department of Social and Health Services (SHEDS) for negligence in investigating child abuse reports. A recent case (McCarthy v. County of Clark, No. 46347-4-II (Wash. App., Apr. 12, 2016), has narrowed the circumstances to an even narrower range than might have been thought. Read the rest of this entry »

When Is an Agreement Not an Agreement?

April 12, 2016

A major part of the law involves determining whether parties have formed an enforceable agreement and how that agreement should be enforced. A recent federal case underscores a core principle of forming agreements: the parties must agree to be bound by the agreement. Read the rest of this entry »

There Are Some Things You Probably Shouldn’t Tell Your lawyer

April 5, 2016

Although, as I noted in my last post (<;), lawyers are required to protect confidential information from client, there are some exceptions. For this reason, there are a few things you probably shouldn’t tell your layer. A recent case in Washington illustrates one major exception: prevention of crime. This differs from the “buried bodies” situation I mentioned in the previous article, which involved a past crime and is protected from disclosure. Read the rest of this entry »

Is Someone Else Paying Your Lawyer?

March 28, 2016

Lawyers do not come cheap. As a result, it is not uncommon for clients to have someone else assist with their legal bills. If the lawyer is aware of an arrangement for someone else to pay, however, this raises some ethical questions. As a result, lawyers in Oregon and Washington, and probably most states, are required to give clients a written notice of the ethical issues before accepting such payments. Read the rest of this entry »

The Range of Transitional Spousal Support Plans

March 21, 2016

In Oregon, spousal support (alimony) is divided into three categories, which are separately considered in determining whether to award support. Transitional; support is for spouses who need time to reenter the workforce or recover their income potential. Compensatory support is intended to recover a contribution to the other spouse’s education or other development of their earning capacity. Finally, maintenance is intended to assist a spouse in continuing in the lifestyle enjoyed during the marriage. Transitional support often requires demonstration of a plan for the transition period. A recent case illustrates that plans may be designed to improve employability without direct education or training. Read the rest of this entry »

Interstate Recognition of Adoptions by Single-Sex Couples

March 15, 2016

With the recognition of single-sex marriage nationwide, it should become easier for single-sex couples to adopt children in states that were previously hostile. The Supreme court recently issued a ruling indicating that it will not allow states to disregard other states’ allowance of single-sex adoptions. Read the rest of this entry »


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