Service Dogs in Schools

March 18, 2017

Many people with disabilities have service dogs. Children with service dogs may bring them to school to assist them. Sometimes schools resist. A recent Supreme Court case, Fry. v. Napoleon Community Schools, No. 15-497 (U.S., Feb. 22, 2017), <>, helps clarify when objections should be made through administrative proceeding and when students can file a lawsuit Read the rest of this entry »

More on Relevance of Evidence

March 3, 2017

In my last article, I wrote about how evidence is determined to be relevant to an issue in a case. <>. Another recent case, Gaylord v. DMV, 283 Or App 811 (2017), <>, shows how relevance can be considered beyond the basic pleadings. Read the rest of this entry »

Explaining Relevance of Evidence

February 24, 2017

One feature any evidence must have to be considered by a court or jury is relevance to an issue in the case. The idea is that judges and jurors shouldn’t let prejudicial information sway their thinking. If a defendant, for example, has several convictions for other charges, the jury won’t be told that unless the prosecution can come up with a legitimate reason to bring it up, and simple propensity isn’t enough. A recent case from Oregon, Bergstrom v. Assoc. for Women’s Health of So. Ore., 283 Or App 601 (2017), <>, shows the principle of relevance in action. Read the rest of this entry »

The Perils of not Checking on Your Case

February 9, 2017

The courts like to see cases handled with some reasonable dispatch. Compared to most states, Oregon has a fast scheduling system. Most of the time, the goal is to get civil cases to trial in a year. Because of this, if you neglect your case, you may be out of luck if something happens when you aren’t paying attention. A recent case, Union Lumber Co. v. Miller, 360 Or 767 (2017), <>, illustrates what can happen. Read the rest of this entry »

Being a Good Neighbor to State Farm

January 14, 2017

In both Oregon and Washington, as in many states, auto insurance policies include a provision for personal injury protection (PIP), which covers medical expenses resulting from an accident regardless of fault, up to a moderate limit. In most cases, PIP claims are not controversial. A recent case from Oregon, McBride v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Ins. Co., 282 Or App 675 (2016), <>, however, illustrates the importance of cooperation by the insured in resolving disputes. Read the rest of this entry »

Driving Wheelchairs Under the Influence

January 12, 2017

Most driving under the influence laws include bicycles and a broad range of motorized wheeled vehicles in their scope. Oregon is no exception to this. But what’s the rule for motorized wheelchairs? A recent case, State v. Greene, 282 Or App 120 (2016), <>, rules that in most cases, they are not subject to driving under the influence law. Read the rest of this entry »

Oregon Now Allows Negligent Emotional Damages Without Physical Contact

January 7, 2017

In 1986, the Oregon Court of Appeals ruled that a person could not recover for emotional damages unless he or she suffered some physical contact from a negligent action. Saechao v. Matsakoun, 78 Or App 340, 717 P2d 165, rev dismissed, 302 Or 155 (1986), <>. That was the law in Oregon for 30 years. In a recent case, however, the Oregon Supreme Court disagreed, expanding the right to recover emotional damages. Philibert v. Kluser, 360 Or 698 (2016), <>.

Read the rest of this entry »