Allocating Fault in Settlements – Complications in Unusual Circumstances

April 13, 2015

I am departing a bit from my usual fields of practice into environmental law to expand upon a recent article regarding how to allocate payments between more than one person responsible for a loss. As I previously noted, in most circumstances in Oregon and Washington, the law requires that each responsible person pay according to the percentage of his or her fault. <> A recent case from the federal appeals court covering most of the Western states, however, discusses the effect of federal law on some of these rules, and, in particular, the complicated rules applying to environmental cleanup. Read the rest of this entry »

Alimony into the Retirement Years

April 6, 2015

In long term marriages, it is not uncommon for one spouse to cease working and serve as a homemaker. When these marriages end, the courts often award alimony. Sometimes, these awards can extend for a very long time, or even indefinitely. A recent Oregon case discusses an award that was expected to extend into the paying spouse’s possible retirement years. Read the rest of this entry »

Changes to Car Insurance in Oregon

March 31, 2015

The Oregon legislature recently passed a bill significantly increasing the benefits available under motor vehicle insurance. The most significant changes are to uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage and PIP coverage. Read the rest of this entry »

Indemnity for Active Negligence Fades Away

March 23, 2015

Traditionally, when two defendants were responsible for someone else’s damages, the law occasionally permitted one of the defendants to recover payment of damages from the other. The idea was that if one defendant’s wrongdoing was the result of an affirmative act (was “actively” wrong) and the other’s was a passive omission, the passive defendant could recover from the active one. A recent case in Oregon highlights a growing trend in states with comparative fault laws to drop that rule. Read the rest of this entry »

Child Support for Washington Children in College

March 16, 2015

When parents are ordered to pay child support, they may not think about what happens when the children go to college. In Oregon, support continues at the amount ordered, but the money is paid to the child instead of the parent, and continues so long as the child stays in school (up to age 21) and maintains a C average. In Washington, the law is more generous. Parents can be ordered to pay part of tuition, room, and board if the child is dependent on them. A recent case illustrates how the courts may apply this principle. Read the rest of this entry »


March 13, 2015

Although traditionally wildlife was not considered anyone’s property unless killed, captured, or domesticated, in Oregon, wildlife has been declared state property. As a result, an hunting without a license or out of season can be prosecuted under the criminal mischief laws for damaging someone else’s property.

Causing Minor Difficulties for the Other Parent Ruled not Enough for a Custody Ruling

March 9, 2015

In Oregon, one of the factors to be considered in deciding custody disputes is each parent’s willingness to foster the children’s relationship with the other parent (assuming that parent is not unfit). A recent case considers the question of how much a parent should subordinate their own interests to ensure the other parent’s relationship is supported. The answer is that if a parent’s decisions cause minor difficulties for the other parent, the courts should not penalize the parent. Read the rest of this entry »


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