Parentage by Artificial Insemination – Partially Clarifying Single-Sex Relationship Rules

May 26, 2015

In Oregon, a spouse who consents to artificial insemination of his or her wife is deemed a parent of the child. During the period before the establishment of single-sex marriage in Oregon, the rights of same-sex partners were partially unresolved. In 2009, the Oregon Court of Appeals ruled that the state constitution required recognizing the partners as parents because they had no legal means of establishing a state-recognized relationship. Subsequently, the legislature enacted a domestic partnership law that gave single-sex couples the right to a relationship analogous to marriage. Although not many couples took advantage of that law, some did, and the Court of Appeals recently confirmed that they, too, may have parental rights. Read the rest of this entry »

Requiring Consent to Searches at the Schoolhouse Door as a Condition of Enrollment: An Upcoming Constitutional Issue

May 18, 2015

Most readers are aware that the Fourth Amendment prohibits “unreasonable” searches and seizures without a warrant. When a person consents to a search, that rule no longer applies, and a series of cases has discussed when consent can be required. It is generally agreed, for example, that security searches at airports, courthouses, or other government offices are allowed. A recent case in Nevada and an older case from Oregon disagree on whether public schools can require students to consent to searches as a condition of enrollment. Read the rest of this entry »

Slip and Fall Cases Needn’t Have a Hard Landing

May 11, 2015

One of the more difficult personal injury cases to prove is the “slip and fall” situation. A recent case in Oregon, however, approved a creative argument that may make these cases easier for plaintiffs in some situations. Read the rest of this entry »

A Probably Unnecessary Suit

May 4, 2015

Sometimes it isn’t always the best idea to sue. In fact, often, if you can settle a dispute without suing, you’re more likely to have the result carried out. The person on the other side will have more of an investment in the result. Sometimes you’re going to be dealing with the other person for a long time regardless of the result, and you may find it to your advantage not to make them angry. In any event, sometimes lawsuits can be difficult to handicap, so the risk of a loss should be taken into account. A recent case between two neighbors illustrates the risk of suing when the sequence of events is in dispute. Read the rest of this entry »

Community Property in Washington and Gifts

April 27, 2015

In Washington, property acquired during marriage is usually considered community property. Gifts intended to be to one spouse, however, are usually considered separate. A recent case illustrates what qualifies as a gift and how additions of labor by the other spouse affect classifying the gift. Read the rest of this entry »

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 »


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